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AlmiraGulch

WWYD? Cat Urine on a Tile Floor

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I have a small bathroom where I keep the litter box. Over the years, for various reason, there has been an abundance of cat urine on the actual floor, usually from my old cat who has kidney issues.

 

The floor is tile.  I don't know if the tile/grout wasn't sealed properly when it was installed 8 years ago, or if it's just because I haven't resealed over time, but the bathroom pretty much always smells like urine to me.  I could have just scrubbed the floors and have a brand new litter box and fresh litter and it will still have a urine odor.  I have used every cleaning agent known to man (vinegar, bleach, enzymatic cleaner, soap and water.....seriously everything).  I think it's just in the floor now. 

 

So, now I'm considering just having the existing tile torn out and starting from scratch, making sure it's all thoroughly sealed.  I just don't know if that's necessary, and perhaps I should start with new grout instead.

 

My issue is that I don't want to go through the hassle of regrouting if I'm just going to have to tear out the tile and redo the whole thing anyway.  PLUS, and this is the real issue, I'm already having tile laid in my house on Monday, and they would do this job as a relatively inexpensive add-on since they'll be here already and the the job is pretty small.  But then I don't want to pay for all new tile if the issue is really with the grout.  Even though it isn't a huge sum of money, I'm already stretching a bit with the large living room job, so money is a consideration.

 

I won't tear out the tile and relay it myself, even though it's a pretty small job.   I hate doing that sort of thing and it causes more stress than it's worth for me, so it isn't an option.

 

What would you do?  

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Yeah, if your tile wasn't sealed...fwiw, those waterproof drawer liners work great to protect tile from litter boxes.  I had bought a rather pricey "amazing" cat litter box hoping it'd solve my problems and it apparently had an opening where the lid snapped on and my cats kept peeing through it-it was JUST the wrong height in the box.  What a disaster.  I used lots of vinegar and bleach and then sealed the grout and put down a protector.

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If your grout wasn't sealed, it's quite possible that the urine has seeped through to the subfloor below.  If you choose to have the tile replaced, perhaps make sure they tear up the subfloor and replace it. Sometimes they just add a thin subfloor on top of the old subfloor to avoid having to take it up. That might eliminate the problem but then again, it might not since the bathroom is a humid area. 

 

Also, wash down the walls and wash any fabric- like window coverings, shower curtains, etc.    When that room gets humid, those odors can cling to everything. 

 

It's a good thing cats are so adorable...because they can sure be a pain...

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I would wash the walls and floor with natures miracle or Pure Ayre. For the floor, I'd spray natures miracle on the grout several times a day, and let it soak in. Enzymes need time to work, keeping a damp towel over he sprayed area helps to stop the enzymes from drying out. I'd repeat a few days in a row. Then i'd let it dry and seal the grout.

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Biokleen takes the smell out, too.  I won't guarantee for set in odors in the grout or subflooring, but for the walls and other things in the room it will help.

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It has been my experience that the urine smell (from prolonged soaking) will not come out of the unsealed tile/grout.  I would have them replace the tile since they will be in your how anyhow.  When they remove the tile, inspect the subfloor to see if the urine soaked through there as well.  If so, replacing the subfloor is the only way to definitively get rid of the urine smell.

 

In my case, we could not replace the subfloor because it was concrete slab.  So we soaked, and I mean soaked, the concrete with bleach (let dry) then vinegar (let dry).  We also wiped down the surrounding sheetrocked walls and baseboards (more than a light wipe but less than a soaking).  We repainted the walls using Kilz primer/sealer first.  We never had even a whiff of urine in that room again.

 

Going forward, we have had great luck using the extra large accident pads used for adult care under the litter box.  They absorb great and get changed once a week or as needed.  It adds to the cost, but compared to the cost of the structure damage to the house, we felt it is worth it.

 

Good luck!

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Could you try sealing the grout again to see if that seals the odor in???  Honestly, I have no idea if this would work, but I would try it first because sealing grout isn't hard.  It just seems like an idea before you rip out all the tile.

 

I hope you get this fixed!

 

 

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I feel for you. We have a similar problem, but it involves wood flooring in the livingroom...

 

One idea popped in my mind--Can you remove (or, MOVE) the toilet and see if there is any dried urine (human? cat?) under the bowl and floor area?

 

I'd prob go with new tile if I had the chance.

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What is under the tile (concrete or wood sub-floor)?

If it's wood, I would probably go ahead and have it re-tiled and plan to have the sub-floor replaced too. I don't think you can get the smell out of the wood.

If it's over concrete I would probably try the enzyme soak like a pp suggested, making sure it's very saturated.

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