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I'm renting a place that has some exposed, faded, old wood floors. I want to do what I can to protect it from any further and perhaps spruce it up and make it look good in the process. I know that I can't do that fully without refinishing it but in the mean time, what can I do to add some nice color and protection to these floors?

I went over to Home Depot and they suggested I rent out a buffer and some rub on floor wax. Any other options besides resorting to big machinery?

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How about one or two well placed rugs? Yes they will hide the floor (somewhat), but they will protect the areas they cover. Then when you are ready to restore the wood floors to their former glory, you can simple take them up. You might well find you like the rugs, and end up putting them back down after restoration of the floors. –  Mike Perry Jul 6 '11 at 17:25
    
I am living with someone who has pretty bad allergies to dust so I'd like not to go with rugs if possible. –  Otra Jul 6 '11 at 17:31

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I've seen kits of cleaner/refinishers - I have no idea how good they are, but for $20-$30 they might be worth trying before bringing out the heavy machinery.

A quick search came up with this - I'm sure your local big-box will have something similar.

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Thanks, I'll look into it. –  Otra Jul 6 '11 at 17:50

Wood floors can look great beat up. I say don't worry about it. It's patina.

The great thing about real wood floors is the landlord can always refinish them when you move out.

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