Hardwood Floors Matte Vs Satin: Which Finish To Choose?

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Choosing the right type of finish for your hardwood floors can be very confusing as there are too many of them in the market these days.

While every finish claims to be the best and most suitable for hardwood floors, we know this can’t be true.

The two most popular finishes for wooden flooring are matte and satin finishes. However, they have quite a debate among them regarding which is the best. Hence, let us find out.

Matte finishes are suitable if you have a large room and you are going with dark and muted colors. Satin finishes, on the other hand, are more towards a shinier side but not too glossy.

Basecamp SFH, (Old Irving Park) also used natural satin finish on its floors, confirmed by Karen Ranquist – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago (1).

Choosing between these two is not possible instantly as you must keep in mind the important factors.

For instance, the overall color scheme, the look you are trying to achieve, the size of the room, the textures used in decor and a lot more.

Keep on reading to find out more about these two finishes so you can decide which one is the best.

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Hardwood Floors Matte Vs Satin Which Finish To Choose

Hardwood Floors Matte Vs Satin: Which Finish To Choose Infographics

What Is A Matte Finish?

Matte finishes are the subtle non-glossy effect that your hardwood floors might have. If you’ve ever gone to someone’s house and seen a hardwood floor which barely reflected any light and did not shine, it is possible that you wondered what the reason was.

No, it’s not about the cleanliness of the floors or any buildup material; the answer is a matte finish.

A matte finish is the best option for those who like a natural appearance on the wooden surface and do not want it to shine as if it has been filled with chemicals or acrylics.

A matte finish does not reflect as much light, and hence, it is not as shiny but gives a rather dull and mute appearance.

It is usually preferred when the overall color theme of the area is quite dark, and mute colors also require the floors to be mute.

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Moreover, matte finishes preventing the floors from standing out so exceptionally that everything else in the room seems to get out of the frame.

If you want a more decent and mature approach to your floors and have a generally darker tone around the house, matte finishes will surely satisfy your taste buds.

In addition, matte finishes are also used extensively in large rooms, as the reflection of too much light from the floors will make the room appear even bigger.

In comparison, a matte finish will give a more enclosed and cozier environment inside the room.

Furthermore, if you are looking forward to getting hardwood floors in a rustic, industrial, or country-style aesthetic, it would be best to get a matte finish as they suit the environment and do not feel out of place.

Benefits of Using A Matte Finish

Using a matte finish on your hardwood floors has its benefits, which you might be unaware of.

Many prefer to avoid matte finishes as they think they make the hardwood floors look boring, but the reality begs to differ.

Let us discuss some common benefits of using a matte finish on your hardwood floors.

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  • Firstly, the low sheen given by a matte finish is great at hiding the low scuffs, scratches, and dents on the hardwood floors. As light can’t reflect on them as effectively, they are not highlighted very much.
  • If there is dirt, dust, or debris on your hardwood floors, it will be hidden with the matte finish due to the reason mentioned earlier. Therefore, you will not have to be embarrassed in front of guests if you couldn’t clean the floors earlier.
  • Having pets in your house means that there will be a lot of pet hair around the house, which can get prominent and degrade the appearance of the floors. However, this is not the case with matte finishes, as they can also hide pet hair or fur.
  • Matte finishes allow concentration to other areas of the room rather than just the floors, so if you want your floors to be not so loud, they are probably the best choice you will make.
  • A matte finish gives the hardwood floors a natural appearance and makes the texture and grain of the wood visible.
  • Unlike other types of glossy finishes, it does not make the floors shine excessively to the point where the wood itself becomes hardly visible.
  • There is a misconception that hardwood floors are made rough with matte finishes, which is completely false. The matte finishes have a very smooth surface which will cause 0 hurdles in cleaning the floors.

Disadvantages of Using A Matte Finish

Like everything, matte finishes also have disadvantages, and you must know them beforehand if you are looking forward to getting a matte finish on the surface of your wooden floors.

  • Matte finishes are not very good at hiding oily stains or spots, and there is a high chance that these will be visible on the surface of the floors.
  • As oil is shiny, the spot or stain will shine more than the surface, making it stand out from the rest of the surface.
  • Even if the wood has a natural appearance due to matte finishes, it will have almost no shine. For those who want a shiny appearance on the floors, matte finishes might be dull and trite.
  • For some people, the matte finishes might be too rustic, and especially if you have a lighter theme around the house, getting a matte finish on your hardwood floors is not recommended.
  • Similarly, having a small room means that you need a greater amount of reflection of light to make the area appear spacious.
  • Using a matte finish in such a room will make it appear more inconspicuous and congested, as the floors will give off almost no light.

