Replacing Carpet and Dealing with Pet Urine on a Sub Floor

Duncan and Sami


 Several years back, I went to my first National Hardware show. I was gone not more than 4 or 5 days, but it was long enough for my youngest son Tyler to walk to the local Pet Smart, fall in love with a little black lab and talk his father into adopting him. Surprise! Of course we all promptly fell in love with Duncan.   

When Duncan came down with Lymphoma, we opted to keep him home with us and make him comfortable in his last days until he had a stroke and we knew it was time to put him to sleep – as hard as it was…it was the right thing to do.    

Sami went from the deck, to the garage, to the basement, to run of the house in less than 24 hours.


A few months before Duncan died, Sami showed up on our deck the night before a cold Halloween with a broken tail and homeless. Of course she promptly wormed her way into the house and our hearts. Apparently we are easy.   

The  reality of the situation, is when Duncan was dying he had frequent accidents in our study and hallway on the third floor. Although we worked to get the stains out, we never could completely get rid of the smell. Even worse, Sami decided it was an alternative location for her to go as well.   

This week we are replacing the carpet. Concerned that the urine had reached the sub-floor, I wanted to make sure that the smell didn’t come back. Our carpet installer recommended pulling up carpet in the stained areas a few days before they came and sealing them with Kilz. Apparently, one of their products seals in stains AND odors such as those from pets and fires; he recommended that we seal the floors 48 hours before they come to install the carpet, so we did.   

Make sure you get the one that says "Seals in Odors".


The guys pulled up the carpet this weekend and I went to Lowes. I have to tell you that I read the label of every single Kilz product because the one that seals ODORS is oil based. I HATE oil based paint. I hate it because it’s non-forgiving when it drips and if we are being honest here…I drip, and yes I dripped this time as well. I hate it because it ALWAYS gets on my clothes…and yes, it did this time too…and my shoes, slippers to be specific.  Thank goodness I took my crocs off. I just hate oil based paint. But, after spending a half an hour reading labels, I realized I was getting oil based Kilz for $19.99, and picked up some eco friendly mineral spirits to go with it.   

My other half, Mr. 1-800-junk from last week, thought we only needed a quart, but because 1) I thought we needed a gallon 2) I was doing the painting (and didn’t want to run to the store again), and 3)  I knew I was right…haha!, I bought a gallon. Turns out that was a good idea (cough,cough) because the sub floor absorbed the paint very quickly. Note to self: remind husband I was right 🙂   

Here’s the two areas I sealed…   

This is the Study...I painted it several years ago and stenciled my favorite quote. We have plans to relocate a ceiling fan to this room. I almost don't want to post this photo because of this light. Yuk. It was here when we moved in.


This hall is about 20 feet long and has doorways to the stairs going down, our master bedroom, a bath, and two bedrooms. Oh, also an crazy is that? It's great for laundry and bags filled to go to Goodwill 🙂


Here's the study with the floor sealed. It wasn't rocket science. I just made sure to cover up the stains and did the areas around them for good measure!


It really was easy to do. The floor is now officially sealed, has 48 hours to dry completely and carpet is coming on Wednesday…yay!   

PS. House is a wreck, but in a good way…lots of areas are getting thinned out and cleaned up! I will have some before and after carpet photo’s to share later this week! I’m going to busy after work every night this week I think! xoxoxo Amy


8 thoughts on “Replacing Carpet and Dealing with Pet Urine on a Sub Floor

  1. Just curious to see how the smell was after the carpet had been installed for awhile. Any odor detection as of late? And has Sami used the are for a toilet since? Thanks! This was super helpful!

  2. I haven’t smelled it since…it worked really, really well and Sami hasn’t used the area since! I have to say I am really happy. I had tried carpet cleaning first and paid extra for the pet deodorizer THAT was a HUGE mistake. The deodorizer was almost worst than the urine smell…it was awful. Didn’t work AT ALL. Sealing the floor and replacing is the only solution in my book!

  3. This was a helpful post for me. We have to pull up carpet
    and replace and as our two fur kids have had repeated accidents I was wondering what to do about their being drawn back to the
    usual places. They are good little guys but they mark…and nothing has deterred this. NO product cleaner or discourager has helped. SO I was glad to read this post because I needed an
    answer about how to rid the floor of any soaked through odor.

  4. Hi Trish! I am extremely happy with the results! The dog(s) have not gone there anymore and there is absolutely zero smell. I worked from home in that room the other day and even though the sun came in most of the morning and afternoon, it was fresh as ever. The heat always made it bad before I replaced the carpet and sealed the floors. Sealing the floors is the trick,. I believe if I had just replaced the carpet it would still smell. Let me know how it works for you if you try it! Amy

  5. I just purchased a house that reeked cat urine and when i say reeked i mean it reeked cat urine really bad. I was told by several people including my carpenter who will be installing my floor to do every floor that the cat’s may have accessed so I did the whole house. Your supposed to opened up all the windows b/c it is really strong in fumes. They tell you to use the oil based which is really messy but i guess that oil is needed to sink into the subfloor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s