Do Charlotte's older homes appeal to you? Perhaps you love the character of the hardwood floors that are found in these classic homes. One of the concerns about wood flooring in older homes is whether there are pet stains under the carpets and area rugs. Can you get rid of those stains? Here's a great post from a hardwood flooring specialist about your options for pet stains on hardwood floors.
How can you eliminate pet stains in hardwood floors?
This is a frequent question from homeowners with pets. Those dark black water stains can arise from direct contact or from when the pet stains have soaked through the carpet and onto the hardwood flooring.
Unfortunately, if the stain is dark black, it will not come out, even when you refinish the hardwood floors. The good news is that there are 2 solutions that will eliminate or reduce the appearance of these pet stains on hardwood flooring:
First option: Replace the stained pieces of wood, and then sand and refinish the hardwood floors.
Option 1 is usually the better solution, but it's also a bit more expensive. This definitely requires a hardwood flooring professional. Remove the damaged pieces and weave in new hardwood. It's important that the pieces are woven in and look random (rather than cutting a box out and doing a "handyman special." Then, when you sand and refinish the whole room, it will look good as new and the new pieces will blend in.
This is relatively straight forward to do if you have oak hardwood floors and provided that you have an experienced hardwood installer. A hardwood flooring expert match the correct wood for you - species and grade of wood. (And, yes, I have seen the wrong species used many times.)
If you have pine floors, it's a bit more challenging. It is still fixable, but it requires finding/matching the type of pine you have (and pine is often more expensive and harder to find - there may be lead times) and often the pine is made in different widths nowadays vs. how it was made a long time ago. Hence, often you have to get pine that is slightly wider than the width of your current floors and the installer needs to mill it down to the correct size. This often means a bit more waste and more labor (and sometimes longer lead times and special deliveries to obtain the wood and more labor).
Repairing floors is also more complicated if you don't have a plywood subfloor underneath the wood. If you don't have a plywood subfloor, longer pieces of wood are required as these need to be nailed into the joists. Again, it's still doable, but should be done by a professional, so that you don't have a "handyman special."
Option 2: Chose a dark stain to cover up the pet stains.
Alternatively, another option is to sand and stain the floors a dark color - one that is dark enough to cover up the stains. Usually, darker hardwood stain colors such as ebony, jacobean, dark walnut or royal mahogany will do the trick. Thankfully, these colors are very stylish so for many homeowners, this is a great option. If you prefer a lighter or mid toned color floor, I would suggest that you try option 1 (replace the damaged sections of wood) or cover the stains with area rugs or furniture.
If you live in Westchester County NY and are interested in refinishing your floors and need advice on how to handle pet stains, please give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950.
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Hardwood with dark pet stains – Can you get rid of them?
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Debbie Gartner, "The Flooring Girl" and owner of Floor Coverings International Westchester NY
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