Water damage can occur anywhere inside the house, including the bathroom. The causes vary from leaky or burst pipes to cracked roofs and even floods. Whatever the reason, water damage can quickly turn your livelihood upside down, bringing all sorts of health hazards.

It may especially be the case in the bathroom, where water flows daily. However, the question is, how do you know if there is water damage in your bathroom?

Bathroom Water Damage: The Signs

You have many signs that tell you that your bathroom flooring has suffered water damage. While you may not notice it instantly, those tiny leaks behind the walls, or the bathtub that prevents the water from draining correctly, may have a different story.

So, here are five signs that let you know if your bathroom has suffered water damage.

  •  A persistent musty smell.
  •  Mold or mildew growth.
  •  Warps or bubbles behind or between the tiles or walls.
  • Damage to the grouts or caulks.
  • Wet or spongy floors.

So, these are the signs that tell you that your bathroom has been through water damage. Be sure to attend to the problem quickly so that it doesn’t spread.

Home Interior Water leaking damage for background

Tools Required to Fix Bathroom Floor Water Damage

You should immediately reverse the water damage to your bathroom floors to prevent further spread. Keep all the necessary tools and equipment ready before you begin. The tools you will need to fix water damaged bathroom floors include:

Leather gloves, eye gear, and a dust mask.

  • Pry bar
  • Pencil
  • Straightedge
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Repairing ring or plate for the toilet
  • Cat’s paw
  • Hammer
  • Drill and drill bit
  • Jigsaw
  • Handsaw
  • Circular saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Galvanized nails
  • Measuring tape
  • Wood joists
  • Adhesives
  • Two-inch wood screws
  • 5/8-inch plywood
  • Leveling compound for the floor
  • Belt sander

Bathroom water damage repair: The Process

So, now that you have all the tools required for the job, it’s time to fix your water-damaged bathroom floors. You will need to follow the steps as outlined below for this process.

1. Turn the Water Off

The first step is to turn the water off by closing all the valves and turning off the taps. Also, close off the main valve from where the water flows into the bathroom.

2. Get the Area Prepped

After turning off the water supply, prepare the area so that you can repair and reverse the damage. However, before that, make sure that you wear protective gear such as a mask, leather gloves, and goggles. Find those damaged spots and remove and keep aside any items lying on them. Using a prybar, take off all the nails protruding from the baseboards to get as much area as possible. If you have nails that are more widespread, take your time to undo the flooring.

3. Inspection

Scan the area thoroughly and look for any signs of water damage. When inspecting the area, don’t forget to look at the joists to know which side has suffered damage.

Use a pencil and straightedge, and draw a line that cuts through the middle of the adjacent joists. Then, connect those lines using a carpenter’s square, and create a rectangle covering the damaged area

4. Reverse the Damage

Now that you have identified the damaged spot, you can proceed to reverse it. Start by removing the screws using the cat’s paw and hammer or drill. If the damage has occurred around the toilet, use a jigsaw to cut out a circle around the flange.

Cut along the lines to make a rectangle, overcut the corners, and take out the area. Then, take the handsaw, and cut out the circular portion.

5. Let the Area Dry

The joists may be wet, in which case, you might want to allow them to dry before reinforcing. Leave the window and door open so that enough air is getting in and the joists dry quickly.

6. Nail the Joists Back

The next step is to put the joists back in their places. Note the exact measurements of each wood joist and nail new ones over the rotted sections. However, keep each end on top of the good wood.

7. Close the Gaps

As the last step, you will need to close the gaps with plywood. Start by measuring the dimensions of your rectangular cutout. Then, cut the plywood according to those measurements, and cover the area. You can use notches for the flange pipe if needed.

When covering the gaps, screw in the plywood using two-inch screws, and leave a 1/8th inch gap between the existing and new flooring. Fill the opening and level out the floor using a suitable compound. Finally, sand it using a belt sander, if required.


If you ever notice that your bathroom floor has suffered water damage, tend to it immediately without further due to prevent spreading. Use the above techniques to repair or reverse water damage to your bathroom flooring. However, take all the necessary precautions and wear gloves, masks, and other protective gear.

The following table sums up the steps to follow to repair damaged bathroom flooring

S.No. Steps
1 Turn off all the taps and cut the water supply to the bathroom.
2 Get the area ready.
3 Check your bathroom and identify the source of the problem.
4 Start the repair process by removing the flooring.
5 Let the area dry.
6 Nail the flooring back and close any gaps between the grouts.