Floor Refinishing and Occupancy: Can You Stay in Your House?

If you’re considering having your floors refinished, you may be wondering if it’s possible to stay in your house during the process.

The good news is that in most cases, it is possible to remain in your home while your floors are being refinished. However, there are a few factors to consider before making the decision to stay in your house during work.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the refinishing process and offer tips for staying in your home during work.

Can I stay in My House During Refinishing the Floor?

In most cases, it is possible to stay in your house while your floors are being refinished. However, there are a few factors to consider before making the decision to remain in your home during the refinishing process.

We do not recommend you stay in your house while the floors are refinished. It’s very important to give at least 2-3 days for the floors to dry out. Moreover, the chemicals used to refinish your floors release fumes that are not healthy for you. Hence, staying at your house while the floors are being refinished is not safe.

Overall, whether you can stay in your house while your floors are being refinished will depend on the specifics of your situation and the recommendations of the refinishing company.

It is important to discuss your options with the company and to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of remaining in your home during the refinishing process.

To have a healthy life you need to know as much as you can. While refinishing your floors can be immensely satisfying it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful enough. So let’s get right into it. 

Is the Floor Refinishing Fumes Harmful to Your Health?

To refinish your floors, professionals use certain chemicals. These chemicals are extremely powerful as they literally make your old and rusted floors look good as new. These chemicals contain toxic elements which are highly toxic and are dangerous to our health. 

Floor refinishing fumes are very harmful to our health. The compounds that these fumes contain are highly toxic to all living beings. These fumes can cause health issues including migraines. Especially for infants, these chemicals are very dangerous. 

You will notice the people refinishing your floors always have gas masks on. This is to stay safe and healthy. In some cases, people who have been exposed to these fumes for a long time have faced issues with their liver and kidneys. 

Should You Stay in Your House While the Floors Are Being Refinished?

The short answer is no. You shouldn’t stay in your house while it’s being refinished because of a few things. Pretty much all of them are because of your health. Let’s have a look at what those reasons are: 

Toxic fumes

As we’ve talked about earlier, the toxic fumes that are released while your floors are being worked on are very harmful to your health. If you stay in your house and inhale these fumes you will face a lot of discomforts. Migraines are the biggest part of it all. 

The scent 

There’s a strong scent that stays for a few days after the floors are refinished. The scent is even stronger while the work is being done. This scent can be very uncomfortable and will cause you headaches if you inhale it for too long. If you have problems with migraine, this scent can cause you a lot of problems with that. 

You cant keep any furniture 

A very important part of refinishing your floors is clearing out your house. This means all of your furniture is either moved to a different location or in a room that’s not being worked on. For this reason, your whole house looks very messy and is tough to live in. 

You can damage the floor work 

It usually takes a day or two for the process of refinishing to finish. The floors are generally messy and wet and the chemicals are setting in. If you walk over the floors during this process you can damage the floor work. Because of this, it’s recommended to let the floor dry out for at least 2 days. 

Dust allergies 

Dust is usually everywhere during any sort of housework. If you are allergic to dust, it will cause you a lot of problems. While floors are being refinished, the whole house tends to get very messy and dusty, and it’s not a problem you can solve. 

In short, staying in your house while the floors are being refinished is not a good idea. It’s harmful to your health and can also damage the newly worked floors. 

How Long Do You Have To Wait for the Refinished Floors To Cure?

So, now that you know it’s not safe to stay in the house while the floors are being refinished, you might be asking how long you have to wait. Usually, it takes some time for the chemicals and the process to set. For the best results, it’s very important that you don’t try to rush it. 

It takes around 24-48 hours for the refinished floors to cure. However, it is recommended you give it around 48 hours for the best results. Usually, the first 24 hours are for the process to sit but the next 24 hours are for the toxic fumes to air out. So, to avoid any health risks and to get the best out of the process you should wait at least 2 days for the floors to cure. 

As tough as it is patience is the most important thing here. But with these things you have to be smart. 

How To Clean Out the Toxic Fumes After Refinishing the Floors?

Now it’s time to learn how you get rid of those toxic fumes that are so harmful to your health. Sometimes the toxic fumes don’t completely go away even after the curing process is done. So the most important thing to do in this case is to air out the floor before using it. Let’s have a look at how you can do that: 


Keep all windows and doors open for some time. The air usually gets dusty and toxic after the refinishing process. Giving the floors fresh air is very important in this case. 

Turn the fans on:

Turning on the fans of your house can help you clean out the toxic air more quickly. Try to make the airflow of your house as effective as you can. 

Using an air purifier:

Using an air purifier is the healthiest route to take. Air purifiers are excellent at making the air inside your house healthier. They are also known to clean out the air from their toxic compounds. For this reason, using an air purifier can help you clean out the area very easily. 

Make sure you have active air circulation:

Make sure the air in your house has a way out of it. If the air just stays inside even an air purifier won’t help. Keep the windows open at all times and don’t forget to give them enough time. 

How Long Might It Take for the Smell To Go Away?

Probably the biggest complaint homeowners tend to have with floor refinishing is the smell. The smell takes up to 7 days to go away after the process. The smell is generally that harmful to your health. However, it can cause minor headaches from time to time as it isn’t a nice smell to breathe in. 

In some cases, the smell stays for a much longer time due to the lack of ventilation. If you don’t properly air out the area the smell will stay in for a longer time along with the toxic fumes. Give the area around 5-7 days with proper air circulation and the smell should disappear completely. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. How long do you have to put furniture on the refinished floors? 

You should wait at least 4 days before you move any furniture on the refinished floors. 

Q. How long do the toxic fumes last? 

The toxic fumes can last up to 5 days unless the air is properly filtered. 

Q. Are floor stain fumes toxic? 

Yes, floor stain fumes are toxic. 

Q. Can the smell of refinished floors cause migraines? 

Yes, the smell is strong enough to cause migraines. 


Refinishing your floors can be one of the best things as a homeowner. But just like any other home improvement work, refinishing your floors can also be harmful to your health if you’re not careful. But now you know how to tackle that! 

I hope you learned something new today and I hope it helps you out in the future. That’s it for me until next time have a good one!