Which Floor Wax, Polish or Sealant Is Right for the Floors In Your Home?

Updated: Jan. 03, 2024

Don't make the wrong choice! Find the best floor wax, polish, sealant or cleaning solution depending on the type of solid flooring in your home.

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Best for Glazed Tile Floors

Glazed ceramic tiles — those with a hard, non-porous finish — are not intended to be waxed, writes Mickey Crowe of CleanLink. The tiles are already sealed and cannot absorb the wax. Instead, porcelain or other glazed tile floors can be treated every three to six months with a cleaning and shining product like Rejuvenate Floor Restorer, which seals grout and fills in any scratches.

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Best for Terra-Cotta Floors

The natural look of unglazed terra-cotta is a popular choice for many homeowners. But those porous, rustic-looking tiles can stain easily if they’re not properly maintained.

Periodically, terra-cotta tiles need to be sealed with either a matte or high-gloss sealer like Glaze ‘N Seal Clear Olé Mexican Tile Sealer. How often you seal depends on wear and tear and how well the most recent application is holding up, but figure on every three to five years.

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Best for Concrete Floors

Concrete floors are no longer just the bland stuff of warehouses and garages. Today, concrete floors can be stained in a rainbow of colors and polished to create gorgeous, smooth residential floors. Although concrete flooring is sealed when installed, it’s a porous surface that needs to be resealed once a year or so. Use a product like DuraWax Concrete Finish, which can be applied with a mop.

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Best for Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) and Sheet Flooring

Vinyl composition tile (VCT) is a long-standing flooring material that’s no longer the low-quality flooring solution it once was. With industrial and residential uses, VCT and vinyl sheet flooring are tough products that look great and withstand heavy traffic. But they do need to be waxed every six to nine months to keep them from looking dull.

Lundmark All Wax is a top-rated product for vinyl floors, and we love that it’s self-polishing — no buffing required.

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Best for Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has shaken up the flooring industry as a versatile, heavy-duty, affordable alternative to wood and ceramic tile floors. While LVT should not be waxed, it does need to be polished every few months with an acrylic-based polish applied with a micro-fiber cleaning pad. Bona Stone, Tile and Laminate Floor Polish earns high marks from users.

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Best for Wood Laminate Flooring

Two substances to avoid on wood laminate flooring? Water and wax. Cleaning laminate floors with a mop and bucket could allow water to penetrate under and between the laminate surface, causing it to buckle and warp. And because laminate is already shiny, it doesn’t need polish or wax.

It does, however, need to be cleaned regularly with a product made for laminate floors, such as Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner, available at The Home Depot.

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