wax or polyurethane!

We need to refinish the hardwood floors. The sanding has been done. I am wondering about using wax instead of polyurethane for the following reasons. One can redo a high traffic area and other problematic areas easily by applying wax and buffing instead of redoing the whole floor with polyurethane. It seems that it will require more regular maintaince with wax, but it is less disruptive than getting all the furniture out every 7 years to redo the whole floor. Besides, wax looks nice. So, my requests are: a) Opinions pro and contra wax. b) What kind of wax? c) Stain the floor first or apply the wax to unstained wood? If stain is desirable, what stain? Minwax Woodsheen? d) Where do you get wax? It seems that Johnson paste wax is not made anymore.
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willem asks:

floors wear enough using poly to require finishing every 7 years, forget wax as a finish.

Charlie Self "To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was tautology." Mark Twain's Notebook
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Wax offers no protection. You will be redoing the wax daily if you walk on the floor. Wax is only going to make the floor shine until it gets walked on.
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Leon responds:

A little longer than that, if done right. We only had to wax our barracks floors once a week, and they shined all the way through until next time.
Charlie Self "To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was tautology." Mark Twain's Notebook
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Yeah... probably longer than than.. Ha. When I was the service sales manager for an Olds dealership our clean up crew decided to work one weekend putting down red wax on our red concrete floor. Looked great, even up close after you fell down. It and a little oil or water and it was like stepping on ice. The following weekend the crew worked the surface over with kitty liter to remove all that wax.. ;~).

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That is an easy one. I'll just give you the facts and you can take it from there.
On a protection scale of 1 to 10 you are talking the extreme ends for commonly available finishes.
Wax protection = 0 (yes, I know that is less then 1) ALL waxes. Poly protection = 10 (well, maybe 8 1/2 - 9)
Of course you could consider a curing oil, linseed, tung, or Danish. I wouldn't, but, then again, it isn't my floor.
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Mike G.
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Mike G responds:

Let's hope the OP listens. Getting wax up off a bare wood floor to do a real finish job will not be fun.
Anyone got any info on what finishes are best these days for floors? I checked this out for an article something like 4 years ago, and it was still the solvent based polys. Water-based hadn't quite reached the abrasion resistance. Has that changed?
Charlie Self "To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was tautology." Mark Twain's Notebook
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See the current "Popular Woodworking" for a fairly informed discussion of what was is, and is not, good for.
For a floor, you *really* want something highly protective down _first_. a good alkyd varnish, or gloss polyurethane (gloss is harder than the less shiny variants).
*THEN* you put wax on. What kind? "Floor wax" aka "wax for wood floors".
Johnsons paste wax is still available in the U.S., unavailable in Canada, however. Look for something with "Carnuba" wax -- it's the hardest variety.
Sears used to sell a good _liquid_ floor wax -- we used it regularly on a finished concrete floor. I'd tend to be somewhat hesitant to use liquid preparations on wood floors, unless I was sure there was a _good_ seal-coat don first.
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