Picking the Right Sheen for Your Wood Floor

Hardwood flooring is an investment that lends beauty and value to any space. Applying a Glitsa finish will protect your wood flooring. The sheen you choose for your wood floor will determine the look and feel that compliments your home’s style and decor.   

Sheen is the level of luster of your floor and is determined by how much light is reflected off the floor from a 60-degree angle using a gloss meter. The degree of sheen is affected by the species of the hardwood and the finish used.  Hardwood floor finishes come in varying levels of sheen.

Glitsa has three types of wood floor finishes: Conversion Varnish, Waterborne and Polyurethane.
All our finish lines offer the following sheens:
  • Gloss
  • Semi-gloss
  • Satin
  • Matte

Glitsa’s Bare™ waterborne finish provides an Ultra-low, barely there sheen.

GLOSS SHEEN FLOOR FINISH

A gloss or glossy finished wood floor has sheen levels ranging from 80 up to 90+ degrees, depending on the type of finish. When you think about this level of sheen, imagine a gym floor or bowling alley. While this level of sheen can brighten a dark space by reflecting light, it also emphasizes all the imperfections. Not often used in homes because it tends to magnify dust, scratches and imperfections in the floor.

Glitsa Finish Gloss Sheen Ranges

  • Conversion Varnish finishes range:  >90 degrees
  • Waterborne finishes range: >80 degrees
  • Polyurethane finishes range: >85 degrees
Glitsa Infinity NxG Waterborne Finish - Semi-Gloss Sheen

SEMI-GLOSS SHEEN FLOOR FINISH

A semi-gloss hardwood floor has a sheen level ranging from 40 to 55 degrees in Glitsa wood floor finishes, depending on the type/technology of finish. Semi-gloss finish is a good option for people who prefer a shinier, almost wet looking floor. Semi-gloss floors offer a more formal look. As the floor gets shinier, the dust, harsh lighting conditions, imperfections and scratches become more visible.

Glitsa Finish Semi-Gloss Sheen Ranges

  • Conversion Varnish finishes range from 40 – 55 degrees depending on the product
  • Waterborne finishes range from 50 – 55 degrees
  • Polyurethane finishes range from 42 – 53 degrees

SATIN SHEEN FLOOR FINISH

A satin hardwood floor has a sheen level ranging from 27 to 36 degrees, depending on the type/technology of finish. Satin is the most popular floor finish sheen and offers a softer, less reflective surface without eliminating the new floor shine.

Satin sheen floors can hide imperfections, dirt, and dust, so they are great for high-traffic spaces such as homes with children and pets. Satin sheen provides a perfect backdrop to your interior decor and performs well with foot traffic, showing minimal wear over time.

An ideal blend of new floor shine with optimal low maintenance performance for all traffic areas, satin floors provide the classic hardwood floor look of a higher gloss finish while being as low maintenance as a matte finish and stay looking new for a longer time than higher gloss finishes.

Glitsa Finish Satin Sheen Ranges

  • Conversion Varnish finishes range from 28 – 36 degrees depending on the product
  • Waterborne finishes range from 30 – 35 degrees
  • Polyurethane finishes range from 27 – 33 degrees
Glitsa MultiKote Conversion Varnish Finish - Satin Sheen
Glitsa Gold Seal Conversion Varnish - Matte Sheen

MATTE SHEEN FLOOR FINISH

A matte or ultra-matte hardwood floor has a sheen level ranging from 8 to 22 degrees, depending on the type/technology of finish. The matte finish provides a natural luster without being too shiny. It is an excellent option for a more sophisticated look offering a soft complexion that draws less attention to the natural variation of colors in the wood. Matte sheen floors also can hide imperfections, dirt and dust and fits most design styles and performs well with foot traffic, showing minimal wear over time.

Glitsa Finish Matte/Ultra Matte Sheen Ranges

  • Conversion Varnish finishes range from 18 – 22 degrees
  • Waterborne finishes range from 15 – 20 degrees and 10 – 15 degrees for Ultra Matte
  • Polyurethane finishes range from 8 – 12 degrees

ULTRA-LOW SHEEN FLOOR FINISH

Ultra-Low, bare sheen is a flat raw look that is very popular with some interior designers that has little to no sheen at all. Typically you will see ultra-low finishes used in cases where the color of an unfinished wood is desired, but with the protection of a film-forming finish. For a great looking barely there sheen consider Glitsa’s Bare Waterborne Finish.

Half of the panel is finished with Glitsa Bare waterborne finish. Half is raw, bare wood. Can you tell which is which?
Floor sealed with Infinity NxG and finished with Glitsa Bare Finish

It’s important to remember there are several factors that go into the sheen level of your floor: species, color or patina, as well as the finish. In picking the right sheen for your wood floor, consider which would best complement these factors as well as your room’s style, functionality and the amount of natural light available.

Whichever sheen you choose for your wood floors, you can be confident that your floors are protected with a Glitsa wood floor finish. Sheen does not change the durability of the finish, your wood floors will be equally protected.  However, sheen may hide small scratches from every day wear and tear differently. It is important to protect your floor and sheen appearance with quality felt floor protectors and keep your floor free of dirt and grit.  Another tip to keep your floors looking their best is to pick up furniture instead of sliding or dragging it across your floors surfaces. All of Glitsa’s finishes are maintained with Glitsa Clean wood floor cleaner.  

Click here for more information on maintaining your wood floors.

Glitsa Clean wood floor cleaner

Glitsa is a proud member of the National Wood Flooring Association.