Hardwood Floors: Wax or Urethane?

I have talked to several hardwood floor specialists and there seems to be disagreement as to whether you should wax or urethane them. I was told by one that they never wax, only urethane -- but they can't urethane over existing wax so they'd have to sand and refinish first -- costing about $3000. Wax costs a fraction of that.
I personally do not care for the high gloss, coated look of urethane. Are they out to snooker me? If I get a dog will I want urethane in the event of accidents?
The main reason I'm considering refinishing the whole house is that a portion of the house has to be refinished regardless of this issue -- so ultimately I'd like to see it done right (but on a tight budget).
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crabshell wrote:

Wax offers little protection and is high maintenance. ________________

It comes in other sheens...semi-gloss, matte... _______________________
Another option is oil. Not as protective as urethane, more so than wax. Relatively easy to redo/maintain.
--

dadiOH
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You will be sorry down the road if you use urethane and comes the time to redo. Wax doesn't take a lot of maintenance if you have the right tools, (an electric polisher) is needed. Use a good wax. How often you have to rewax depends on how much traffic there is. I've yet to see a urethane finish that will hold up and look as good as a good wax job.
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On Mon, 29 May 2006 22:57:46 -0500, crabshell

Wax is cheaper, and I like it better, but it's a finish that needs at best yearly maintenance, and depending on the abuse it takes, possibly constant maintenance. Multiple coats of urethane is far more durable.
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I vote wax: I've had a wax finish floor for 25 years in my hall, living, dining and family rooms. The kicker? When a wax finish starts to go, it still looks way better than when a urethane floor starts to deteriorate.

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Urethane won out in the end, particularly when the future dog issue was considered. The urethane I'm using is a commerical grade catalyst type from Italy that costs $100/gal. and I hear it can't be beat. It has a nice satin finish that the floor guy swears by. We'll see...
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