Bathroom floors made of wood are lovely. Nothing compares to the grandeur of well-finished wood under feet, whether you choose an exotic hardwood like acacia or a contemporary option like manufactured wood.
Furthermore, if you reside in a colder climate, wood is a great flooring option because it is warmer than tile. However, if you want to prevent your wooden flooring from absorbing water, waterproofing is a necessity.
The highest levels of moisture and humidity are found in bathrooms. Wooden objects in your home, particularly those in the bathroom, deteriorate due to moisture and humidity. It is usually preferable to take preventative steps in advance because some of the problems that come from this are expensive to repair.
Let’s look at the step-by-step process on how to waterproof wood for bathroom and other measures that can be taken to keep the bathroom dry and secure.
Benefits of waterproofing bathroom wood
The benefits of waterproofing your bathroom’s wooden floor are numerous and significant. Here are just a few examples:
1. Prevents floor damage: Wooden flooring is dangerously vulnerable to water, dampness, and steam. Wooden floors, for instance, can absorb moisture and expand or distort. Swollen floorboards can break or deform when they dry out and contract.
2. Enhance cleaning simplicity: Because waterproof floors don’t absorb spills, they are simpler to maintain and clean. So you won’t have to worry if you accidentally spill something in the bathroom about having to replace the floor.
Wood floors that have been weatherproofed also resist stains, so you only need to wipe the floor off with a soft cloth.
3. Many wood floors are highly resilient, but weatherproofing makes them last longer. Some can endure a lifetime, like hardwood floors. Amazingly, weatherproofing can help the floor last for a long time. So you may anticipate a long service life with minimal maintenance.
Also Reads: Top 5 Best finish for hardwood floors with dogs
Types of Waterproofing
Staining and sealing are the two basic methods for making wood flooring in bathrooms watertight. Deeper stains penetrate the wood more thoroughly, preserving it while enhancing its natural beauty or entirely concealing it.
While providing a protective, waterproof covering on the outside of the wood, sealers are transparent, allowing the wood’s inherent beauty to shine through.
- Water-based or oil-based?
The oil- or water-based nature of the waterproofing solution is another important factor to take into account. Oil-based waterproofing products are more durable and effectively penetrate wood.
They cannot, however, be used in wet environments. The durability of water-based solutions is inferior to that of oil-based ones. However, they don’t require any wood preparation and can even be used on wet surfaces.
- Claret or colored?
The waterproofing solution’s clarity or color must also be taken into account. The inherent grain pattern of the wood is preserved with clear solutions. Their only goal is to stop fading.
For best surface protection, reapply the solutions every two years. Additionally, to basic protection, tinted waterproofing treatments also provide UV protection. So every three years colored waterproofing treatments are used.
How to waterproof wood for bathroom
The two fundamental methods for waterproofing wood for a bathroom floor are as follows.
- Using oil to waterproof bathroom wood
One of the finest ways to waterproof wood for bathroom floors is with oil. Oils, for one, produce beautiful results.
Oil waterproofing is also long-lasting and doesn’t always demand much. You can make use of an ordinary one in your kitchen.
- Select the ideal oils for sealing wood
You can waterproof wood for the bathroom floor using a variety of oils, including Tung oil, linseed oil, walnut, hard wax oil, and teak oil.
Teak oil typically guarantees the most luxurious finish. The finish is outstanding. The main drawback is that allergic reactions may be brought on by walnut oil. So, be careful.
Hard-wax oil, on the other hand, is the best option for durability. Hard-wax oil is the best option if you want a waterproofing solution that will last at least three years. The tendency to create a thick surface is the only drawback of a hard-wax oil.
But Tung oil and linseed oil are the two oils that are most popular. Your wood pieces will be protected against water damage for a long time with Tung oil, which is made from the Chinese Tung tree.
It also leaves a lovely, wet-looking surface in its wake. But sadly, it takes a very long time to cure—usually 7–14 days, depending on how many layers are used.
Boiling linseed oil is a great substitute if you don’t want to wait that long. It produces a lovely glossy, water-repellent finish.
- Prepare the bathroom floor with oil for waterproofing
Unfortunately, after applying oil, any flaws and uneven surfaces on wood surfaces become more obvious. Additionally, oil brings out every shade of a wood surface. Therefore, before starting the application, prepare the surface as necessary.
