The author has not been compensated

The author has not been compensated monetarily, with discounts or freebies, for any products mentioned in this article. An old wood floor's imperfections are part of its charm.

To provide the best protection for your floor, try applying heavier coats of sealer in high traffic areas such as thresholds, hallways, and well-traveled paths. Urethane sealers take two hours to dry to a tacky finish so another coat can be applied, and up to three days for a hard, scuff-resistant finish. Prepare to leave the house or apartment for a full day once finished.

A semi-gloss will give you an oil-finish look. Best of all, it is water-based for quick and easy clean-up with plain soap and water. This is the final step before sealing the floor and you should do it whether or not you've applied a stain.

A quart of mineral spirits will clean 500 to 800 square feet of floor. This is not the time to rush your job! The rag and brush should last, without replacement, for the entire surface of the floor.

The water based stain isn't a true stain. Stains come in two basic formulations. Choose a stain that will complement your décor.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO STAIN YOUR FLOOR. Simply use clear cool water and rinse the mop quite often. You can also detach the squeegee and extra hosing to get into the corners where dust accumulates.

It's also about getting the floor smooth and level again. Once you've done the entire floor to the same depth, move up to a higher grit ending with 80 or 100 just before staining or sealing. Start with 36 grit for normal wear and tear sanding or with 20 grit for deep stains and or burns.

Regardless of sander type, you'll want to start with a very coarse grit (20 or 36) sandpaper and work up to finer grit.