Waterproof Your Tile Floor (DIY Project)

Malaga Heritage 8x8 Porcelain Tile


A waterproofed floor comes with multiple benefits. Not only will your tile and its underlying structure be protected from water, but your floors will also be shielded from stains. Plus, cleaning will be easier than ever before!

Today, we’ll discuss whether you can truly waterproof a floor post-installation and provide step-by-step instructions for making your floor more water-resistant.

Is It Possible to Fully Waterproof a Floor After Installation?

Wet floor sign 

The bad news is that if your tile floor is already installed, it’s impossible to fully waterproof it unless you’re willing to remove the tile, put a waterproof membrane in place, and then reinstall the tile.

Waterproofing membranes come in rolled-up strips that you lay on your floor and cut to the correct size. They guard against moisture from above and below the surface, thus preventing mold and mildew from developing under your tile. 

Once you’ve removed your tile, you’ll want to lay the waterproofing membrane and add a layer of waterproofing sealer on top of it. Give it 24 hours to dry before reinstalling your tile.

If you’re not interested in going to the trouble of adding a waterproof membrane under your tile, you can still follow the steps below to make it as water-resistant as possible.

Simple Gray and White Penny Round Ceramic Tile

You should also note that certain types of tile flooring are naturally more water-resistant than others. Porcelain is the most water-resistant, followed by ceramic. Since natural stone is typically porous, it’s not as water-resistant and requires sealer.

Choosing porcelain or ceramic tile for areas prone to moisture, like bathrooms and kitchens, is a great idea if you want to make your floors as water-resistant as possible.

If you love the look of natural stone, don’t forget that there are many types of porcelain and ceramic tiles that perfectly imitate its appearance. This way, you can get the look you desire, plus the water resistance you need, at a lower price!

How to Increase Your Tile Floor’s Water Resistance

Drop of water 

Let’s dive into our step-by-step guide to making your tile floor more water-resistant.

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Vacuuming a tile floor 

Your first project is to thoroughly clean the floor to prepare it for waterproofing. Vacuum, sweep, or mop the floor to remove any dirt, debris, or stains.

Before you begin the next few steps, make sure the room is properly ventilated. Open windows and run fans for maximum airflow.

Step 2: Prime the Tile

Push broom on wood-look tile floor 

Now that the floor is clean and ready to go, apply primer to its surface using a push broom. Look for a floor primer specifically made for the type of tile you have.

This step is pretty simple: Pour the primer into a paint tray, use a roller or push broom to evenly apply primer to the floor and the bottom six inches of the wall, and let it dry for the time specified by the primer manufacturer.

Step 3: Seal Gaps with Silicone

Caulk gun and other tools 

Next, use a caulk gun to fill the seams between the wall and floor with silicone.  

If the floor has any cracks, fill them with silicone as well. Let the silicone dry for a full 24 hours before continuing. Any gaps or cracks are sure to attract moisture, so this is a vital step in the waterproofing process.

Step 4: Create a Masking Tape Guide

 Stack of three rolls of masking tape

Apply a line of tape across the wall at the top of the area you primed. You’ll use this tape as a guide while waterproofing.

Step 5: Apply Waterproofing Sealer

Woman applying waterproofing sealer to tile floor with mop 

It’s finally time to make your floor more water-resistant! Pour your waterproofing sealer into a paint tray and use a sponge mop or paint roller to apply the first coat to the wall, up to the guide you created with the masking tape.

Then, coat the floor with the waterproofing sealer. It’s best to start in a back corner and work your way toward the door so you don’t trap yourself in the room or have to walk across the wet sealer.

Step 6: Apply a Second Coat

Woman applying sealer to tile floor with mop 

After you’ve given the first layer of waterproofing sealer plenty of time to dry, apply a second coat to the walls and floor, using the same method as you did in the previous step. 

Wait at least 24 hours or the time specified by the manufacturer for the sealer to dry before you remove the tape from the walls.

Your tile floor is now much more water-resistant! It’s less prone to mold, mildew, and stains, and it’ll be a breeze to clean.

Find the Tile of Your Dreams at Tilezz.com!

Visit Tilezz.com to discover our beautiful range of porcelain, ceramic, natural stone, and glass tiles. No matter the shape, color, or pattern you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it within our vast selection.

Our orders come with fast delivery, insured shipments, and easy returns to guarantee your satisfaction.

Shop with us today, or visit our blog for more DIY articles and interior design inspiration!

Suggested Reading