Prefinished, engineered wood flooring is an affordable DIY alternative to the traditional sanded and finished solid wood floor. Installation is fast and clean: start on Saturday morning and have a completed floor by Monday morning.
When the factory applies the finish treatment to the wood, they are able to use very powerful chemical sealers, which are applied by commercial processes which are not available to on site installers. Typically this consists of aluminum oxide crystals embedded in a UV cured urethane coat. While site applied finishes warranty for 3-5 years, factory applied treatments will often have warranties of 5-25 years or more.
Best of Both Worlds: With pre-finished flooring you get all of the advantages of the factory applied extra durable surface seal, with the look, beauty, and feel of natural hardwood. At the same time you also always have the option of sanding down past the factory applied sealing coat, in order to once more reveal the natural wood to the surface. It can then be treated with any of the basic on site finishing techniques.