Last week, I gave you all a sneak peek of the tile floor in our Addition, and asked your opinion on whether we should do matte or glossy tile. There were lots of great comments on what you would choose and why, and my husband and I read them all and talked about it thoroughly.
I was still having such a hard time deciding…I was afraid the matte would look too dull and uninspired, and I was worried the glossy would make the floor look too new or modern in our old house. Therefore, I planned a little experimentation to help steer our direction.
My first step was to take one of the tiles and head to Home Depot. I was hoping I could find little sample pots of matte and glossy sealer, but when I asked the person who worked there, he gave me a funny look. At first, all I saw were large cans of sealer that were $20+. No bueno. But then…then, I spied a couple of spray bottles of sealer – one matte and one glossy. Score! I unscrewed the sprayer and spread a few drops of each of the sealers on the tile. A little rubbing evened out the sealer (I ended up doing two “coats”), and within minutes, I knew I had the perfect sample tile to begin my experiments.
For my first experiment, I decided to do a little chair leg scraping. There will be furniture in this room, and I wanted to see what type of floor would scratch easier.
I sat in one of our dining chairs and scooted them around on each of the finishes. You can see below that the matte definitely scratched easier. BUT the scratches did wipe away with water. The glossy was scratched a little, but you could hardly see it.
My second experiment involved dirt. The dirt test was important, which type of finish will be easier to clean?
Our addition holds the new back door so there will be tons of little muddy feet coming in and out of this room.
I spread mud from the back yard on the tile, and dried it with my hair dryer so it was good and hard. Then I wiped it clean with a wet paper towel.
As far as cleaning goes, I guess the glossy was a little easier to wipe, but I felt they both cleaned very well. The only thing I did not like about the matte side of the tile was that the paper towel left behind little bits. I can see that may be annoying if I wanted to do a quick wipe up.
After both experiments, both sides of the tile looked great. As for aesthetics, I liked the color of the tile with the matte sealer, but I liked how the imperfections of the handmade tile (made by ArtoBrick – handmade 4×16 concrete tile in charcoal – found at Bottega Design Gallery) shone through with the glossy sealer.
In the end, we decided to go with the glossy because it did seem slightly easier to clean, did not scratch as easily, and it brought out the imperfections of the tile in a way I felt would tie in nicely with the feel of our house. And I couldn’t be happier!
Because of the nature of the tile, the glossy isn’t overly glossy, and I like the shine it casts with the sunlight. The tile looks aged just enough, and I am thrilled with the results.
So there you have it…matte vs. glossy. Would I always choose glossy? Probably not. But for this room and its design and requirements, it was the right choice. Experimentation always helps!