Q: We have just moved into a house that was built in the 1940s. Underneath the old carpet we discovered hardwood floors that are in wonderful shape except for a bit of old wax. We don't want to sand them down, if possible. Is there a way to remove the layer of wax on the floors? Thank you for your time.

— Bobby, Floydada, Texas

A: Tom Silva replies: There are lots of wax removers out, there but before you reach for one you'll need to determine what kind of finish is on your floor. Then look for a product made especially for your type of flooring. The gentler the product you can get away with, the better — for both you and your floor.

You might also want to consider screening your floor. This means calling up your local floor refinisher, who will use a buffer with a sanding screen — thus the name of the process — to skim off the floor's finish, removing the wax along with it. Then he'll urethane the floors and they'll be good as new. I do this in my kitchen every three years.

Whatever option you choose, you definitely should put some kind of finish down on your floors to protect them from the wear and tear of daily life.

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