How to Repair Water Damage in a Bathroom

Lead Image
  • 6-30 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 250-1,000
What You'll Need
New flooring
Self-leveling compound
Kick plate
Drywall clips
Joint compound
Putty knife

Bathroom water damage happens frequently for many homeowners. In order to repair the water damage, there are several steps that you will need to follow. Here are the basics on repairing water damage in a bathroom effectively.

Step 1 - Shut Off the Water

Before beginning a repair in the bathroom, you should make sure that the water to the room is shut off. Do so by closing the main water valve. That will prevent any further water damage during the repair.

Step 2 - Prepare the Room

Before you can repair any water damage, you will need to prepare the room for the job. Remove the toilet by unscrewing the bolts that hold it to the floor and disconnect the water line. Take the toilet out of the room and leave it in an area that is out of the way. If the water damage extends under the cabinets, you will need to take the cabinets out of the room as well. In most cases, ceramic tile will not be damaged by water; however, if there is a significant amount of water in the room, tile will be damaged as will any vinyl products. You need to remove the damaged flooring and take it out of the room. If you have ceramic tile, you will need to chisel it out with a hammer. If you have vinyl, you should be able to scrape it away with a large scraper blade. it is important to remove all pieces with water damage that might harbor mold and mildew.

Step 3 - Repair the Subfloor

subflooring in a room

If you have a wood subfloor, you will most likely need to install new plywood. Cut out the damaged areas in the existing wood subfloor, then place new plywood on the floor and nail it in place. If you have a concrete subfloor, you may have to apply self-leveling compound in order to level out the floor. Make sure that the concrete surface is dry before doing anything else.

Step 4 - Repair the Drywall

If there is any damage to the drywall around the bottom of the floor, you will need to repair it. Put some new drywall in place and attach it with drywall clips. Apply some tape to the joint, then put joint compound over the top. Add texture to match the wall if necessary. You can then repaint the drywall.

Step 5 - Install New Flooring

installing a tile floor

Once the subfloor is repaired, you can begin to install the new flooring. If you have ceramic tile to install, you will need to place concrete board before laying the tile. Apply the tile to the top of the concrete board using thinset and a trowel. Allow a day for the thinset to dry, then apply grout to the joints. If you have vinyl, you will spread the adhesive with a trowel and press the vinyl into it.

Step 6 - Finish Up

Once the floor is repaired, you can reinstall the cabinets and the toilet. At that point, your bathroom should be ready to use again. Remember to turn the water back on.