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can you sleep in house after water based polyurethane

Can You Sleep in the House After Polyurethane? [Must Know!!]

For proper maintenance of the house, it is essential to coat your wood floors. But have you wondered, can we sleep in the house after polyurethane is done?

It is never recommended to sleep in the house after applying polyurethane. Sleeping in that house comes with health hazards due to its toxicity. The wood sealant contains VOCs and isocyanates, which harm humans and animals once they inhale them. 

It is better not to take risks with your life. It is advised not to sleep in that house for at least 2 days.

After Using Water-based Polyurethane?

Water-based polyurethane is a thin solution with clear color. You can sleep in your house as water-based polyurethane does not contain any harmful VOCs. it is less flammable with no strong odors and fumes.

Another important feature of it is that it dries faster. Within 2 hours, your floor will be ready for another coating. It is a safer option to choose but not durable. It is more expensive than oil-based polyurethane.

After Using Oil-based Polyurethane?

Oil-based polyurethane is less expensive and quite affordable. But you cannot sleep in the house after applying it. It emits a strong odor and some toxic fumes that harm humans.

Oil-based polyurethane is much more durable than compared to water-based. But the high level of VOCs present is more dangerous to health. It takes 5 hours to dry the first coat. 

It is better to find a place for a week till this work gets over at your house. You can open the windows and keep them well-ventilated to eliminate the strong smell. 

Is it safe to sleep in the house after polyurethane?

It is not safe to sleep in the house after polyurethane is applied. Polyurethane is said to be the most dangerous among all the coating and paints. It carries some chemical compounds which are toxic and harmful to both human beings as well as animals.

It can provoke the asthma problem. That’s why staying away from the house is recommended until it is fully coated. 

Can polyurethane fumes be harmful? How long does it last?

Polyurethane fumes are toxic to humans and animals. This product is made with a petrochemical resin comprising of isocyanates which are respiratory toxins. 

People suffering from respiratory disease should avoid such paints and coatings.

It is advised to sleep after 2-3 days in your house. So that you do not inhale bad toxins while you sleep. 

What can happen if you inhale polyurethane? What makes it toxic?

Polyurethane is the most dangerous of all the market paints and coatings. Volatile organic compounds present in it make it harmful. They are spread in the air by gas and hamper health by causing problems like nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, or even difficulty breathing. 

Another toxic compound is Isocyanates. This is the substance that affects the animal’s health badly. Inhaling these unhealthy fumes can give rise to eyes, nasal, throat, and skin irritation.

Problems like kidney and liver damage, asthma, and damage to the brain and bone marrow are some symptoms. 

 Did you know? :Polyurethane can cause cancer in animals.

How Long Does Polyurethane Take to Dry and Cure?

is polyurethane toxic when dry
Polyurethane coating

Polyurethane takes 2 to 24 hours to dry completely. It gets cured in 30 days. Water-based polyurethane dries faster, which is about 2 hours. Whereas oil-based polyurethane needs time to get dry. It takes about 8 hours a day to dry completely. 

It is safe to avoid sleeping in your house while the coating work is still on.

How long should you stay out of the house after the polyurethane?

After the polyurethane, stay away for at least 2 to 3 days. It is safe to avoid inhaling harmful chemicals. 

Also, wear socks when you enter your house. The floor is freshly coated

How can you get rid of polyurethane smell fast?

There are a few ways you can use to get rid of the smell of polyurethane fast. 

  • Ventilate
  • Open windows
  • Use Fans
  • Filter out toxins using an air purifier
  • Turn up the heat
  • Absorb the stinky odors
  • Use onion and lemon slices in bowls of water
  • Use baking soda and activated charcoal

How long does water-based polyurethane take to off gas?

It is a process where polyurethane mixes with oxygen during the drying procedure. The water-based polyurethane takes 24 hours to off gas. 

Polyurethane emits strong toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. It has a strong smell. After 24 hours, the odor gets less since the coat dries away fast. 


Is polyurethane toxic after it dries?

Polyurethane is only toxic-free when it dries completely. It is most harmful while applying and in the process of drying. You will hardly get the smell in the air when it dries. 

It becomes safe after it dries fully.

How long do polyurethane fumes last?

Polyurethane fumes can last longer depending on the type of polyurethane used. 

Water-based polyurethane has fumes for 21 days. Whereas oil-based polyurethane smell can take around 30 days to clear. 

It only takes 3-7 days to dry for fast-drying polyurethane fumes.

When can you walk on polyurethane wood floors?

Wait for a minimum of 24 hours until the polyurethane wood floors dry. Avoid wearing shoes, and also do not walk barefoot. Instead, you can wear socks and if you have pets at home, then if required, use doggy socks for them. This will secure the furnished wood floor, and its polish remains intact.

When Can I Put Furniture on Polyurethane Floor?

You should wait at least 2-3 days to return your furniture. For water-based polyurethane, you need 2 days, whereas oil-based polyurethane will take 4 days maximum.

Letting the floor dry and then arranging your furniture is better. This would be a better alternative.

Will polyurethane fumes harm my child?

Polyurethane causes more harm to younger ones than to adults. D ue to their weak immune system, they are more prone to diseases. 

Problems like nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, or even difficulty breathing can be symptoms.

It is best to keep them away from such coating areas of the house. 

Is it safe to use polyurethane indoors?

It is totally safe to use polyurethane indoors. You need to take proper precautions while applying it. For indoor surfaces, you should use interior polyurethane.

Exterior polyurethane can also be taken into use. But they require extra care and ventilation because they are toxic and have a strong odor

Best water-based polyurethane that dries fast?

Bona Traffic HD polyurethane is one of the finest and fastest water-based polyurethane. It dries within 3 days of time.

It is considered to be the world’s toughest and most durable dryer lacquer. Putting a minimum of 2 coats will be sufficient for a great finish. 

After 24 hours, you can also walk on the finished wood floor with shoes on.

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking of sleeping in your house after polyurethane, please don’t. Staying away for a few days will be a better option, even if the wooden floors are refinished in other rooms.

Polyurethane is great for wooden surfaces but contains harmful toxic chemicals for humans. Try to avoid sleeping and staying in the house after applying polyurethane. 

It might affect your health with issues like nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, or even difficulty in breathing. 

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