I am about to have hardwood floors installed in my kitchen but before
doing that I am replacing my diswasher.
We just bought the house (our first) a month ago. I removed the old
dishwasher, which didn't work, I'm not sure how long it was broken but
we were told by the previous owner that it didn't work.
When I removed the diswasher I found it was really damp in that space
(usual location, under the counter next to the sink). It was also damp
under the kitchen sink. I started poking around at the wood under
there and the wood on the floor was really soft.
I spoke to a pro home inspector on the phone and he said it's not
uncommon to find dampness under the sink and dishwasher. I told him I
was going to remove the damp wood and clean everything up with bleach.
He said that should be all I need, this guy is a certified mold
treatment specialist or something and he didn't seem to concerned
about mold (but he didn't see it, I was just talking to him on the
The kitchen currently has linoleum floors and the flooring installer
is installing right on top of the old linoleum. He said it was the
perfect surface to install on and I know nothing so I thought that
would be fine. Currently the linoleum is installed right up to, but
not under, the dishwasher and it's a bit damp under the linoleum right
in front of where the dishwasher was so I'm going to cut out that
Under the sink and where the dishwasher was I removed the damp wood
(plywood I think?) right down to the floor joists. Now I guess I clean
up and lay down some new plywood? Does that make sense? Anything else
I should do or be aware of? I want to make sure I have everything
covered before I install the new dishwasher and then have the floors
The danger of mold is overblown. What most people see is mildew anyway.
You can find "mold and mildew sealer" at the stoor. It seems to be a
bleach solution that dries in place and leaves a coating.
Warning: I'm not a certified mold & mildew treatment specialist. I've
just dealt with a lot of it. Check back with your guy for a official
Figure out where the water is coming from before you put the new wood
down. Everything needs to be good and dry before installing new
materials. It's not unusual to find dampness where you did, but it's
not normal, either. I bet you have a slow leak somewhere.
Continue the new wood into the dishwasher space. You don't want a lip
that keeps you from getting the dishwasher out the next time it needs
to be serviced.
I'm definitely going to look for some sort of sealer for the area.
I can't seem to find where the water came from. I guess in the
dishwasher space it could have come from a leaky connection, I've
already disconnected the old dishwasher so I can't tell now. There
doesn't seem to be any leaks from the pipe for the water source for
Nothing seems to be leaking from the sink either. I just ran the
faucet for a few minutes and looked under the sink and didn't see
anything. I'm going to try again tomorrow. You're right, I really need
to try and figure out where that dampness came from.
The flooring installer told me that when he installs the floors I
won't be able to get the dishwasher out. He claims if he runs wood
under the dishwasher there won't be enough clearance for the
dishwasher to fit, mind you he said all of this before I even had the
new washer. I think he's just trying to do as little as possible and
get out. I'm definitely going to try to either run the floor right
under the dishwasher or at least raise the dishwasher up on wood of
similar height. I don't want that thing stuck in there forever.
Thanks for the advice
He's not really being lazy; that's the normal floor installation
method. I just don't like the normal method. I'm do both dishwasher
repair and floor installation. Thinking ahead makes both possible.
* Get a dishwasher that's short enough to fit. (I haven't checked to
see if they make them this way, but it's worth investigating.)
* The dishwasher feet are adjustable. Make them shorter.
* Trim 3/4" (or so) off the counter trim at the top. You might not
have counter trim....
How is he planning on getting the dishwasher *in* after the floor is
laid? Or have you already installed a new one?
It's a solid teak floor, so it's not laminate if that makes a
difference. I was a little worried about wood in the kitchen as well
but I've talked to a few people that have it and they've had no
problems....hopefully I don't.
The linoleum did not run under the old dishwasher, there was some
plywood under there. I've removed the plywood because it got damp and
I'm going to dry everything out and put some new plywood, maybe lay
some tarpaper then put some 2X4's or something else that will bring
the dishwasher (hopefully) up to the same level that the new floor
will be. Does that sound ok?
The new floor is a solid wood prefinished floor (teak)
Do you mean that there is probably more damage from the dampness? Is
the only way to tell to pull them out? The cabinets are oak.
How bad was the dampness? Do the walls seem damp also along it?
Some folks might go a little overboard on 'damp control' due to their area
where it is more of a problem. In your case, it seems more like a slow leak
with some softened plywood. You didnt indicate 'totally rotted out' (which
may mean problems under it as well).
Is your area a particularily damp area? Like New Orleans or Norfolk area
which was recovered swamp?
I'm in Norfolk area. We know lots about damp control ;-) I wouldnt pull
the cabinets myself if they seemed ok. I'm also on slab construction
(almost everything here is) so there's no problem with minor leaks on slab.
We're in Massachusetts, there are wetlands/swamp about 400 feet behind
the house and the area is heavily wooded so yes it's a pretty damp
area. There was no rotting in the cabinets or plywood and the only
dampness was on the wood on the floor. Basically the cabinets under
the sink and the one holding the diswasher have no bottoms to them,
there is just plywood over the floor and this plywood was damp. The
cabinets themselves didn't seem bad at all.
I've going to leave the cabinets in and hope for the best.
Good and he's right. Unless you have especially sensitive to mold problems
(allergies etc) then unless you saw or smelled alot of mold, it's probabaly
not a problem.
There are several ways to find a slow leak. While it's apt to have been
where the dishwasher was from the sounds of it, you can test the rest the
Get a bottle of dark food coloring and a roll of white paper towels (or use
an old white sheet thats ready for the rag bag). Wipe the pipes down to
completely clean so no dirt comes back on a paper towel. Fill the sink
(both sides if a double) and dump the dye in. Let the water out after
lining the 'floor' with paper towels. Look for drips. They will be easy to
see from the dye. Wipe the pipes again carefully looking for any dye.
Check the trap and pipes again after about 15 mins (slow leaks may take a
little to show). If nothing, it was apt to have been the dishwasher or the
connector to the dishwasher which is now removed ;-)
Seems he's taking shortcuts? Perhaps not. Mine has a cabinet facing that
had to go when we replaced the old unit. Personally I'd rather have the
cabinet space back and use a portable dishwasher (the sort you just hook to
the sink faucets). I've had those before and they work well in the middle
to higher end models.
Congrats on the new house! I'm sure we will see more of you over the next 2
It's the easy stuff most of us miss the first time. You can pay a plumber
to do this and will cost you 75$ or youy can do it for about 5$.
Be sure to explain it. It 'sounds' bad at the start. In my case, we lack
counterspace so this made added counterspace in a dead corner. They *do*
work at 'potscrubber' levels if not the cheapest ones. I just loaded it as
normal, then rolled it to the sink and hooked it up when time to run it.
I really *really* wish I had it back as well as my sparse cabinet space.
That section with a bunch of drawers would be better than the dishwaster.
Thanks, the house needs a bunch of work, so yes, you'll be seeing alot
of me .
Hardwood floors in a kitchen? I"m reminded of a neighbor who had a
flooded basement and complained and moaned that the carpeting was
ruined. I said to just vacuum and let it dry and she said that
wouldn't work because it was natural fiber, and I kept my mouth shut
but though, "This is what you get when you put natural fiber in a
basement. You made your bed, now lie in it.
Do you think it was only damp because it was their dishwasher, that
this can't happen to YOUR dishwasher?
There are a several things in a kitchen that can leak.
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