If you have wood flooring, you may want to make it waterproof, especially in certain areas. In such a case there are two important issues you will need to take into consideration. Firstly, you will need to ask yourself whether you actually want your flooring to become waterproof or if you want it to become more resistant to water. And secondly, you will need to decide on how to do it.
Bear in mind that waterproof and water resistant are two different terms. Usually wooden floors which have a finish have some kind of water resistance built in. But, lacquered or varnished flooring is in most cases more water resistant as compared to oil finished floors. Moreover, if you want to make your wood flooring waterproof, you will have your work cut out for you.
It is true to say that there are a few products once can purchase on the market which can protect the flooring from water. But whether or not they will meet your needs in terms of waterproofing depends on what your desired end result is. You may need the floor to be water resistant for instance in a situation that you take a few wet footsteps walking from a bathtub to get a towel and want to feel secure that it won’t cause damage to your flooring. A totally different situation is when you’re planning on waterproofing a wooden floor in an interior that you want to turn into a wet room.
Making your floor water resistant to make it withstand wet feet entering the house from the outdoors or wet feet walking across the bathroom is quite simple and entails the following measures.
Firstly, preparing the floor. In order to prepare the flooring for the use of a waterproofing product, you should clear the room and carefully and precisely clean the floor, repairing any damage.
Secondly, sanding the floor. It’s crucial to invest sufficient time in the sanding process, as this guarantees a satisfactory end result. While sanding, always start with the edges, using a rough grit sandpaper, moving on to a finer grit. Once you’re done with the sanding process, clean and vacuum the floor again.
Thirdly, application of a selected waterproofing product. Each waterproofing product has comprehensive manufacturer’s instructions on the label and it’s extremely important to read and follow them at all times. Yet, usually you need to apply no less than three layers of waterproofing polyurethane or resin, allowing each of the layers to dry thoroughly prior to moving on to applying the next one. In between applying further layers, you need to check whether there are any bubbles or wrinkles and sand them away before applying the next layer. As you start the process, it’s recommended to use a natural fabric mop which guarantees a good coverage. Also, you should work up to a brush at the end, which will ensure a nice even finish.
Moreover, remember that it's best to do this job on a warm, dry day. In this way the floor will probably dry quickly and evenly, sparing you time and unnecessary fuss. Also, when applying the finish, move towards the door – that is how you will avoid a situation of being trapped in the middle of the room and having to walk across the room, ruining all the work you've just done.
But, regardless of how carefully you apply a waterproofing product to the flooring, and no matter of what the claims of the product manufacturer are, always try to remove any spills as soon as they appear and do all you can to avoid flooding, as it can damage the floor in spite of all the precautionary measures you've taken.