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Home Remodeling  /  January 23, 2023

A Primer on Hardwood Flooring Sheen

Hardwood flooring is one of the most beautiful and long-lasting types of flooring that can be installed in any home. Hardwood floors come in a variety of colors, styles, and finishes to fit any décor. One important factor when considering hardwood floors is the sheen or gloss level. The sheen you choose will determine how your wood looks and feels after it has been installed.

Types of Hardwood Flooring

When looking at hardwood flooring options, there are two main categories – prefinished and unfinished. Prefinished hardwood comes with a factory finish already applied while unfinished requires sanding on site before finishing takes place. Both require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best but prefinished may need less frequent refinishing than unfinished depending on use patterns over time. 

Hardwood Floor Sheen Explained 

The degree of shine or “sheen” you select for your wood floor plays an important role in determining the overall look and feel once it has been installed into your home or business space. There are five main levels – gloss, semi-gloss, satin, matte and low sheen – each with its own advantages and disadvantages as well as unique characteristics to consider when selecting which option is right for you. 

  • Gloss – This finish offers the highest level of shine available for hardwoods because it reflects light off its surface more than other finishes do, which helps create a dramatic effect throughout the room. However, due to this effect, the reflection of dust and dirt may be more visible, making routine cleaning necessary if this type of finish is chosen.
  • Semi-Gloss – This provides a good balance between lustrous without being too shiny like gloss, allowing homeowners more flexibility when matching existing furniture. 
  • Satin – This offers a slightly less glossy look than semi-gloss but still shows off natural grain patterns found in many species of wood.
  • Matte – Very little shine makes matte ideal for those who prefer very minimal reflections. 
  • Low Sheen- Has even lower reflectivity than matte making dust and dirt harder to see, therefore requiring less frequent cleaning. However, this finish also hides some natural grain patterns found on many species of wood, so take this into consideration before applying this finish.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hardwood Flooring Sheen

You need to consider the following when choosing a sheen:

  • Room Lighting – Different sheen levels can look drastically different based on the amount of lighting in the room.
  • Room Traffic – Areas with higher foot traffic should consider low or matte sheens which are better at hiding scratches and wear.
  • Color of Furniture – Light colors generally look best with gloss finishes while dark colors tend to pair well with low-sheen options.
  • Room Size – Large rooms need higher reflective surfaces (like gloss or semi-gloss), while small spaces benefit from lower reflection options (like satin, mattes and lows). 

Maintenance Tips For Hardwood Flooring Sheen  

No matter what type of finish you choose, it’s important to follow these maintenance tips to keep your floors looking their best over time:  

  1. Regular Cleaning – Dust mop regularly using soft cloths that won’t scratch the floor surface.
  2. Proper Care – Make sure all furniture has felt pads underneath them and avoid dragging heavy objects across your floors. 
  3. Use of Protective Coats – Periodically apply coats of sealer or wax as needed depending on the type of sheen chosen. 
  4. Avoid Scratches and Dents– Place rugs at entrances and exits. You can also use area rugs in high-traffic areas around furnishings where scratching is likely to occur.

Handyman Connection of Mason in Blue Ash, OH, can help you with all your hardwood flooring needs, from installation to refinishing and repairs. Call us today at (513) 733-3777 for a an estimate!

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