What is pre-finished bamboo flooring? What are the pros and cons of site-finished vs pre-finished?

While doing your homework and research for your next hardwood flooring project, you probably came across the term ‘prefinished bamboo flooring’ at one point. Well, what’s the difference between prefinished and site finished? Why do most bamboo floors come prefinished? Why are they not often finished on-site? There is a lot of terminologies thrown around in the flooring industry. Therefore,  it can be a little daunting when just starting your project. Read on to find out the pros and cons of both types of installations and find out which one will work with you and your budget as well as schedule.

Prefinished bamboo flooring comes in natural, carbonized, and stained varieties. They don’t require further processes like additional sealing, sanding, or staining after installation.  The floor can be used right away. What’s more, surface features such as hand-scraping and distressing are done at the factory. Then, the finish is applied to them in the same setting.

All Ambient floors come prefinished with our proprietary AccuSeal® Finish System. We back this additionally by our industry-leading lifetime warranty. This super-tough 10-coat UV-cured acrylic urethane bamboo floor finish with aluminum oxide features water-based, solvent-free, scratch-resistant,  integrated layering that is manufactured under the most stringent guidelines.

Prefinished bamboo flooring is a convenient choice for homeowners who prefer an easy-to-install floor type. There is a quick turnaround time for orders, and the flooring will retain its attractive look for many years. Prefinished is highly resistant to chipping, dents, and scratches, and it stands up well in high traffic areas such as the living room or kitchen.

What are the PROS of prefinished bamboo flooring?

Purchasing prefinished bamboo flooring offers several benefits.

  • The finish on prefinished floors is much more durable than a finish applied on site.
  • No life disruption from sanding dust and waiting for stain and finish to cure.
  • Once the installation is complete, you can immediately walk on it and move furniture in place.
  • Prefinished floors often come with an extended warranty.
  • Installation overall is much faster compared to site-finished flooring.
  • There are low maintenance requirements for prefinished strand bamboo floors.
  • Pre-finished strand woven bamboo flooring rarely, if ever, needs refinishing in a residential setting.
  • Bamboo flooring is a safe and effective way of controlling allergies for household members.

What are the CONS of prefinished bamboo flooring?

  • Fewer off-the-shelf options for stains and finish sheens.
  • Some do not like the look of micro-beveled edges.
  • Requires a little more care during installation to not damage the flooring.
  • Not easy to screen and recoat, but fine to sand and refinish.

What are the PROS of site-finished hardwood flooring?

  • Easier to customize the floor’s final look from the stain, distressing, gloss level, and finish type.
  • Can be less careful with the planks during installation because everything will be sanded down eventually.
  • It’s often easier to match new hardwood flooring with existing flooring of a similar species.
  • If the finish gets many scuff marks over time, it’s easier to screen and reapply the finish.

What are the CONS of site-finished hardwood flooring?

  • Site-finished hardwoods wear through much faster than their pre-finished counterparts and must be refinished every 5-10 years.
  • The indoor environment is sometimes hazardous to your health during the finishing process due to releasing chemicals and toxins into the air.
  • It’s not ideal for homes with families that experience allergy symptoms.
  • Installation takes much longer. The sanding, staining, and finish application processes can take as long as 1-2 days per stage.
  • You can’t walk on the floors until at least 48 hours after applying the finish.
  • Some companies recommend waiting up to 30 days before setting some types of furniture and rugs on the floor because it can take that long for the finish to cure.

Looking for flooring samples to test out ideas? Order up to five samples free with Ambient Bamboo Flooring.


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