How Long to Wait After Refinishing Wood Floors?

Refinishing wood floors can transform the look and feel of a space, adding beauty and value to your home. However, once the refinishing process is complete, it’s essential to allow sufficient time for the floors to fully cure before resuming regular use.

In this article, we will explore the factors to consider and provide guidelines on how long to wait after refinishing wood floors.

Factors to Consider

Type of Finish

The type of finish applied to the wood floors plays a significant role in determining the waiting time. There are different types of finishes available, such as oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane, and hard wax oil. Each finish has its own characteristics and curing time.

Drying Time

After applying the finish, the wood floors need time to dry. This process involves the evaporation of solvents or water content in the finish, leaving behind a solid protective layer. The drying time varies based on the type of finish used and environmental conditions.

Curing Time

While the floors may feel dry to the touch after the initial drying period, it’s important to note that curing time is different.

Curing refers to the time required for the finish to fully harden and reach its maximum durability. It’s crucial to allow sufficient curing time to prevent premature wear or damage to the newly refinished floors.

Climate and Humidity

The climate and humidity levels in your area can impact the drying and curing time of refinished wood floors.

High humidity can slow down the drying process, while low humidity may cause the finish to dry too quickly, leading to potential issues.

It’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding ideal environmental conditions for the specific finish used.

Traffic and Usage

The amount of foot traffic and usage the floors will endure also affects the waiting time. If the floors are subject to heavy traffic or frequent use, it’s advisable to extend the waiting time to ensure the finish has ample time to harden and provide long-lasting protection.

Recommendations and Guidelines

Based on the factors mentioned above, here are some general recommendations and guidelines for how long to wait after refinishing wood floors:

  • Allow the floors to dry for at least 24 to 48 hours before walking on them with socks or soft shoes.
  • Wait for 3 to 4 days before moving furniture back into the room.
  • Avoid placing rugs or carpets on the newly refinished floors for at least 7 to 14 days.
  • Wait for a minimum of 1 week before cleaning the floors with any type of liquid cleaner.
  • Refrain from dragging heavy objects or using high heels on the floors for at least 2 weeks.

Tips for Maintaining Refinished Wood Floors

To ensure the longevity and beauty of your refinished wood floors, here are some tips for proper maintenance:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Sweep or vacuum the floors regularly to remove dirt and debris. Use a damp mop with a mild wood floor cleaner for deeper cleaning.
  2. Avoid Water Damage: Wipe up spills immediately to prevent water damage. Excessive moisture can penetrate the finish and cause it to peel or discolour.
  3. Protective Pads: Attach felt or rubber pads to the bottom of furniture legs to prevent scratches and dents when moving or rearranging furniture.
  4. Area Rugs: Place area rugs or mats in high-traffic areas or near entryways to minimize wear and tear on the wood floors.
  5. Sun Protection: Use curtains or blinds to protect the floors from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, which can fade and damage the finish over time.


After investing time and effort into refinishing wood floors, it’s crucial to exercise patience and allow sufficient time for the finish to cure.

By considering factors such as the type of finish, drying time, curing time, climate, and usage, you can make informed decisions about how long to wait before fully utilizing the refinished floors.

Following the recommendations and maintenance tips will help preserve the beauty and durability of your wood floors for years to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *