How To Waterproof Wood Floor In Kitchen

Having wooden floors can be a considerable investment and add a sense of beauty and elegance to your home. But when your kitchen has a wooden floor, it is necessary to keep moisture from ruining it. If your home has a wooden kitchen floor, you may wonder how to waterproof a wood floor in the kitchen. There are a few options you can look into and decide which suits you and your kitchen floor the best.


To waterproof a wood floor in your kitchen, use a water-resistant finish. Polyurethane is advisable in high-traffic areas. Varnish is another option, as it provides a glossy finish and fills in cracks and holes. Do not lay waterproof membranes under floating wood floors, as it can cause rot.


You are in luck if your kitchen floor needs protection from water exposure. There are only a few steps to take toward reaching your wood floor dreams and ensuring your kitchen floor lasts as long as possible. Read on to learn about your options and to see which fits your home the best.


How To Waterproof Your Wood Kitchen Floor

Wood floors are a dream for many homeowners. They add a sense of nostalgia and elegance. They also add a lifelong demand for upkeep; unfortunately, many of us do not have the know-how to keep them at their best.


Kitchens are typically the room most often frequented, making them high-traffic areas. Moreover, the mixture of water, steam, and heat makes the kitchen a prime place for damage to your wood floors. 


Since you want to keep your floors in pristine condition in the kitchen and throughout your home, let us look at ways to waterproof your wood floors, particularly in the kitchen. These tips will serve you well in the heart of your home and throughout the house.


First, you must be aware that no wood floor is completely waterproof. Wood is not made that way. Our pointers will provide mild to excellent water resistance for your wood floors. 


Please be vigilant and clean up spills and messes as quickly as possible to avoid any staining or damage to your wood floors, even after they have been sealed. 


Now, look at a few outstanding options for waterproofing or water-resisting your wood kitchen floors. 


What To Use To Waterproof Wood Floor In A Kitchen

There are various options to choose from when waterproofing your wood kitchen floor. Let us look at a few of the most efficient.

 Use A Sealer

If you plan on sealing your own wood floors, consider this option. Sealers are the least waterproof of the possibilities, but they are the most DIY-friendly. 


They do not dry as hard as polyurethane, and they do provide some level of water resistance. 

Before using a sealer, clear the room. Sweep or vacuum the floor until it is entirely clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as closely as possible.

Allow sufficient time for the sealer to dry before replacing any items in the room. 


We do not recommend a sealer in the kitchen if you can avoid it. For a high-traffic, high-splash area like the kitchen, a sealer may not provide the level of waterproofing you need to keep your wood floor in prime condition. 


This option is better suited to low-traffic areas that are unlikely to get much water or other damage. 


Use Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a wonderful choice for high-traffic rooms like the kitchen. This product dries hard and is durable. It is available in water and oil-based options and in various shades to suit your wood floor.


If you select an oil-based polyurethane sealer, it will dry with a slight amber hue and darken over time. A water-based polyurethane sealer will dry clear and remain transparent.


We highly recommend polyurethane for use in high-traffic areas like the kitchen. Its versatility in terms of color and base selection fits such an essential room of the house. We also appreciate that its hard finish provides a successful barrier against exposure to water. 

 Use Varnish

Varnish is another option that many homeowners enjoy selecting. Varnish is available in multiple shades and finishes and can be made to suit your kitchen wood floor and your needs.


Varnish is a good fit for kitchens since it fills in cracks and holes in wood floors. Its filling properties not only mend minor issues in wood floors but prevent dirt and water from penetrating the wood, causing rot and damage.


Use An Under-Wood Option

More than just applying a treatment over their wood floors are required for some homeowners. They long to place preventative materials beneath their wood floors. Certain apartment buildings request that anyone doing renovations place a waterproof membrane beneath their kitchen floors, wooden or otherwise.


While we understand that a downstairs neighbor would appreciate being protected from a water leak from their upstairs neighbor, some issues arise from inserting waterproof membranes under certain types of wood kitchen floors. 


Placing a waterproof membrane under a floating wood membrane will likely cause rot. The logic is that it will hold water vapor from above and below and provide little to no breathing space for the wood. 


Another option for homeowners installing nailed wood pieces on their kitchen floor is to insert tar paper under the floor. This is recommended by NWFA guidelines and could help prevent the trapped water vapor experienced by a waterproof membrane.


Yet another option is used by those in apartments and elsewhere and is provided by


A slow-drying rubber polymer is painted on the floor beneath the wood floor. A reinforcing cloth is placed on the polymer while wet. The wood floor is installed above the waterproofing solution. 


Prepare To Waterproof Wood Floor In A Kitchen

Before you waterproof the wood floor in your kitchen, it is crucial to prepare the area and the floor for the process. 


Follow these simple steps to ensure that your kitchen and kitchen floor are adequately prepared to be waterproofed.


  • Remove all furniture, rugs, and clutter from the room. There should be nothing left on the kitchen floor. 
  • Vacuum or sweep the floor thoroughly until there is no more dust or dirt. 
  • Sand the floor. Sanding the floor ensures no old treatment is left on the wood. Old treatment will prevent the new waterproof treatment from being adequately absorbed by the wood.
  • If you wish, buff the floor. Buffing the floor will bring out a shine and make the wood smooth and ready for treatment. 


Apply Three Coats To Waterproof Wood Floor In A Kitchen

To achieve a perfect water-resistant finish, it is recommended that you apply three coats. This is particularly helpful if you use a polyurethane treatment for your wood floor. As with all products, please follow the manufacturer’s directions closely to avoid causing damage to your floor.


For high-traffic areas like the kitchen, three coats of treatment will help to seal your floor and protect it from water and other damage. Apply the first and second coats within twenty-four hours of each other. 


Apply the treatment with a soft, natural fiber mop and work your way down to a brush. As with painting floors, start in a far corner and work toward a door to give yourself a way out once the treatment is on the floor. 


Before applying the final coat, check the floor for any bubbles and creases in the treatment. Use fine sandpaper for sanding the issues out, and then sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly before applying the final coat. The final coat should be applied at least twenty-four hours after the second coat. 


Be sure to spot clean or mop the floor before applying the final coat to avoid having dirty marks or stains sealed into your floor for the next few years. 


When you are sure the final coat is completely dry, return the furniture to the kitchen. Although your wood floor will be more resistant to water, you should continue to be vigilant and clean up spills and messes as soon as you see them to avoid significant damage. 



Wood floors are never 100% waterproofed, but they can be made water-resistant. To make your kitchen wood floor water-resistant, select treatments that best suit your needs. Ensure you prepare the room and floor effectively and apply the treatment according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Keep your wood floor in good condition by cleaning spills as quickly as possible. 


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