Three Reasons To Choose A Flat Finish For Your Hardwood Floor

Much of the beauty of hardwood flooring comes from the dramatic lustrous finish. In addition to the color of the wood and the natural luster, which varies by species, the finish can add a significant amount of shine. However, while high-gloss finishes once dominated the industry, customers' preferences shifted to the less-glossy satin finishes. Of all the available finishes for hardwood flooring, flat (or matte) is the least shiny or lustrous, yet these shine-free floors are rapidly gaining in popularity. If you are considering options for hardwood floors, here are some reasons to go for the flat finish.

It's easier to maintain.

Flat or matte finishes don't show scratches or wear as much as glossy finishes do. Any wear marks tend to blend in with the color of the floor and don't stand out, so the finish holds up in households with pets and kids. Additionally, it shows less dust and pet hair, which contrast more with glossy floors and are more apparent. Not only is there less sweeping and vacuuming, but you'll find that you do fewer repairs and refinishing.

It's healthier.

It's no coincidence that flat finishes resemble the look of old-fashioned waxed floors—many of the sealants are natural and vegetable based and are therefore similar to wax. Because these sealants contain a high percentage of organic material and fewer synthetic chemicals, they are lower in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than urethane- and shellac-based finishes. VOCs can cause allergy-like symptoms, respiratory difficulties and irritation in chemically-sensitive people. Whether you are conscious of the dangers of VOCs and want something that doesn't emit as many toxic fumes or are already sensitive to these chemicals and want to reduce your exposure, flat finishes are a great choice.  

It's very trendy.

People are moving away from high-gloss finishes and toward the more subdued matte finish, which often looks more natural, more furniture-like and creates richer colors. Homeowners who are moving past the granite countertop craze and installing concrete counters are installing flat finish floors to match. Others are seeking a more natural or sustainable look and replicating the look of reclaimed wood floors, or using actual reclaimed wood and keeping the authentic flat finish. For those who want the latest from the home decorating magazines and trends, flat finish wood floors are on an upward swing and the trend will probably continue to grow.

Whether you want your hardwood flooring to be fashionable, healthy or simply easier to maintain, consider a flat finish. Even if your style or preferences change, hardwood floors are still a great investment that will last for decades - you can always have them refinished and go from high-gloss to flat or anywhere in between. Ask a hardwood flooring specialist about the benefits of the flat finish and how it can work in your home.


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