Skip to main content

How to Replace Rotted Wood Under a Kitchen Sink (DIY Guide)

I'm a DIY-er that has tackled some pretty daunting home improvement projects. I love to share my experiences on different online platforms!

Water Damaged Wood With Mold Under Kitchen Sink

Water Damaged Wood With Mold Under Kitchen Sink

Got Water Damage Under Your Sink?

You're not alone. Wood and wood flooring is an easy target for water damage if it is not protected by waterproof materials such as plastic, vinyl, or tile. If the wood is not treated properly after water damage, mold could form and might create health hazards.

Luckily, replacing the rotted wood under the kitchen sink can be a do-it-yourself project if you have the right tools and a few hours to spare.

Replacing the Rotted Wood Under the Kitchen Sink

Replacing the Rotted Wood Under the Kitchen Sink

How to Replace the Wood Under Your Kitchen Sink

If you detected the damage early and the areas affected by mold are small, you probably can just cut out those small areas with the mold and fill them back with wood hardener.

If the mold has already spread more than half of the wood floor, then you might have to replace the wood floor under the sink. To do so, you could either hire a handyman, which costs you about $150, or you can tackle it yourself for less than $50.

New Wood Replacement Under A Kitchen Sink

New Wood Replacement Under A Kitchen Sink

Tools and Materials for Replacing a Board Underneath a Sink

If you want to replace the water damaged wood under the kitchen sink by yourself, prepare yourself with the following tools and materials:

  • Power saw
  • Hand saw
  • Power drill
  • Bar clamp
  • Hammer
  • Flashlight
  • Brush and dustpan
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask
  • A right size wood board
  • 2x4 lumber
  • Screws
  • Nails

Step-by-Step Guide for Replacing the Wood Under Your Sink

  1. Remove all the items under the sink,
  2. Brush off any dust or garbage on the wood board under the sink,
  3. Exam the damage on the wood,
  4. Draw lines on the wood so that you know exactly where to cut,
  5. Use a bar clamp to secure 2x4s to help cut a straight line more easily,
  6. Put on a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes and a dust mask to prevent you from inhaling dust,
  7. If you are using a hand saw, try to drill some holes to help start sawing more easily.
  8. There should be an electric outlet under the kitchen sink for your power tool if you need one,
  9. Using a power saw will definitely help save you time, but the motors of some of the power saws can get overheated more easily and might stop working as a result. So make sure that you give your power saw a break once in a while.
  10. Remount your bar clamp accordingly as you work on different sections of the board,
  11. If you worry there might be a piece of wood underneath the board that you are cutting, you can cut an opening that is large enough for you to place a camera in and take some pictures or you can put your hand in to feel for it. This would give you a better idea of how to cut the board more efficiently.
  12. Use a flashlight to help you see better when you need to cut the inner corners,
  13. Some power saws might not be able to help you cut all the way to the end of the board where the inner corners are, you might want to use a small hand saw or other smaller power tool to handle that,
  14. When you are done cutting the board, remove the rotted board out of your way,
  15. Clean out all the garbage you can see after you've removed the rotted board,
  16. Use pieces of 2x4 lumber to make supporting structures for the new board to sit on,
  17. Cut out the right size of a new board and put it on,
  18. Use a drill bit to create holes for screws, and secure the new board with screws.

How to Prevent Water Damage to Wood Floor Under a Sink

In order to prevent water damage to the wood floor under the kitchen sink in the future, you will need to cover the wood with waterproof materials such as plastic or vinyl.

You can buy a roll of wide vinyl or plastic and cut them to size, or you can buy a few pieces of vinyl tile. You also have the option of choosing glue-down vinyl tile or self-adhesive vinyl tile. If you are going to use self-adhesive vinyl tiles, here are the steps:

  1. Clean the surface of the board
  2. Test out the layout of the vinyl tiles
  3. Draw lines on either side of the vinyl tiles as guidelines for cutting to the right sizes
  4. Use a pair of scissors or utility knife to cut the vinyl tiles
  5. Peel off the backing paper of the vinyl tiles and place them in the right position
  6. If the self-adhesive vinyl tiles don't stick well to the surface, use the help of glue
  7. You can either apply the glue onto the board or on the back of the vinyl tiles
  8. Optionally, you can use small nails to help keep the vinyl tiles in place
  9. After you are done placing all the vinyl tiles, use waterproof sealant to seal along the edges.

After replacing the rotted wood with a new one, add a layer of waterproof material to help prevent future water damage. You can use plastic or vinyl or anything that works best for you.

We used vinyl tiles for this project because we thought it was convenient. They are easy to put on but require extra glue and nails to help them stay on. We also used clear and waterproof caulk to seal along edges. Maybe we should have bought one large piece of vinyl instead!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Ann Leung


Ann Leung (author) from San Jose, California on October 01, 2012:

I am glad that we did the work ourselves. It turned out a lot easier that we thought. It also save us money too.

Thank you for the voted up!

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on September 29, 2012:

These are great step-by-step details! What a helpful hub! I need to replace the boards under my sink, so I will be referring back to this hub. Thanks for the tips and guidelines!

Voted up and up!

Related Articles