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Are Bathroom Cabinets Waterproof?

Water damage is one of the frequent challenges homeowners face and has become a concern. Furniture like a bathroom cabinet is more problematic because it’s exposed to moisture almost daily. Nonetheless, homeowners are curious to know to what extent a bathroom cabinet is water-resistant?

Bathroom cabinets are often made from hardwood, which isn’t water-resistant. This is because they’re porous, making it easy for water to permeate them. On the other hand, laminate cabinets are more effective options as they’re waterproof.

Thanks to technology and modern inventions, many options are available for waterproofing your bathroom cabinet. Keep reading this article to learn about the suitable materials for your bathroom cabinet. You’ll also discover ways to make your cabinet water-resistant.

What Material Can I Use for My Bathroom Cabinet?

The most popular material used for bathroom cabinets is wood. However, there are different wood options to choose from, so you need to know which one is more suitable. I’ve listed the three popular wood alternatives below.

  • Teak: This is a smart choice if you’re working with a healthy budget. The durability and water-resistance of the product compensate for the price. In addition, teak is well suited for areas prone to moisture, like the bathroom.
  • Birch: If you’re considering your budget and looking for a more affordable wood type, you should consider birch. It is one of the most popular wood patterns for modern homeowners, and it is quite appealing.

    Birch has similar features as Marple, with a built-in sealed grain structure. This makes it a natural fungus, rot, and water-resistant material, making it suitable for a bathroom cabinet.
  • Maple: This is another quality wood material for bathroom cabinets. It has a leveled grain with a superb even finish. It’s quite an affordable choice compared to wood options like walnut or cherry.

How Can I Waterproof My Bathroom Cabinets?

Waterproofing wood furniture installed in high moisture contact areas like the bathroom cabinet is the safest means to reduce damage. You can use any of the following methods to waterproof your bathroom cabinet for better comfort and durability.

Use High-sheen Coating:

Coat your cabinet with some layers of high-sheen paint to keep water from seeping into it. Thicker sheen paints are more difficult to penetrate and will make the surface of the cabinet more durable. You could also apply coatings made of satin, eggshell, and semi-gloss paints to achieve some level of water protection.

The disadvantage of such paints is that they fade out faster than high sheen polish. Although the high sheen polish isn’t a permanent solution, it is less permeable than other paint sheen coatings.

Consider Laminate Cabinet Alternatives:

If you fear that your bathroom cabinets will get damaged by frequent water contact, you could consider installing a laminate alternative. Laminate cabinets are designed to withstand high moisture contact. This implies that they don’t bulge, puff, or get soaked if they become waterlogged.

The prices of laminate cabinets range according to their size, but they are generally more affordable than pure wood cabinets. In addition, they come in assorted designs, colors, and patterns for a wider selection.

Apply Silicone Caulk Around Sink Corners:

Areas around the sink are often the first to get affected by water damage, not the shower area. Lingering water leakage around the sink region can chop off your cabinet surface over time. This mishap can be avoided if you file the corners between the sink and your bathroom cabinet with silicone caulk.

Silicone caulk is more durable than sealants and relatively easy to apply using a caulk gun. After installation, run your water to test the silicon and confirm that all corners have been properly sealed.

Fix a Water-resistant Mat:

Another ideal alternative to protect your bathroom cabinet from water damage is to fix a water-resistant mat inside it. These mats work efficiently as coverings and will help to prevent water from penetrating the interior wood. Install one of these mats inside your cabinet to reduce water damage, especially if there are dripping sinks or leaking pipes.

Water-resistant mats are quite flexible because you can cut them to fit your cabinet’s exact shape and dimension. This will give you a wall-to-wall coating at the base of your bathroom cabinet.

Apply Polyurethane:

Polyurethane is one of the most effective surface coatings for hardwood. A polyurethane coat will provide optimum protection against moisture damage to your bathroom cabinets. It is available as a spray or liquid option, and they both possess the same quality.

Apply multiple layers using a paintbrush to seal your cabinet surface completely. You can also apply this top-quality poly sealant to the rims of your bathroom cabinet to keep water away. Combine a polyurethane coat with water-resistant mats if you want to upgrade your safety to the peak.

Polyurethane is moderately affordable. You can buy it online or get it from any local home maintenance or hardware store closest to you.

Install a Leak Alarm:

Leak alarms are unpopular with most people, and some aren’t even aware they exist. Install one of these under your bathroom sink to alert you when there’s a leakage before things get out of control. Depending on the manufacturer and product features, leak alarms range between $30 to $80.

Leak alarms are certainly worth their cost, especially if you installed a luxurious cabinet. They function by using sensors to detect the presence of water. The alarm will go off once the water level reaches anywhere from 80 decibels and above to alert you.

A leak alarm can be likened to a fire alarm, except that they’re used for water instead.

Use a Varnish:

Varnish and polyurethane are common substituted terms but don’t confuse them as the same. Although they both share similar functions, they’re not the same product. Varnish components include resins, solvents, and oil, and this coating works for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Varnish dries into a thin glassy finish with a slight yellow hue. Apply it to your bathroom cabinet to give it an absolute water-resistant layer. This product’s acidity level is low and can safely be applied with the aid of a paintbrush or foam roller.

You should find it at any local hardware or home maintenance store, or you purchase it from online vendors. Varnish can also be used to coat laminate wood surfaces as an extra layer.

Seal the Pipes Beneath Your Sink:

Using sealants to cover the pipes under your sink is an excellent way of stalling water from getting to your cabinets. Most bathroom pipes are prone to water leakage because they run daily and get old with time. Please don’t assume that the little drops from these pipes amount to nothing due to their size.

Your pipes could start producing squeaky sounds, or you might notice continuous leaks from them. Depending on the severity, they might signal replacement or sealing. You can use the materials recommended earlier to seal them as soon as possible to prevent leakage from spreading.

Consult your house plumber if you’re unsure whether to seal or replace them. If you consider the waterproofing options for your bathroom cabinets as stressful, then you might be better off without one.

However, keeping them watertight guarantees maximum satisfaction. I’m certain you know how to waterproof them after reading this article.