When choosing materials for a new hardwood floor, don’t let sheen levels go unnoticed. Sheen is the level of gloss or luster in the flooring finish and has a big impact on the overall look of a hardwood floor. The amount of light that reflects off a hardwood floor makes up different sheen levels. Colorado Hardwood Floors works with a few different sheen levels, educating customers so they can choose a sheen that works best for their lifestyle. When floors absorb and diffuse light it can show imperfections and dirt, the lower the sheen level the more the floor can hide. Glossy floors can snow every imperfection while a matte floor will hide a lot of dirt and scratches. 


Matte is a great option if you are going for a natural look for your floor. Homes with high traffic, kids and dogs are great candidates for a matte floor because it can mask dirt so well. Matte is considered a low maintenance sheen level because it can camouflage small scratches and dents. The luster level of matte is 25% or lower. Some customers feel that matte is too dull and a little lifeless while others love the low sheen look. 


Satin is the most common sheen choice for our customers. Satin comes in at around 40% luster, making it easy to keep clean but still has enough sheen to reflect some light. Satin is the best of both worlds, dispersing lighting but still hiding dirt. If you have a contemporary home or want a classic feel, satin is a great choice. Satin looks good for a long time and outlasts higher sheen finishes like semi-gloss. 

Semi gloss

Semi gloss is higher luster floor with 55% luster. This level of sheen does not camouflage dirt and imperfections well. Some customers really want a shiny floor and semi-gloss fits the bill. 


Glossy sheen floors are not commonly used in homes, they are more common in bowling alleys and on gym floors. Glossy finish has 70% luster and requires a lot of cleaning. Every hair, spec of dirt and scratch will show on glossy finish. Footprints, water drops and other surface marks will be very easy to see and require constant cleaning. 

Consult a Hardwood Refinishing Contractor

Depending on your style and home one of these sheens may feel like a natural fit. Colorado Hardwood Floors can help you make a sheen decision if you are stuck and need more input. The aesthetic of a home is another great way to decide on a finish sheen level. Farmhouses are very popular these days and matte works great for a rustic feel. Semi gloss looks great on Brazilian cherry floors in formal spaces like a dining room or den while satin is a favorite for most of our customers for living rooms and hallways. There is no right choice for a sheen but more of a “best fit”. We suggest you narrow the sheen level down to two options and then allow our team to show you samples of the sheen on your wood and stain color. 

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