When Can I Put Furniture On Refinished Hardwood Floors?

Last Update:

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Learn more

furniture on refinished hardwood floors

Having your floors refinished can make a massive difference in the look and feel of your home.

It’s no wonder why you’re in a hurry to put your furniture back.

It’s exciting to see how your old stuff looks with your new floors. Plus, it’s nice to have somewhere to sit and relax- especially after you’ve had to keep your furniture out of the room for days.

But, before you move everything back, you need to make sure your floors can handle it.

If you’re wondering, “when can I put furniture on refinished hardwood floors?” Here’s your answer for the top three most popular finishes.

Key Takeaways:

For water-based top coats, wait 72 hours before putting your furniture back. Depending on the product used, you’ll have to wait up to 30 days for oil-based polys. However, if you’ve used a hard wax oil, you’ll need to wait about a week before returning the furniture to its old position.

How Long Should I Wait Before Putting Furniture on Refinished Hardwood Floors?

refinished hardwood floor

If you’ve had your floors refinished with a water-based top coat, you’ll need to wait at least 72 hours before placing the furniture back on the floors. For oil-based polys, you’ll need to wait 4-30 days, depending on the product used. If you’ve used a hard wax oil, the wait time is up to 7 days before moving furniture in the room.

Pro Tip: Remember, patience is key when dealing with hardwood floor refinishing. Even if the top coat looks dry, there might still be underlying moisture. I’ve found that waiting an extra day or two beyond the manufacturer’s recommended time can really make a difference in maintaining the beautiful finish.

Top 3 Hardwood Floor Finishes 

Putting Furniture on Refinished Floors with Water-Based Polyurethane

Water-based polyurethane is among the top hardwood floor finishes. It’s fast-drying, durable, and easy to clean.

Since water-based poly dries so quickly, you can usually walk on it with socks after 24 hours. However, fully curing takes up to 7 days.

For example, Bona Mega, one of the most popular water-based poly options, takes seven days to cure but is safe for furniture placement after 72 hours. This is the norm for water-based poly.

When you’re ready to bring furniture back in the room avoid scooting it and use felt pads or floor protectors on the legs of the furniture.

To be on the safe side, wait at least three weeks before placing any area rugs back in the room.

Here’s a helpful hint from someone who’s seen it all: Don’t underestimate the importance of felt pads. Place them on the legs of your furniture. This might seem like a minor detail, but it’s been a game-changer for me in preventing scratches and marks. Those little pads can provide extra assurance to keep your refinished floors looking pristine longer.

Putting Furniture on Refinished Floors with Oil-Based Polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane is what has traditionally been used as a wood floor finisher. This top coat is less expensive than its water-based counterpart, is durable, and gives off a slightly warm finish. The one downside is that it has a longer dry time.

The recommendations for placing furniture on oil-based poly are all over the place – anywhere from 4 to 30 days. This is why we recommend asking the contractor who refinished your floors or checking the manufacturer’s websites for specific guidelines.

For example, DuraSeal, a popular oil-based poly, warns users to wait 30 days before replacing furniture and area rugs. In comparison, Rustoleum’s oil-based Varathane Floor Finish recommends waiting three days before normal usage.

Quite a difference.

Bottom line: Wait as long as possible before placing your furniture back in the room. Wait at least 30 days before putting area rugs back.

Putting Furniture on Refinished Floors with Hard Wax Oil

Hard Wax Oils are made of vegetable oils, waxes, and other chemicals. They offer hardwood floors protection while giving them a natural-looking finish.

Most hard wax oils are safe to walk on in socks after 24 hours. However, the time it takes before you can place furniture back depends on the brand. Curing time for hard wax oil is up to 7 days, so you’ll need to check with your contractor or the product manufacturer.

You should wait at least a week before placing an area rug back on the floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I put an area rug on my refinished hardwood floors?

If you’re wondering when you can put an area rug back on your newly refinished hardwood floors, it will depend upon the topcoat you used. For water-based poly, wait at least three weeks. For oil-based poly, wait at least 30 days, and for hard wax oil, you’ll need to wait at least one week.

How long does it take to have hardwood floors refinished?

It usually takes 3-5 days to have floors fully refinished. However, this can vary depending on the products used, who’s doing the job, and the size of the area. If you use a contractor, they’ll be able to give you a time estimate before starting.

Let me share a key piece of advice: During my years of experience, I learnt that climate plays a huge role in the drying and curing process. If you’re living in a humid area, expect the curing time to extend beyond the standard timeline. Similarly, cooler temperatures also tend to slow down the drying process. So, consider the weather conditions when you’re planning to refinish your floors.

How long does it take polyurethane to dry on floors?

It’s important to know that “dry” time and “cure” time are different. Dry time is when it’s safe to add a second coat of poly or safe to walk on the floor in socks. On the other hand, Cure time is when the poly has fully hardened and is safe for regular usage.

Conclusion

If you’ve just had your floors refinished, these guidelines can give you a general sense of when you can put your furniture back. However, since cure times can vary from product to product, you need to consult your contractor or the manufacturer’s website for truly accurate curing times.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

Leave a Comment

3 × 4 =