How Long Does It Take For New Carpet To Settle?

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So you’re thinking about getting a carpet. You’re prepared to install it but, there’s still a lot in your mind. More specifically, how long do you have to wait for the new carpet to settle? After all, you wouldn’t want to ruin it after doing all the work of installing it. If you’re curious about the timeframe, you’re in luck, because we did the research to bring you the answer.

After installing the carpet, it should take about 24-72 hours to settle. The main concern is allowing the glue to stick to the floor. Regarding walking, you can walk on it at any time to help press and fix it on the floor better. However, putting furniture is inadvisable as it can cause indentations. The timeframe is as follows:

  • Walking on the carpet – immediately
  • Sleeping in a room with new carpet – 48-72 hours
  • Putting in furniture – 24 hours

Now that you know the timeframes to allow the carpet to settle, you may have more questions to ask. For example, a new carpet can give off a smell for some time. You might wonder why that is? Additionally, you might be wondering why you can walk on it at any time but not set furniture. If you’d like to find out more, keep reading ahead.

A modern living room interior with carpet floor and sofa chair, How Long Does It Take For New Carpet To Settle?

How Long Before Vacuuming New Carpet?

First, let’s get one of the common concerns about carpeting out of the way: shedding. After installing a new carpet, you will run into loose strands. If you want to vacuum the carpet right away, you should do so! There’s no timeframe for settling in this case.

If you let the loose threads back into the carpet, you will compromise the look. It will turn out looking matted instead of fluffy. So, if you were wondering how long to wait before vacuuming, do it whenever you can.

Woman using a vacuum cleaner while cleaning carpet in the house

How Long Before You Can Walk on New Carpet?

You can walk on the new carpet at any time. Some might suggest that it helps break the carpet in. Though, it’s not necessary to walk on it immediately. You will want to give it some time to adhere to the substrate of your choice.

Foot on blue carpet

However, that does not mean you should let everyone walk on the carpet. There’s still a chance you will cause creases or indentations. In general, avoid any heavy traffic in the area. On the other hand, furniture is a different case.

How Long Before Putting Furniture on New Carpet?

Open plan design for living room with dining area

Furniture presents a different kind of problem than walking. It will most likely stay on one spot and weigh heavier than a person. The weight will not bode well for the adhesion process of a carpet.

Placing heavy furniture on fresh carpet can cause heavy indentations. Meaning one area will be lower than the other. As some suggest, an indentation can fix itself in standard conditions. But, when it’s still wet, and you place a heavy object on it, you push the carpet farther down into the adhesive.

It will hold a specific position until it dries. From here, it will grip the carpet into that shape. This situation presents a problem because these indentations are tough to remedy. As a comparison, it would be like laying a piece of paper on adhesive and pressing your finger into a specific spot. That area will not come back up.

To avoid permanent indentations, avoid placing furniture for 24 hours.

Are New Carpet Fumes Harmful?

The next concern is about the fumes of the carpet. Are they toxic? They have the potential to be! You’ll notice the fumes can affect your health. If you’ve wandered in a room with a new carpet for some time, you might have gotten a headache, nausea, and/or irritation to the eyes and nose.

Volatile Organic Compounds

The symptoms above are caused by inhaling VOCs and the formaldehyde in the carpet. Post-installation is the prime time for the carpet to release these chemicals into the air.

Pouring special glue for carpet

If you’re not familiar with VOCs, they are gases that come into the air from a product or process. They have the potential to react with other gases and form different kinds of air pollutants. The people at most risk of inhaling VOCs are:

  • Infants
  • Elderly
  • Asthmatic or people with allergies
  • Small animals

Therefore it’s crucial that you do not expose yourself or others to the fumes after installation. That does pose a question, when can you comfortably stay in a room with a new carpet? More specifically, what about using a bedroom that has newly laid carpet?

Is It OK To Sleep in a Room With a New Carpet?

From all the information presented above, you might find yourself regretting placing carpet in a bedroom. Prolonged exposure to VOCs and formaldehyde can cause concerns regarding your health. In this case, sleeping in a room with a new carpet is not advisable right after installation.

