My wife and I have a home built in 1912. We love the house and its character, but sometimes it presents a challenge to the way modernity was retrofitted. In this case, I have a bathroom with a wood floor. Usually this is no problem - the shower is mounted on a clawfoot tub and it has curtains to contain the spray. Incidental water gets on the floor, but that's really no problem.

The problem is when the toilet overflows. When that happens, the flood of water seeps through the floor and through the ceiling of the room below and causes water damage in the ceiling as well as making a mess. Is there a way to seal this wood floor so that water can't get through, while still preserving the character of the floor (i.e., not just covering it in vinyl)?


I think that you should focus on the cause not the symptom.

So, what causes the toilet to overflow?

Is it a filling valve issue? have you checked?

Is the drain partially blocked?

Once you sort that then the floor should be fine.

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  • That is the heart of the problem, the toilet. The wood floors cannot be made waterproof. The wood expands and contracts with seasonal movement, because of this, the gaps must be there to allow for that movement. Whether the gaps be between the boards or around the perimeter hidden by the base. – Jack Aug 31 '19 at 14:57
  • The toilet overflows because kids. – Ben Collins Aug 31 '19 at 16:09
  • @BenCollins then teach the kids, had to do it for mine... once they know then they know. – Solar Mike Aug 31 '19 at 16:11

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