Dog Urine on Wood


This is a basic outline for dog urine on or in the wood of your subfloor. Usually this is when the urine has gone through the carpet, pad and into the wood. Wood subfloor is under carpet, tile, vinyl, hardwood etc. The subfloor in the picture is under hardwood. The urine can get to the subfloor through any of these surfaces but in my experience it is usually the carpeted area’s┬áthat have a problem first. Subfloor is either plywood, particle board, chip board or a similar product. Sometimes you will have carpet tack strip baseboard and even Sheetrock that is contaminated with dog urine. When this is the case you will need to address these items to get complete odor removal.

You need to remove or take up the flooring material (carpet, tile, vinyl, hardwood etc) that is in the area of the damage so you can get to the subfloor to repair it.

If the subfloor is lightly contaminated with dog urine you can give it a light cleaning and a light treatment of odor neutralizer. Take care not to over wet it and cause additional damage. Let it dry and seal it with a good varnish, shellac or an acrylic sealer. Many times it is not possible to completely clean these porous wooden materials. Thus the need to seal them. This will seal in any remaining odor or contaminate.

If the subfloor has started to buckle and warp from the moisture you can use a skill saw. Set the blade to the depth of the thickness of the floor (3/4 inch usually) and cut an x through the middle of the warped area. The thickness of the blade will remove enough wood material so you can then fasten the subfloor wood back down flat to the floor and support beams underneath. Use flooring screws for this. You may need to make two cuts depending on how warped the wood is. You just need to remove enough wood so the subfloor will lay flat again.

If the wood is too damaged and warped to repair it this way, then again set the blade to the thickness of the wood and cut the damaged area completely out. Cut a new piece of subfloor material to fit, and replace the bad piece. If there is any urine residue left in it anywhere clean and seal that area with the before mentioned sealing products. Then you will need to replace the section of pad and reinstall or replace the carpet. If you reinstall the carpet you will obviously need to clean and treat it (front and back) first.
Or replace whatever flooring material the damage is under. (Tile hardwood vinyl etc.) If you have questions post them below and I will respond.

Creative Commons License photo credit: wheeldog

9 thoughts on “Dog Urine on Wood”

  1. hi i had lumps under my carpet . when i checked the wood on the subflooring has flaked off from the urine. is this a costly repair?
    the wood seems to still be good… i pushed hard on it and it still had restiance

  2. Willie
    If the moisture from the urine has penetrated the wood in sufficient quantities and for a long enough period of time to begin to delaminate (flake off) the wood then it should be replaced. (Just my opinion) I imaging you have a urine odor and contamination in the wood in that area also again suggesting you replace it. I will explain the way I would replace it which is not very expensive but you need to be slightly handy. I take a skill saw and set the blade to the thickness of the top layer of flooring (approx. 3/8 inch) and cut the contaminated area out. Cut it shallow at first so yo don’t cut the wood underneath. You can cut again if you don’t get all the way through with the first cut. Cut to the nearest floor joist or support. Then from a new piece of flooring cut a piece to fit the hole (use the piece you cut out as a pattern)and replace that piece fastening it with flooring screws to the floor joist. It is not very hard in most cases. If you higher someone it can get expensive and some will charge more because it is urine they are dealing with.

  3. …….Persistent cat urine problems may require treating your subfloors……………………Most pet owners have to deal with urine stains occasionally. When this occurs it is often necessary to treat the subflooring to prevent odors from seeping back through your carpet linoleum and wood floors.

  4. hi, I need advise asap. I am under contract with a Hud home that has big dog urine stains. (both the dog and the urine) It has gone into the subfloor, and left white residue. I am worried that it may have mold, as it has been 6 months since that owner moved, and this probably went on for over 2 years or more.

    The house is a 2001, and I like it, but cannot remove all the carpet untill I own it, to see all the damage. I can see some, as we putted it back, and the dogs dug big holes down to the subfloor. It has white residue, and staining. I am wondering if I want to go ahead with this. can you advise on how to tell if there is mold, and how to clean.? Thanks so much.

  5. The white residue is alkaline salts and these salts are easily removed with an acidic urine spotter. The acid in the spotter neutralizes the alkaline. Alkaline salts are created from a chemical reaction urine goes through after it has left the body (human or animal). Urine can create several different type stains with alkaline salts being only one of them.
    If the sub floor is not damaged it can be carefully cleaned and treated similar to other surfaces. If it is damaged you can cut the damaged area out and replace it with new sub floor material. When I say damaged I am referring to the wood being warped or the wood is coming apart in that area.
    Initially how you tell that there is mold is if you see it or smell it. Then if you think there is a problem have a mold remediation company test for mold. They take samples (air and surface) and test them for mold. They test the type of mold and the number of mold spores present. When you clean up mold invariable you spread it around and the spores get into the air. Unless you are using the correct personal protection equipment and gear you will be breathing these spores in. There are many different types of mold. A number of them are more toxic than most.

  6. My dog ally has created an indoor potty for herself on the carpet. A friend has just pulled up the carpet for me. Now on the wood subflooring there are urine stains. What can I do to get the smell out of that wood? He suggested cleaning it with Febreze. Well, that isn’t a cleaner. Then he said he could put more subflooring on top and then tile over it. Ii still think the smell would come through. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  7. There are several things you can do to get the smell out of the wood floor. Depending on the circumstances you have you may want to clean the surface of the wood first but many times the carpet and pad have absorbed most of the surface urine. If you do clean, do a light mopping or take a carpet extraction machine or wet/dry vac and rinse the surface lightly to take up any surface materials.
    1. Treat it (or spray the spots) with a good urine odor neutralizer like “Severe Urine Neutralizer SUN” from Amazon or from If you get the SUN solution in contact with the urine residue in the wood it will remove the smell of urine. It may need to soak into the wood a little to get to the urine. Moisture can further damage the wood so you need to be careful with it that way.
    2. Or You can seal the wood with a good varnish,shellac or acrylic sealer which will seal any remaining urine odor into the wood.
    3. Or You can use a skill saw and set it so it cuts just the thickness of the upper subfloor layer and cut the urine contaminated spots out and replace them with new subfloor.
    You may need to use a combination of the above procedures.

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