Unfinished Wood Flooring: Bare Potential

The installation of hardwood flooring in any home increases property values beyond the original investment that will double, even triple the return on the initial cost involved. With the selection of hardwood flooring available today from laminates, to engineered, and natural hardwood flooring, selecting a hardwood flooring for your home or place of business requires hindsight into the hardwood flooring industry to arrive at the correct decision that best suits the intended use and of course, the allotted budget.
From manufacturer to manufacturer, the selection of hardwood flooring and specifically the appropriate finishing color is an un-daunting task with sleepless nights and many hours of pre-occupied contemplating a final decision. With connecting rooms, replacement of damaged flooring in one room often leaves no alternative but to re-install unfinished flooring to maintain a consistent flow from one room to another. Also, not all available finishes coincide with all selections to align with a specific intent or installment hence the final decision, the installation of unfinished hardwood flooring.
Not for the faint of heart, unfinished flooring is as the name implies, unfinished requiring two to three times the effort over its finished brethren, to finish the newly installed floor to desired levels. Solid hardwood is typically purchased in A�” thickness, tongue and groove on all four sides, with widths ranging from 2-1/4″ to 5″ planks at random lengths up to 78″. Initial installation of the unfinished flooring is crucial to the overall look of the finished floor therefore, should be accomplished by an experienced professional hardwood flooring installation expert. Even with best efforts and attempts extended, an unfinished floor incorrectly installed will virtually and visually appear, unfinished.
Although a long and tedious process, finishing an unfinished solid hardwood floor gives more control over the finished outcome allowing for the selection of specific wood species not previously offered by finished flooring. More often than not, unfinished flooring offers a larger selection than prefinished flooring, opening possibilities that were never presented upon viewing possibilities with prefinished flooring.
With associated costs per square foot similar to prefinished flooring, additional cost per square foot will increase two-fold when installing unfinished solid hardwood flooring. Where sanding with specialized machines is applicable, inexperienced homeowners are encouraged to seek experienced professionals for all finishing stages of completion. Specialized sanding machines are cumbersome, expensive to rent, requiring vast knowledge of operation, preventing possible un-even and inadequate sanding of the unfinished floor, producing less than desired results including possible total replacement and annulment of all factory warranties.
Unfinished solid hardwood floors require a systematic procedure to ensure overall desired results. Upon completion of the sanding procedure, often requiring more than one pass, the application of the chosen stain will require drying times that may exceed two-three days in ideal weather conditions with appropriate ventilation. Typically, after the initial stain coat has been applied additional sanding may be required between coats until the desired finishing color is achieved. Fumes associated with finishing and clear coating of the final stain coat can be and often are over-whelming, permeating throughout the residence or place of business with additional ventilation required with the use of specialized fans placed in the appropriate areas.
Perhaps somewhat disconcerting in the beginning, the finished appearance and the visible beauty of solid unfinished flooring, now finished, will be replaced with fond memories of a floor that once had only shown bare potential.

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