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sweetd313

Should I get semi-gloss finish for hardwood floors?

sweetd313
13 years ago

Well, my granite dilemma has been solved (sort of), so its time to move onto the floors. My neighbor has the semi-gloss hardwood finish on his floors, and they look great. On the one hand I like the sheen, but on the other, I don't like that it's the first thing you notice when you walk in the door. Will I get tired of this finish after a while? Any body with semi-gloss experience? Pros or cons?

Thanks!

d.

Comments (38)

  • susanilz5
    13 years ago

    I love the look of high gloss hardwood floors The trouble is gloss shows every piece of dust and every ding and scratch. It can make you crazy. Low sheen or satin hardwood floors in a light color stain are the easiest to keep up.

  • cleo07
    13 years ago

    I have both semi gloss and matte finish Cherry in my house...We chose a matte 5 inch plank Brazilian Cherry in my whole house (except the kitchen) about 5 years ago. When I redid my kitchen 2 years ago, my husband got plank 5 inch semi gloss Braz Cherry. When we first installed it, I loved the semigloss because it was so pretty to look at compared to the matte floors. Two years later, I hate the semi gloss floor so much that I will be tearing it out as soon as I can afford a replacement.

    The shiny surface shows every footprint and every scratch much more clearly than my matte floors. They require daily mopping to look good. Since I don't mop daily, they really look good only once a week. I only mop my matte finish floors monthly and the upstairs even less than that. Although the semi gloss floors are 3 years newer than the rest of the hardwood, they actually look much older because the scratches show more clearly with the semi gloss finish.

    My experiences may be different from others...but think about how you live, i.e. pets, kids etc. The more matte the surface, the easier time you will have keeping it looking good. I have pets, kids and a lot of traffic in and out of my house, so keeping the shiny floor looking good is a challenge.

    Good luck with your decision!

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  • pluckymama
    13 years ago

    I would recommend Satin finish as well if you don't want to see every scratch and ding. Much more low maintenance.

  • sweetd313
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thanks everyone- you all have really good points. I didn't even think about the high maintenance of semi-gloss! I love the sheen, but don't know if I want to deal with the dings and scratches. I have to decide soon, because I'm getting the floors done tomorrow!
    Any other experiences?

  • mom2reese
    13 years ago

    Ditto the satin finish - that's what I've done in three homes and several remodels, and I love that's it's low maintenance and very forgiving. I did semi-gloss in our first home, and it looked fabulous until it got scratched from normal wear and tear. Scratches really show up on the semi-glass, whereas I don't notice the scratches on the satin.

    The satin still has a bit of a sheen to it; now I prefer the look and would choose it even if maintenance was not an issue with the semi-gloss.

  • buzzy0
    13 years ago

    We have oil based high gloss on our floors. I know every state has different laws on whether or not they can use it in your state but I love our floors and the high gloss...so easy to clean ..almost like plastic and we always get positive comments about it. If you drop something though it does show more but we love it

  • jbrodie
    13 years ago

    I love the satin look. A little more understated. I went with satin and am so glad...epecially with dog and kids! There were a lot of decisions I made about our kitchen and went with look over what was practical, and in many of those cases I'm sorry. You think you won't mind all the cleaning, but you will (at least I do). That being said, there are some things that were worth being impractical! So, I guess you need to decide how much you really like the sheen and whether it's worth the extra mopping and more visible scratches. I'll be curious to hear what you decide. Good luck!

  • chloe_s_mom
    13 years ago

    I swore that I would never ever get semi-gloss again. I also swore that I would go with light coloured floors, but fell for dark again. But at least they are extremely matte - UV oil finish. And, they are handscraped. They are so forgiving, I simply love them. Wish that they were in the kitchen too, but our builder finishes with ceramic.

  • sweetd313
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thank you all for the feedback! You guys are great! I decided to go with the Satin finish. The floors are being redone as I type. Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well! I will let you all know how it turns out.
    Thanks again!
    d.

  • krissd
    13 years ago

    What kind of wood are your floors? Shows pics when you're done, please!

  • melanie1121
    13 years ago

    I have the satin finish. I think it looks nicer and shows less dust, scratches and dings....you will get them!
    Best of luck.
    Melanie

  • elizpiz
    13 years ago

    Hi there - gald you decided to go with satin. Of course it is personal preference - but for me semi gloss is a little too "bowling alley shiny" for my taste. Here's a before and after of our floors. The GC knew that I wanted a satin finish and assured me the semi gloss would not be shiny. They were a redo...

    Eliz

  • sautesmom Sacramento
    13 years ago

    I'm late to the party, but I would like to add I refinished my Douglas Fir floors in my bedroom with gloss, and they are VERY SLIPPERY when wet. So if you are in a high-water-spattering area, you might want to go with matte, or put DOWN a lot of mats (ha ha), to keep from suddenly being in a skating rink.

