How long do I need to keep rugs off of my new wood floors?

Posted by Aaron Schaalma

One of the most frequently asked questions that we get is "how long do I need to wait after my floors been refinished before I can put my rugs back down?  This is a great question and we trust that the following information will help answer this question for you. So, whether you've had a new floor installed, or had your existing floors refinished, these general rules will apply and depend mostly on the type of finish you have on your floors.

Film finishes & Penetrating or hard-wax oil finishes

With film and penetrating or hard-wax finishes, you will need to wait seven days before you place your rugs back on your hardwood floors. You may be thinking that seven days seems like a long time, after all, the finish is already dry. However, let's take a look at what's really going on during the waiting period. The reason for waiting seven days to put your rugs back in place is that both film and hard-wax finishes need air to cure (this is different from drying). Putting your rugs back down early will lock the moisture into the finish, preventing it from hardening, and can have some undesirable results. The excess moisture and soft finish can cause cupping in the wood. Cupping is caused by excessive moisture levels, which makes the wood swell and crushes the boards together and deforms the edges. Not only this, but if you ever decide to rearrange a space and move your rug, now you have an area of the floor that is unprotected and will not hold up to normal wear as well as the rest of the floor. This is why we, and manufacturers, recommend waiting seven days for film water-based or hard-wax finishes to cure before putting your rugs back in place.

UV Cured finish

This is a unique product and as such carries with it some very desirable characteristics. Unlike film finishes that take seven days to cure, UV finish is cured instantly! What this means for you is that there is no waiting period before you put your rugs back down. More than that, you can also move your furniture back in same day and experience no delay in getting back to your normal day to day activities. This process is achieved through both the UV finish and curing process. Whereas film finishes require oxygen and time to be fully cured,  UV curing uses concentrated doses of UV light that causes the special UV finish to react and be fully cured within minutes. This allows you instant access to the floor with no restrictions for furniture or rugs before you place them back on your hardwood floors. It's almost like magic. Hopefully now you know how long you should keep your rugs off your wood floors after having them refinished. However, maybe you are wondering what types of rugs are safe for your new hardwood. Not to worry, we've got you covered there too. Go check out this article that we wrote about what rugs are safest for your hardwood floors.