How to Choose Between Matte vs Satin Finish on Hardwood Floors

Whether you are renovating a space or building new construction, you’ve probably wondered what kind of flooring you need. If you’ve settled on wood floors for your project, you’ve probably come across matte finish and satin finish.

But what are the differences between these two hardwood finishes? And how can you best determine which is the right one for your space? 

Let’s explore the differences between matte and satin finish hardwood floors

What is Matte Finish?

In the most literal terms, matte finish hardwood floors have a low sheen or no shine at all. This is because they have not been sealed with typically glossy materials such as polyurethane.

A matte finishing style offers a focus on the wood itself, with ambient and natural light almost being absorbed by it. As a result, your planks’ natural grain will be able to add dimension to your room without any light refraction.

The matte finish is achieved by applying a log gloss topcoat of water-based polyurethane or oil.

What is Satin Finish?

A satin finish, which is also referred to as a “semi-gloss finish,” has a slight sheen or gloss. The satin finish is achieved by applying a topcoat that has a slightly higher level of gloss than a matte finish. This topcoat can be made from oil, aluminum oxide, polyurethane, and more.

It is important to note that satin finish does not feature as much sheen as a high gloss finish.

What are the Differences Between the Two?

When comparing matte vs satin hardwood floor finish, there are numerous factors that differentiate the two styles:


While both styles are commonly found throughout all kinds of living and work environments, they each carry distinct characteristics and vibes. To whit: imagine a high-end loft apartment and a historic seaside cottage. They probably won’t feature the same style of flooring, do they?

Matte flooring, with its focus on natural wood grain, imperfections, and dynamic color range, tends to lend a more rustic feeling. It is perfect for historic homes or for spaces intending to carry a sense of natural beauty. It also works well in spaces where it won’t be obscured by a rug or large furniture.

Satin flooring, on the other hand, trends better toward more modern or minimalist spaces. Pair it with decor made from metal, glass, and concrete to complement the room’s vibe.

Durability & Maintenance

One of the primary benefits of satin finish hardwood floors is that they are more durable than a matte finish. With their glossy topcoat, they will tend to hide scratches and scuffs more effectively than a matte finish. Additionally, if the finish is properly maintained, it can last for many years without becoming dull.

However, for everyday care, matte finish flooring is easier to maintain than satin finish flooring. This is largely due to the fact that footprints, smudges, dirt and dust are often obscured by the wood grain itself. Matte flooring is also better able to hide imperfections, so consider it for high-traffic areas.


The differences in cost of matte vs satin finish hardwood floors is negligible. In general, neither of the hardwood floor finishes (matte vs satin) are inherently more or less expensive than the other. However, the price of your project is going to be largely determined by the material you use for your finishing.

Water-based finishes tend to be higher-end (and thus, more expensive) than oil-based finishes. With this in mind, be sure to consider the right finish that works best with your budget.

Available Where You Need It:

Give us a call at 855-356-6786 for more information on your specific woodfloor needs:

Local California Woodfloor Showrooms: There is nothing quite like the feel of fresh hardwood in your hands. When you are searching for the right wood floor option, you’ll often know it the second you touch it. We encourage you to visit one of our showrooms to experience our quality wholesale flooring supply for yourself.

Nationwide Shipping for Wholesale Wood Floors: If you aren’t local to northern or southern California, we also ship our wholesale hardwood flooring nationwide. We are quite possibly the only wholesale hardwood flooring supplier in the country who will ship from east coast to west coast, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, and more.

Our team at Wholesale Woodfloor Warehouse sells a wide variety of hardwood and engineered wood flooring. If you are planning on satin or matte finish, we have the respected and reliable wood brands you’re looking for. Explore our catalog today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *