Hardwood floors are generally a little more expensive to install than other options, excluding tiles. However, the price is justifiable as they are durable and should last for many years, outlasting other options.
Of course, to ensure they last as long as possible, you’ll want to take good care of them. That means you’ll be asking yourself whether to waterproof your wood floors or not. This is particularly relevant if you’ve chosen a high-quality wood floor, such as the traditional herringbone floor.
It is important to note that a completely waterproof hardwood floor is difficult to achieve. However, you can use a water-resistant sealer that will protect the floor against splashes and spills, providing you clean them up promptly.
The best option is a polyurethane wood sealer. There are several good reasons to waterproof your floor.
Wood and moisture don’t mix well. Moisture forces the wood to swell. Although wood floorings have a leeway to allow for expansion, there is a limit. Too much moisture will give the wood nowhere to go, it will push upward, and the boards will warp.
Don’t forget that spills and splashes are obvious and unlikely to cause warping. Leaking pipes and excess moisture in the air are likely to cause warping. You may notice the floor warping before you realize you have an issue with leaks or excess moisture levels.
A sealant will help protect your wood, delaying warping and allowing you time to discover and fix the issue.
Protect Against Spills
In most cases, you know about a spill and will clean it up straight away. The best approach is to blot the floor, absorbing the moisture rather than moving it around.
However, the real concern isn’t the spill; it’s what was spilled. The liquid soaks easily into the wood, and your gorgeous floor may suddenly have a discolored section, thanks to red wine or perhaps a curry sauce.
Waterproofing prevents the spill from soaking in straight away, giving you time to clear it up before discoloration appears.
Protection Against Scratches
Hardwood floors are usually waterproofed and sealed with a polyurethane coating. This doesn’t just protect against spills. The coating is also an effective way to protect the wood from scuffs and scratches. You can polish the sealant off periodically and reapply it, helping the actual floor look like new.
It’s a clever way of ensuring your hardwood floor lasts for as long as you think it will. This is especially true if the wood floor is in a high-traffic area that is likely to be damaged regularly.
If you do decide to waterproof your floor, you can get the professionals to do it. But, if you want to do it yourself, remember that it is critical to prepare the floor properly first. It must be clean and dry, or your sealant will simply be trapping moisture in the floor, speeding up the decay process.