How To Pick The Right Sheen For Your Hardwood Floor

One of the biggest details when it comes selecting hardwood flooring is sheen. The sheen in a floor is the luster or gloss level. Sheen is described to be the factor that determines the amount of light reflecting off the hardwood floor. It is an important element of the decision process because you need to be comfortable with how much your floors absorb and diffuse the light. You also need to realize that the glossier your floors are, the more they show dirt and imperfections. There are four levels of sheen and understanding those is key to picking the right level for your household.


If you want a natural look on your hardwood floors, a matte sheen finish is the way to go. 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. This level of sheen has about 25% luster. Some feel that at this low level, floors can appear dull. Others love the that the matte sheen finish gives off a clean vibe.


The satin sheen finish is the most popular choice. It has about 40% luster and is easy to keep clean. This level of sheen disperses light and doesn’t show all of the imperfections or dirt. People who want a classic or formal feel to their floors often choose to go with this satin sheen level. One other aspect to this level of sheen is that satin floors tend to look newer longer than the other higher glosses.


A semi-gloss sheen in floors requires higher upkeep. You will also start to see a lot more imperfections at this level. It has about 55% luster. If you prefer a shinier look to your floors, this is a good option. And it’s not as impractical as the highest level of sheen.


You won’t see this level of sheen in too many homes. A glossy sheen is often used for gym floors and bowling alleys. It has about 70% luster. 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.

These four levels of sheen each offer a different feel to your home. Thinking about what’s most functional for your home is the best way to choose which level of sheen is best for you. You do want to make sure that the level of sheen you pick ties in with the aesthetic of your home. For example, if you have a farmhouse rustic vibe in your home, going with matte floors would be the best option. Others how have a more formal feeling in their furniture might go with a satin or semi-gloss sheen in their flooring. The good news is there is an easy way to narrow down which level of sheen is best for your family!

Article contributed by Kimberly Fairfax McPheron, Local Columbus Blogger

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