Dog Urine in Subfloor/Installing Vinyl Tile

Old 07-11-13, 10:42 AM
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Dog Urine in Subfloor/Installing Vinyl Tile


First, apologies for the length of the post, but I figure TMI is better than making everyone guess and assume.

I just bought my first home, which is completely carpeted (minus the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room). About 550 sq ft of carpet on each: ground level and basement. I have three dogs and a cat. Given my previous experience and what I've read on this and other forums, I know that I need flooring that can be cleaned easily, and will (reasonably) hold up to all the traffic and dirt the animals bring in, not to mention the occasional accident.

I have zero experience with any type of DIY project, and a very limited selection of tools. Having bought the house itself, I'm also extremely limited on funds for major projects.

Eventually, I'd like to put in a luxury vinyl floating floor. The cost is prohibitive now, so I was looking for the cheapest alternative I could find just to get me through the next couple of years. I had settled on the self-stick vinyl tiles, figuring that if they got scraped up or started to peel, I could afford to replace quite a few of them over the next two years while I save up for the floor I want.

Then I discovered that the previous owners had at least one dog that peed all over the floors. Everywhere. The house reeks of urine. I haven't been able to pull up the carpet to assess the damage to the subfloor, but I'm guessing it's a mess. Not to mention how badly my three furries will want to mark those same areas as soon as we move in. Ick.

Idea 1: Kilz the floors, then put down the vinyl tile over the Kilz. However, the directions say the tile cannot be installed on a sealed floor.
Idea 2: Bleach/Odoban the hell out of the floor, leave the house open to air out for a few days, then install vinyl tile directly on the subfloor.
Idea 3: Kilz the floors, apply a latex tile primer over the Kilz, then stick the tiles to the primer. But would all of those layers hold together?!

Ideally I'd seal the floor then put in underlay for the vinyl tile, but I don't have the money to purchase that much underlay, nor do I have the tools or skill to cut it to fit all the rooms. I also looked into grip/stick vinyl planks that could float on the Kilz'd floor, but they are 5 times the cost of self-stick tile, and I don't think I could do a good job installing them myself.

Does anyone have any suggestions about dealing with urine stains in wooden and concrete subfloors in a way that would allow me to place the self-stick vinyl directly on top of the floor? If I have to, I can lay the tiles directly on the subfloor and use lots of air freshener (ick!) but I'm hoping I can find a cheap temporary fix for a couple years, just to get by until I can do a proper job of fixing up the floors.

Old 07-11-13, 12:26 PM
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I would not use Kilz to prime a dog house.
This is what I would use instead. Zinsser B-I-NŽ Shellac-Base Primer Product Page

No way would I ever use or ever suggest using peel and stick tiles!!!
There near impossible to lay in a straight line because they try and stick to fast with no way to adjust them, some will just not stay stuck down, needs a perfect subfloor, there to thin and the color does not go all the way through.
They shrink over time and gaps open up for water to get in.
Plus when you do remove them at some point your going to be stuck with a gooey mess on the floor with the old glue.
Sheet linoleum or loose lay linoleum is the way to go.
Old 07-11-13, 12:31 PM
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I can't answer most of your questions but definitely do NOT use bleach on the subfloor as it will destroy the wood. You need a product such as Natures Miracle enzyme cleaner for the urine. They make it in both a dog and a cat formula and it is available at most pet food stores. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
Old 07-28-13, 11:00 AM
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I would not use Kilz to prime a dog house.
This is what I would use instead. Zinsser B-I-NŽ Shellac-Base Primer Product Page
Agree with the use of Zinsser shellac-based primer to seal the wood. I was able to save a bathroom whose subfloor was repeated soaked with cat urine (ex-wife was intentionally trying to destroy house when she knew judge was going to order her out). I even had to rip out the drywall 18" up the walls, and seal some of the studs and bottom plate, due to urine being absorbed at base of wall, but I was able to save the subfloor thanks to Zinsser primer. Before the treatment the stench in the bathroom was so horrible it rendered the whole room unusable.

You may have a problem getting anything to adhere to it though, so you may end up having to attach a thin subfloor over it with mechanical fasteners.

How did you not know about the urine odor? Did you and your inspector both miss it? I've found all of Nature's Miracle products to be almost completely ineffective at removing odors.
Old 10-09-13, 08:29 PM
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Hi to deal with urine esp. cat or dog.... white vinegar soak it then steam it and vinegar again... should do the trick... vinegar is an amazing and cheap product it actually neutralizes the bacteria of urine rotten milk coffee in carpet etc.... sometimes baking soda if it's wood you could also use 100 proof vodka (don't laugh) antique guy taught me that. try the vinegar it's cheap and easy to use... works on concrete as well if you can wash it first that wouldn't hurt you could try lemons or limes direct let dry then the vinegar or the other way around.

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