- Remove any surface flaws with sandpaper until the surface appears even.
- Fine-grit (220) sandpaper should be used to lightly sand the surface.
- Sweep the region or use a lint-free cloth to rub away any leftovers, and then allow the surface to air dry.
- Choose the appropriate Oil
Prior to anything else, it is important to select the appropriate oil for your project.
Penetrating oils and finishing oils are two categories that encompass a wide range of available types.
While finishing oils act as a protective layer on top of the wood pores, penetrating oils penetrate them deeply. In addition to naturally darkening or turning yellow with age, penetrating oils also work to keep water from penetrating untreated portions of the grain where rot could eventually set in.
Finishing Tung oil, for example, does not penetrate deeply into the pores. Therefore, if you intend to use this technique, ensure that your wood is covered with varnish, polyurethane, or a similar substance.
- Mix the products
The next step is to mix the oil and thinner in a ratio of one part mineral spirits or paint thinner to four parts oil.
Avoid using water because it will make your mixture gel and make it difficult to spread evenly with a brush. When working with these chemicals, always wear gloves, and when working with the products indoors, make sure there is adequate ventilation.
- Apply the first coat
Once your mixture is ready, use a brush to apply it to the wood and let it soak for roughly 15 minutes. Then use a clean towel to remove any excess oil, leaving each board’s surface with only a thin layer of oil.
- Leave it to dry
Wait for at least 24 hours between coats to achieve the best result. However, you can apply a final coat of gloss polyurethane in case there are beads of water after about 3 or 4 applications. This will help seal pores more effectively than ordinary oils.
Before adding a second coat of polyurethane, allow the oil mixture to dry for at least a week.
- Use a second coat if necessary
After many coats of normal oil, if water is still beading up, you can apply a second layer, but this time swap out the mineral spirits for semi-gloss or glossy polyurethane.
The only disadvantage of using polyurethane in your mixture is that it could eventually turn yellow if exposed to sunshine, so test a tiny area first before using it all over your project, just in case.
- Let It dry
Before exposing your water-resistant wood project to an outdoor environment, let it dry completely (often for around 30 days).
- Using Wood Sealant
Wooden floors are prone to dents and stains, which can make them appear worn-out or dated. It is simple to avoid these problems altogether by applying water-resistant varnish to wooden planks; this varnish will also serve as a barrier between moisture and the subflooring underneath.
- Get the sealer ready.
Use either a natural bristle brush or lint-free cloths to carefully apply the solution to your wood floor after stirring it to make sure it is thoroughly blended.
To complete this step, you would want to use an electric sander. However, manual sanding is also an option. Make sure your floors are thoroughly swept and that all debris has been removed if you’re using a manual vacuum (such as dirt or dust).
- Apply the wood sealant evenly, being careful not to miss any spots.
When the solution is drying, be on the lookout for any bubbles that may form. If there are too many to remove with your hand, use a flat object. After about 20 minutes, if there is any leftover liquid that is still pooling, blot it out with a paper towel until the liquid has completely dissolved into the wood grain.
- Dry the sealant.
Allow the first coat of varnish to cure for approximately an hour before adding a second coat using the same technique or by spraying it with a spray gun (you will need to wait overnight in between coats if you do this).
- Clean the First Coat.
Use a clean towel to wipe the entire surface to get rid of any dust or other residue. Don’t worry if there are any spots where the sealer has been applied too thinly; just continue this process until your floor has been totally protected from future moisture damage.
- Apply a second coat and let it cure.
Instead of one thick application, apply the sealant in two or three thin coatings and then leave it to fully cure.
Conclusion: How To Waterproof Wood For Bathroom
You now understand the benefits of waterproofing bathroom wood, the types of waterproofing and how to waterproof bathroom wood. However, always keep in mind to use the best waterproof wood finishes from reliable suppliers.
Using an oil-based sealer frequently results in a nicer finish. But compared to a water-based commercial sealer, the oil-based sealant is more durable.
The time it takes for a sealant to cure varies. Resins cure in a single day. Varnish and other commercial sealers need about a week to cure. The longest cure time is for oils, which can sometimes take up to two weeks.
The bathroom is the room in the house with the highest moisture and humidity, thus water-proofing is crucial for the wooden fixtures there. We wish you the best!