Choosing a Hardwood Floor: Finish or sheen

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When it comes to choosing a hardwood floor, you have lots of options. One of those options is the kind of finish, or sheen, that you want the wood to have. The sheen is determined by the amount of light that the floor reflects.


Matte has the least sheen of all the wood finishes, at 25% lustre. Some people think it makes the wood floor look dull, but it can also be a bold design choice. It also has the benefit of looking cleaner, because dust, dirt and smudges are less obvious to the eye.


Satin has about a 40% lustre, and is a very popular choice. It’s shinier than the matte finish, but isn’t too glaring. It goes well with virtually any kind of hardwood and any colour of wood.


If you want a bit more shine to your floor, semi-gloss is a great choice. It’s shinier than satin and matte finishes, but it’s more practical than glossy.


Glossy hardwood floors are most often used in environments like gyms and bowling alleys. They have a very high lustre (about 70%), and with that comes the ability to see any bit of dust, any scratch and any dent that your floor may have. This means more cleaning and higher maintenance.

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