Was there a home improvement project that went undone in 2008? Tackle 2009 with a new Fantastic Floor. But which to choose imported or domestic? Prefinished or Unfinished?? So many choices and educating yourself about the wood floor industry has a steep learning curve. What grade to choose? Which width appeals to you and is functional for your climate? So many questions.
First let's decide if you want a prefinished or unfinished floor. What is the difference you might ask??? Well... a prefinished floor has a factory finish that is generally stronger than a site sand and finished unfinished floor. However, a prefinished floor generally has micro bevels. The reason for micro bevels are that no floor is perfectly flat and without sanding the floor you will have instances of overwood which if your picky you will notice with a square edge prefinished product. With micro bevels this helps avoid the situation as it camouflages the height variations. Other reason is simply design. With a bevel each strip or plank is accented and it is a different look. Any difference in maintenance would be extremely negligible. So if you don't mind the lines in a prefinished micro beveled floor than you just simply install and there is no need to evacuate the home for the finish process like a unfinished floor mandates.
If the lines are something that don't appeal to you, then unfinished is recommended. This mandates site sanding and finishing for a flat smooth floor. Installation costs are generally a little more for an unfinished floor, however the materials are less expensive than the prefinished alternative.
Either way you choose a prefinished or an unfinished wood floor is a FANTASTIC way to start the New Year!