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How Shiny Should a Hardwood Floor Be?

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When it comes to flooring in your home, there are so many options to choose from. Whether you have carpet and are upgrading to hardwoods, or you currently have hardwoods that need a facelift, you’ve got some decisions to make. There are essentially four levels of shine for hardwood floors and each level comes with its own pros and cons. Let’s look at the different levels of shine more closely so you can narrow down your options.

How Shiny Should a Hardwood Floor Be?


A glossy sheen is generally not chosen for home interiors, it is shinier than most people prefer. Glossy also tends to show dings and scratches more than the more matte finishes. Because glossy can take a beating (and show it), families with smaller children and pets may opt for a matte finish instead. In terms of longevity, glossy sheens last just as long as the other options available, they just don’t look as nice for as long.


Semi-gloss is a more popular option than glossy, but still a little too glossy for most people’s taste. Semi-gloss looks a little bit more formal, but like glossy it tends to show dents and scratches more than satin or matte. In addition to showing damage on the floor, gloss and semi-gloss also show dirt and footprints more than satin and matte. Semi-gloss and gloss also tend to look a little bit more dated, as they aren’t as “in trend” as satin and matte hardwoods.


Satin finishes are by far the most popular option in recent years. While satin finishes have some sheen to them, they don’t look overly glossy. This semi-matte finish also helps hide dirt and damage to the floor, as it reflects less light than glossy and semi-gloss. A satin sheen also protects the flooring just as well as any other finish, but tends to look better longer.


Matte floors reflect very little light, making them appear to have very little to no shine. A matte finish has about 25% luster, in comparison to the 40%, 55%, and 70% satin, semi-gloss, and glossy have (respectively). Matte floors are a great option if you select a hardwood with a more unique grain, but for many types of hardwood the matte finish looks a little dull and dark.

Determining how glossy your floors should be is one hundred percent a matter of personal preference. The sheen of your floor will not impact the longevity or durability of the flooring in any way, however, glossier sheens do tend to show dents and scratches. The hardwood finish you choose should be determined by your style preference, and your day to day life. If you are ready to install new hardwood flooring, or your current floors are in need of an update, call us at Genesis Flooring today! We will work closely with you to determine what type of flooring is the best fit for your home!


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Stop by our Design Center Showroom and see thousands of samples and get expert flooring advice. We showcase a huge selection of the best brands, colors, and styles. Our expert staff will consult with you to advise which flooring options will work best for your living space, type of room, lifestyle, and budget. Call or stop by our Sykesville, MD Flooring Showroom.We are open Monday - Wednesday 9am-8pm, Thursday - Friday 9am-6pm, and Saturday 9am-4pm. We are closed on Sunday.



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