The term "prefinished" refers to wood flooring products that have a factory-applied finish coat and are ready for installation right out of the box.
These floors are real wood products (with the exception of laminate flooring). Prefinished floors come in a variety of species, widths, and colors. Oak, maple, hickory, American cherry, and walnut dominate the native flooring choices, while Brazilian cherry, Santos mahogany, Brazilian teak, and Brazilian chestnut dominate the exotic species. Most prefinished products are available in natural (no stain) to dark browns and black tones.
- Solid Prefinished Floors are 3/4" thick (with a few exceptions) and are designed for nail-down installations. Typical flooring widths are 2 1/4", 3 1/4", 4", and 5". Most manufacturers offer wider sizes, up to 10" and 12".
- Engineered Prefinished Floors are thinner in design, commonly 5/16", 3/8", 1/2" and 9/16", and are constructed in layers to offer more stability and installation options. They can be nailed down to most standard subfloors, or glued down directly over concrete. Material widths generally start at 2 1/4" and are available up to 10" and 12" planks.
- Prefinished Floating Floors are engineered products that connect with an interlocking system or are glued together. These products are assembled and floated over the existing subfloor. A vapor barrier/foam is used as an underlayment, depending on the subfloor material type. Much like engineered prefinished products, floating floors are thinner in design and are available in a wide variety of widths.
- Laminate Floors are synthetic floors usually composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. Flooring materials are applied with a clear protective layer to attach to the fiber board. All laminate materials are floating in design and are assembled over the existing subfloor with a foam or vapor pad. These products have become very popular because of their ease of installation and their durability. Widths normally start at 4" but are offered in widths that can be larger than found among typical engineered or solid products.