Whether you’ve got a brand-new hardwood floor that’s waiting for its first finish, or you’re refinishing a floor you’ve had for a while, choosing the right finish for your needs can be a challenge. The most common finishes are satin and semi-gloss, but how do you know which one to go for? Here, we’ve compiled the advantages of each, so keep reading to learn whether satin or semi-gloss is better for hardwood floors.


Satin finish is a popular choice for hardwood floors, but whether it’s suitable for your home depends on your preferences and lifestyle.


  • Satin finish doesn’t reflect light as well as higher-shine finishes. This means dents and dings are camouflaged. Likewise, dust and dirt are less visible, so it’s an excellent option for homes with children or pets.
  • Satin looks modern. It is chic and understated and doesn’t draw too much attention to the floor, making it perfect for trendy neutral color schemes throughout the room.
  • Satin finish isn’t completely matte, so small amounts of light are still reflected off its surface. This way, it emphasizes the beautiful grains and patterns in the hardwood without showing too many imperfections.


  • Depending on the hardwood chosen, satin can lend a dullness to the floor, making it look too rustic for many homeowners’ taste.
  • Satin is generally less durable than a higher-gloss finish, so it’s not a great preventative measure against floor damage.

Overall, satin is an excellent choice for many homes, especially those with a focus on modern beauty and low maintenance.


Another great option for hardwood floor finishing is semi-gloss. If you don’t think satin will work in your home, check out the benefits and drawbacks of semi-gloss.


  • With a higher shine than satin, the floor will reflect more light. The intricate grains and natural lines of the hardwood will show up much clearer, and the color of the wood appears deeper and richer.
  • Semi-gloss is more durable than satin and can protect your floors from light damage.


  • Because of the high luster of semi-gloss, imperfections in the floor will be much more visible. Scratches and scuffs disrupt the finish and stand out against the gloss. Dust, dirt, and pet hair will also show up more clearly.
  • Semi-gloss finish may be more durable than satin, but it still doesn’t offer a high level of damage protection. For the best durability, you’ll want a high-gloss finish.

Semi-gloss is great for homes of all types, but it is more time-intensive to keep looking clean. The high-shine isn’t for everyone, either.

Contact Central Mass Hardwood

Still need help deciding? Central Mass Hardwood is here to help! We’re the expert hardwood flooring contractor specializing in installation, refinishing, and repair services on hardwood floors. Contact us today to get started.