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Author Topic: Pet Stains on Hardwood floors  (Read 1599 times)
BlueBee
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« on: December 17, 2012, 11:34:50 PM »

How about a less contentious question for a change  Smiley

How in the heck do you get old pet stains out of a hardwood floor?  I’ve tried about everything I could find suggested on the web, plus a few special concoctions of my own. grin   I also sanded, sanded, and sanded some more.  Unfortunately nothing has even come close to removing the stains.  Chlorine products (bleach, spa) did lighten the stains a little, but not enough to make it worth the effort.  Do ya’ll have any ideas?

According to the various web sites I’ve read, pet urine can burn the tannins in the wood and if that happens there is no recovery.  You can’t remove or lighten such staining.  If the problem is at this stage, the web suggests cutting out the defective boards and splicing in new ones.  As you know, that is a LOT of work.  Any other ideas?  Any other chemicals worth trying?



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asprince
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 05:14:27 AM »

I am afraid if you want to remove it you are going to have to cut it out. It is not to difficult if you have an oscillating "multitool" cutter.

Steve

 

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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 07:56:23 AM »

The reason some of those sites suggest that you might need to replace the wood in the end, is because someone, somewhere, probably tried everything under the sun. And if the collecive minds on another site, full of folks that know what they are talking about, say that if the tanins are stained there is nothing you can do, then why not go with that?

Add up all the products you bought, the time involved using them, the sanding, going to forums, etc., and you probably could of bought an entire new floor at this point.

I think at some point, you will cut your losses and replace the damaged wood. That is my advice also.

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luvin honey
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 11:29:52 AM »

Ironically, bluebee, our good friend is staying with us right now and he's a hardwood floor installer, finisher, etc. He and DH are working on the old wood floors in the farmhouse right now! Let me show him this photo and get back to you tonight once they're done working.
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 11:33:21 AM »

i pulled the carpet on a 70 year old house and found stains on the wood.  probably pet and other wet stuff.  while you can lighten those spots, you can't really remove them.  after i had treated, and be careful that you don't gray the wood, i sanded.  that took more out.  after that i refinished the floors.  you can still see the spots, but the wood is dark anyway and the house it old, so they kind of blend in.  i don't think you'd notice them as spots if you didn't know that 's what they are.

good luck.  big but rewarding project.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 12:00:32 PM »

How about me coming over and peeing all over the floor. At least it would be uniform in color.
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nella
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 12:01:45 PM »

Oxalic acid is sold as a wood bleach in paint stores, maybe it would work.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 12:08:20 PM »

I'm guessing it would depend on how deep the stain is. Are you okay with possibly restaining the whole floor to that darker color? Eh, I just looked again--probably not.

Can you find a hardwood expert around you? It's possible they could take care of it much more easily than you'd think. I'll get back to you after talking to our friend, though. Is this about 1-2 sq feet?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 03:41:41 PM »

Thanks for the replies guys and gals.  You've given me some more ideas.  Keep them coming. Smiley

If the problem was just a single pet stain, it wouldn't be too bad of a job to cut out and replace.  The problem is there are a bunch of stains like the one in the photo throughout the house.  Probably 40 such stains, but most are in the dinning room.  Lovely how some people live, isn't it!  (House was a short sale).

I could go with a walnut stain on the oak, that can look good.  However I try to avoid staining hardwood when possible because the floors are much easier to maintain/repair if they are natural with just polyurethane on top.  Still it is an option.  Sanding everything down would also be a very big job and in this case I don't think that would work very well because the stains aren't being lightened from sanding alone.

Keep the ideas coming  Smiley
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luvin honey
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 04:20:28 PM »

Can I ask what your budget is? I think there are reasonably priced, prefinished, tongue-in-groove floors you could install to float on the top of this one... But I haven't had to price out flooring for almost 10 years and I hear wood prices are up steeply.

Wood floor friend is out hunting until dark, then they're finishing our farmhouse floor job, late supper, etc. Smiley But I WILL get back to you.
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 04:48:22 PM »

Maybee the stains can help you decide where to place the furniture in the room  grin  out of site out of mind  grin

Makes me remember a friend who was a house painter who told me a story about a house he had renovated.

The new home owners were very please with the job he had done throughout the house with painting and new wall paper,but,, ,,, in the living room the wallpaper was a bit od/strange with shadows that they couldn't explain on one of the walls. rolleyes

No problem he said, I fix it without charge tomorrow  grin

When he was doing the renovation he had the radio on full blast and was listening to ROCK n ROLL music and got carried away an wrote "Rock n Roll" on the wall with paint  banana devil

The next day he wallpapered the room .

