site finished vs. prefinished

snuffycuts99April 10, 2014

could someone please provide a short breakdown of the pros and cons of each and which you prefer? we have prefinished in our home right now and I've never loved the seams between each board. it's my understanding that site finishing is able to somewhat eliminate those seams...is this correct? We are building a new house and trying to determine which way to go. I think we are leaning towards site finished. Is there much of a difference in cost? It looks to me like unfinished solid hardwood is cheaper than a quality prefinished. But I understand that site finished will have more labor costs. Does it kind of equal out? And, finally, can we use wide planks with site finished? We'd like to use a 5" board but I've heard that's not necessarily wise with site finished. We're in PA. Really appreciate any help and advice that can be provided...thanks!

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weedyacres

Site finished: main benefit is no grooves.

Pre-finished: main benefit is faster (done the same day you lay it) and less mess.

On cost, we've DIY-ed, so can't give input on the labor cost.

We installed 5" solid unfinished walnut in a couple rooms and had no problem. I'm not sure what you've heard as to why that should be a problem.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 1:31PM
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snuffycuts99

Thanks for the response. We were told that some "cupping" could occur with wider boards when doing site finished. Have you heard this?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 4:24PM
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juno_barks

I had flooring people caution me about wide solid wood cupping. They suggested if we wanted 5 inch boards, we should go with engineered. I didn't like the look of the engineered maple, and so we are going with 3.25 inch solid, finished in place.
I worry that the grooves between boards with accumulate dirt, and look ugly too quickly.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 4:30PM
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