Our Addition Floor: Which Did We Choose? Matte or Glossy

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!

Written by Grace

15 Responses to “Our Addition Floor: Which Did We Choose? Matte or Glossy”

  1. Sheri September 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    The floor looks great! Funny thing is, if you hadn’t labeled which was glossy and which was matte; I would have figured them the other way around. 🙂 The glossy does not look glossy to me at all. Certainly not what I was expecting. Good idea to do the test run, then you could rest at ease. Can’t wait to see the room all done…so close now!

    • Grace September 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      Sheri, thank you! I know, the looks were totally reversed in my mind! It was so weird, but I was so happy I tested them out! We are getting so close, now I’m just having to make twelve million decor decisions, which of course, is the fun part. 🙂

  2. CJ Harris September 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Bravo! Looks great!

    • Grace September 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      Yay! Thanks CJ!

  3. jillian September 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Looks amazing, Grace!

    • Grace September 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      Jillian, thank you! xoxo

  4. Emily September 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    You really thought this through! And, I agree with Sheri—I thought the matte was the glossy one, and vise versa. And the glossy is not all super shiny at all. It’s perfect and a BEE-utiful floor!

    • Grace September 30, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      Emily, I know, I know…I did think it through – I was worried it was a little overboard. BUT this is a big decision, and I’m glad I was so thorough. Thank you, so glad you like it. 🙂

  5. Erin September 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Fantastic post, and bless you for thinking like a Mom!! It looks gorgeous – can’t wait to see the whole room come together.

    • Grace September 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      Erin, I know, right? Otherwise, I would end up with some marble floor. 😉

  6. emily September 25, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    it looks fantastic! And I love that you didn’t just pick a finish based on aesthetics…so smart. thanks for sharing your process!

    • Grace September 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

      Emily, thank you! Yes, it definitely was a process. 🙂 Decisions like this take time. If there is one thing this house has taught me, it is to take my time! Well, that and patience. 🙂

  7. Shalene September 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? Because I might just use this same tile and pattern in our new house. Love it!

    • Grace September 30, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

      Shalene, yes! I would love for you to copy it! Head over to Bottega, and Rebecca will hook you up! Let me know if you need any other info. xoxo

  8. LAURA ROBBINS August 15, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    I just found your floor on pintrest and fell in L O V E. since it has been a few years, I am curious about your thoughts. I live in Miami and it is hard to find this tile. What color and brand is it. What sealer brand did you use.

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