How To Fix Water-Damaged Swollen Wood Floor? [Easy Process]

How To Fix Water-Damaged Swollen Wood Floor

A water-damaged swollen wood floor can be a homeowner’s nightmare. Whether it’s a leaky pipe, a flood, or excessive humidity, water exposure can cause wood flooring to swell, warp, and buckle. Not only does this compromise the aesthetic appeal of your home, but it can also pose safety hazards and lead to further structural damage if left untreated. However, with the right approach and diligent effort, you can effectively repair water-damaged swollen wood floors and restore them to their former glory. 

First, to fix water-damaged swollen wood floors, assess the damage and identify the water source. Then, dry the area thoroughly. Remove and replace severely damaged floorboards. Sand and level the subfloor, install new floorboards and sand the surface. Apply a protective sealant to prevent future damage.

Our guide will show you how to fix water-damaged swollen wood floors and restore the elegance of your home.


  • Pry bar or chisel (for removing damaged boards)
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Wood filler or putty
  • Paintbrush (for applying sealant and finish)


  • Replacement wood planks (if damaged area is extensive)
  • Wood glue
  • Wood sealant or primer
  • Wood finish or stain (matching the existing floor)
  • Rags or lint-free cloths
  • Mineral spirits (for cleaning)
  • Water-based or oil-based polyurethane (for finishing)


  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Menards
  • Ace Hardware
  • Woodworking Supply Stores


1-2 hours depending on damage



8 Steps To Follow To Fix Water Damage Swollen Wood Floor:

Repairing water-damaged and swollen wood floors can be challenging, but here are some steps you can take to address the issue:

Step 1: Assess The Extent Of Damage

Before diving into the repair process, thoroughly assess the extent of the damage. Identify the affected areas and determine whether the floor can be salvaged or requires replacement. Small localized areas of swelling might be manageable, while extensive damage may necessitate more significant repairs.

Step 2: Identify The Source Of Water

Understanding the source of water is crucial to prevent further damage. If it’s an ongoing issue, such as a leaky pipe or roof, address it promptly to avoid additional water exposure to your wood floor. Fixing the water source will also prevent future damage and ensure your repair efforts are not in vain.

Step 3: Dry The Affected Area

After addressing the source of water, thoroughly dry the swollen wood floor. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and proper ventilation to expedite the drying process. Avoid walking on the affected area until dry to prevent further damage.

Step 4: Remove Swollen Floorboards

If the water damage is severe and has caused irreversible swelling, removing and replacing the damaged floorboards may be necessary. To do this, use a circular saw to cut along the edges of the swollen boards, then carefully pry them out with a crowbar. Take caution not to damage the neighboring floorboards during this process.

Step 5: Sand And Level The Subfloor

Once the swollen floorboards are removed, examine the subfloor for any signs of moisture or damage. Sand down the subfloor if necessary to ensure it’s level and free from imperfections.

Step 6: Replace And Install New Floorboards

Purchase replacement floorboards that match the type and finish of your existing flooring. Cut them to the appropriate size and install them carefully into the vacant spaces. Nail them securely to the subfloor, ensuring they are leveled with the surrounding floor.

Step 7: Sand And Refinish The Floor

After installing the new floorboards, sand the entire floor surface to create a smooth finish. Clean the area thoroughly to remove any dust or debris. Apply a suitable wood finish or stain to match the rest of the flooring, ensuring a seamless appearance.

Step 8: Apply AV Protective Sealant

To enhance the longevity of your repaired wood floor and protect it from future water damage, apply a high-quality water-resistant sealant. This sealant will act as a barrier against spills and moisture, helping to prevent swelling and warping in the future.

7 Tips About How To Fix Water-Damaged Swollen Laminate Floors:

Water damage can harm laminate flooring, causing it to swell, warp, and lose appeal. If you’re facing the challenge of fixing water-damaged swollen laminate floors, timely action and the right approach are crucial. To help you effectively repair your laminate floors and restore their beauty, this article offers valuable tips.

Tips 1: Dry Thoroughly

Thoroughly dry the water-damaged areas. Use towels, mops, or absorbent cloths to soak up excess water. You can also use fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Avoid using excessive heat, as it may cause further damage to the laminate.

Tips 2: Remove Baseboards

If the water has seeped into the walls or baseboards, remove the baseboards to facilitate proper drying. This will prevent water from being trapped between the laminate and the wall, reducing the risk of further damage.

Tips 3: Inspect For Swelling

Carefully inspect the laminate for any signs of swelling or warping. Swollen laminate may have separated from its locking system or developed noticeable gaps. Identify the affected planks for replacement if necessary.

Tips 4: Replace Damaged Planks

Remove and replace the damaged planks if the water damage has caused irreversible swelling or warping. Start by disassembling the floor by unlocking the affected planks and carefully lifting them out. Install new laminate planks of the same style and finish, ensuring a seamless appearance.

Tips 5: Sand And Level

In cases where the damaged areas are minimal, sand down any uneven spots to level the floor surface. Be cautious not to over-sand, as laminate has a thin veneer that can’t tolerate aggressive sanding.

