Quick Answer

Frequent Question Are floor refinishing fumes harmful?

Many common products used to refinish wood flooring contain harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. The off-gassing from these chemicals pose a variety of long-term and short-term health effects—from headaches and nausea to damage to the liver, kidneys and the central nervous system.

Can you sleep in your house after staining floors?

It is a terrible idea to sleep or stay in a house after staining floors. The stain fumes are often overwhelming and highly toxic. In addition, exposure to such a stinky smell for long periods of time can trigger severe breathing problems and other health issues to both humans and pets.

How long do you have to stay off wood floors after refinishing?

How long do I have to wait to use my room after my floors are refinished? We recommend waiting 6 hours before walking on your new floors in socks. After 24 hours you can walk through with shoes on. Allow 48 hours before setting furniture and returning pets.

Is refinishing floors loud?

#2 It can get loud

You and your family might be able to live around the hardwood floor mechanics while they do their work. However, all the equipment that they use can get quite loud. Instead of making your hearing suffer, you could be on a vacation with your family while the professionals go to work on your floor.

Is it safe to breathe polyurethane?

When not fully cured, Polyurethane fumes have several side effects such as asthma and difficulty breathing for people with respiratory conditions. The polyurethane fumes can also cause irritation of the eye, nose and throat
shortness of breath and dizziness.

How long do VOCs last after staining?

While these oil-based products can off-gas for months or years, the most severe off-gassing occurs in the first few days after application. For a greener alternative to traditional floor finishes, stick to water-based products, which contain around 50 to 250 grams of VOCs per liter.

How long does it take for polyurethane fumes to dissipate?

How long are polyurethane fumes toxic? The toxic smell of polyurethane takes about five to seven days to decrease. However, you’ll still notice a bit of the odor here and there for about three weeks in the case of water-based polyurethane and four weeks for oil-based poly.

Are wood stain fumes harmful?

If you inhale wood stains, you are bound to experience respiratory issues such as difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness, headaches, confusion, or even collapsing. Prolonged exposure to these toxic fumes could result in brain damage or even death.

How long after polyurethane can you walk on floors?

Water, and essentially all liquids, can also damage your new floors. Thus, it’s best to wait until all coats have been applied and dried before walking through the room. After that final coat, your floors should be off-limits for 24 hours. This is the only way to avoid any damage.

Do floor refinishers move your furniture?

Furniture should be removed if all floors in a house must be refinished. Moving the furniture from room to room is difficult and time-consuming. Instead, removing the furniture from the house requires only two moves, instead of constant shifting throughout the refinishing process.

How do you get the smell out of hardwood floors after refinishing?

Turn up the heat while opening windows across the house. Put in fans in windows/doors blowing in the house on one or two sides. Just don’t put fans blowing in all windows so air has an easier chance of escaping. It would be better to open all windows partially than two windows fully.

How long does it take for refinished floors to cure?

It takes a full 30 days for the floors to cure, so it’s ideal to wait 30 days before putting area rugs on the surface. If you want to put area rugs back sooner, than 2 weeks is another good benchmark.

Should I refinish my hardwood floors before moving in?

If you’ve lived in your home for a long time or weren’t able to refinish the floors before moving in, you’ll want to be sure that refinishing is the right route. Moving all of your earthly possessions out and then back into the rooms that need attention is no walk in the park!

Does sanding floors make a mess?

Do expect dust

Yes, when you are sanding the floors, dust is created. That is just part of the process and there is no way around it. However, there are some ways to minimize it. We always put plastic around the areas not being done, and our machines are good at collecting a lot of the dust.

What is the best time of year to refinish hardwood floors?

If I had to pick an ideal time, I would say spring or fall when the indoor temperature is most consistent with outdoor temperature and it’s often easy to open the windows (after the work is complete) to help air out the smell faster. But, really, sanding and refinishing hardwood can take place any time of year.

Is it safe to use polyurethane indoors?

Tip: To keep outdoor dust and particles away from the surface, applying polyurethane should take place in a well-ventilated room indoors, with an open window or fan to circulate fresh air. This also helps clear the fumes of oil-based polyurethane.

Can polyurethane fumes make you sick?

When left uncured, polyurethane can cause asthma and other breathing problems. Those who spend time in rooms that have uncured polyurethane floor treatments may also experience health issues like throat and eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, headaches, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Is polyurethane cancerous?

Urethane is a PROBABLE CARCINOGEN in humans. There is evidence that it causes lung, liver, blood, and other cancers in animals.

Is it safe to use stain indoors?

These fumes have a harsh smell that can be irritating. But this isn’t the only way wood stain fumes impact our health. Along with degrading indoor air quality, they can potentially cause: Breathing issues.

Is it safe to stain wood inside?

When staining indoor wood furniture, shelving or other interior pieces, you’ll typically apply the stain with a brush or cloth, let it penetrate the wood (without drying) and then wipe off the excess. With some stains, you can darken the color with a second coat after several hours.

Is it toxic to refinish hardwood floors?

The solvents in varnish are extremely pungent, and the fumes can cause drowsiness, headaches, skin irritation and dizziness. At high concentrations, a person may become unconscious, suffer respiratory distress and may even develop pulmonary edema.

Can you sleep in house after oil based polyurethane?

We recommend a minimum of 2 days of socks-only traffic for floors finished with oil polyurethane. The house is not inhabitable for a minimum of 2 days after the job is completed, and better to stay out for at least 5 as the fumes/off-gassing is not advisable to breathe in, even if there are other rooms to sleep in.

How do you get polyurethane smell out of your house?

Place several bowls in the affected room and fill them with water. Put half an onion in each dish, with the cut side facing up. Onions are one of the best natural ways to absorb unwanted smells. If you are gone for a few days, replace the onions with fresh ones each day.

Is stain smell harmful to dogs?

The biggest danger of paint fumes for pets is lung inflammation. If your pet’s immune system is weak and the fumes are strong, the animal may develop pneumonia. The fumes from the solvents can irritate their respiratory system, and most often it begins with coughing or hacking.

What happens if you breathe in stain fumes?

Burns in the airway or gastrointestinal tract can lead to tissue necrosis, resulting in infection, shock and death, even several months after the substance was first swallowed. Scars may form in these tissues leading to long-term difficulties with breathing, swallowing, and digestion.

How do you ventilate when staining?

Prevent strong wood stain smells by staining wood outdoors whenever possible. Ventilate rooms by opening windows and turning on exhaust fans if you cannot stain outside. When selecting stain, use only stains that do not contain volatile organic chemical (VOCs) to reduce the risk of exposure to toxins and strong odors.

Is two coats of polyurethane enough on hardwood floors?

We recommend at least 2 coats of oil based polyurethane + a lacquer sealer coat as a minimum for hardwood flooring. Extra coats = extra protection, but only one coat of oil based polyurethane may be applied per day, as it needs 24 hours to dry before applying another coat.