Q: We recently bought and renovated our first house. We had the hardwood floors refinished using polyurethane stain. It has been about 11/2 weeks since the floors have been finished they are all dry and our furniture is moved in. I am 8 months pregnant and concerned with the lingering smell from the floors. How long is the polyurethane considered toxic for?
Is it safe to be living there even though the floors still have an odour?
A: Oil modified polyurethane’s can take up to 3 weeks to fully cure. Having said that, if drying conditions are good, then within the first 5 days or so, the finish is already near 90% cured and any off gassing over the next few weeks is very minute and undetectable to most persons. I am curious. Have you had carpeting or any other such product installed in your house during this time? I ask because I had a similar complaint from one customer I stained a floor for, and when I went to check, it turned out the smell was from new carpet on the steps and not from the polyurethane finish at all.