How to Protect a Kitchen Sink Cabinet from Water Damage

Theoretically, the inside of your kitchen sink cabinet shouldn’t get wet, but in the real world, that’s just not the case.

There’s often a leak, either from the trap or the faucet, and if water sits on the plywood floor, it will eventually rot it out. Here’s a way to prevent that.

Protect Your Kitchen Sink Cabinet on the Cheap

Do you want to know the easiest, most affordable way to protect your kitchen sink cabinet? It takes just a quick trip to the home center and very little work.

Just buy some vinyl tiles!

They cost about a buck apiece and they’ve got a peel-and-stick adhesive on the back. So, all you need to do is remove the paper backing, peel it off, and it’s a simple installation — just press down.

But first, make sure you clean the kitchen sink cabinet floor well and remove all the dust, or the glue won’t stick.

Put Your Best Peel-and-Stick Tiles Forward

Now, you may have to cut off an inch of the tiles so they fit. If that’s the case, slide those sliced tiles in the back.

Then, butt the seams up tightly — as tight as you can get them — and press them down. This ensures you’ll have full tiles in the front.

And just work your way from the back to the front, all the way across the floor of the cabinet.

What you’ll end up with is a kitchen sink cabinet floor that’s not only water-resistant but also is really easy to clean!

Best of all? This works for any other room with a sink cabinet! So try it in your bathrooms and laundry room. 

Further Reading


  1. Thanks, William, glad you like the sink-cabinet tip. Be sure to check out the hundreds of other Simple Solutions archived here. I’m sure you’ll find many other useful tips and hints. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

  2. I had my kitchen floor redone, and I used the left over linoleum to put under my sink area and where I keep my pots & pans. Save me a lot of time and looks great!

  3. Great idea, Sue, and a great use for those left over tiles. Plus, putting tiles down under the pots and pans will protect the cabinet floor from scratches and wear marks that occur from sliding the pots in and out. Thanks for sharing your idea and good luck!–Joe T.

  4. this is such a good idea, but what I’m looking for is, something to hide, and protect further the cupboards at the bottom, where water has damaged the chipboard!

  5. Wish I would have seen this before water damaged the cabinet floor. Can I still do it? What prep should do before…e.g., sanding the raised areas of exposed particle board, etc. Secondly, it says not to install over finished or slick surfaces so how are you installing it on the inside of a cabinate which has a laminate floor?

  6. This damage is not caused by leaks but condensation on the cold water pipes. I used to have serious trouble with damp under the kitchen sink and solved this by cutting and epoxying extruded pipe insulation around every cold pipe in the cabinet. No problems since. take care of the source of the problem and be rid of the damp forever. The tiles may help protect the cabinet floor but its still going to be a watery mess if you don’t prevent the moisture occurring in the first place.

  7. OK fix for light occasional drips, but bad fix for leaks. The self adhesive vinyl tile has seams. The water will penetrate the seams and will get trapped under the vinyl. It will then take a very long time to dry out, rotting the wood and m causing a worse issue in the long run. It is better to get a cutting of vinyl sheet. Then lay it to fit under the sink and flash cove it up the back and front of the space under the sink where possible. If you can’t then just lay it in there. Protects the wood and easy to take out, dry the wood under it and put back if a leak occurs. (Flooring stores can probably give you waste cuts of the vinyl sheet for free.

  8. I prefer cat litter boxes from the dollar store. They only cost one dollar, buy two and they fit the entire left and right area, hold a ton of stuff and – – don’t have any seams! They catch and hold *all* of the water if there is a minor leak, including the cleaning supply bottles. (All bets are off for any protection if there is a major leak.)

  9. If you throw enough money at a problem, anything can be protected and/fixed. This is NOT an advertisement, endorsement, and/or a recommendation. The auto accessory manufacturer/distributor WeatherTech has a custom-made mat with sides that slip right onto the floor of standard kitchen and bathroom under-sink cabinets. I think that they are pricey, but I am more than satisfied with them.

  10. I agree with that one piece of linoleum or sticky vinyl is the way to go which can be molded to go up the sides. Water will get in between tiles.


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