Unfinished hardwood is, as its name suggests, an unfinished raw material. While the wood has been milled into planks of flooring, no stains or protective coatings have been applied, leaving a virgin surface.
Wait…isn’t finished material the point of buying floors?
Yes and no. It depends on what you’re looking for. Some people want the most customizable floor possible: they want to choose everything from the stain color to the surface finish. Customizing unfinished hardwood yourself takes away the hassle of searching for an exact match, since you can stain and finish the floor to match your home.
In addition, depending on the wood species in question, the flooring material may only be available unfinished. This is particularly true of more exotic species.
What does an unfinished hardwood floor need?
If you’re looking to change the color of the material, you’ll start with a stain. Next up you'll need a finish like polyurethane. Research is important in determining the right stain and finish that suit your flooring needs.
How much can I really customize unfinished hardwood?
The options are limited only by the material’s natural boundaries. Unfinished hardwood is the ultimate in unique flooring: if you’ve got the imagination and the means, you can make the hardwood floors of your dreams.