Walking on Newly Installed Vinyl Floors (How Long To Wait?)

After you install vinyl floors, the floors need time to settle before you can walk on them. So, how soon can you walk on vinyl floors after installation?

You can walk on the vinyl floor 24 hours after you install it. Generally, the vinyl floor takes 12-24 hours to settle enough to be walked on.

You can walk on click and lock vinyl floors in less than 12 hours because the planks intersect and vinyl glue isn’t used. However, for glued-down vinyl planks, you must wait 24 hours before walking on them because the vinyl glue has to dry. Also, you must wait 48 hours before putting heavy furniture on vinyl floors.

Don’t Walk on Newly Installed Vinyl Floors

Can You Walk On Newly Installed Vinyl Plank Flooring?

You shouldn’t walk on newly installed vinyl floors. That’s because the vinyl floor must settle before walking on them. It takes the vinyl floor 12-24 hours to settle on the subfloor. So if you walk on newly installed vinyl floors too soon, the vinyl won’t stick properly and will develop problems such as buckling sooner or later.

For glued-down vinyl floors, you must wait until the glue is dry before you can walk on them. If the vinyl glue isn’t dry, the vinyl planks will move, and the floor will look uneven. If the vinyl planks are uneven or have gaps, water and moisture can get under the vinyl floors and lift the planks. The vinyl glue can take up to 24 hours to dry.

For click and lock or floating vinyl floors, you must wait until the vinyl planks acclimate. Acclimation is the process where vinyl planks move and adjust on the subfloor based on the room temperature. If you want on vinyl floors before the planks have acclimated, the vinyl floors will buckle. It takes 12-24 hours for the vinyl floor acclimate process to be completed. 

Here’s what happens if you walk too soon on vinyl floors: 

  1. The vinyl flooring will buckle.
  2. The seams on the vinyl flooring can come loose.
  3. The adhesive underneath the planks will become ruined.
  4. The floor can become uneven.

Different Types of Vinyl Floors And Their Walking Time: 

How Long to Wait Before Walking on Different Vinyl Floors?

Click and Lock Vinyl Floors

For click and lock vinyl floor, you must wait at least 12 hours after installation before you can walk on the floor. Vinyl glue or floor glue can take up to 24 hours to dry, depending on room temperature.

However, the time to wait before walking on a vinyl floor depends on the type of vinyl floor. 

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

You must wait 24 hours before walking on luxury vinyl tile flooring. If the LVT (luxury vinyl tiles) were glued-down to a surface, you must wait until the vinyl glue dries before walking over it. This can take up to 24-48 hours. 

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

You must wait 48 hours before walking on luxury vinyl planks, especially if the planks are glued down. That’s because the luxury vinyl plank (LVP) takes longer to acclimate because of its rigid structure and heavier weight.

Since the luxury vinyl plank is heavier, the acclimating process takes longer than regular vinyl planks. So, waiting 48 hours before walking on LVP floors is ideal. 

Sheet Vinyl

Before walking on vinyl sheets, you must wait 24 hours or until the vinyl glue is dry. Since vinyl sheets are thin and lighter than vinyl planks, you must use vinyl glue to prevent the sheets from moving out of place. So, you must wait until the vinyl glue is dry before you can walk on them. 

Vinyl sheets acclimate almost immediately on the underlayment, so technically, you can walk immediately on vinyl sheets. But, if you do, the vinyl sheets will move out of place. So, you must glue down vinyl sheets and wait for the glue to dry.

Vinyl Glue (Adhesive) Dry Time

After vinyl installation, it takes vinyl glue (adhesive) 24-48 hours to dry fully. However, the dry time of vinyl adhesive depends on the glue type, the weather, and room temperature.

During cold winter, vinyl glue takes longer to dry because the room temperature will be humid and moist. So, during winter, vinyl glue takes 48 hours to dry. However, during the summer, vinyl glue dries faster. It takes vinyl glue 24 hours to dry during the summer months.

The vinyl glue type (and brand) also determine the drying time. Some vinyl glue types are formulated with additives that make the glue dry faster, and some are not.

Vinyl Flooring Settle Time

It takes vinyl flooring between 24 hours and 4 days to settle. The time it takes for a vinyl floor to settle depends on its type, size, and weight.

For instance, luxury vinyl plank flooring is larger and heavier than most vinyl planks, so it takes over 3 days for the floor to settle. On the other hand, thin vinyl floors (such as sheet vinyl) will settle almost immediately.

Here is a list of different types of vinyl flooring and how long they take to settle:

Vinyl FloorSettling Time (depending on the type)
Sheet VinylBetween 12 and 24 hours
Click and Lock VinylLess than 24 hours
Luxury Vinyl TilesBetween 24 and 48 hours
Luxury Plank VinylAt least 48 hours
Composite Vinyl (SPC and WPC)At least 48 hours

How To Speed Up Vinyl Floors Acclimate Process?

Here are a few tips to make luxury vinyl planks acclimate (adjust to the floor) faster. The faster the luxury vinyl planks acclimate, the sooner you can use the floor. 

Here is what to do:

  1. The room temperature must remain between 60 – 85 degrees (F).
  2. Remove the baseboard trim around the base wall before installing the vinyl planks. This gives the planks enough space to move and adjust.
  3. Do not put items on or walk on the vinyl floor immediately after installation.
  4. Use a dehumidifier during humid temperatures. 
  5. Sweep and clean the subfloor before installing the vinyl planks.

However, you must allow the vinyl floor to acclimate (get ready) naturally. If you speed up the acclimation time, the vinyl planks won’t settle properly and can cause different flooring problems.

Wait Time Before Putting Furniture On Vinyl Floors

You must wait 48 hours before putting furniture on newly-installed vinyl plank flooring. This is to give the vinyl floor enough time to adjust to the floor before supporting furniture.

However, you must wait until the vinyl floors completely acclimate before putting heavy furniture over them. That’s because the full weight of furniture will remain on the same spot of the vinyl floor, preventing vinyl floors from acclimating.

So, for heavy furniture, you must wait at least 3 days before putting them on a new vinyl floor. For appliances that deal with water (such as refrigerators), you must wait 3 days before putting them on new vinyl floors so the floor doesn’t get exposed to water (or moisture).

When you walk on a new vinyl floor, your weight is put on a spot of the floor till you take the next step and on and on. Your vinyl floor can handle that split-second weight in less than 24 hours. So, you can walk on new vinyl floors after 24 hours, but you must wait 48-72 hours before putting furniture on new vinyl floors.

Final Words

You must allow vinyl floors to fully acclimate before walking on the floor. The acclimation process of vinyl floors needs 24-48 hours to complete. To put heavy furniture on the new vinyl floors, you must wait at least 3 days. 

For glued-down vinyl floors, you must wait until the vinyl glue dries before walking on the floor. Depending on the room temperature, it takes vinyl glue 24-48 hours to dry.

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