As mentioned, the first 24 hours of installation is when the carpet emits the most VOCs in the air. For this reason, many recommend waiting two to three days before you consider sleeping in the room. Of course, this is only if the room was well-ventilated. Additionally, the smell should not be as strong as the first few days.

But, the odor will linger. So, what can you do?

Should You Air New Carpet?

Ventilating the area where you installed the carpet is a crucial step. After installation, there will be a period where no one can roam around in the area. Although carpet is a low emitter of VOC, that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down.

If you want to make sure minimal-to-no off-gassing is present after installation, open the windows and run a couple of fans at high speed. A few should be pointing out towards the window to let the fumes out of your home. This process should take 48-72 hours, depending on how much of the odor you can tolerate.

New Carpet Smell Lasts for Months – How To Get Rid of It?

You can also run the AC or heater. However, these options will cost more than using a fan. After airing it for 72 hours, there might still be a bit of an odor lingering. There are additional remedies that you can use to get rid of the remaining smell.

They are:

  • Cut an apple into slices. Place them on a saucer in a bowl. Add a bit of water and place it around the room.
  • You can also cut onions in halves and put them in a bowl; onions can dissipate the aroma of the odor. A small amount of water should go along with the onion halves. Spread the bowls with onion around the room. 
  • House plants can aid in reducing the smell by filtering the chemicals in the air. If you’re looking for specific plants, English ivy, bamboo palm, spider plant, and Boston fern are great choices.
  • Fill a small bowl with vinegar and place them in the areas where the odor is the strongest.
  • Lastly, you can sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Leave it overnight and vacuum in the morning. This process will reduce the odor and the number of loose threads common in a new carpet.

How Long Before the New Carpet Smell Goes Away?

As mentioned, the odor that accompanies the carpet is from the VOCs in the products used to install it. With proper ventilation, the smell will go away in 48-72 hours. But, it can also last up to weeks. However, there are other choices you can make to avoid the odor as much as possible.

Reducing VOC Levels

Green Label

If you’re still looking to have a carpet installed, there are a few aspects to consider. The first option is to look for a green label. Carpets with a green label and green label plus awards have stricter standards than other carpets. The Carpet and Rug Institute gives this award to rugs with low VOC emissions.

Airing Out the Carpet Before Installation

You can also ask the installer to air out the carpet before bringing it in. Since the carpets are in rolls before installation, they don’t have the necessary space to breathe. If your installer can unroll it for a week, it will reduce the amount of VOCs you will have to ventilate.

Weather

The weather can also impact how fast you can dissipate the odor. Ideally, you will want a week of consecutive days of good weather. This way, you can open the windows without the worry of rain, etc. Allowing your windows to open for consecutive days during the off-gassing process will reduce how long the odor will last.

Steam Cleaning

If it’s within your budget, you can opt to have the carpet steam cleaned by a professional. Otherwise, you can rent or purchase a steam cleaner to do it yourself.

Additional Methods

Lastly, there are a few more considerations to make to reduce the levels of VOC. They are:

  • If you’re installing the carpet on pads, avoid using styrene-butadiene rubber. Instead, opt for felt padding.
  • For carpet that will be glued directly on the floor, be mindful of the adhesives you will use. Look for low emitting, nonsolvent adhesives.
  • In addition to the other ventilation methods, you can also use an air purifier to get rid of the smell. When partnered with a carbon filter, it will trap gases efficiently.

Final Takeaway

Modern living room interior with carpet floor and sofa chair, How Long Does It Take For New Carpet To Settle?

While installing carpet can be exciting, it comes with a lot of responsibilities. Like other floorings, chemicals will be present in the equation. You will need to know how to deal with them to ensure the safety of you and others! We hope you found the information above insightful!

Before you go, do you have other carpet concerns? Are you wondering how thick the padding should be? If you’d like to find out more, check out our post here.

Do you wonder how far off the trim should be from the floor? If you are, you can find out more by checking our post here. Until next time!

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