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The Difference Between Pre-Finished & Unfinished Doors

The Difference Between Pre-Finished & Unfinished Doors

When the customer is looking to buy a new door, they are pretty much sure about the type of door, material, finishes, and specifications. But one thing that confuses them is the choice between pre-finished and unfinished doors. It can prove to be a daunting process, but with perfect knowledge and guidance, it can be as easy as possible. Both have their advantages and disadvantages that we are going to discuss in this blog.

Pre-Finished Doors

Prefinished Door

Pre-Finished internal doors are the one that has already been prepared for installation. This implies that at the factory level, the company has applied paint, varnish, wax or whatever customer desires before installation. Pre-finished doors are not only painted and stained but also prepared with cut holes for hardware and perfectly sanded for a smooth surface. After all of this, the customer can simply install handles, screws, and accessories in one place.

Most commonly used material for the making of pre-finished doors are wood, metal, and vinyl but one can also make them with several different materials. Also, the combination of materials are also available which helps a customer to a drop in cost, and compromise on insulation effectiveness and can prevent wooden doors from warping over time.

These types of doors are considered to be best for the customer who doesn't have enough time to customize doors, choose paint colors or spend any time in deciding on the design.

Unfinished Doors

What are unfinished doors? Unfinished doors are pre-sanded and oil or oil-based paint. The design has to be finished by the customer or on behalf of the customer. The unfinished door allows the customer freedom to purchase and modification. With more flexibility and customization options with the customer, it also offers the customer to paint the door in any specific color, but the process is also very time to consume. It will also prove to be an attractive option if a customer wants some customization and that is not available anywhere. So for DIY enthusiasts or someone who wants to decorate their home according to their look alike, this can be the best option while selecting for the matching doors. However, to do the job properly you've really got to have the time and energy to devote to getting them just right

So which one to choose? Pre-Finished Doors or Unfinished Doors?

Pre-Finished Vs Unfinished Doors: Key Differences

Let's look at some of the parameters that should be kept in mind while selecting either type:

  • Cost

When going through the introduction mentioned above, there might be a clear view that cost of an unfurnished door would definitely be less than that of pre-finished one but there's a catch here, if you calculate labor and materials factored in, then the difference in cost shrinks a lot. Some random supplier may also slash more cost by using inferior graded wood with more knots and color variation. To avoid that, work only with some reputable tradespeople like Emerald Doors. The cost will vary depending on the labor cost and time one invest in an unfinished door. Also, the type of timber chosen by customers will reflect in the price change.

So, the prefinished door will require more amount when compared to an actual door but there will be less investment in labor while in the case of unfinished, it would be vice-versa. Some tradespeople might suggest you for unfinished as they earn more from labor no matter what the cost of both the doors will remain the same. As such, DIYers should probably stick to prefinished doors. 

  • Durability

Pre-Finished doors usually have better durability than unfinished doors. When an unfinished door is coated at home, it will generally be coated twice or thrice but pre-finished doors depend on modern factory process coats for seven times with aluminum oxide which makes them more rugged.

However, an unfinished door lifespan can be increased to more years with better maintenance especially with the use of fine sandpaper and re-finish of the door every few years.

  • Ease

If you are thinking of finishing your door and installing that by yourself, then one should also calculate man hours and materials to implement that. For an Unfinished door, a customer has to spend some time for research on how they want the door to look like.

One factor that few customers will consider is the mess involved in finishing a door. In addition to that, if you want to achieve a smooth finish, you'll need to apply several layers of paint. Each of these will need time to dry, so you'll need to clear a space in your home for the doors to lay flat. So overall, it is no doubt that it is a time-consuming task.
It should probably go without saying that a pre-finished door just makes life easier. 
  • Looks and Color matching

Talking about the looks, most of the prefinished doors come with a slightly beveled edge which helps the door look smooth. The look of a door is a matter of preference, which will change from person to person. It's like selecting a door when you find the one with your desired look. Nowadays, there is a large variety available in the market which allows the customer to choose from the list which satisfies every criterion.

While in case of color matching, if one needs to match the color of the door with existing furniture at their home then the unfinished door can prove to be a better choice as it will give customer choice to select and modify according to the requirement. But if you can find something matching from the pre-finished category then one should always go for that rather than an unfinished one.

  • Skills Required

As discussed in the third point, to finish the door requires skills. According to research, a botch-job will look unpleasant and might be difficult as well as costly to correct. So, if you're not prepared to put the work in learning the rudiments of door-finishing, then prefinished doors are almost certainly the better option.

Primed Doors

Primed Doors

If you can't decide between prefinished or unfinished doors, it's worth bearing in mind that there exists a happy medium between them pre-primed doors.

Pre-primed doors arrive with a base coat of primer, onto which you can apply a layer or two of paint. Since primers don't vary as much as topcoats in color, this eliminates some of the work post installations without limiting options. Obviously, the primer is only necessary if you're painting your door transparent wood treatments don't require it.

The choice between pre-finished and unfinished doors will always be confusing for many customers. Considering all the advantages and disadvantages of both types of doors, customers looking for any DIY project can opt for unfinished doors while others can opt for good quality pre-finished doors.

Emerald Doors is one top-level company that sells pre-finished and unfinished doors at reasonable prices, even lower than the market prices. Also, one is free to customize doors according to their choice. Customer satisfaction is the company's prime motto since its inception. The company boasts of expertise in developing each of the products they sell and served thousands of satisfied and happy customers too.


Author: Shabana kauser

Shabana Kauser, the Director of Emerald Doors, brings over 20 years of invaluable expertise in the door industry. Her visionary leadership has steered the company to new heights, offering an extensive range of internal and external doors while prioritizing quality and customer satisfaction. The website's glowing reviews stand as a testament to her commitment to excellence. To learn more about Emerald Doors, connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.