What Is A Satin Finish?

Satin finishes are glossy finishes that make the floors shiny and stand out. While hardwood floors are a high investment, it would be unfair to them if they are not seen properly.

Therefore, a satin finish is highly recommended for those who want to make a statement with their floors and want to assert confidence.

Satin finishes are perhaps the most popular among all types of hardwood floor finishes.

Many people confuse the satin finish with being extremely glossy and shiny, but it is untrue. On the sheen scale, the satin finish lies somewhere in the center.

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This means that it is not entirely dull and not excessively shiny, but the right balance is between both of them, so the perfect level of sheen is achieved by your hardwood floors. They are not glossy or semi-glossy finishes, as these make the floors excessively shiny.

Satin finishes give a very gentle shine to the floors, which are not covered in light reflections or too dull to notice.

The slight shine on the surface makes this stand out from all other types of finishes for hardwood floorings.

Satin finishes are highly suitable for smaller rooms which require a better light reflection to make the area appear spacious.

Besides, if you have expensive or exquisite hardwood types in your house, a satin finish will do them justice by giving them the precise amount of sheen they deserve, which doesn’t make them mute or too loud and still enhances the grain of the wood.

Benefits of Using A Satin Finish

Satin finishes have many benefits that you may have ignored till now. But worry not, as we’ve collected some advantages that a satin finish gives your hardwood floors. Some of them are as follows:

  • The satin finish gives the right hint of glossiness on the surface of your hardwood floors. If you do not want dull flooring or something too mute to be noticed, perhaps this is your best choice.
  • Satin finishes are very good at covering up any dust or dirt on the surface of the hardwood floors.
  • As there is only minimal shine, not much light can reflect from the surface, which might cause the dust or debris to be highlighted on the surface.
  • Satin finishes are renowned for giving the floors a lively appearance compared to the dead mute look given by matte finishes.
  • Another added benefit of satin finishes is that they are very easy to clean compared to other types of finishes.
  • It does not make it hard to mop or vacuum the floors as the surface is super-smooth and gives an easy cleaning experience.
  • Due to a minimal shine on the entire surface, the satin finish can easily cover up any oily spots and prevent them from standing out even if the light reflects on them and they try to become visible on the hardwood floors.

Disadvantages of Using A Satin Finish

While it has many known benefits, satin finishes also have some disadvantages, and you must know them if you are willing to get one on your hardwood floors.

Here are some common drawbacks faced by homeowners who had a satin finish on their wooden flooring:

  • Firstly, while the satin finish is quite good at hiding oily stains and regular dust, it does do a great job when it comes to hiding scratches, scuff marks or dents.
  • As the light shines on the surface, such irregularities are highlighted, which makes the floors appear damaged and uneven.
  • Satin finishes are quite hard to maintain as they can lose their shine over time and become dull.
  • While other glossy finishes have a higher sheen, losing some of it will only make the appearance balanced, this is not the case with a satin finish.
  • It is not a matte finish, so it won’t look good once the shine is gone and the floors appear dead.
  • As a result, regular polishing or buffing sessions are necessary to maintain the desired level of sheen on the surface of your hardwood floors.
  • Some homeowners say a satin finish is very slick under the feet. If they have a satin finish on the hardwood floors, it might make it a bit uncomfortable to walk on the hardwood floors with bare feet.

Hardwood Floors Matte Vs Satin | Which One To Choose?

If you are confused between these finishes and want to choose one, you must do it according to your preferences, as they serve different goals. Therefore, it is not possible to simply rank one better than the other.

Depending on your preference, the theme you selected for your house, and the color combinations you’ve chosen, you will have to choose the most suitable finish.

However, if you are still confused, we have given below a detailed analysis of both these finishes so you can choose the best.

Bottom Line

Both matte and satin finishes are extremely good and if you’ve matched them properly with the entire theme of the room, they will surely look good.

Both of them have their own pros and cons and you will have to decide according to your goals and preferences about which cons you are ready to bear.

The final decision falls on your shoulders as you must decide which finish goes best with your decor.

A detailed comparison has been given above which will aid you in making this decision. Therefore, we hope this comparison was helpful to you and you have succeeded in deciding between these finishes. Let us know which one is your favorite and why?

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