When installing hardwood floors, homeowners have a lot of choices to decide between, including the type of wood and stain. Another important choice that should never go overlooked is whether you install high gloss, semi-gloss, or matte hardwood floors.

High Gloss Hardwood Floors Ebony High Gloss Wood Floors Modern in dimensions 3264 X 2448

Sheen is the amount of reflection that is produced from a finish. Matte has almost no reflection and the lowest level of sheen, and high gloss has higher levels of reflection and sheen. Semi-gloss is in the middle, with some levels of reflection.

High Gloss

If you’re looking for more detail and a dramatic effect in your hardwood floors, opt for more sheen in your floor finish. The downfall is that a high gloss finish wears very quickly and easily. Having a high gloss finish in high traffic areas such as a living room or hallway would not be the smartest choice. Instead, opt to have this in lower traffic rooms such as a sunroom, library, or dining room. Not only does the finish wear very easily, but it also shows more dust and debris than other finishes. This would require a little more work on the homeowners end to clean up the hardwood floors more often than not.

Low Gloss

Since high gloss is not the best option for high traffic areas in your home, a low gloss finish might be a better choice for those areas. If you want a slighter appearance of high gloss though, and still want a hardwood finish that will last a long time, semi-gloss is your best option.

If semi-gloss is still a bit too reflective, you can opt for a satin finish. The sheen level is a bit lower, but still looks slightly glossy. Satin is great if you don’t want to show off the floors imperfections, or dust and dirt build up.

If you would prefer to not have the glossy look at all, opt for a matte finish.  There are some great high traffic matte finishes, such as Bona Natural, that look as though there’s almost no finish on the floor at all.  The bonus is it’s super durable and not slippery. Which is nice if you have kids that like to run around in their socks!


Choosing between high gloss and low gloss finishes is pretty easy once you consider the location of your hardwood floors, the amount of traffic it gets, and what type of finish you are looking for.

Looking for more information on hardwood flooring finishes? Contact the flooring experts at Signature Hardwood Floors by calling 410.415.0755 orclick heretoday! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, andLinkedIn!