If you want to ensure a long lasting finish on your hardwood floors, it is important that you allow the appropriate amount of drying time. While waterbased floor coatings are known for their fast drying times in comparison to oil based finishes, there are still a number of factors that influence drying times for optimal results including:
-Amount of air movement and circulation over the drying surface
Amount of Air Circulation
Air circulation is very important when it comes to drying floor finishes. Without it, the solvent and water evaporating from the finish can quickly saturate a small layer of air above the finish, causing the rate of evaporation to slow down significantly. For example, if your floor is in an enclosed area, the amount of time it takes for the finish to dry will be much longer than a floor in a room with proper air circulation. To ensure the right amount of air circulation, you can open windows, doors or install a fan to keep the air moving. Always wait until the finish has “set up” and is tack-free before introducing air movement to prevent dust accumulation or a ripple in the finish. This will normally take 30 minutes to an hour.
Many are not aware, but floor finishes dry from the top down. Water and solvents must migrate through the wet film to evaporate. This will cause the curing process to become slower as film thickness increases. This simply means that thicker films will take longer to dry, stay softer longer and potentially damage your newly finished floors. Make sure that the previous layer of coating is fully dried before you apply your second coat.
When there is more humidity in the air, there is more moisture in the air. This can dramatically slow down the drying process for your floors. If it just so happens to be humid on the day you are finishing your floors, try to increase the airflow with a fan.
The last factor that can impact drying time is temperature. There are two ways that temperature can influence drying rate. 1.) Temperature increases the air’s capacity to carry vapor. This can increase the drying rate, but only if the air is circulating and moving. 2.) The cooler the temperature, the longer the drying time. When the temperature is cooler, it slows the curing rate. Your result will be a slower drying time and a softer floor.
Waiting for your floor to finish drying can be a long process, but if you want the best results, be patient! Your beautiful floor finish will be finished drying before you know it. We recommend Basic Coating’s® StreetShoe® 275 for a fast curing finish.