High gloss or not?

Q: I just purchased a condo apartment that’s 1000 sq. ft. There are many windows with lots of light and sun all day. I am having the (common red oak) parquet floor refinished. I have selected a rich dark maple/brown stain. The contractor uses Minwax products. I love the look of a shiny wood floor, and so I am leaning towards a high gloss oil-based finish. The contractor; however, strongly argued against going with high gloss, recommending instead we use semigloss.

He says hardly anyone chooses high gloss. And that because there is so much light coming in, that it wouldn’t look right. PS. I have one cat. Please any comments on my going with high gloss.

A: 99% Of my customers prefer a lower shine than gloss. If you like gloss, there is nothing wrong with that, provided you understand it’s limitations. Any shiny finish will expose/hi-lite defects or irregularities. This is magnified in very well lit rooms or rooms that use pot lights. Understand that each coat of finish will need to be buffed for adhesion of the next coat. That is a more gentle sounding word than “scratch”. But scratching is what buffing is. Even when using the finest abrasive possible, gloss and a lot of windows can reveal faint swirl marks in the finish, and I suspect this is what the boys are really worried about. It is tough because buffing is not optional. It might help them if they are using a higher solids finish which could tend to fill/cover the scratches better.