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Repairing a Water Damaged Kitchen Floor

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
water damaged kitchen floor

A water damaged kitchen floor is a more common occurrence than floors in other rooms. The sink, dishwasher, disposal, ice maker, and associated plumbing—all in a single room—make kitchen floors likely to be exposed to water at some point. On the plus side, certain common flooring materials tend to make kitchens more water-resistant than floors elsewhere in the house.

Seepage into the wooden subfloor beneath flooring is often a deciding factor in assessing a water damaged kitchen floor. If a subfloor has absorbed substantial moisture, removal of all flooring material may ultimately be required to effectively dry the subfloor and prevent wood rot and mold contamination. Contacting qualified water damage professionals, ASAP, is vital to remove standing water and extract residual moisture as quickly as possible.   

Here’s how flooring types react in a typical water damaged kitchen floor:

  • Vinyl flooring. Usually a highly water-resistant material, vinyl flooring is often cut in a single large piece to fit the entire kitchen, minimizing seams that permit seepage into the subfloor. If seepage occurs at baseboards, a flooring professional may lift that limited section, dry the subfloor beneath, then glue the vinyl flooring back into place.  
  • Tile floors. Ceramic tile common in kitchens is impervious to water. However, the grout that secures tiles in place may deteriorate if submerged and individual tiles may loosen. Generally, loose tiles may be removed, the subfloor beneath dried, and the same tiles replaced with new grout.
  • Hardwood. Hardwood flooring is less common in kitchens. Hardwood in a water damaged kitchen floor absorbs moisture and may warp or buckle. Staining may also occur. Water penetrates between planks and soaks the subfloor. Professional restoration by a hardwood specialist is often required to save an expensive hardwood floor following water damage. 
  • Wood laminate. A water damaged kitchen floor made of wood laminate material rapidly degrades in standing water. Glues in wood laminate dissolve and the material swells and disintegrates, saturating the subfloor beneath. If water exposure is prolonged, laminated wood flooring generally requires total replacement.