I would like to lessen the effect of high-gloss floors without the work and cost of refinishing. Can a matte finish be applied on top of the glossy wood?
If you have a prefinished floor, you can’t, sadly, change the finish with a simple buff; you would need to sand away the microbevel between planks and start all over again. If your floors were finished after they were installed, however, you can give it a light buff and a matte finish.
But I think glossy floors are beautiful and that you’ll tire of the matte look – if the floors are in good shape, I would keep them as is and throw down area rugs instead. By opting for a “European fix” – cover the majority of the floor with a sisal area carpet, leaving a six-inch border of wood – you can have a fabulous layered look, although you may need to start wearing slippers since sisal isn’t always comfortable against bare feet.