Our bathroom shower door leaks onto the outside floor and over time, this has caused a dry rot patch on the floor. It's not necessarily severe but there's some mild "give" and I want to prevent it from getting worse.

The flooring material is standard thick plywood (tongue and groove - I don't recall the specific thickness definitely more than an inch though).

I know the long-term solution is to replace the floor but unfortunately I don't have the funds for an aggressive remodel like that (although we're planning to do that eventually - maybe in the next 2-3 years).

In the meantime, is there anything I can do to try to patch/seal the dry rot patch and make it waterproof?

Here are some pictures:

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  • 1
    Note that the dryrot really isn't as much of a factor of water leaking is it of the floor having a hole. If you simply put new flooring on this area and used a towel you wouldn't have a problem. The easiest thing to do is just to put down some leveler and glue down a new sheet of vinyl (super cheap on craigslist). And damn use a towel.
    – DMoore
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


Remove the entire shower door and frame and scrub door opening tile and door/frame assembly completely clean and let dry. Re-install shower door properly and completely seal all areas where frame and tile meet with high-grade silicone caulk. Most swinging shower doors are supposed to have a vinyl flap at the bottom to prevent water spray from escaping under the door, make sure yours has one.

Cut back the floor covering to expose all damaged and soft wood. Gouge and chisel out all damaged and soft wood. You may have extensive additional damage, this answer does not address that. Use a high quality 2-part wood repair epoxy (it's kind of like auto body filler) to fill all damaged areas. Plane/sand smooth. Cover with entire new vinyl floor or make a patch somehow. This should help until the remodel. In future you need to address water issues immediately to prevent similar damage.

  • 1
    All of the above is good advice, I would be majorly concerned about the amount the subfloor is degraded. The finish floor is well above the deteriorated subfloor. Something has dropped, or rotted a lot more than what you see in the hole.
    – Jack
    Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 8:01

A solution that hasn't been mentioned is to lay wood over top. If you don't care about aesthetics and want super-cheap, you could cut a 5-6 inch strip of plywood or cabinet shelving and place it over top (as wide as the door jamb). Glue it down. Ugly but functional and < $10.

More aesthetically pleasing would be to get some 1/4" plywood and cut it to fit the entire bathroom floor. Screw it down every 12 inches. Put vinyl sheet flooring and a bead of caulk. That's < $1 per square foot and will definitely last until you do the remodel in a few years.

If wouldn't start taking up the finished flooring and looking around unless I was ready for the cost of replacing the subfloor. As you said, you want to do a bathroom remodel in the next few years, and that'd be prime time to replace the subfloor.

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