Waterproof Type Of Wood Flooring?
The simple answer is that wood flooring is typically not
meant to be waterproof. This is the reason that homeowners
are advised against getting wood flooring installed in their
bathrooms. Generally, it is also recommended to prevent
stagnant pools of water and water seepage since this can
prove to be damaging for hardwood floors. However, there a
few exceptions to this and considering that the distinct
advantages of wood flooring, waterproofing wood floors can
be worth it and is not too difficult.
Waterproof Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Quite a few flooring manufacturers are now offering
waterproof engineered hardwood flooring that can be
installed in commercial and residential projects. This type
of engineered hardwood flooring is designed to perform to
the highest international standards. Since these
manufacturers value safety, this type of engineered hardwood
flooring tends to have a fire resistance higher than the
required standards. The specific surface density of this
type of engineered hardwood floors enables them to be highly
durable and withstand wear and tear.
Above all, the manufacturers subject this type of engineered
hardwood floorboards to growth, memory and swell tests,
which involve the use of water, which is the reason they
tend to be waterproof. This also makes them mold and termite
resistant as well. This type of flooring may consist of High
Density Fiberboard (HDF), plywood or real wood as the core
while a layer of hardwood veneer is glued on the top. Thus,
this type of flooring actually comprises of wood rather than
just posing with a “wooden” effect. This makes it usable in
area where heat and water pose problems.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring With A HDF Core
While not entirely waterproof, engineered hardwood flooring
tends to be resistant to contract and expansion as a result
of changing humidity levels when compared to solid wood
flooring. However, in comparison to engineered hardwood
flooring with a plywood core, a High Density Fiberboard (HDF)
core tends to be more resistant to water exposure. An HDF
core consists of compressed recycled sawdust and
eco-friendly resin. However, engineered hardwood flooring
with an HDF core is less likely to return to its original
dimensions if it swells up after absorbing too much
moisture, but it is always possible to waterproof this type
How To Waterproof Solid Wood Flooring?
As mentioned, unprotected wood flooring is usually prone to
mildew, rotting and staining since they do not happen to be
naturally waterproof, neither are they generally
manufactured to be waterproof. If you are serious about
getting hardwood flooring installed in your house, you could
avoid expensive repairs by waterproofing your floors.
Keep in mind that any finish that is applied to a wood floor
will only make it waterproof to some extent, but totally
waterproofing wood flooring is not possible simply by
applying a finish over it. In order to potentially achieve
that, the boards will have to be sealed on all sides before
they are installed.
Polyurethane is the most water-resistant sealant that can be
applied to existing wood flooring. If you would rather have
a natural and unfinished appearance for your wood flooring,
a paraffin-based sealant or a penetrating oil can also be
used in order to make wood floors water-resistant. These
materials can be applied using a brush, floor finish
applicator or a roller.
1. If your wood flooring does not already have a finish, the
floor will have to be sanded.
If you are planning to refinish your wood floors rather than
just waterproof them, you can achieve professional sanding
results by using a drum sander and an edger. If you feel
that this would be too much of a hassle, a floor buffer that
has a 120-grit sanding screen can also be used. The grain of
the flooring can be flattened by running the buffer over it.
2. The floor will have to be thoroughly cleaned using a
then the fine bits of dust that have been left behind will
have to be removed by wiping them down using a damp tack
3. Depending on your needs, a suitable waterproofing sealant
should be selected accordingly.
Outdoor waterproofing sealants, such as the type that are
used for decks, tend to evaporate rapidly and even though
the paraffin coating left behind is waterproof, it also
tends to be visible. If you want your flooring’s surface to
look natural, you may use penetrating oils that will harden
in the grain by adding a protective coating to your wood
floors. If you want to achieve maximum water protection,
polyurethane film coatings are an ideal choice, but again,
you will be able to view the coating.
4. The chosen sealant will have to be poured into a 5-gallon
Paraffin-based sealants can be applied using a brush or a
roller. When penetrating oil is being used, it can be
applied using a brush and excess oil that pools on the floor
can be wiped off using a rag. For polyurethane film coating,
it is best to use a floor finish applicator, which resembles
a weighted sponge squeegee that has to be dragged along the
wooden surface. The chosen sealant should be spread on the
floor, staring from the corner that is opposite the exit and
then spreading it towards the door. The windows should be
kept open and a respirator should be worn.
5. Wait for at least one night for the sealant to dry.
You will not have to do anything else if a paraffin sealant
or a penetrating oil was applied. However, if a polyurethane
film coating was used and no other coat of finish is going
to be applied, then a 120-grit sanding screen will have to
be used once again to screen the wooden surface.
The bottom line is that there are no wood flooring options
that are completely 100% waterproof. However, it is true
that manufacturers have started offering waterproof
engineered hardwood flooring, but getting them installed may
not be an option for everyone. The same goes for regular
engineered hardwood flooring that has an HDF core instead of
a plywood one. Fortunately, it is possible to manually
waterproof regular solid wood floors, but it is always
better to get them waterproofed by a professional.
Singapore Wooden Flooring & Laminated
Singapore Laminate Flooring, Parquet &
Wood Flooring Specialists