My wife and I are in the midst of attempting to install engineered hardwood in our home, for better or worse. We are floating it on QuietWalk underlayment. It is the click/lock kind with about a 2mm wear layer. Some water was spilled, and was cleaned up immediately, but some evidently penetrated a board and the veneer started peeling/wrinkling. Are there any products that can be used in the board seams to help prevent water seeping down the cracks? Or any other protective products to help prevent water damage on engineered hardwood?

Strangely enough (for me at least), other pieces (scraps) were left out on our porch and got rained on a lot. These pieces still look fine.

peeling veneer

  • So that texture isn't from a "hand scraped" look on the floor? All that warping was from a water spill?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 14:34
  • @JPhi1618 It is hand-scraped also. But those larger bumps are actually the veneer peeling away (I can push it down with my thumb).
    – Bill
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 14:35
  • you should polyurethane it like any other hardwood floor. you will have to test to make sure oil/water stick, but the finish will protect against moderate water spills.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


I suggest you back out now, before the problem gets worse. Most hardwood floors will tolerate quick spill cleanups. That yours didn't implies some combination of badly made flooring or improper installation.

You can try refinishing that chunk, but if the veneer is wrinkling, it's not going to work.

When using laminates in a wet area, one recommendation is to glue the individual planks together. This is fussy, as you need enough glue to squeeze out, but not enough to glue the plank to subfloor/underlay, nor to make a mess cleaning the top. But it does make your floor more water resistant. This reduces both the edge exposure of the plank, and the amount of water than penetrates into the subfloor.

Wood based flooring (hardwood, engineered plank, laminate) is getting better about water. Despite Manufacturers Claims of their use in bath, laundry, kitchen, I'm not yet sold.

Vinyl sheet flooring is close to waterproof. Good stuff lasts for decades. Cutting and laying it is an art form. Because it has few seams, the subfloor is protected too.

Vinyl tile is an option, but while it wears well, it, um... lacks artistic appeal.

Ceramic tile is the ultimate floor for wet rooms, and if you have good knees is well within the capability of a DIYer. You'll just take 6 times as long as a pro. I've now done a shower, a laundry room, a slate wood stove surround, and a kitchen back splash. Youtube is your friend. Some water will penetrate the grout, the mortar and into the subfloor. This is where membrane systems like Ditra are a win -- one more barrier keeping the subfloor dry. A sealer on the grout helps a lot. A sealer on the subfloor helps a lot. Having the subfloor vented on the bottom side will help some.

One thing to remember about 'waterproof flooring' While the floor may be waterproof, it does not form a waterproof membrane. (Sheet vinyl comes close) You cannot put a 'waterproof floor over porridge board (sawdust/small chip board) and expect the subfloor to remain intact.

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