Your newly sanded and sealed floor would be dry to walk on after thirty minutes if it's not the final coat. When it comes to the final coat I'd suggest you're being more cautious and giving it longer. The modern water based sealers do not smell and are not harmful to you or the environment, and give a matt finish typical of laminate and engineered floors. These water based sealers one would liken to a PVA paint.
Furniture can go back after a twenty four hour period, but be very careful for the first week. Furniture should always be placed and never dragged. The sealer cures and hardens as the days and months go by, taking up to five months to fully cure and harden. Pets' nails need to be trimmed regularly as these can cause more damage to floors than anything! Heavy dogs, and high heeled shoes, can ruin by scratching, a newly sealed floor, and even gouge into soft Oregon! Once five/six months have passed the floors will scratch less.
You should not put mats or carpets, or furniture without legs, onto the newly sealed floor for the first three months. The alternative is to move them on a regular basis.
The reason for this is that, with exposure to light and air in the first three months, the wood and sealer, will oxidize and darken considerably. You will end up with lighter patches if you ignore this advice and discover this on moving carpets later. Floors exposed to direct sunlight will lighten as the sun fades them. Natural wood requires a maintained relative humidity level of 30-55% throughout the year. Humidification may be needed in cold months when heating causes the air to be too dry. Shrinkage and gaps forming can happen otherwise. Too much humidity in wetter months can cause expansion and warping. Feel free to ask me to check the ventilation under your suspended floors. Plastic vents can be cut into floor boards in need. I do stock two Loba (German brand) products for the floors. One litre of the Loba Cleaner diluted as instructed in mopping water and used on regular basis cleans and enhances floors and gives coverage of 600 to 1,000 m2 and costs R160 inclusive of vat and delivery. The Loba Floor Care product undiluted as instructed, and painted neatly onto the floor gives coverage of 25m2 and costs R225 inclusive of vat and delivery. The latter really revives floors amazingly and is ideal for maintaining protection in high traffic areas such as at front doors, or in front of stoves or sinks in kitchens, where the sealer wares of. You should never use oil or wax.
Protect your floor by gluing felt to the legs of all furniture. A suggested door mat is the Dirt Trapper available at Makro, Builders Warehouse, Mica Hardware Stores or from Fox & Sons on 011-452-2855/082-857- 7788.
You can touch up scratches using readily available Loba Floor Care or Bourne Gleam, putting on several light coats rather than a few heavy coats. To prolong the life of the floor and give it life again call us in for a scrub/buff and top up coats when this looks warranted and before the sealer is so thin that it lets dirt penetrate and discolour the wood. This is not possible on top of oil or wax.
If you have a flood lift carpets and dry the wood as quickly as possible, leaving all doors and windows open to get rid of excess humidity. For 24 hour assistance call either NCS on 0861 135 663 or Dryforce on 0960 800 800.