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Finishing Hardwood Floors

The best choices for high-traffic areas

Ask This Old House Crew
Photo by Matt Kalinowski
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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