Dog and hardwood stains. WWYD?

indygoJuly 22, 2012

Sorry if this has been asked a million times! Here's a two-part question:

1. I have a hardwood floor (white oak) that wasn't finished very well when it was put in--a couple coats of water based poly, not very well applied. It started wearing to almost bare wood fairly quickly. It's been about three or four years, and ordinarily I would just sand and re-poly now BUT

2. I have an aging dog, and she started peeing on the oriental rug under a table before I noticed and of course there are the black stains made worse by the poor finish. I know that some of the boards will have to be replaced. Said dog is still having accidents even after I removed the carpet and while I catch them quickly, the stains are getting worse and in some cases getting between the boards and spreading.

SO, my question: The dog is quite old and beloved. Is it worth while sanding, replacing boards and putting down several coats of really great poly that might clean up better now? This would be an attempt to save more of the floor. Or should I live with a really bad floor and an aging dog and try to ignore it all (cleaning often, which of course isn't a great thing with a now porous floor) until she's gone?

Thanks for any advice. It's truly driving me crazy!

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Sophie Wheeler

Put down some loose lay vinyl flooring over the wood until your dog passes. It's at least waterproof. When she's gone, then have the floors refinished and the damaged planks replaced.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 7:55PM
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Thanks hollysprings, That's a good idea. I'll give it a try.

Does everyone think it's a good pe=idea to do the repair work now?


    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 9:40PM
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I dont want to give you false hope. But when i am facing a floor with pet stains i always attempt to grind out the stains first before i go and take out boards. Its basically a coin flip if they will sand out. But it can save time and money by trying to sand them out first instead of just replacing.

And if you already have stains i wouldnt waste money on a temporary floor that you might just rip up once the dog passes. Just do your best to dry to catch all accidents in the meantime and then address the stains. Less money spent going this route.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Thanks gregmills. That seems reasonable.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Same here, I am refinishing my floors this summer after taking up carpet and I found two black areas about six inches in diameter from pet stains. I am going to try to sand them out, maybe try a small amount of wood bleach and I think they will be acceptable.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:45AM
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If the dog is going to continue to damage the floor, I do think that a $40 piece of loose lay vinyl over the existing floor (Plus baby gates to confine the dog) would at least contain the mess and make it easier to cleanup in the short term. In the long term, it will prevent additional damage to the wood. There is no point in refinishing anything though until the chance of damage is gone.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:38PM
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I would go with the vinyl, too. You could also see if an indoor/outdoor carpet would be "waterproof" enough:

These can be rinsed off. I don't know if there are gaps between the "fibers," though; you'd want to confirm first. A waterproof door mat with a lip (the kind you put wet boots on) could be another option if you can find one that's large enough.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Thanks for your suggestions everyone! Part of me was hoping to just fix it, but I agree that's not a good idea. Confinement and some vinyl seem to be the best solutions for now. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:04AM
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