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Floor Finishes: Sorting Through the Options by Patricia Poore and Clem Labine Modern floor finishes that are consistently sold today usually are recommended with all good intentions. But old floors—mellowed, patinaed, and previously refinished— demand special consideration, as much for practical as for aesthetic reasons. There is no "best" finish for an old floor, but your options are fairly clear. Two facts emerged while we researched this article: 1) Polyurethane, while it has its place and can be a useful, practical material, is definitely not the long-awaited maintenance-free finish. 2) Some of the "old-fashioned" finishes are remarkably versatile. Application Chances for success using any finish are improved by applying it to a squeaky-clean surface according to the manufacturer's explicit instructions, and in as dust-free an environment as