Asked on Dec 26, 2011

Inthis photo you can see what looks like burns in the hardwood floor.

Johnavallance82Jeanette RodriguezDebbie Gartner


There looks like an electrical line from the wall to an outlet in the middle of the room in the floor. What could cause this?
23 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 26, 2011

    There might have been electrical lines run under a rug or some carpeting at some point...a very bad thing to do BTW. Another possibility is a bad scratch that was "improperly" repaired. I have seen that dozens of times. The floors finish is sanded away to "remove" the scratch but then the "repair"of the sanded away finish in not completed to result in a durable finish like the surrounding area. This "dark" area is soiling that has gotten into the grain.

  • Also someone could have used a tape to hole an extension cord and the glue perhaps stained the floor. A good flooring person may be able to bleach some of this out, But I doubt you will be able to remove it entirely.

  • Frank C
    on Dec 27, 2011

    Looks like to save it your going to have to sand it all down and stain it darker then apply a good sealer.

  • Is this by chance on a slab? Was a "trench" chiseled in the slab? Was it properly sealed from moisture?

  • If it is currently happening & is electrical, I would fear a potential fire.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 27, 2011

    I'm still sticking with the poorly repaired scratch...the light area in the middle is the are the dark areas in the open grain.

  • Is the wood bowing or cupping anywhere?

  • Belco Electric
    on Dec 28, 2011

    Anything is possible, but I would not expect this to be the result of electrical wiring under the wood floor. For burn marks to show on the surface of the floor, there would have to be substantial damage underneath at the source of the heat and I can't imagine that it would not have caused a full blown fire.

  • Thank you for your expertise Belco, I am relieved.

  • Frank C
    on Dec 30, 2011

    Is it laminate or real wood like 3/4". If so like I had mentioned before try to re-stain to a darker color, If that is a option.

  • Larry, is it possible that a mirror or window has been focusing or reflecting sunlight right there intensively over time?

  • Higgins const.
    on Dec 30, 2011

    was carpet removed? If so could be dog pee. If so those bds will need to be replaced and the room sanded

  • HDK Electrical Enterprises
    on Dec 31, 2011

    I agree with Belco. It is more likely that the damage was caused by something on top of the floor that no longer is there. I would think sanding and refinishing would take care of it.

  • Larry H
    on Jan 1, 2012

    Thanks for all your responses. The wood is on a concrete slab. I couldn't see that any windows are directing any sunlight right on that area. There is no warping or cupping on the flooring.

  • The more I look at this photo and now knowing its on a slab, My thoughts are that there is some sort of moisture issue that has caused this stain. Water will darken wood exactly like this. Have you looked into having a thermal camera brought in to scan the floor for perhaps hidden leak or moisture build up? A thermal camera along with a trained operator can determine if this condition is ongoing or perhaps find if there is a leak if the stain keeps changing.

  • Frank C
    on Jan 2, 2012

    I think if it's water (moisture) that's the cause, there would be more damage. And yes water would make marks lke this. I would sand it first and see if the mark gets better but if it's all the way thru it then DARKER stain would be the solution. Just saying.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 2, 2012

    Larry...I'm guessing you are "new" to this home? Before you go the trouble and possible expense of much more "investigative" work, would it be possible to call the previous owner and ask the simple question if they had a heavy scratch repaired in that I said before this looks like a poor repair of a scratch...which I have seen many times.

  • Glkirk Builders Inc.
    on Jan 2, 2012

    On a slab-I am amazed the in genius ways people run ice maker lines! Cut it out and replace.

  • Larry H
    on Jan 8, 2012

    Thanks for all our great insights. I will let you know if any of these pan out.

  • Carol
    on Dec 14, 2014

    You can test for urine stains with a black light. I would call in an expert to find out what caused the discoloration.

  • Debbie Gartner
    on Apr 13, 2017

    This looks like pet stains (or water stains) to me. This article explains how you can eliminate them. Oh, and I can't imagine electrical wires doing that (or even being there in the first place).
  • Johnavallance82
    on Jan 21, 2018

    If all else fails, I think you have two other options. !. Rub down and use a dark stain all over. 2. Cover it over with a Rug or piece of furniture.
Your comment...