1133 W. Cook • Santa Maria, CA 93454 • (805) 925-8718

Intro to Hardwood     Hardwood Installation     Hardwood FAQs


 Engineered vs Solid    Warranties    Care & Maintenance    Home



Pre-finished vs. Unfinished


Usually, pre-finished is the way to go.  Pre-finished hardwood generally has a harder, tougher  and better protected surface than one which is finished in the home.  This is because the stain and finish is applied and impregnated into the wood at the factory in a manner that can not be replicated when a finish is applied to an unfinished floor on a jobsite. Also, some additives used in the factory finishes which are very important to the performance of the floor, most notably aluminum oxide, generally is not used when finishing in the home.  Most factory finishes apply 6-10 coats of ultra-violet cured urethane in addition to the aluminum oxide.  Job-site finishing just can not compare to this.  Unfinished hardwood requires you to sand, stain, and apply the finish after installing the wood in the home.  This means that there is a lot of dust, a much bigger mess and a lot more cleanup involved.  It also usually takes quite a bit longer to complete. Also because of the superiority of the factory applied finishes, pre-finished wood usually has better warranties than the unfinished does.  Because of all of this, Valley Flooring Carpet One of Santa Maria generally recommends pre-finished hardwood flooring.



Subfloor Preparation

When installing a hardwood floor, it can not be stressed enough how important the subfloor preparation is.  If the subfloor is concrete, then moisture is always a concern and you MUST use engineered hardwood.  Before installing wood on a concrete subfloor it is important to measure the moisture in the concrete slab.  If it measures more than 4.5 lbs/sq in, then you will need to apply a moisture barrier.  Failure to do this will void most warranties leaving you with an expensive mess on your hands if the floor eventually fails.

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