Trends in hardwood flooring come and go as time ticks on, as they do in every industry. While many of these styles are more form than function, one trend can be beneficial in both commercial and residential settings. The current rise of popularity in the use of finishes with a lower level of gloss is a boon for those with kids, pets, or high traffic spaces and a dire urge to stay in style. Understanding the difference between luster levels, and how they can benefit you, can help in the process of choosing the right floor for your home or business.
Gloss (or sheen, or luster depending on whom you speak with) is determined using special devices which measure the amount of light being refracted off of a surface at a certain angle. This measurement is compared to what is called the black glass standard, which is defined as having 100 refractive units.The three main levels of gloss typically found on hardwood flooring are High Gloss (75 units and over), Semigloss (25 to 75 units), and low gloss (below 25 units). The less luster (gloss units) the product has, the less shiny the floor will be.
While style is an important factor in deciding what would be best for your hardwood floors, there is more to luster than just aesthetics. High gloss floors make imperfections such as damage or regular wear and tear stand out more than they would on a low gloss floor. This is due to the significant difference between the shine of unaffected areas and the dullness of spots that incur heavy traffic or damage. Hardwood flooring with a low-luster finish can handle the abuse of kids, pets, and the high traffic found in busy homes and businesses without the unsightly and obvious signs of what it has been through. In terms of longevity, this translates to easier maintenance and extended periods of time between screening or refinishing the flooring.
Following European trends, North America has warmly embraced low-luster flooring for it’s many benefits and subtle style. The lack of shine allows the grain, color, and texture of the hardwood to stand out rather than be hidden behind the glare. Combined with the right choice of hardwood species for your level of traffic and activity, low gloss finishes can help you achieve the look you are going for without sacrificing peace of mind and longevity of your investment.
If you’re looking to install or refinish a hardwood floor with a low luster satin or matte finish. Give us a call today (347) 815-4151