What does sheen mean and what kind is right for my floors?

Sheen refers to the luster the floor gives off, as light reflects against it (how shiny or glossy your floor's finish is). The 4 levels of hardwood floor finish sheens: Matte, Satin, Semi-gloss, Glossy (from least shiny to most shiny).


Matte finishes reflect the least amount of light, for a low-level luster. Matte is a good choice if you prefer a more minimal, reserved, and organic appearance. They not only are great for high traffic homes with kids and dogs but they are less maintenance. They also hide imperfections, dirt and dust. Matte finishes are chosen by approximately 6% of our customers.


People who want a classic or formal feel to their floors often choose this sheen level. Satin finishes provide a more radiant and reflective glow, yet with a soft sheen; the color of the wood will be brought out better with a satin finish versus a matte finish. Satin also does an adequate job of concealing scratches and scuffs. Another aspect to this level of sheen is that satin floors tend to look newer longer than the other higher glosses.


If you prefer a shinier look to your floors, this is a good option. As the name implies, semi-gloss is a finish with a shine that is more reflective than satin, but not quite as shiny as a high gloss. A semi-gloss sheen in floors requires higher upkeep. You will also start to see a lot more imperfections. Once trendy, semi-gloss has fallen out of vogue in the 21st century, only a small percentage of our customers chose semi-gloss.

High Gloss

A high gloss finish can be described as a mirror finish, because of all the finishes it reflects the most light.

A glossy sheen is often used for gym floors and bowling alleys ? you don?t often see this sheen in homes. These floors need to be cleaned often and show every imperfection and all dirt due to the amount of light reflecting off the floor. So, unless you want to see every footprint and clean these every day, steer clear of this level of sheen if you have a busy home. For this reason, high gloss finishes are fading in popularity.


I personally recommend a satin finish for the best all-around protection and aesthetic appeal. Satin finishes are very popular, over 85% of our customers chose it.