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
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).
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.
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
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.
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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