Unfinished hardwood has not gone through any finishing processes, so there are no lacquers, coloring stains, or a protective layer on them. These products come in various species, widths, and grades. When you order unfinished hardwood, you will receive the raw material. Unfinished flooring is the canvas that allows full customization down to each individual plank.
Unfinished hardwood comes with a lot of possibilities because you are free to choose your stains, coloring treatments, lacquers, as well as the protective layer that you want on your floor. You are also able to mix grades and widths before applying the finish.Finishes applied to hardwood protect them from stains, wear and tear, as well as moisture. While it takes a bit more effort and time to finish the hardwood, the customized results that perfectly match your interior will be rewarding. Thanks to the sanding process, the floors are highly uniform and stable. Another key benefit of unfinished hardwood is that it allows for better uniformity of seal and finish by filling in the empty spaces and cracks formed due to minutely uneven flooring planks.
Oak - in particular white oak - is a popular unfinished hardwood flooring option. The natural color is inviting and appealing, but many people choose this option because it is easy to stain and color. If you are looking to stain the floor, this is a good option because it can absorb virtually any color. Oak is also a good investment as hardwood floors will add to your home’s resale value.
However, this type of wood can be prone to scrapes, so make sure to place pads on the bottoms of any chairs or furniture that you may move across the floor. Also, oak doesn’t hold mold, which can be beneficial for allergy sufferers. White oak’s Janka rating is 1350.
Red oak unfinished hardwood offers a more rustic look and feel. The Janka scale, which is from 0 to 4,000, rates red oak at 1,290, which makes it an easily workable flooring that is ideal for being treated with stains, lacquers, and protective sealants.
Maple has a light tan color that can blend seamlessly with many interior spaces. With the various types of maple, including silver maple and hard maple, you will be able to find the perfect species for your space. Maple is a great option for high traffic areas because it is one of the strongest woods available. This hardwood option also requires minimal maintenance and will last for many years. After you have colored and/or sealed your floors, all you need to do to keep them clean is weekly sweeping and annual applications of wood soap to prolong the floor’s life. Maple’s Janka rating is 1450.
With a Janka rating of 1820, hickory is a very hard residential wood. While hickory is often chosen for its aesthetic appeal and strength, it can be harder to work with due to its density. When opting for hickory, be prepared to spend a bit of extra time on the cutting, sanding, and finishing efforts. However, the pros of hickory unfinished hardwood outweigh the cons, with many professional installers choosing this option for their installations.
There are a few key differences to keep in mind when deciding between finished and unfinished hardwood floors: