Shortly after buying our house we went shopping for decoration materials. We wanted floorboards in all the rooms on the ground floor so that it was a seamless polished wood surface from the front door all the way into the kitchen at the back. That was despite general wisdom against wood flooring in rooms where there is potential for liquid spills. So we bought the top quality product that was available ‘just to be safe’. It was of industrial grade, suitable for high traffic, and guaranteed to last for ten years — a lifetime away, we thought. That was 16 years ago.
The inlet hose to the washing machine under the kitchen counter started leaking. The trickle did not flow to the front where we would have seen it but instead found its way between the wall skirting and the floorboards to soak into the sponge-like underlay material. Which means that all the time the leak was developing, the water was absorbed under the floor. It eventually reached saturation point, and the kitchen was properly flooded.
I fixed the leak, cleaned the floor, and ran the dehumidifier. Fortunately, the boards are not too deformed; there are two small bulges in front of the washing machine — could we cover them with a mat? — and there is some swelling on one side of the kitchen cabinet where it has been in contact with the leakage.
The damage is not insurance claim-worthy, but it makes one more problem to address.