Home » Floor finishing guide

Polished Floors Gloss Level Guide

The gloss level you choose for your polished timber flooring can impact on both looks and also the amount of cleaning tasks you will need to perform on a daily basis. It would be beneficial to take a few factors into consideration relating to your personal circumstances prior to making this decision. The range of choices for timber floor coatings are:

  • Matt (Dead flat finish)
  • Low sheen (See example below)
  • Semi-gloss (Approximately 60% of full gloss level)
  • Full gloss (See a video example)

Google Rating
Based on 45 reviews

Low sheen finish

Polished timber flooring in low sheen

Low sheen is definitely the most popular. In fact 90+ percent of customers either directly ask for it, or sway towards it after hearing the benefits over full gloss finish. On top of it's  sleek modern look, it's also a low floor care and maintenance option.

Polished Timber Flooring in Low Sheen - What Are The Benefits?

  • Modern look

    It has a contemporary feel and look about it that compliments new renovation work and is the choice of most builders when constructing new homes.

  • Low maintenance

    Low sheen finish hides minor dust, or more to the point, it does not stand out as much as it does on high gloss polished timber flooring.

  • Concealment

    If damage occurs on a full gloss floor, then light reflection will accentuate it at the edges. In contrast, the lower sheen finishes reflect less light so it’s visually much more forgiving.

Another example of Low Sheen Finish

In summary

Low sheen finishes are low maintenance and a great choice for families with a busy lifestyle. They have a modern appearance and hiding minor dust are the main attractions for this choice on polished timber flooring. It's also a great option if you are a landlord of rental properties with polished timber floors.

Full Gloss Finish

polished timber flooring in full gloss

There will always be the hard-core lovers of full gloss out there, that’s for sure. About ten to fifteen years ago it was the most popular choice of builders and home owners alike.

Polished Timber Flooring In Full Gloss - What Are The benefits

  • Old Hoop Pine floors

    Most clients with polished timber flooring in classic Queensland style homes choose high gloss finish. This is with good reason as it looks amazing on Hoop Pine floors! The light golden colour and variations within the Hoop Pine grain look great. Also, full gloss seems to fit in with the character of the colonial style.

  • High maintenance

    It can be compared with sitting in a black shiny car when you’re at eye level and looking across the high gloss bonnet, you see every speck of dust!

  • It sells homes

    It’s a catch 22. Even though the low sheen finish is a more contemporary and modern look, the potential buyer of your home has tunnel vision. They only see the wow factor of a shiny floor when viewing your home. Also, they have no concerns over the low maintenance qualities the low sheen provides. Once settled in after a purchase, they soon learn it’s not all that fun cleaning them every day.

In summary

Do not get put off though, all gloss level options for timber floors and polished timber staircases have their benefits and all look great. It all boils down to personal preference, and your particular circumstances.

Other points to consider


If you have an inside dog, then low sheen would be a more suitable choice. This is because dog claw damage to polished timber flooring can ruin them, and in a short period of time. Once again, the damage would be accentuated with a full gloss finish.

Down lights

The old style directional down lights can cause a spider web type effect on your floors when viewed at night. This is not the case with the more modern downlights which use diffused light. The problem with the old style is caused from ‘directional light’ hitting the surface and spreading out on your floor. As this happens, it highlights the rotary sanding swirl marks. These rotary lines are not normally visible in natural or normal lighting conditions. It is called ‘light refraction’ through the coating. It is more prevalent with full gloss floors. This condition is made worse if you have a dark floor. Worst case scenario for down lights – Dark floor and full gloss finish.

If you have any questions please feel free to call the Brisbane floor polishing specialists right now on 0419684404.