    Carla in Sac

  • Dswin79962_bellsouth_net
    11 years ago

    Hi there I went with the satin finish and could never be more happy It has plenty of the sheen yet not too much. I don't have to mop and polish every week . Its like you put it down and forget, This is real hardwood we're talking about in a light oak color I do use a large area rug and some small ones since this is in my kitchen, Works perfect.

  • dreamgarden
    10 years ago

    We are getting our floors done tomorrow. We have pine upstairs and red oak down. Upstairs is getting the full treatment (sanding + 3 coats). The floors downstairs are in great shape and only need a buffing and single coat.

    The refinisher sanded upstairs today and put down the (natural) stain. He asked what type of finish we wanted. DH wanted to know what the options were. He told us what they were and suggested semi-gloss.

    After reading all the comments here, we've decided on satin. Much thanks to those who shared their experiences!

    I'm looking forward to the final results. As well as the smell to go away!

  • Xtal in Central TX, zone 8b
    9 years ago

    I'm very late to this party, but so glad that I found it. I've decided that satin is the way to go. I haven't been able to find a stain that I like. But, my alternative was to water down the taupe paint that's on the walls and do a water base stain. I can't imagine that there would be any problems with it.

    Right?
    Xtal

  • 2LittleFishies
    9 years ago

    Ours is VERY matte. It is a commercial grade finish that we got 3 years ago and also recently used for the new addition we are finishing. We love it so much.
    Also it is very hard to scratch. We had minwax semi-gloss in our last house and when the sun came in there were scratches galore! This one has none after 3 years- except for one we got when not moving furniture carefully enough.

    Ours is made by Vermeister. I highly recommend it! People always comment on it as well when coming through the house.

  • Xtal in Central TX, zone 8b
    9 years ago

    Thx for your feedback. I've got real wood that is unusual to me. Only 1 1/2" wide. An old barracks that the RR bought and turned it into their meeting hall for Conductors and the Union. Eventually, they sold it and now, I've got it. The floor is in its original condition and needs work. So, I'll have it sanded and stain it myself with a water wash of taupe paint. That way it will match the taupe on the walls to some extent. But, matte was my selection. Glad to see that I made the right choice.

    Xtal

  • ratrem
    9 years ago

    I am not so much a fan of the plastic of of some high sheen. It looks great when frist applied but I think it is a pain to keep up and it never looks the same after application. We did Satin at our last place and it was fine.
    This time we went with Extra Matte, which is almost no sheen at all and looks as though the floors do not have any poly on it. I love it. Very forgiving and it looks the same as when it was first applied, because the extra matte does not change the appearance of the wood floors as much. It is like looking/walking on the original floor w/o the poly.

  • ltlfromgardenweb
    8 years ago

    I am bumping this thread to the top because we're getting our whole house's floors refinished and I have to choose sheen level too. I was wondering how people like their decisions to go with satin/semi-gloss? Is semi-gloss really more slippery? We have a flight of stairs that are hardwood but we could add a runner.

  • Xtal in Central TX, zone 8b
    8 years ago

    LongTimeLurker,

    There's no question as to adding stair runners. This is something you just need to sit and think about. It adds a softer element which opposes the hard wood very nicely. A way of adding some color to an area that could nicely reflect downstairs pallette and tied them to your upstairs choice of colors. I would LOVE to see pics of your staircase.

    Having worked as a commercial/fine artist through my life, I wouldn't miss this opportunity. However, I'm sure you'll make a good selection. But, if you want some additional feedback, email your pics direcrtly to me... provided you don't mind unsolicited feedback.

  • mark_rachel
    8 years ago

    I love the look of high gloss floors, but just not in my house. It reads formal to me. They also show everything. I wanted a finish that matched the feel of our house and matched our style of living. With pets & a toddler, we don't live in a formal, spotless house.

  • romy718
    8 years ago

    Have your floor guy do a sample of each once the floors are installed & stained (if your doing a stain). I like some sheen & I was certain I would go with at least a satin finish. When he did the samples, I picked the matte finish. For my particular floors, the matte looked richer.

  • Xtal in Central TX, zone 8b
    8 years ago

    Absolutely Romy718!

    Get samples done on the floor. Floor men expect you to ask for that. And talk to your floor men at length. They can help guide you, too.

    Xtal

  • Xtal in Central TX, zone 8b
    8 years ago

    Absolutely Romy718!

    Get samples done on the floor. Floor men expect you to ask for that. And talk to your floor men at length. They can help guide you, too.

    Xtal

  • Deborah Taggart
    7 years ago

    I sure wish I read this thread before I did my floors! The 4th coat of my super-glossy natural oak floors just went on last night. We replaced our marble kitchen floor with new oak hardwoods to match the rest of the house and refinished all. As brand new floors, they are utterly gorgeous and have a lacquer finish. The coatings gave the floors a rich, honey oak color. But the furniture hasn't even been moved back in and I'm worried about scratches! I agree with one of the previous posters that the high gloss has a more formal look which I happen to like in my house but realize it's not for everyone. We do have cats but they get mani-pedis every 6 weeks so I don't expect claw scratches. No kids. Looks like I'll be doing a lot of vacuuming and mopping. Fingers crossed that I'm not disappointed later.


  • romy718
    7 years ago

    Your floors sound beautiful. I had a glossy finish on my previous oak floors & they held up pretty well.

    If you are truly concerned & having regrets, you could have them apply a 5th coat in a matte or satin finish.

  • greasetrap
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Is the amount of gloss dependent on whether you have a water or oil-based finish? Most of my floors have an oil-based finish that has mellowed to a nice amber color that I really like. My kitchen has kind of a flat water-based finish that doesn't protect the floors very well, and doesn't look very nice.

    Aside from this, how do most people go about getting their floors redone if all of your house is hardwood floors? It seems to me that we'd need to put all of our furniture in pods, then move out for several days while the work was being done.

  • Deborah Taggart
    7 years ago

    We just put new hardwoods in our kitchen and had to refinish the hardwoods in the entire rest of the first floor and stairs so all would match. Half of the furniture was piled into one room and the rest was piled onto the patio. They did all but the one room, then moved the furniture to one of the finished rooms and refinished that one last room. We didn't move out because of our cats but probably should have. The dust from the sanding is horrendous. We were able to access the upstairs rooms via an outside staircase to an upstairs door while the floors were being done. My sister recently had her floors refinished and they moved into a hotel with the dog for 4 days. If you can move out for a few days, spare yourself the agony.

  • Tim Kelley
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Satin finish is a much better looking finish and it is frankly in better taste. I can't help thinking that a preference for glossy finishes is immature. I can't stand the look of any gloss on the floor, it's horrid, causes glare and reflections and flat out ugly. A satin or matte finish shows the dull beauty of the wood and allows the wood to "glow".

  • Eric
    7 years ago

    We went with the lowest gloss possible. It's nearly matte, but not quite as matte as the UV oil we were originally looking at. We went away from the UV oil due to the need for re-application every 10 years or so, and the fact that it would hold dirt better. We felt the very very subtle sheen was worth the maintenance difference. We have a lot of sunlight coming in our house, and while the semi-gloss is nice, the dirt show would not have been.

  • Monica Dellepiane
    5 years ago

    Dagtag may you please post pictures? I am reading so many reviews that advice no to go semigloss and I am considering not doing it. Yours is one of the few reviews that advice it and I really like the glossy finish . I had my bedroom done with a glossy finish (factory finish) and always looks clean and I love it but is already glossy from the factory .

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    5 years ago

    I love my "gym floor" finish on my hardwood floors. It lasts and lasts and is very easy to dust.

  • Monica Dellepiane
    5 years ago

    Aglophilla may you please post a picture of your wood floors

  • juliathampton
    5 years ago

    I have an old beach house with old tassie oak boards which get a lot of sunlight . Some of the boards have had to be replaced and some have a black filler which luckily seems to be coming out with initial sand. Not sure whether to go with matte or a new product matte with a slight sheen. Or as so many recommending satin . Posts are all good - though so now have to choose. Looking at some samples is a good idea.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    5 years ago

    Monica, sorry I never replied! This is a picture that shows quite a bit of the floor. The floors in this room were done 17 years ago after a 2nd floor water pipe burst.

    High gloss floors are the easiest floors on earth to keep looking nice! The dog hair and yard trash dogs bring in glides right off with a Swifter. I've had as many as 5 dogs and 3 cats on my floors and they still look great. And they last! Second floor was done in 1985 and still looks like new. I wouldn't have anything else.

  • darbuka
    5 years ago

    We moved to a new home, just four months ago. We replaced all 2600 sq. ft of the old, squeaky wood floors, and replaced them with onsite prepared, white oak.

    Though my contractor tried to talk me out of it, I insisted on the lowest satin matte finish. The floors have a medium dark stain, oil based. They are gorgeous, and very easy to care for. They do have a sheen, but it's not an in your face sheen. It's understated, letting the beauty of the wood grain be the star.

    The floor guy, who was also skeptical of such a low sheen, liked it so much, he said he was going to recommend it to other clients.

    I've never lived with wood floors before, as our other home (where we lived for 36 years), had carpet everywhere, except the kitchen. Have to say, the wood floors are one of the things that make me smile, every time I see them.

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