Measuring Distinctness of Image (DOI) – Make the Right Impression

What is distinctness of image & how can it help you impress customers? Make DOI measurement a part of your floor maintenance program.
 One of the first things people notice upon entering your facility is the floors. Clean, well-maintained floors create a positive first impression and enhance your reputation. 

But if your floors aren’t in mint condition, they’ll create a negative image of your business.

Given the importance of floor aesthetics to the value of your building, you need more than just a casual “eyeball test” to determine whether your surface shines like it should.

In recent years, distinctness of image (DOI) has emerged as the gold standard for assessing floor appearance, either replacing or supplementing traditional metrics such as gloss or haze. As reported in Cleaning & Maintenance Management, visitors “respond favorably to floors that reflect high image and clarity.”

Traditional Measures of Floor Appearance


Gloss refers to the ability of a surface to reflect light, yielding a polished, lustrous appearance. It is determined by using a gloss meter to measure the amount of light reflected off of a surface within a narrow angle range, centered at an equal but opposite angle.

  • If the reflected light is concentrated near the center of the angle range, a crisp image will be reflected.
  • If the light is spread evenly across the angle range, reflected images will appear blurry.
  • This means that two floors can have an equal gloss measurement but vastly different appearances.


Haze refers to a milky halo or bloom that sometimes appears around a reflected image. It can be measured using a haze meter and is often caused by dirt and oil contamination, creating a rough surface. A floor with high haze is considered to be of lower quality.

What Is Distinctness of Image?

DOI is a measure of image clarity, or how crisply and sharply images are reflected by a surface.

If you can see the clear outline of an overhead light bulb, or read the text in a reflected sign, that’s high distinctness of image. A blurry image would be an example of low DOI.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has established industry standards for measuring DOI on a scale of 0 to 100, using a DOI meter, with a score of 100 indicating perfect clarity or distinctness of image.

Beyond Cleanliness: How to Achieve High DOI

Many people assume that just keeping the floor clean is all you have to do to maintain the right appearance. Just clean up spills and run over it with a mop every once in awhile and you’re all set, right?

While cleanliness is undoubtedly important, the overall condition of your floor plays a critical role in achieving high DOI and getting that coveted wow factor from your visitors. No matter how clean your floor is, if it’s full of scratches and dings it won’t shine.

Your best bet is to establish a regular floor maintenance program. Nowadays, you can invest in comprehensive floor maintenance systems like the 3M™ Stone Floor Protection System, which is specifically engineered to produce high DOI, while achieving a high traction surface with low maintenance characteristics, using a carefully designed mix of abrasives, finishes, and burnishing pads.

Ready to shine? Get in touch with us today!

We’ll help you achieve high distinctness of image and welcome your customers with floors that impress.

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