How Soon Can I Walk on My New Floor?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is how soon can the homeowner walk on their new floor. This will depend on a few factors – what type of material will be installed and the installation method being used. In this blog post, we will provide a general timeline for how long you should wait before walking on your new prefinished wood flooring or site finished wood flooring. We will also discuss vinyl and hybrid floors so you can have all the information you need.

Solid vs Engineered wood floors

Salcombe Natural Oak Engineered Flooring
Salcombe Natural

Solid wood flooring

Solid wood floors need time to acclimate to the new environment as they are more susceptible to changes in humidity. For this reason, you should wait a couple of days more after installation before walking on the surface.

Engineered wood flooring

Engineered wood floors come mostly pre-finished and are much less sensitive to environmental factors so they can handle foot traffic much sooner. Typically, you can walk on an engineered prefinished floor after 24 hours, depending on the installation method used.

Prefinished vs Unfinished wood floors

Berkeley Grey Oak and Goodrich Haze Oak

Prefinished wood flooring

With its factory curing, prefinished wood floors are ready to step on the moment they’re installed. Despite this convenience, it is still important to be patient and wait 12-24 hours before walking on or moving furniture into the room. Doing so ensures that the glue has settled properly: an essential requirement for a long-lasting floor!

Unfinished wood flooring

Unfinished wood floors need to be sanded and finished on-site and the time to walk on your new floor will depend on the finish used.

Urethane finishes vs Oiled finishes on site finished floors

Engineered wood floor harlech raw oak in a new construction featured in the new york times
Harlech Raw Oak

Urethane wood flooring

The polyurethane finish dries much faster than oiled finishes, so you can expect to be walking on your new living space in only 4-6 hours after it has been applied. While this is great for convenience and speed, do keep in mind that the floor needs time to cure before any furniture or heavy items can be moved into the area – at least one week should suffice.

Oiled wood flooring

For an oiled finish, you must be patient and allow extra drying time. The oil penetrates the wood grain deeply so it is important to wait 48 hours before walking on your newly finished floors. After 10 days have passed, the finish will have fully cured allowing you to move furniture in without worry of damage or staining.

Wood floors with lock-in system

These floating floors don’t need any adhesive to be laid, allowing you the flexibility of walking on them right away after they’ve been set in place.

Vinyl and hybrid floors

Hybrid wood floor in an open plan house
Lynton Natural

Vinyl and hybrid floors are a totally different thing. Woodpecker’s Brecon (vinyl) and Lynton (hybrid) collections both feature a click-lock system along with an integrated underlay, making them perfect for floating installation — no need to use glue! This means you can enjoy the new vinyl or hybrid floor in your home immediately after putting it down.

In conclusion, it is important to consider the different factors that will determine how soon you are able to walk on your new floor. These factors include the type of material that was used, whether a sealant has been applied, and the environmental conditions of where it is being installed. All of this information should be discussed prior to having the floor installed so you know exactly when the floor can be walked on and enjoyed. If you have any questions or uncertainties don’t hesitate in contacting us. At Woodpecker we demystify the process of buying a new floor. With careful consideration and our assistance, your dream floor can easily become reality.