All of these timelines are dependent on environmental conditions. This is an average only! If your weather is warmer and drier than average then you can speed up the timeline a bit (but not too much). And inversely if it is cooler and more humid you’ll have to wait longer for your floors to be ready.
- Up to 10 Hrs After Coating (Oil Based Finish) and up to 4 Hrs (Water Based Finish) – Floors should NOT be walked on at all and adequate ventilation must be provided to allow the finish to dry properly.
- 12-36 Hrs After Coating (Oil Based Finish) and 3-4 Hrs (Water Based Finish) Floors should be dry to the touch and are safe to walk on in socks or stockings. No shoes!
- 36 hrs After Coating (Oil Based Finish) and 10 Hrs (Water Based Finish) – Floors are safe for light foot traffic with shoes, but high heels and furniture should be avoided if possible.
- 7 Days After Coating (Oil Based Finish) and 48 Hrs (Water Based Finish) – Furniture can be placed back and normal activities can be resumed. However, avoid placing rugs on the floors until 1 month after finishing (Oil Based Finish) and 4 days (Water Based Finish). Also, avoid using vacuums any cleaners, or even mopping the floor during this period. A broom and dust pan will suffice just fine for now.
- After Coating : 1 Month (for Oil Based Finish) and 4-7 days (for Water Based Finish) set your rugs, use your vacuum, mop your floor. Anything goes at this point. The finish has cured enough and is as hard and free of VOC’s as it will ever be.
- Do vacuum and sweep your floor frequently, especially in high-traffic areas.
- Do keep pets’ nails trimmed and their paws free of dirt, gravel, grease, oil, andstains.
- Do use protective window coverings to block fade-causing UV rays andexcessive heat from direct sunlight, and rearrange rugs and furniture periodically to help your floor age evenly.
- Do remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on floor.
- Do use a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and maintain proper relative humidity (between 35% – 55%).
- Do not wet-mop, damp-mop, or clean your floor with water.
- Do not use hardwood floor-cleaning or buffing machines or steam cleaners.
- Do not use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax or other household products containing oil (such as citrus, lemon or tung oil), silicon or ammonia to clean floor.
- Do not use harsh cleaning aids such as steel wool pads, any scouring pads containing metal or scouring powders.
- Do not use 2-in-1 cleaners with polish that may contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss.
Preventing Moisture Problems
Controlling humidity is the most important factor in preventing problems with moisture and your wood floor. The correct maintenance also will go a long way in avoiding problems. Among the key points:
- Clean your wood floor with recommended cleaning product. It is best to buy a “floor care kit” recommended by your wood floor installer or retailer.
- Do not clean your wood floors with water or water based products on a regular schedule — clean ONLY when necessary and clean only the soiled areas.
- Never damp mop a wood floor. The water deteriorates the wood and the finish.
- Never let a water spill dry on the floor.