FREE STANDARD SHIPPING on all orders $100+ with code FREESHIP100

How to Waterproof Floors: Complete Guide

Whether you have tile, concrete, or wood flooring in your home, it's crucial to keep them looking fresh and new by ensuring they are protected from water damage.

The key to well-maintained flooring is understanding how to waterproof floors in an effective way that will ensure your floors are protected for years into the future.

Read on to discover the steps required to waterproof your floors so that they retain their beauty for a long time to come.


How to Waterproof Floors Step-by-Step

How to Waterproof Floors Step-by-Step

Whether you need to waterproof wood flooring, tile, or concrete, it's important to start with the base foundation whenever possible. Waterproofing the base membrane protects the structure of your home or business against water-related damage.

With this process, you'll be able to protect beautiful wood floors from permanent stains and other issues that exposure to moisture can cause. This also protects the wood from expanding and contracting from water, which can cause the flooring to warp or crack over time. When you waterproof wood flooring, you can even use it in your bathroom or kitchen worry-free.


Start With Tools and Materials

To begin, you'll need a few items, including primer, silicone, and a waterproofing agent, such as a wood sealer. A waterproof membrane should also be used for bathrooms, foundations, or basements.

You'll also need a paint roller or brush, a paint roller tray, a knife, a caulking gun, and a vacuum or dust mop for cleanup. Use protective gear to cover your eyes due to the dust that will come from sanding the floors.


Clean and Prep the Area

This first step is vital since your floors must be completely clean and free of dust before you apply the waterproofing solution. Any remaining dirt or grime can become "trapped" under the sealant and leave permanent marks behind.

Remove all furniture from the room before you begin. You can leave anything that isn't easy to remove, like tubs, toilets, and sinks.

Start by vacuuming. You can also use a dry mop to remove dust, dirt, and residue.

When waterproofing wood flooring, sand the area using medium-grit sandpaper, then vacuum or sweep up the remaining dust. Open doors and windows to ventilate the room and help the floors dry faster.

It's best to waterproof floors on dry, warm days since high levels of humidity can cause the primer and waterproofing solution to dry much slower. Ventilation is key to ensuring an effective waterproofing application.


Apply the Primer

Apply the Primer

An epoxy, water-based primer is ideal for waterproof plank flooring, wood, and most other flooring types. Pour your primer into a paint roller tray and apply the primer in even strokes with a brush or paint roller.

Start applying the primer in the back corner of the room, working around the walls. Coat around seven or eight inches of the wall for added protection.

Continue applying the primer to the rest of the floors, working in small areas as you spread it evenly with the brush or roller. Allow the primer to dry for four hours or more, and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to ensure it's mixed and applied correctly.

New call-to-action


Use Silicone to Fill Cracks

Once the primer is fully dry, start filling in any visible cracks with silicone. This will seal the gap between the floor and wall along with any cracks in the flooring itself. Any breach in your flooring can leave it vulnerable to moisture, so this step is extremely important.

Use a caulking gun to apply the silicone for an even, steady application. You can use a paint scraper to remove the excess, ensuring that the surface is smooth and even. Wait 24 hours to ensure that the primer and silicone are completely dry.


Mark Walls With Painters Tape

Mark Walls With Painter's Tape

To keep track of where you're waterproofing the walls, apply painter's tape to get an even line of sealer. If you're just concerned about how to waterproof floors, it's still a good idea to proof approximately a 1/2-foot area off the floor onto the walls.

Waterproofing the walls is an excellent way to ensure that the surrounding areas of the room are protected. This reduces the risk of structural damage and keeps the drywall protected, too. If waterproofing up to a shower recess, it's best to do so about six feet up the wall.


Apply the First Coat of Waterproofing

Now you're ready to apply your first coat of waterproofing. Pour the agent or sealer into a paint roller tray. Apply the waterproofing agent to the wall first using a paint roller or paintbrush and repeat the same pattern as the primer, applying it up to where you left the painter's tape.

Once the walls are complete, start applying the waterproofing agent to the floors, starting from the back corner and moving outward, so you don't paint yourself into a corner. When waterproofing wood floors, use a urethane waterproof sealer that is water or oil-based to protect the floor's natural shine.

If you're using a urethane sealer, apply the first coat with a thick mop made of wool or another natural material. This is a great way to create a smooth, even application.


Use a Waterproof Membrane

For waterproof basement flooring and foundations, a waterproof membrane is highly recommended. This will protect your structure from excess humidity, underground moisture, and spills. This step should be completed before you install the flooring.

Cut your waterproof membrane with a knife to the exact length of the wall. Lay it down so that half is on the wall and half is on the floor, so it covers the crack between the floor and wall.

Cover the membrane with the waterproofing agent, so it acts as an adhesive. This step secures the membrane to the wall and floors and gives it two different layers of sealer.

Smooth the corners and crevices as you go, then lay the remaining membrane down onto the floor. Cover all areas and focus on the joints, and allow the membrane and your first coat of waterproofing to dry for 24 hours.


Apply a Second Coat of Waterproofing

Apply a Second Coat of Waterproofing

Once the membrane is applied and your first coat is dry, repeat step five and apply a second coat of waterproofing. You will not need to apply a second layer of the membrane.

Let the application dry for another 24 hours and open doors and windows. Using a fan can help ventilate the room and speed up drying time. Remove the painter's tape, and enjoy your newly waterproofed floors.



Protect Your Floors With Waterproofing

Protect Your Floors With Waterproofing

Now that you know how to waterproof floors, you can enjoy a beautiful home without worrying about water damage. Remember to follow these steps to ensure that your new flooring is safe from moisture damage.

To schedule a consultation or find out more about our products, contact us today. 

New call-to-action