Finishing the wood in his workshop and installing it pre-finished?

Q: We are installing hickory pecan, micro grooved, planked flooring in our entire house. We’re located near the ocean. Our finisher/installer is planning on creating and finishing the wood in his workshop and installing it pre-finished, finish before installation. I am surprised at that decision because I thought custom installed and finished hardwood floors would hold up better.

My old oak individually laid tongue and groove floors held up very well, even in the kitchen after several water disasters from earthquakes, etc. Does the installer’s decision make sense? And what finish should I request for water durability, etc.?

A: I’m not sure how your contractor is going to pull this off unless he intends to also bevel the edges and possibly the ends of the boards to hide unevenness! I’m not a big fan of pre finished floors because they are bevelled. They are bevelled to hide that uneven result. Unless your sub floor is absolutely spot on flat and board milling is also very precise I can see possible issues.

There are a number of excellent finishes on the market. I like a couple of Poloplaz products. Their oil modified Primero is excellent as is their water borne 202. Especially being near the ocean, I would strongly suggest the flooring be delivered at least a week or more to the home before installation begins and that the environment in the home be at a level you like to live in year round.