Q: How do I know what type of polish to use on my wood floors?
A: Most wood floors installed over the last 30 years will have a either a polyurethane finish or a sealer/wax finish. You need to choose a product specifically designed for the finish in question to avoid ugly, waxy buildup on your floor. To determine the existing finish of your floor, examine the surface closely in a sparsely trafficked area. You should be able to feel the woodgrain texture of the floor if it’s been finished with a penetrating sealer/wax. A polyurethane finish will have a hard surface film and feel smooth. A thumb print will show on a waxed floor, and a drop of ammonia will discolor it (unlike polyurethane). Once you identify your type of floor finish, buy a matching product from a reputable manufacturer and follow the application instructions on the package.