Tips 6: Re-Apply Finish

After repairing or replacing damaged planks, reapply the finish to the entire floor for a uniform appearance. Use a laminate floor repair kit that matches your flooring’s finish, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tips 7: Prevent Future Damage

Once your laminate floor is repaired, take preventive measures to avoid future water damage. Place mats near entryways, promptly clean up spills and avoid excessive moisture.

10 Mistakes To Avoid When Can Water-Damaged Hardwood Floors Be Fixed:

Water damage to hardwood floors can be distressing, but it is often repairable promptly and appropriately. However, certain mistakes can worsen the situation during the repair process or compromise the floor’s integrity. This article will highlight common mistakes to avoid when fixing water-damaged hardwood floors, ensuring that your repair efforts are effective and successful.

Mistake 1: Delaying Repairs

One of the biggest mistakes is delaying repairs. The longer water sits on the floor, the greater the damage it can cause. Promptly assess the extent of the damage and begin repairs to prevent further issues like swelling, warping, or mold growth.

Mistake 2: Inadequate Drying

Insufficiently drying the affected areas can lead to lingering moisture, causing continued damage. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and proper ventilation to ensure thorough drying. A moisture meter can help determine whether the floor is dry before repairs.

Mistake 3: Ignoring The Water Source

Fixing the floor without addressing the water source will lead to recurring damage. Identify and rectify the water source, whether a leaky pipe or a roof issue, to prevent future water-related problems.

Mistake 4: Overlooking Hidden Damage

Failing to inspect the subfloor and hidden areas thoroughly can lead to missed water damage. Check under the floorboards and crawl spaces for signs of moisture or rot, and address any issues before proceeding with repairs.

Mistake 5: Incorrect Floorboard Removal

Improperly removing damaged floorboards can cause unnecessary harm to neighboring boards or compromise the floor’s stability. Use the right tools and techniques to carefully remove the damaged boards and minimize disruption to the surrounding flooring.

Mistake 6: Neglecting Subfloor Repairs

Ignoring subfloor damage or unevenness can affect the repaired floor’s stability and longevity. Ensure the subfloor is in good condition, and level it properly before installing new floorboards.

Mistake 7: Incompatible Finishes

Using incompatible finishes during refinishing can lead to unsightly results or uneven wear. Match the finish to the existing floor or consult a professional to ensure a seamless and uniform appearance.

Mistake 8: Rushing The Refinishing Process

Hurriedly applying a finish without proper preparation can lead to imperfections or premature wear. Follow the recommended drying times between coats and allow ample curing time for the finish to achieve the desired durability.

Mistake 9: Skipping Protective Measures

Neglecting to apply a protective sealant after repairs can leave the floor vulnerable to future water damage. Apply a high-quality water-resistant sealant to safeguard the repaired floor and extend its lifespan.

Mistake 10: DIY In Complex Cases

Attempting DIY repairs without adequate knowledge and experience can worsen the situation in cases of extensive water damage or uncertainty. Seek professional assistance to ensure comprehensive and successful restoration.


How Do You Fix A Swollen Wood Floor With Water?

First, to fix a swollen wood floor with water damage, assess the damage’s extent and address the water source. Thoroughly dry the area, remove severely damaged floorboards, and replace them with matching ones. Sand the entire floor surface, then apply a protective sealant to prevent future water damage.

Can Water-Damaged Hardwood Floors Be Repaired?

Yes, water-damaged hardwood floors can often be repaired, depending on the extent of the damage. For minor water exposure or localized issues, prompt action and proper drying techniques may be sufficient to restore the floor.

However, more significant repairs or floorboard replacement may be necessary in cases of severe swelling, warping, or extensive damage. It is essential to address water damage promptly to prevent further issues and to consult a professional for proper assessment and repairs.

What Does Water Damage To Hardwood Floors Look Like?

Water damage to hardwood floors can lead to swelling, warping, discoloration, buckling, and wood cupping. The floor may feel spongy, develop cracks, or show signs of mold and mildew. Prompt action is crucial to prevent further damage and restore the floor’s integrity.

How Do You Repair Water-Damaged Hardwood Floors?

To repair water-damaged hardwood floors, assess the damage, address the water source, and thoroughly dry the area. If necessary, sand the floor, replace severely damaged boards, and apply a new finish and water-resistant sealant for protection. Consulting a professional is recommended for extensive damage or uncertainty.

How Long Does It Take For Water To Damage Hardwood Floors?

The time it takes for water to damage hardwood floors varies depending on several factors, including the type of wood, the amount of water, and the duration of exposure. In some cases, significant damage can occur within hours or days of exposure to excessive moisture.

However, it might take weeks or even months for noticeable damage to manifest in less severe situations. Promptly addressing water issues and drying the floors can prevent or minimize potential damage.


Repairing a water-damaged swollen wood floor requires careful assessment, prompt action, and attention to detail. You can successfully restore your wood floor’s beauty and integrity by identifying the extent of damage, addressing the water source, and following a systematic repair process. 

Remember to take preventive measures, such as sealing the floor and addressing water issues promptly, to safeguard your investment and maintain the charm of your home’s interior. With proper care and maintenance, your newly repaired wood floor will continue providing comfort and elegance for years.

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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