Knowledge Center

Semi-Gloss Finish or Matte Finish?

March 07, 2016

There is no question that hardwood flooring is one of the most popular options available today. This is due to its quality, durability and, of course, beautiful appearance. However, many people have a hard time making a decision regarding what type of hardwood style and finish is right for their home. One decision that has to be made is the level of shine, or gloss, on the flooring.

What is Meant by Sheen Level?

The level of sheen is derived by the amount of reflection created from the finish. Not every type of hardwood will produce the same level of sheen. Also, different manufacturers use different application procedures that can affect the appearance achieved. There are several options for sheen level. While semi-gloss and matte may be the ones of you hear of most often, they are not the only options available.

Matte

Matte finishes have grown in popularity in the past few years. This allows an authentic representation of the wood floor look. Depending on the manufacturer, there is not much sheen noticed when a matte finish is selected, which helps to mask both dust build up and footprints. Many modern homeowners are now choosing a matte type of finish, which offers a sheen of just 20 percent. If light scratching occurs, it is much less noticeable than if a high gloss is used.

Satin

Satin finishes are most often selected by prefinished flooring manufacturers and the professionals who finish a floor after it is installed. Some of the other terms used for this finish include low gloss and low luster. A satin finish is also popular for homes and businesses because it provides a little be of a sheen without being considered “over the top.” It may not be the best option for homes with kids or pets since it will show up blemishes more easily.

Semi or Medium Gloss

This flooring finish lands between satin and high-gloss levels of sheen. It is a popular option for those who desire a bit more reflection on their floor. Be careful using this option in a high traffic area, since it allows scuffs and scratches to show up more easily. It will also have to be cleaned more often to minimize the appearance of dust and other debris that often show up.

High Gloss

A high gloss finish can be used to create a more elegant look for the hardwood flooring. This type of finish is most often seen in commercial settings, as well as in gymnasiums and on basketball floors. They will typically highlight imperfections, which include dust buildup if you don’t clean the floor enough. Higher gloss hardwood floors will also show wear much more quickly in areas that receive high traffic, compared to the other options.

Important Considerations when Choosing a Floor Finish

There are a number of factors that can impact the curing of a finish on hardwood. This includes the weather outside, but, more importantly, the conditions inside. A natural, steady flow of air will provide the best results. Any HVAC systems need to be turned off during the finishing process since it can cause dust to settle into the finish that has not had time to properly dry.

Choosing a finish for your flooring is an important consideration. Getting to know all the options will help you make an educated decision. It will also ensure you achieve the look you want for your home or business.