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Matte Finish vs. Gloss Finish: Which is Better for Wood Floors?

Jason Brown Wood Floors Matte Finish Gloss Finish

Choosing between a matte finish and gloss finish for your wood floors can be a difficult decision—consider some of the pros and cons before you choose.

When it comes to choosing the perfect finish for your wood floors, the decision between a matte finish and a gloss finish can be quite daunting. Both options have their unique appeal and characteristics that can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your living space.

Matte Finish


Sophisticated and Subtle: One of the primary reasons homeowners opt for a matte finish is its understated elegance. Matte floors offer a smooth and muted appearance, creating a sophisticated ambiance that complements various interior design styles.

Conceals Imperfections: Matte finishes excel at concealing scratches, scuffs, and minor dents, making them an excellent choice for high-traffic areas or households with active kids and pets. The lack of sheen means imperfections are less noticeable compared to gloss finishes.

Non-Reflective: The lack of shine in a matte finish means it doesn’t reflect light, reducing glare and making it easier on the eyes. This makes it a suitable choice for rooms with strong natural light sources or rooms with high-intensity artificial lighting.

Contemporary Appeal: Matte finishes have gained popularity in recent years, especially in modern and minimalist interior designs. Their clean, flat look can add a touch of sophistication to contemporary living spaces.

Low Maintenance: Since matte finishes hide scratches and scuffs better than gloss finishes, they tend to require less frequent maintenance and refinishing. This can save you time and money in the long run.


Less Durability: One of the main drawbacks of matte finishes is their relative lack of durability compared to gloss finishes. The absence of a protective, reflective layer means the wood is more susceptible to wear and tear over time, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic.

Shows Dirt and Dust: While matte finishes do an excellent job of concealing minor imperfections, they are not as forgiving when it comes to dirt and dust accumulation. These particles can be more visible on the non-reflective surface, requiring regular cleaning.

Difficult Stain Removal: Stains on matte-finished wood floors may be harder to remove, as they tend to penetrate the wood more deeply without the protective barrier provided by gloss finishes.

Gloss Finish


High Shine and Elegance: Gloss finishes are renowned for their mirror-like shine, which adds a sense of luxury and opulence to any space. They can make a room feel brighter and more spacious, enhancing its overall aesthetics.

Improved Durability: The glossy topcoat acts as a protective layer, making gloss-finished floors more resistant to scratches, spills, and stains. This durability makes them suitable for high-traffic areas and households with children and pets.

Easy to Clean: The smooth, non-porous surface of gloss finishes allows for easy cleaning and maintenance. Regular sweeping and occasional damp mopping are usually sufficient to keep these floors looking pristine.

Enhanced Color and Grain: The high shine of gloss finishes accentuates the wood’s natural color and grain pattern, providing a stunning visual effect that can bring out the beauty of the wood.


Visible Imperfections: The very quality that makes matte finishes excellent at concealing imperfections works against gloss finishes. Scratches, scuffs, and dents are more apparent on glossy surfaces due to the light reflection.

High Maintenance: Gloss finishes require more frequent maintenance and refinishing to preserve their luster. Over time, the gloss may wear off in high-traffic areas, necessitating reapplication.

Unforgiving Application: Applying a gloss finish requires a high level of precision, as any imperfections or unevenness will be magnified by the glossy sheen.

Which is Better?

The choice between a matte finish and a gloss finish for your wood floors boils down to personal preference and practical considerations. Matte finishes offer a modern, subdued look and are ideal for concealing minor wear and tear, making them suitable for households with active lifestyles. On the other hand, gloss finishes bring a sense of grandeur and shine, along with improved durability, but require more maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Ultimately, consider your lifestyle, the amount of foot traffic in your home, and the desired visual impact before making a decision. Whichever finish you choose, with proper care and maintenance, your wood floors will remain a beautiful and enduring investment in your home’s decor.

Hardwood Flooring from Jason Brown Wood Floors

At Jason Brown Wood Floors, our commitment to quality installation is clear in all that we do, which is why our customers consistently rate us as one of the top contractors in the region. We have been awarded Baltimore Magazine’s Best of Baltimore Award 4 times and have been proudly serving the Baltimore Area for over 18 years. If you’re ready to speak with someone about your hardwood flooring project, we want to hear from you! Contact us at 410-668-9131 or send us a message here.

Jason Brown Wood Floors is also your convenient dealer of high-quality, professional-grade power tools. We offer brands that tradespeople trust most for the job. Come check out our Abingdon showroom to browse the in-stock selection of products and tools by Festool, Freud, Diablo, Shaper, Mirka,  Makita, Saw Stop, and Grex.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 10th, 2023 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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