Most clear finishes like polyurethane come in three types of sheen: gloss, semi-gloss and satin. Think of sheen in terms of “shininess.” There are more or less, three types of sheen: gloss, semi-gloss and satin. Sheen will have an impact on the appearance of your floor so it is important you know what is the look you are going for.
Gloss is the shiniest sheen and has a “wet” look. It is often thought of as having a very high-end appearance (think French Polish). However, it can be very difficult to achieve satisfactory results with gloss when finishing on-site due to its high amount of reflection. Gloss is harder to maintain because it shows dust, scratches and scuffs more easily.
Although semi-gloss is less shiny than gloss, it still maintains a fair amount of shine. Many homeowners choose semi-gloss for its compromise of shine and maintainability.
Satin has the least shine of the three and gives floors what’s called a matte appearance. This is also a popular choice for homeowners. It has a silky appearance and is the easiest to maintain out of all three finishes. Satin has a wonderful ability to “hide” small surface scratches and scuffs.