I don't know how to tell whether a floor is hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, vinyl plank, vinyl tile, vinyl sheet, linoleum, bamboo, etc.

So I don't know what type of floor this is in my home office.

But it has been problematic in two surprising ways:

  1. My partner vomited, and even though we immediately cleaned up the splatter, you can see that the "wood" has been lightened wherever the splatter was.

  2. We then also noticed that the area that under her desk that had been covered by a rug has also lightened over time. At first we wondered if it was due to a difference of the amount of sunlight received by the floor that wasn't covered by a rug, but that feels backwards because we would have guessed that sun would make areas lighter (and that covering an area with a rug would keep that area relatively darker). So we wonder if sometimes rugs and this type of floor interact in a way that kind of bleaches the floor. It's totally bizarre.

How can we fix this floor now?

splatter stain on wood floor

lightened area of wood floor where rug was

more splatter stain on wood floor

  • 1
    I would try an oil soap first sometimes oil soap will help if that doesn’t help a dilute acid wash can help even things out , I am thinking the oil soap as that looks like a oil finish to me ( not a gloss like poly) there are many brands out there but oil soaps help to clean and rejuvenate the wood once bleached by stomach acid sometimes a weak acid can help even things out but in the end it will be lighter. If two light after a dilute acid wash more oil can be applied to darken it back up.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 4, 2022 at 17:22
  • 1
    If it is hardwood or I think also bamboo, then can be refinished. The vinyl types usually have too thin top to do much with(can't sand the stains away). There might be something like re-fresher(?) for vinyl floors but do not know if they will work or just marketing nonsense.
    – crip659
    Jun 4, 2022 at 17:24
  • I think it's pine, because of the grain textures I can see & also because it will yellow & darken with exposure to light, & as @EdBeal says, with a 'natural' coating rather than any type of 'varnish'. [& just coincidentally, my chair is sitting on just the same Ikea rug as yours;))
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 5, 2022 at 8:58
  • 1
    Stomach acid is very strong, you basically have to be cleaning it up as it hits the floor to prevent a reaction/stain. The flooring might be real wood, compared to made flooring, since the patterns in the wood do not seem to repeat. Man made wood flooring usually has a pattern of the grain that repeats every so often, every few pieces(4 to 8) will match exactly in grain pattern.
    – crip659
    Jun 5, 2022 at 12:44


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.