Wood Flooring: Which is best?

In this article from our friends at Forté Flooring, we learn why pre-finished boards are the way of the future and why you should consider them for your upcoming project.

Traditional hardwood flooring is messy and time-consuming to install, but there is a better way. Before choosing your engineered hardwood flooring, narrow your choices down to pre-finished planks. Not only are they easier to install – they’re also more durable and reliable. Pre-finished flooring provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional floorboards, while also increasing longevity and simplifying installation.

Unfinished wood flooring

Floorboards are traditionally supplied as raw, uncoated hardwood. The process of sanding and staining is done after installation, which can take multiple days. When sealing unfinished wood flooring, installers cannot use manufacturer-grade products, meaning the surface can show damage in as little as five years of use.

Additionally, unfinished boards are increasingly difficult to find from suppliers as pre-finished alternatives grow in popularity.

What is pre-finished hardwood flooring?

Pre-finished means the wood floor has been sanded and coated in the factory. The timber is smoothed, stained, and sealed during manufacturing to achieve the best possible finish. This factory finish ensures the longevity of the boards is consistent and reliable every time.

Efficient to install

The coating on site-finished flooring needs hours to cure and can’t be walked on in the meantime. With several coats, this can mean days of no further progress on the project.

On the other hand, pre-finished boards require no sanding or treatment once they’re secured to the subfloor. Your installers will save time during installation – therefore saving you a lot of money. There’s also no downtime because you can walk on the floor straight away.

Durable and hard wearing

As the foundation of your new space, the priority for flooring is durability. A high-quality wood floor should last up to 25 years with little or no fading, scratching, or denting. Compared to unfinished floors, pre-finished floorboards are far more hard-wearing because they are sealed with a stronger sealant.

Additionally, the longevity of unfinished hardwood is entirely dependent on the installation technique and products. In comparison, factory manufacturing ensures pre-finished boards are reliable, consistent, and long-lasting every time. The coating is thicker, more uniform, and resistant to scratches and abrasions.

Odourless and no mess

Since sealing products are applied in the factory, pre-finished boards don’t leave a lingering odour in the room after installation. By the time the boards are delivered, the finish is cured and all the smell has dissipated. Additionally, as all the sanding is done in the factory, there’s no dust left behind after the pre-finished boards are laid.

Easy to source

As pre-finished flooring becomes increasingly popular, it’s much easier to find than traditional unfinished alternatives. Most flooring stores stock some site-finished flooring or can order it in but this may require a special order.

Design options

Traditional site-finished planks are easier to customise, but you’d be surprised how many options you have with pre-finished flooring. Whichever wood grains, colours, and dimensions you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something you love that comes pre-finished.

For example, we offer a wide selection of pre-finished styles ranging from Scandinavian to rustic to contemporary.

Grey tones

Popular for their neutral look, grey tones are an excellent choice for any interior style. They’re easy to pair with other design features and conceal dirt between cleaning. Some of our most popular grey-toned floorboards are:

Brown tones

One of the most timeless flooring styles of all time, brown tones provide just enough warmth for any space. Some of our most popular brown-toned floorboards are:


For a more raw look, some floorboards come with more texture and depth. If you prefer flooring with more character, consider wood with more knots and vivid grains. Some of our most popular rustic floorboards are:

Warm tones

The best way to lift an interior space is with a warm foundation. Some of our most popular warm-toned floorboards are:


If you want a minimalistic style, a Scandinavian wood floor is the perfect place to start. The warmth and subtle hues make any space feel sleek and inviting. Some of our most popular Scandinavian styles are:

Dark and moody

Sometimes, the most effective way to improve an interior design is with a bold floor. If it’s a striking look you’re after, a dark brown or black floor is sure to impress. Our best-selling dark floorboards include:

Parquet floors

Known for their striking geometric patterns, parquet floors add traditional character to any interior space. If you’re interested, ask our experts to find out more.

Wooden flooring NZ

At Forté, we supply a vast range of pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring for both homeowners and professional installers. They’re engineered for maximum durability and longevity, providing decades of safe, low-maintenance service. Every board undergoes strict quality control and is sustainably sourced, low in formaldehyde, and can be refinished up to three times.

We take pride in producing a hassle-free product for our clients, making the installation process as seamless and straightforward as possible. In addition to our flooring range, we also supply the following flooring accessories:

  • Installation tools
  • Adhesives and sealants
  • Underlay
  • Tread inserts
  • Stair nosing

Contact us to learn more about the premium collections we offer or to get tailored advice for your space. We can give you industry tips, design suggestions, and product recommendations to get you started or send you a free box of flooring samples to help you decide.

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