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Choosing the right hardwood flooring for your new home or remodeling project can definitely be a challenge. Not only do you have a variety of wood types and colors from which to choose—you also must decide on a finish. Should you go glossy or flat? Modern or rustic? Trendy or timeless?

We can relate to the dilemma…but if you want new floors, you’re going to have to choose! The good news is, knowledge is power. The following guide should help you make an informed decision about which finishes might be right for you. (We’ll cover color schemes in a later post.)

Gloss and Semi-gloss

Glossy finishes these days have fallen somewhat out of vogue, but they still are a dominant feature in many formal dining and receiving areas. The gloss or semi-gloss finish produces that trademark “shine” we think of when we imagine gleaming hardwood floors.

  • The pros: Glossy floors convey dignity, richness and a sense of timeless elegance that many people find appealing.
  • The cons: Glossy floors show everything: Footsteps, dust, smudges and scratches. Gloss and semi-gloss finishes require constant cleaning and maintenance to keep up their appearance. If they get scratched, those scratches will glare at you until you have them buffed out and/or refinished.

Flatter Finishes: Satin and Matte

Satin is by far our most requested hardwood flooring finish these days, followed closely by matte. These flatter, low-luster sheens don’t shine like gloss, but when done right they are far from “dull.” Rather, they evoke a natural beauty that is both modern and timeless–a great choice for most architectural and design styles.

  • The pros: Satin and matte finishes are easy to clean and maintain. They conceal dust and scratch marks better than gloss. They are also quite fashionable.
  • The cons: Some customers are a bit disappointed at the lack of sheen when the floors are initially laid (a throwback to when gloss was popular).

Textured Finishes: Wire-brushed or “Distressed”

Another popular trend in floor finishes these days is the “weathered,” “antiqued” or “distressed” look. We accomplish this look through wire-brushing and other techniques. These floors deliberately show inconsistencies and textures and color, evoking a rustic or “lived-in” appearance that frequently make the floors seem older than they are. This finish can be a great complement to a rural or rustic décor, and because they are already distressed, accidental scratches and scrapes become a non-issue.

  • The pros: Textured finishes offer a comforting, weathered look that is easy to maintain and evokes a “homey” feel.
  • The cons: A textured finish is a specific design preference that doesn’t always work in modern or formal settings.

Like anything else in this world, popular trends in hardwood flooring are always changing, and what is popular now may seem dated in a few years. Ultimately, when it comes to choosing a style or finish for your wood floors, the one opinion that matters most is yours! Whatever style you decide on, Renaissance Hardwood Flooring will install your floors with the highest standards of quality and expertise. To learn more about your options, give us a call at 918-298-4477.