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pre-finished maple strip flooring

velocci's picture

Hi all, I am getting maple strip flooring on my floor. i'm not sure if its pre-finished or not. i heard that pre-finished is not good and that if you scratch it or spill water on it, you can't fix it. is this true? what have you heard about this?
and what exactly happens if you spill water on it?

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velocci's picture

since you know so much about this stuff, let me as you another question. i heard that if you remove parquet, it willl ruin the subfloor because the parquet is glued on. is this true? does the subfloor generally have to be replaced when removing parquet?

cherylallismom;231359 wrote:
Old school snobbery mostly! It costs more and is more work so it must be better, right? Actually, early prefinished floors (like the first generation of just about anything) really were not very good. The technology and methodology has come a long way and it is by far the most common installation now. But there are still lots of people who like the old school way of doing anything. Other reasons for site finished is that you can be very custom in terms of stain colour and finish (eg just oiled, different levels of gloss on poly, etc.), there is no micro-bevel between the boards, and the film of finish goes right across the joints between boards. On that last point, this can be a plus or a minus. All wood floors expand and contract with fluctuations in humidity levels. Because site finished floors have the finish (poly) going right across all the boards, expansion and contraction can cause some cracking of the finish on the joints. The more stable your humidity, the less of an issue that would be.

velocci's picture

so why would someone want hardwood floors finished at the site instead of having them pre-finished and then installed? it seems to me its better to have it pre-finished because finishing them at the site means finishing them in a dusty area.

cherylallismom;231348 wrote:
For sure. As long as you are talking about real hardwood (ie not laminate). Real hardwood (both solid and engineered) can be sanded and refinished, generally up to 3 times. With pre-finished, the first time is a bigger job because of the harder finish and the bevel, but its all doable. Refinishing floors is a job for the pros anyway. We did our own once. Then we found out what it would have cost to have it professionally done. It really was not worth the time and money we put into it ourselves!

velocci's picture

hi, thanks for your detailed reply. I bought my house from a builder so the house is still not built yet. i'm picking my floor from the samples they have so i'm not sure what quality i'm getting. but i do know that i'm paying for good quality. ;) I just hope i get it. but i'm not so sure i will.

so you're saying even with pre-finished maple hardwood, i can still sand it down and stain it again? i thought I couldn't with prefinished stuff.

cherylallismom;231346 wrote:
Nothing happens to it. Most hardwood installed these days is pre-finished. It just makes life easier. Also, prefinished hardwood generally has 5 - 7 coats of finish and is UV baked on. Site finished generally has only 2 - 3 coats, air dried. Both can be refinished on site, generally 2 or 3 times. The "downside" of prefinished, if you consider it one, is that there is a slight groove at each joint, though most good companies are using such a micro-bevel now that it is pretty irrellevant. I have prefinished hardwood throughout my main floor, including by three entrances and in the kitchen. I spill water on it daily. Also coffee, food, road salt and a million other things. It still looks great. Small spills have sometimes sat for a day or so before being noticed. No problem. If you have a big sprawling spill, just clean it up right away, which I would hope you would do anyway! The real catch is - buy good quality and install it right. A good quality pre-finished floor will look great for years! There are $2.50 per square foot floors and there are $20 per square foot floors. Generally, if you go to a good flooring place, expect to pay in the $6 - $8 range for decent prefinished flooring in a non-exotic wood, plus installation (generally $2 - $4 per sq foot, depending on the details of the job). We got Mirage flooring, generally considered to be a good consumer brand. Vintage is another, and also Mercier.

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