Wood floor with dark stains

Are these stains from pet or water damage?

Some customers come to us unsure of whether their floors can be saved.

But about 25% of them arrive with panic in their hearts and a photo like this, hoping that we have a magic cure for pet or water damage.

This makes our hearts sink too because pet stains are the only true deal-breaker for hardwood floors. I know they sell flooring bleach  and other concoctions that claim to remove stains from floors. But dark grey and black stains that come from corrosive effect of decomposing urine usually don’t respond to bleaches and peroxides.

We don’t want to take away all hope, but we want you to be realistic in your expectations.  If we thought there was a product to fix pet stains, I guarantee that we would sell it. But as much as we want to sell you stuff, we refuse to make money on products that don’t work.

This gallery isn’t going to tell you what to do with your pet stains.

It’s going to help you decide if you still want to sand your floors if you have pet or water stains that can only truly be fixed by removing and replacing the damaged wood. Better to know the truth up front.

But some really ugly floor stains aren’t from pets, and many of those have a greater chance of removal by sanding. Mind you, we’re not promising they can be easily removed by sanding; you may have many hours of 36 grit grinding ahead of you to find the undamaged wood behind your stain.

But there is hope.

Need more help? For a small fee, we can provide the wisdom and knowledge that you need to complete your hardwood flooring project. Get a one-on-one phone consultation with a hardwood flooring expert on our Help Hotline.

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