Finish

Most common species of solid wood are available in prefinished or unfinished product. Most engineered product comes prefinished. Prefinished wood flooring often has a more durable finish than what can be field applied, and is often impregnated with aluminum oxide which helps greatly with abrasion resistance.

Prefinished

  • More consistent, uniform color and sheen
  • Often available with aluminum oxide for added durability and scratch resistance
  • Flooring can be put into service immediately after installation
  • Color and sheen selections are consistent with installed product
  • Reduces installation time and mess (from sanding/finishing)
  • Can be difficult to blend repairs or match unfinished transitions
  • The harder finishes can make refinishing more difficult

Acrylic Impregnated

  • Sawn or rotary cut veneer is subjected to a vacuum to remove moisture and then an acrylic resin and color is impregnated into the pores of the wood, and then cured.
  • Provides a continuous color throughout the wear layer.
  • Similar top coat finishes to other wood flooring available.
  • Increases the hardness of the wood up to three times the original.
  • Does not reduce the moisture sensitivity of the wood.
  • Increased cost.

Field Finished

  • Finish method and product type should be specified as there are a variety of chemistries available (water based polyurethane, solvent based polyurethane, single and plural component moisture cure urethane, single and plural component aliphatic urethanes, etc.)
  • When specifying stain matching, samples of desired color should be provided on species of wood to be installed. Specifications should include methods for approval of stain match prior to installation and finishing.
  • Easier to match unfinished transitions
  • Color is typically less consistent with field applied stains due to variances in wood and application methods.
  • Field applied finishes may not be as consistent with design selections.
  • Longer installation time and higher level of job site disturbance/mess.
  • Dry time of finishes will lengthen time before floor can be returned to service and can be increased due to climate conditions.