How Soon You Can Walk on Newly Installed Floors

How Soon You Can Walk on Newly Installed Floors

February 21, 2022  |  Carpet, floor maintainence, hardwood floors, Laminate, Tile
A woman and kid taking a picture on the floor

New floors are a wise investment for any home. They increase the resell value of the entire property and add a visual appeal that only floors cannot match. 

New floors need some time to set in place after they have been installed. But how long should you wait until you can walk on your new floors? 

The answer depends on the type of floor and the materials used.  

In this post, we will go over how long you need to wait to use your new floors based on the type of floor installed.  

Hardwood Floors 

Hardwood floors are thought to be the most finicky type of flooring. They need time to set, expand and contract from temperature and moisture, and are often covered with a sealant.  

In general, you must wait at least one day to walk on new hardwood with socks.  

Here are some quick facts: 

  • Keep pets off new hardwood for at least two days. 

  • Keep furniture off for at least one week.  

  • The amount of time you must wait depends on the finish used. Most finishes applied by pros need a few days before you can walk on them. However, it varies. For example, water-based polyurethane dries quickly and can be walked on after a few hours. Oil-based polyurethane will take several days.  

  • Climate also decides how much time you must let your hardwood sit. Wood will need to expand and contract for a few days to get used to the temperature of your home. Walking on your floors too soon will cause gaps to appear between the boards. 

  • The type of wood you use also decides how long it will take to walk on. Look up how long your wood type needs to settle. Engineered hardwood is designed to resist warping from temperature so you only need to wait a day. Natural products will take longer.  

Many factors decide how long your hardwood needs. It is usually best to wait at least a week before relying on your new hardwood floors for heavy use.  


Carpeting typically needs 24 hours to set before it can be walked on.  

You need to wait for the adhesive to set and dry evenly or else too much footfall can cause the carpet to sit unevenly. 

Wait at least two days before adding furniture.  

Laminate Floors 

As a rule of thumb, you should wait 24 hours after installation before walking on fresh laminate floors.  

Laminate needs to cure, and glue needs to be set before it can be used. This process takes at least 12 hours, but you should wait one day to be sure.  

You need to allow your flooring to sit in your house for at least three days before installation to ensure the laminate has adjusted to the indoor climate before installation.  


Tile is one of the most nuanced types of flooring. You need to wait three days after installation for grout and adhesive to dry. 

Moisture can easily get under the tiles if the sealant is ruined. This will cause tiles to be uneven and they will shortly need to be replaced.  

Tiles without a sealant need three days to one week to dry. Sealant (if used) needs to dry and cure on its own timeline. This is typically upwards of one week.  

Take Your Time with New Floors 

The last thing you want is to install new floors then have them ruined by using them before they are ready.  

Make sure you know exactly how long to wait before walking on your new floors and stick to that timeline. Children and animals can easily break this timeline by accident, so ensure you are keeping them away from new floors entirely.  

If you are looking for the best flooring options in the Cincinnati area, look no further than A Step Above Flooring. We offer the widest variety of flooring at a price that will make you and your wallet happy.