Any kind of impermeable surface affected by cat urine odor simply takes cleaning. But when you've got a porous surface, it make take floor sanding. As long as these are solid hardwood floors, you can sand them down with a drum sander or disk sander.
Time Required: 12 hours
- Before you take any drastic measures, try cleaning the hardwood floor with a cat urine odor removal product. If the wood floor has a nice, solid finish, with no seams between the boards, there is no reason why these products will not work.
- If your floor has "gappy" seams or a poor finish, you may have to sand. The cat urine odor will have sunk down into the seams and/or porous surface. Determine if your floor boards have enough thickness left for another sanding. Pulling up a threshold is a good way to see how much (if any) floor has been sanding down. If the flooring has been sanded at or just above the tongue-and-groove, it is too thin to sand.
- For minimal sanding, rent a vibrating floor sander or floor disk sander. If you need deeper sanding, rent a drum sander.
- For sanding close to baseboards and trim, rent an edge sander. Or you may choose to buy a random-orbiting sander.
- Be sure to remove quarter-round with a flat pry bar before sanding. Baseboards usually do not have to be removed, and in fact damage may result if you try to remove baseboards.
- It is easy to cause irreparable damage to your floor with a drum sander so be careful. Never let any sander rest in place while running; always keep them moving. Always start with coarser sandpaper, working down to finer grits.
- Thoroughly clean the floor with a broom, followed up by two thorough damp mops.
- Lay down the finish. Shellac, varnish, and lacquer are rarely used on wood floors anymore. Instead, look for a water-based urethane finish, which is easy to apply and fairly odor-free.
- Don't sand until you have tried everything else to remove the cat urine odor.
- That said, floor sanding is a surprisingly easy DIY project.
- Be sure to contain dust with plastic sheeting taped to doors, windows, and other avenues where dust might escape.
What You Need
- Drum sander or floor disc sander or vibrating floor sander
- Edge sander or random orbiting sander
- Plenty of extra sandpaper for all sanders
- Flat pry bar