Q: After sanding and staining the wood floors in our living room, dining room, and kitchen, what is the best sealer to use? They are high-traffic areas. Which is the most durable and will look the best after several years of use?

— John, Normal, Illinois

A: Tom Silva replies: Whether water- or oil-based, a high-gloss finish is the hardest around. Some people don't like the wet look of high gloss, so I recommend using two coats of high-gloss and a third of semi-gloss or satin. If you like the wet look, do all three with high gloss. It's also a good idea to protect high-traffic spots with an area rug.

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