Unexpected Kitchen Renovation: Dishwasher Leak Disaster

aftermath of dishwasher leak on kitchen floors

Last week as we were making some great headway in our dining room renovations, we had what one could call a series of unfortunate events. It involved our kitchen, basement, electrical, and dishwasher.

…and water. Lots of dirty water.

The events started as I was doing the exciting task of washing dishes in the sink. As I worked through the pile, I noticed a large puddle forming around our dishwasher that we never use. What the heck?

I stopped doing the dishes and called Karl to come over and inspect. The water got sopped up but there was still more coming! Quickly going down to the basement, Karl found more water running through our floor above! It was pooling on the cement floor, then meandering across our floor to a support beam. Ack!

Some time passed and though now most of the water had been sopped up and we were no longer running the sink, water would still come up through between the floor tiles where we walked.

Nooooot good.

We got a box fan and set it to blow on the floor, then called a plumber that night.

Then we noticed that our lights in the house were ALL browning out or pretending to be strobe lights. Karl went back down to the basement and this time saw that the water had made a junction box completely wet. Oh joy.

Fearing an electrical fire, we turned all of the toggles on the board to “off” for the rest of the night.

All the next day we had people coming in and out of the house working on different things. The plumber was able to come that morning and unhooked our dishwasher for us. At the same time, our friend and painter was there that morning as scheduled for painting our entryway (we weren’t about to try doing the necessary circus act to balance a ladder on our stairs to paint!). Then after a call to our home insurance, later that evening a company that deals with flood damage came and ripped up our wet tiles.

tearing up kitchen floor tiles

dishwasher leak kitchen floor tiles

At least we got to see our original floors are beneath the tiles…

Then they set HUGE fans and dehumidifiers up in our kitchen and basement to dry things up and keep mold at bay.

industrial dehumidifier industrial fan and dehumidifier

We had those fans and dehumidifiers running all weekend in 90-degree heat, and those machines REALLY make a lot of heat as well. We don’t have A/C, and as you can imagine it WAS WARM in the house. Not to mention noisy.

Thankfully our home insurance does take care of this minus the deductible, so we’ll be ok.

Everything about this kitchen disaster has been rather ironic: at last we were working on our dining room and entryway, making us close to being done with major renovations on our main floor. Our kitchen was the room we planned to do years down the road as the final major renovation. It seems we now have no choice but to plunge right into a sizable kitchen floor renovation.


We’re keeping ourselves optimistic that at least this way we can upgrade a little from our lovely peel-n-stick tiles to something both better quality and more period appropriate.

More to come as we try and get some flooring quotes and find out just how much was damaged and needs replacing. Anyone have some good advice for flooring materials?

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