We are having our hardwood floors professionally sanded, stained and sealed with 2 coats of polyurethane sealer. Two questions:
1. How long should I wait after the polyurethane sealer has been applied to lay down carpets, i.e., how long will it take for the sealer to completely cure?
2. I have heard that some types of carpet pads can damage the polyurethane finish on the hardwood floor. Do you have any recommendations as to what types of carpet pads I should, or should NOT, use on my newly refinished floor?
I am surprised that your floor company didn’t give you all this info. But if you are referring to an oil modified polyurethane, it will take up to a month to cure. You must keep it uncovered for as long into that month as you can.
The only carpet pad I recommend these days is the Might Gripper available at your local Home Depot store. You only need small boarders pieces of this pad to keep even large area carpets from slipping, truly amazing stuff. My son has it on his hardwood floor (that I refinished) for 2 years now with no signs of deterioration. But again wait a month before using even this pad.
I don’t use carpet pads under my wool area rugs, there seems to be no need in my case, the furniture keeps them in place. During the first year or two be sure to shift the carpet a few inches in each direction every month or so, to prevent a “aging border” from showing up in the finish