Hardwood Flooring Finish Options – Gaylord Flooring

Hardwood Flooring Finish Options

At Gaylord Hardwood Flooring we offer three different sheen levels. All of which offer different benefits and drawbacks. The key is to find the most suitable one for your home and lifestyle. All three of these finishes are the same durability but the lower the sheen, the less light is reflected across the floor. This reflection is what shows dents, scratches, and dust. You must keep in mind how much light you have in your home and exactly what look you are trying to achieve. In a home with a lot of natural light you may want to opt for a lower gloss and vice versa.

Semi-Gloss Flooring Finish (50% Sheen)

Hardwood Flooring in a Semi-gloss FinishThe semi-gloss provides a classic look that many clients are expecting in a prefinished hardwood floor. The sheen level is high enough that it provides a nice warm sparkle but not too high that it looks like plastic. Since it is our shiniest finish, it will also be the highest maintenance. Dents, scratches, and dust will be magnified across the surface, and it will require regular cleaning.

The semi-gloss finish is very popular on red oak and works well in traditional settings.

Satin Flooring Finish (25% Sheen)

Hardwood Flooring in a Satin FinishThe satin finish is a popular sheen level because it still provides some shine to a floor but will be much lower maintenance than the semi-gloss finish. We used to call the satin finish our “Dog Finish” because at that time it was the lowest sheen level we offered making it the most pet friendly. This finish is popular on any wood and is suitable in a rustic or formal setting.

Matte Flooring Finish (10-13% Sheen)

Matte Finish Hardwood FlooringThe matte finish is the lowest sheen level we offer. It is meant to look similar to a low sheen “Oiled” floor but with far less maintenance. There is very little light reflected on this floor, so dents, scratches, and dust will be hidden. This is the gloss level we typically put on our most rustic floors. It can also work in a traditional or modern environment where the homeowner would like a lower maintenance hardwood flooring option. Matte finish is the best options for a busy house hold with children and pets. In addition to the three different sheen options, we also offer some unique finishes to give your hardwood floor a more unique look and feel.

Distressed (Wire Brushed) Flooring Finish

Distressed Hardwood Flooring Before the flooring is stained and finished, it runs through a large wire brush. This wire brush tears out the softer fibres in the wood providing a more textured surface. The combination of removing the softer wood fibres and the texture makes this hardwood flooring extremely durable and low maintenance. The wire brushing really helps display the unique patterns and medullary rays found in quarter sawn and live sawn oak. We only finish the distressed in our Matte finish. Finishing the distressed in a higher sheen makes it look like plastic. The distressed is very versatile, because depending on the stain colour and grade of flooring, it can work in any setting. The best part about the distressed finish is that it is already textured so dents and scratches only add to the look of the floor.

Two-Pass Flooring Finish

Hardwood flooring in a two toned finishThe two-pass finish is very unique. All of the boards are stained entirely black and then refinished and stained a different colour. This provides and incredible rustic look which is especially popular in wide plank floors. On species with very little grain like maple, the two-pass mostly just turns the bevels of the boards black which really showcases the boards width. On species with grain like red oak and hickory, the black stain also highlights the grain patterns in the wood by turning it black. On our live sawn white oak, the two-pass finish does an incredible job of bringing out the unique grain features like the medullary rays. On two-pass floors we also offer the option of having “nail holes” put in your flooring. Before we stain the wood black, we hit the surface randomly with a pin hammer. These marks soak in the black stain giving the appearance of nail holes or worm holes. The two-pass can also be done with a white base instead of black like in our champagne and beach sand floors.


  • Hi Carol!

    Thanks for asking us a cleaning question! For all our hardwood floors, we recommend using Bona Hardwood Flooring Cleaner. It works great on a floor with a matte finish as well. A good rule of thumb, is actually to avoid over-cleaning your hardwood flooring! (Who would have guessed?) Over-cleaning can cause a “build-up” of cleaner on the surface of your hardwood flooring. Using papertowel, or a dry towel you can buff the cleaner off to keep your floor looking great.

    A nice perk about a matte finish – is dust mopping and sweeping works great to remove most of the dirt, dust and debries!

    You might enjoy our “How To – Clean Your Hardwood Flooring” information.

    Kelsey @ Gaylord Hardwood Flooring
  • What is the best way to clean matte finish wood floors? All of the cleaners I see “restore the shine.” I don’t want shine, I just want clean!

    Thank you!

    Carol Aarseth

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