There are a seemingly endless array of options and customizations for hardwood floors. Luckily, the team at Floor Coverings International Columbia East is extremely knowledgeable and can help you sort through all your choices. We find that many of the Columbia, Cayce, Blythewood area homeowners we talk to don’t realize they have more hardwood flooring options beyond stain, width, and length. For example, have you considered site-finished versus prefinished flooring? What can seem like a small decision, actually has a big impact on the overall look of your hardwood. In this article, we cover the pros and cons of site-finished hardwood floors.

What are site-finished hardwood floors?unfinished hardwood floors in Columbia

A site-finished hardwood floor is first installed unfinished. The installation team applies the final hardwood stain and varnish after all of the boards have been installed on site. This is opposed to prefinished flooring, or finishing the floorboards in a factory before they are installed. Both options offer great quality but differ in appearance and feel.


A site-finished floor is considered to be more authentic than a prefinished floor. The finish is customized to the job and often turns out looking a lot more natural. If you have a rustic design or if you are trying to preserve a historic home, site-finished floors are definitely the way to go. You’ll be installing your floors the way they were originally installed. Site-finished floors can also achieve a more cohesive and uniform appearance. If you are patching an old floor or installing a continuation of existing hardwood flooring, site-finished is the only option.


Site-finished floors aren’t necessarily as durable as prefinished floors. The factory can apply tougher chemicals and additional finishing layers that give prefinished floors more protection. Site-finished floors also take more time to install, which is important to consider if you are limited on time or have a lot of moving pieces in your project that could be held up by a longer installation process.

Are unfinished hardwood floors right for me?

At the end of the day, whether you choose prefinished or site-finished hardwoods ultimately depends on the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. Still not sure if site-finished floors are for you? Get in contact with our on-site design team. At Floor Coverings International Columbia East, we are dedicated to helping your family find the perfect flooring solution. Drop us a line today!

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Photo © Carlos Andre Santos