Follow-up Q: I understand that once wax is put on polyurethane floors they have to be stripped to bare wood, if they have to be refinished, but is there any other disadvantage? I like the rich look of wax more than polyurethane.
We have had to refinish our 200 year old wide board pumpkin pine polyurethaned kitchen floors every 4 or 5 years because of the volume of traffic.
Would it not make more sense to protect them with wax from the very beginning so that this won’t be necessary, as often? Also, you mentioned Zinsser Seal Coat that can seal wax so that polyurethane can be reapplied… Did I understand you correctly? Have you actually used the Seal Coat and has it stood up?
A: First, regarding Seal Coat: I didn’t mean to imply that if a floor is finished with wax that Seal Coat will adhere. Where it does come in handy is for old strip floors which, over the years had been waxed, and that wax has gotten between boards and cannot be removed. Applying your typical omu finishes with mineral spirit solvents will likely activate/soften that wax and cause what I would describe as “wax bleed” along the edges of each board.
The idea with a top coat type of finish is that it will give good wear ability and when it comes time to brighten it up, it can be buffed and re coated. However, there is another product I have used on several jobs over the past year which I am quite impressed with. Waterlox. www.waterlox.com
It is a tung oil based penetrating finish that is extremely easy to apply and touch up. It is also #1 if you want to stain your floor. Simply mix 4 parts Waterlox to 1 part stain and apply. No wiping off. Then apply the number of coats of Waterlox after that has dried. I would say their satin is somewhat of a wax look alike. this finish offers decent durability, and excellent moisture resistance. It is also very easy to apply another coat to refresh the finish and take care of the assortment of scratches that will happen with daily use. Buffing is not required for adhesion purposes. I suspect this product may be the perfect solution for you. I totally agree with you that we don’t want to be sanding the floor every so many years.