We bought a house a month ago and just noticed water discoloration marks developing around the kitchen faucet (undermount sink). What do I need to do to protect the wood? It was a flipped house so it is new, and I have no idea what they used to seal the wood. I have tried to research this question, but I'm unclear about if I need to do anything to remediate whatever damage may have already happened, or how to proceed if I don't know what kind of sealant or protector was already used. I do not see any caulk around the base of the faucet. Thank you!

  • 2
    Some pictures would be great.
    – matt.
    Sep 1, 2023 at 15:01
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    Including a few pictures is always helpful so we can see what's going on.
    – JACK
    Sep 1, 2023 at 15:01
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    @isherwood: I usually see them called "butcher block" countertops but wood as a countertop material is a pretty common choice...
    – Matt S
    Sep 1, 2023 at 15:44
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    I have butcher block counters in kitchens for 3 of the properties I have. I have zero issues because they are all sealed with spar urethane. The issue here is the undermount sink and the poor sealing of the counter . Not the counter itself.
    – RMDman
    Sep 1, 2023 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


Wood and an undermount sink is going to take regular maintenance. That maintenance can be as simple as wiping up any spills promptly, and applying mineral oil every week or so, or you can go whole-hog into trying to convert your wood countertops into plastic ones with coats of polyurethane.

Friends who made the choice just do the regular oiling, perhaps some wax occasionally.

  • I've found that tung oil does a great job waterproofing butcher block. I still don't know that I'd do a butcher block counter where the sink was—top mount or undermount. Too much opportunity for mold or algae to grow. Butcher block elsewhere can be nice though. I did a butcher block island where our cooktop is.
    – Huesmann
    Sep 2, 2023 at 16:00
  • Depending which version of "tung oil finish" you are talking about, that may be less than safe for food contact surfaces. Pure Tung Oil - rarely seen, but safe. Finishes with "tung oil in the name, and lots of other things in the can" - can be a problem, unless you like eating heavy metals ("driers" or "Japan dryer" are actually things like cobalt which are not generally considered safe to have in contact with food.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 2, 2023 at 17:48
  • I use Hope's 100% pure tung oil. I'm only assuming that the 100% means it has no other things—could be they mean only the oil is 100% tung.
    – Huesmann
    Sep 3, 2023 at 12:03

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