Installing unfinished hardwood flooring might seem misguided, but with proper installation, sanding, and maintenance, it’s one of the best decisions you can make.
Between raw hardwood and prefinished hardwood floor panels, people almost always choose the latter. One of the reasons is that after installation, you can use the floor right away. In contrast, unfinished hardwood flooring for sale will need to be processed on-site.
That means the floor has to be sanded and coated with oil-based polyurethane. This protects the floor from water stains or damage. You then have to wait for days before you can even walk on the floor, much less bring the furniture in.
Unfinished Hardwood vs. Prefinished Hardwood Costs
Prefinished hardwood floors are typically more expensive. According to Remodeling Expense, you will spend between $5.13 and $8.00 per square foot for the prefinished panels. The cost doesn’t include the installation costs.
Home Advisor, meanwhile, said that you can find unfinished hardwood flooring for sale for as little as $3.00 per square foot.
In choosing unfinished hardwood flooring products, the cost will depend entirely on the type of material they are made out of. Manufacturers classify them from low to high.
- Low-end: This refers to pine or other softwood. The most basic of materials, you can buy one as cheap as $3 per square foot excluding installation.
- Mid-end: The timber used here includes oak and American cherry. The cost can be as low as $5 per square foot to as much as $10.
- High-end: Most of the wood material used in the more expensive products includes tigerwood, cypress, cypress, and Brazilian walnut. Because most of these materials are imported, you are looking at somewhere between $8 and $14 per square foot.
Maintaining Your Unfinished Hardwood Floor
To make your unfinished hardwood floor last a long time, it will need some type of effort on your part to properly clean and maintain it.
Here are some ways on how to go about extending the lifespan of your floors:
- Use a damp cloth when cleaning – Don’t use a copious amount of water and a cleaning liquid. You will end up causing more damage to the floor as the liquid will seep in between the cracks and floorboards.
- Use a sander – Over time, you will spot some stains and other imperfections on your hardwood floor. But it’s easy to take them out by sanding over them. However, don’t go overboard with this method. Think of it as a last resort when all means fail.
- Vacuum weekly – You can do this at least once a week. This may not be something you’re aware of, but the dust and small particles you can’t see with your naked eye will scratch the floor.
- Use a cloth when moving in furniture – To prevent scratches, place a cotton cloth to support the leg of the sofa, for instance, before sliding it into place.
On the plus side, unfinished hardwood floors take on that distinct character and will make your home stand out. There’s something about using materials that are in their natural state. However, you do have to be gentle in dealing with raw material like that. So invest in some area rugs and place them in strategic places.