Satin Vs Semi Gloss Hardwood Floors: Finish Sheen Comparison

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When it comes to adding a touch of elegance and warmth to your home, hardwood flooring stands out as a timeless choice. However, the decision-making doesn’t end at just choosing hardwood. You need to decide the sheen finish: satin vs semi gloss hardwood floors.

Semi-gloss hardwood floors are more durable than satin finished floors. They have a better resistance to scratches and minor damage with regular use. Moreover, semi-gloss hardwood floors have a shinier finish compared to satin ones, bringing out the shine and patterns of the wood more clearly.

Difference between satin and semi gloss hardwood floors
Difference between satin and semi gloss hardwood floors

I’ve lived with both satin and semi-gloss hardwood floors and seen how they change a room’s vibe.

In this article, I’ll share my hands-on experiences and reviews, helping you nail down the perfect choice of polyurethane for your flooring!

What Is Satin Finish On Hardwood Floors?

Satin Finish For wood floor
Satin Finish For wood floor

Satin finishes reflect light better than matte finishes on hardwood floors, yet they don’t shine as brightly as semi-gloss or glossy finishes. Though, they add a gentle shine with 35-40% of luster to your wood that can subtly uplift the entire room.

Plus, they hide small scratches and scuff marks better, so they stay looking good even in busy areas of your home. With satin finish, you get a nice look that’s also easy to take care of.

What Is Semi Gloss Finish On Hardwood Floors?

Semi Gloss Finish For wood floor
Semi Gloss Finish For wood floor

Semi-Gloss finish on hardwood floors is a favored choice for many homeowners, providing a mild shine with a luster percentage of 45-55%.

It reflects light more efficiently than a satin finish, making rooms appear brighter and more elegant. Typically, a semi-gloss finish is used to infuse spaces with a sophisticated, high-end ambiance.

Satin Vs Semi Gloss Hardwood Floors: Sheen Comparison

Choosing between satin vs semi gloss hardwood floors is like picking between two good friends.

Having lived with both, I’ve enjoyed the soft glow of satin on lazy Sunday mornings and the bright shine of semi-gloss welcoming me home after a long day.

It’s more than just a floor finish; it’s about how you want to feel in your space every day. So, here are my insights:

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The higher shine of semi-gloss finish can make the color and grain of the wood floor shine more than satin finish. It also reflects light more efficiently, making rooms appear brighter and more elegant.

On the other hand, satin finish provides a softer sheen, offering a more contemporary, minimalist elegance that subtly showcases the wood’s natural beauty.


Semi-gloss finishes tend to be more durable and have better resistance to scratches and minor damage with regular use compared to satin finishes.

However, satin finishes are adept at hiding small scratches and scuffs, maintaining a neat appearance even in high-traffic areas.


Due to their shinier finish, semi-gloss floors can show scratches, dust, and debris more easily, requiring more frequent cleaning.

Satin finishes, being less shiny, are better at concealing dust and small imperfections, which could translate to less maintenance over time.

Trend & Style

Semi-gloss finish is often associated with a more traditional, classic look. It’s well-suited for formal or traditional interior designs. Satin finish, with its modern and chic appearance, aligns well with contemporary or minimalist design schemes.

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Semi-gloss finishes are generally more expensive than satin finishes due to the higher sheen and often better durability. The initial cost of applying a semi-gloss finish will be higher.

Additionally, the maintenance or refinishing costs could potentially be higher as well, as semi-gloss floors may require more frequent cleaning or refinishing to maintain their appearance, especially in high-traffic areas.

On the other hand, satin finishes might be more cost-effective both initially and in the long run due to their ability to better hide minor imperfections, which could reduce the frequency and cost of maintenance or refinishing over time.

Room Size & Lighting

Rooms with ample natural light may benefit from a satin finish, as it can help in reducing glare while still providing a warm ambiance.

Conversely, semi-gloss finish may be a better choice for darker rooms or rooms with less natural light as it can help in brightening up the space with its higher light-reflecting capacity.

High Gloss Vs Satin Finish Hardwood Floors

High Gloss Vs Satin Finish Hardwood Floors
High Gloss Vs Satin Finish Hardwood Floors

While high gloss finishes are more durable and resistant to damage, they tend to show scratches from dog paws, dust, and other marks more prominently compared to a satin or satin blend finish.

On the other hand, satin finishes, although slightly less durable, do a better job at concealing minor scratches and imperfections, making them a more pet-friendly option.

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Is Satin Or Semi Gloss Better For Hardwood Floors?

The semi-gloss finish is better for durability and making the wood’s color stand out. It’s shinier and makes rooms look brighter.

However, it shows scratches and requires more cleaning. Satin finish hides scratches and is easier to maintain, making it cost-effective over time.

It gives a modern, soft shine to the floors. If you have pets, a satin or satin blend finish is better as it hides scratches from paws.

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Final Thoughts

When you are choosing between satin vs semi gloss hardwood floors, think about what is more important to you. If you want floors that shine and don’t mind cleaning often, semi-gloss is a good pick.

But if you have pets and want something that hides scratches and is easier to take care of, satin finish is better. Both satin and semi-gloss make hardwood floors look great, so you will be happy with your home’s look no matter what you choose.

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