How To Choose A Hardwood Sheen

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When it comes to choosing a hardwood floor, there are lots of considerations to think about, including the colour, type of wood, plank width and whether you prefer engineered hardwood or solid hardwood.

One of the most important decisions you’ll make about your hardwood floors is the sheen. Here’s how to choose the right sheen for your home:


Semi-gloss sheen is typically between 45-55% shine; it’s slightly less shiny than a gloss finish, which has become less popular over the years. A semi-gloss sheen may not be the best choice for high-traffic areas like hallways and kitchens, as the daily wear and tear could cause the sheen to wear down unevenly. A higher shine like semi-gloss can also show the most dirt, debris and scratches, so if you do decide that this is the kind of floor you want, you may want to consider the amount of maintenance required. On the bright side, a semi-gloss finish can be a good addition to sleek, modern spaces.


At about 35-40% shine, satin is the most popular sheen at the moment. It’s a happy medium  between a more formal semi-gloss paired with the lower maintenance of a matte sheen. Satin floors are easy to clean, and don’t show scratches and imperfections very easily. Overall, the effect of a satin gloss is relatively neutral as it doesn’t reflect a lot of light and will become more of a background to the rest of the interior. Satin can’t be used on a wire brushed floor, but it’s a good option for hand-scraped floors.


If you really don’t like the look of a shiny hardwood floor, consider a matte finish, which is only 10-25% shine. It’s a great option for high-traffic areas and children’s rooms, as it doesn’t show scratches or debris and it’s low-maintenance. It’s also a good choice if you prefer a country or casual, Scandinavian-inspired design style. Most matte finishes are applied to wire-brushed or hand-scraped floors, and the low-maintenance quality means your floors will look like new for years to come.

At Bigelow Flooring, we carry a wide range of hardwood flooring in many styles and finishes to fit your needs. Take a look at our online gallery for some inspiration or visit our showroom to see our selection in person.

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