The house owners didn't see it, but he saw it right away that the shadow on the wall read Rock n Roll under the wall paper.  lau lau

Good luck with your house renovations

mvh edward  tongue
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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2012, 04:59:53 PM »

Take a sheet of plywood and brush over it with a torch, just enough to darken the grain of the wood without burning the background. Then apply polyurethane. See what you think of the result. If you like it, do the floor. I think you will be delightfully surprised how great it looks.
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 06:37:16 PM »

This is a job for a professional flooring person. Someone that does it for living should be consulted.
You have probably spent more money and time already than it would cost to fix it. Estimates are normally free.
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AllenF
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 07:02:36 PM »

Just how much did you sand?   I am wondering just how deep the stain goes.   You should be able to sand and refinish most any floor. 
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2012, 08:23:51 PM »

How would you feel about taking 1/4 off the whole floor. I've seen pee stains that deep, when left for a period of time. Your better off just replacing the few boards and try to match color.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2012, 09:27:03 PM »

A couple things:

1. Was this carpeted over the top? If so, the urine would have been trapped for longer before drying out and would be extra deep.

2. You can't take off 1/4 or more since the top of the tongue is only 5/16" from the top of the floor surface.

3. Is this Douglas fir? Our friends thinks it may be, but it would be extra porous.

4. Have a professional wood floor person come out and do a test sand on it. In 30 seconds of sanding, they should be able to see if it's fixable. Some might do it free, in hopes of getting the job. Others may charge a service fee.

5. Most pet stains will get smaller, but if this is Douglas fir, the entire spot may be stained straight down instead of being a gradual puddle-like effect.

I hope this helps, although it's not that reassuring.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 02:36:44 AM »

Thanks for the replies.  This is one of those jobs I want to get done over time, but I’m not on a strict time schedule.  It is solid oak flooring; ¾” thick or so.  I don’t know if its white or red oak.  The photo is a little off color because I snapped it with my phone and the lighting was fluorescent.   It’s more of an aged natural oak color in person.  The poly coating tends to make things a little golden over time.  

There is a lot of the stuff so sanding everything down would be at least as big of a job as piecing in some repairs and refinishing.  Sanding oak is time consuming because the stuff is so hard.  I have tried to sand out stains in an oak floor before and some are just too deep to sand.  However in some cases, the sanding blends everything together good enough.  Luckily I’m not a perfectionist.  Good enough is good for me.    

You’re all right, at this point I should probably call in a professional to get their opinion/quote.  I have spent more time talking about the problem and researching than actually working on it at this point. grin  I just experimented on that one spot.  I try to get educated on new problems before tackling them; hoping time spent up front will save me time down the road.  It doesn't always work out that way, but I really hate doing anything more than once. Smiley
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luvin honey
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2012, 07:41:10 AM »

I think oak sounds more promising, as it would be denser and hopefully have not allowed the moisture down as far. If I understood DH and his friend, the thickness of the floor is less the issue than the depth at which the tongue and groove starts. Someone with a nice big rotary, motorized sander and extremely coarse sandpaper could make really quick work of that job. Good luck!
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kathyp
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2012, 10:59:47 AM »

sanding is easy if you rent one of the commercial sanders, but you probably need the drum sander for deep stains and they take some practice.  don't know that i'd tackle your good wood with one of those.
  i can recommend that you rent the finish type sander and go over the floor with some different grades of paper.  i didn't think my floor could be salvaged, but sanding it and refinishing made all the difference...even where i think there were roof leaks that sat for a long time.  and it was pretty easy and fast even with really big rooms. 

anyway, keep us updated on the project.   grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
luvin honey
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2012, 11:08:37 AM »

There is a lot of the stuff so sanding everything down would be at least as big of a job as piecing in some repairs and refinishing.  Sanding oak is time consuming because the stuff is so hard.  I have tried to sand out stains in an oak floor before and some are just too deep to sand.  However in some cases, the sanding blends everything together good enough.  Luckily I’m not a perfectionist.  Good enough is good for me.    
Get a good sander, motorized, commercial, and it could be done in a matter of minutes to hours. DH and his friend had 2 old farm bedrooms yesterday in which they removed tacks from carpet, sanded multiple times with different sandpaper (including paint stains), and put a coat of finish on, all in 1 day, including time out for chores, meals and hunting.
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The pedigree of honey
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