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How to Replace Rotted Wood Under a Kitchen Sink

Updated on December 27, 2016

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

Replacing the Rotted Wood Under the Kitchen Sink
Replacing the Rotted Wood Under the Kitchen Sink | Source

Tools and Materials You Need to Replace 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,

Flash light,

Brush and dust pan

Safety goggles,

Dust mask

A right size wood board,

2x4 lumber

Screws

Nails


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Water Damaged Wood With Molds Under Kitchen SinkCut Off Rotted Wood Under A SinkUsing A Brush to Clean the Floor Under A Kitchen SinkUsing 2x4s to Build Necessary Supporting Structures for New BoardUsing A Drill to Secure the Board with Screws
Water Damaged Wood With Molds Under Kitchen Sink
Water Damaged Wood With Molds Under Kitchen Sink | Source
Cut Off Rotted Wood Under A Sink
Cut Off Rotted Wood Under A Sink | Source
Using A Brush to Clean the Floor Under A Kitchen Sink
Using A Brush to Clean the Floor Under A Kitchen Sink | Source
Using 2x4s to Build Necessary Supporting Structures for New Board
Using 2x4s to Build Necessary Supporting Structures for New Board | Source
Using A Drill to Secure the Board with Screws
Using A Drill to Secure the Board with Screws | Source
New Wood Replacement Under A Kitchen Sink
New Wood Replacement Under A Kitchen Sink | Source

Replacing Rotted Wood Under A Kitchen Sink - Step by Step DIY Guide

If you want to replace the water damaged wood under the kitchen sink by yourself, you can watch the video above or follow these steps:

  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 over heated more easily and might stop working as a result. So make sure that you give your power saw a break once in awhile.
  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 on 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 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 drill bit to create holes for screws, and secure the new board with screws.

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 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 sides of the vinyl tiles as guidelines for cutting to 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 water proof sealant to seal along the edges.

How to Prevent Water Damage:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Using Self Adhesive Vinyl Tiles for the Floor Under the Kitchen SinkUsing Pencil to Draw Guidelines on Vinyl Tile Before CuttingCutting the Vinyl Tiles with A Pair of Scissors Peeling Off the Backing Paper of Self Adhesive Vinyl TileApplying Glue onto A BoardApplying Glue onto the Back of the Vinyl TilesUsing Small Nails to Secure Vinyl Tiles to the Wood.  Apply clear waterproof caulk in between tiles if needed.Protect Wood Flooring from Water Damage with vinyl tiles
Using Self Adhesive Vinyl Tiles for the Floor Under the Kitchen Sink
Using Self Adhesive Vinyl Tiles for the Floor Under the Kitchen Sink | Source
Using Pencil to Draw Guidelines on Vinyl Tile Before Cutting
Using Pencil to Draw Guidelines on Vinyl Tile Before Cutting | Source
Cutting the Vinyl Tiles with A Pair of Scissors
Cutting the Vinyl Tiles with A Pair of Scissors | Source
Peeling Off the Backing Paper of Self Adhesive Vinyl Tile
Peeling Off the Backing Paper of Self Adhesive Vinyl Tile | Source
Applying Glue onto A Board
Applying Glue onto A Board | Source
Applying Glue onto the Back of the Vinyl Tiles
Applying Glue onto the Back of the Vinyl Tiles | Source
Using Small Nails to Secure Vinyl Tiles to the Wood.  Apply clear waterproof caulk in between tiles if needed.
Using Small Nails to Secure Vinyl Tiles to the Wood. Apply clear waterproof caulk in between tiles if needed. | Source
Protect Wood Flooring from Water Damage with vinyl tiles
Protect Wood Flooring from Water Damage with vinyl tiles | Source

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

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    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      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!

    • kittyjj profile image
      Author

      Ann Leung 4 years ago from San Jose, California

      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!

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