When you choose solid hardwood flooring, you need to decide whether the final finish will be pre applied at the factory or added once the floor has been laid.
This means that each hardwood board has already received any staining, gloss or scratch resistant finish at the factory. The sample that you see in the store is exactly what your floor will look like, other than the natural imperfections and individual grain patterns that make solid wood flooring so unique. Once the floor has been laid, all it needs is a simple clean and it is ready to be walked on.
This means that only once the entire floor has been installed will any finishes be applied. This option offers you more possibilities for customizing your floor as you can choose the finishes and stain you want. Unlike factory finished wood, a final layer of sealant is applied that extends across the entire floor area, filling in seams and helping with water resistance.
Don’t underestimate the mess factor with site finishing. The floors will have to be sanded before the finishes are applied creating noise and dust that gets into every nook and cranny. Some installers use dust containment systems so don’t forget to ask about these if you choose this route. Remember that you also have to allow time for the finishes to dry before anyone can walk on the floor. This may not be a practical choice if you are living in your home while the flooring renovation is taking place.