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How long do you have to stay off refinished hardwood floors

Have you every had prefinished hardwood floors installed in your house? Perhaps you did or perhaps you're looking to install brand new floors? 

One of the most common questions to ask is "How long does it take to refinish hardwood flooring?" This is a great questions to ask because you are planning ahead.

When it comes to prefinished floors, there are 2 types of Polyurethane to really play with:

- Oil based Polyurethane
- Water based polyurethane.

Just like with anything, oil based substances (polyurethanes) take more time time to dry as compared to water based polyurethanes.

Actually, a lot of professionals in the hardwood floors industry recommend the oil based polyurethane. Mainly because the look is much better and believe it or not, it does cost less.

The time it would take for oil based Polyurethane to dry is about a week. Of course several factors are involved including:

- How many layers of polyurethane you use
- How humid or dry your surroundings are. 

A common Oil based Polyurethane (without extras, just the 3 coats of Polyurethane) will usually takes about 5 days.

Also, if you live in dry, wet or hot areas, it will take less. Please allow at least 24 hours to dry.

The color of the stain also does make a difference. The darker color takes longer to dry as opposed to a lighter color. For example, a darker color takes 36 or even 48 hours for the stain to dry.

The larger service area is also an important factor. If you are planning to install prefinished hardwood floors in your whole house, it will take 2 additional days.

It's important to understand that the information above is not set in stone for all factors. It is a general timeline. As mentioned, the weather plays a big part. If you live in an area where it is cold and wet.

Also, several other factors include:

- The type of wood (Maple oftentimes take much longer to dry)
- Other work that's involved such as replacing carpet or replacing old hardwood floors.

Just to clarify, after you've refinished your new hardwood flooring, it's important that you wait before touching or walking on them. I would recommend 24-48 hours. When your new hardwood floors dry up, consider wearing socks for the next week.

Many Customers ask how long can I move furniture back. It is recommended to wait at least 4 days.

Lastly, if you have pets, you may want to consider keeping them away from your new floors for at least 3 weeks. If it is not possible, you may want to consider getting them pet socks (for dogs, if you have dogs, or cats, if you have a cat).

You want your prefinished hardwood floors to breath. It's best not to have anything on them (including large and small area rugs) for about a month.

It is very important to always plan ahead.

In Conclusion, it typically takes 24 hours after the outer layer is applied. Also, consider wearing socks for the next 48-72 hours. Shoes or bare feet is certainly not recommended.

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