Urine Soaked Dirty, Smelly Grouted Floor Gone

Recently we met a friend to give her an estimate for new flooring in her kitchen- LVP- “Luxury Vinyl Planking.”

Upon arrival to discuss new flooring, our friend stopped us at the door to ask a question- do we smell urine in her home. She wanted our absolute honest opinion about it. And, she was pleased to learn both Chris and I said no, we don’t smell urine.

Then she elaborates about her “pup” of 16 years (i call them all pups!). Clearly she is taking great care of her, and that includes her accidents. Her habit is to have accidents in the kitchen, and when they do happer she immediately cleans them up. She cleans and sanitizes, and since she works from home it is cleaned up fast.

So as she took us back to the kitchen she elaborated more about it, and where. Again she asked us, did we smell it now when we were in the kitchen, and the answer this time was yes. And it was apparently towards the side by the door she lets the dog in and out of.

We shook hands and indicated we would bring samples of LVP, labeled waterproof and up to the task.

At first she wanted light colors, but after we brought suitable samples they so did not go with her cabinets. Fast forward a bit, we found a few colors that really complimented her cabinets, and she was a happy camper.

Ceramic tile obviously is waterproof, but usually the grout joints are not!

Grout in and of itself is a very porous material, and part of the floor installation that can get really dirty, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Just take a walk around a kitchen or bathroom and compare the grout in your traffic lanes and work station areas to areas less traveled. A lot of times the grout color is really dark there, and much brighter or lighter in areas say against the wall.

It’ s not just that the grout looks dirty, it is laden with germs, soils, oils, residues and other chemicals.

Take a kitchen for example. You spill stuff near the trash can, it ends up on the floor and grout. Using the stove and oven, and opening and closing the oven and microwave soem times things spill. Even just opening the oven, fats aerosolize and become airborne, where they eventually fall to the ground and absorb in the grout. Same goes for the sink, fridge, dishwasher. Then think about oils from your feet, dirt from your shoes, dirt from pets paws, the grout takes a beating. Add to that residues from cleaners while mopping, carbon and smoke residues from candles, pilot lights, fire places, wood stoves. Now expand the thought to realize that grout also sucks in graphite (grease) from moving parts like ceiling fans, sliding doors, hinges. And finally, consider other chemicals that absorb into grout without knowing it, such things like pesticides, fertilizers that blow in when outside doors are opened. You also traipse in oils from the garage where you park your cars. A hot engine emits oils and grease, or oils from the tires that settle on the concrete, then when you exit the car, your foot, sock or shoe transfers that stuff to absorbent materials such as carpet, and yes grout!

So now for this client it also means her grout absorbs the urine too.

Again, as diligent as she is, her vulnerable grout does have urine absorbed in to it.

As the tear out begins, the urine damage is prevalent on the mastik used to embed the tiles on to the board.

Both our technician and the client noticed a significant odor smell once our tech began the tear out. With all the individual tiles removed there was a criss-cross pattern of yellowed urine that infected the mastik and the grout. You can clearly see the areas on the one side of the kitchen, on the side nearing where the kitchen door is located. Honestly the smell was pretty substantial and remained for about 2 days.

With the tear out complete the prep begins, and we sanitize and apply Kilz™ to lock in the urine malodor.

Although the subfloor will be covered with a waterproof plank flooring, with a pad attached, the subfloor is cleaned and sealed to lock the odor in. This is further insurance that the malodor will not reinfect the flooring. And since the flooring is waterproof this is a better scenario as she rides out the last days of her furbaby buddy.

Visiting her last week she beams with excitement about her new floor, but gets weepy about her dog.

The floor looks great and it so enhances her beautiful and unusual cabinetry. She also is enjoying the new appliances that she bought. And she purchased some area rugs that are waterproof and designed to be laundered for such things as urine, and other things the floor experiences called life. However, she did reveal that her little lady was going without food for a few days, and even not visiting the water bowl. Maybe a sign, maybe not. So we are thrilled she is beaming about her floors, and concerned about her little lady. Hopefully the new floor is a bright spot to cheer her up.