I am going to tell you a quick story.  I recently needed a new computer.  So, I went out to my local computer store and was so baffled by options I eventually broke down and just picked things that sounded cool.  I walked away, confused but excited, with a brand-new system complete with two running boards, synchronizing linkage, a single stage compressor and a top of the line, brand new firebox.
Imagine my surprise when I got home and realized that what I bought was not a computer at all, but a box of steam locomotive parts.

Admittedly, a few details of that story were slightly fabricated.  But my tale of steampunk woe does illustrate an important point:  Not knowing what your options are can wind up costing you.

It is with this idea in mind that I wanted to share some details about different types of hardwood flooring that are available to you.  In this article, we will talk about the differences between Unfinished, Prefinished, and Six Side Seal floors.


Unfinished floors are the blank canvases of hardwood floors.  Available in a variety of widths, thicknesses, lengths, grades, and species, these floors are installed in their natural wood state without stain, finish, or other treatment.  They are then finished on-site, giving their owner the highest level of control over the final look of their floor.

This degree of control, however, does come with additional time and labor investments.  In order to complete the installation of the floor and make it suitable for daily use, the floor must first be sanded and finished. This can be a lengthy process during which time evacuation of the space is generally required.  Any errors or mistakes during this process can necessitate starting the whole process again.


If an unfinished hardwood floor is a blank canvas, a prefinished hardwood floor is a piece of art ready for placement.  Available in a vast array of colors, styles, and constructions, there is likely to be a prefinished floor to suit your needs.

While not as customizable as their unfinished counterparts, modern prefinished floors do boast some advantages to consider.  Prefinished floors are sanded, stained, and finished in the mill.  This means the floors are both quicker to install and are able to be enjoyed and lived on sooner.  Additionally, the relative ease of installation reduces the possibility of potentially costly mistakes.

For examples of prefinished floors, check out the Impressions Flooring Collections Elegance, Blue Ridge and Serenity series floors.

Six Side Seal©

To wrap up the metaphor, if unfinished floors are blank canvases and prefinished floors are completed art, a Six Side Seal floor is a piece of art set in a protective frame.
Like prefinished hardwood floors, a Six Side Seal floor is factory finished for easier installation.  However, each plank goes through a final processing stage where it is sealed with a patented urethane moisture barrier on all six faces of the wood.

The Six Side Seal helps mitigate the threat of some of the most common potential problems facing hardwood floors such as cupping, warping and cracking due to seasonal moisture change.  It also acts as a physical barrier to wood-eating insects. Additionally, the Six Side Seal contains anti-mold, anti-mildew, and anti-bacterial components to help suppress home allergens.

To see our Six Side Seal options, check out the Impressions Flooring Collections Hampton, Nantucket, and Piedmont series floors.
You can also request 3 free samples of any of our flooring products, find local retailers, or contact our team of flooring experts to answer your lingering questions.