Dricore Subfloor System

If a high water table is a problem in your home or basement, you are probably looking for a flooring solution that won’t be damaged by the infiltrating water. Dricore Subfloor System may be the solution for you. It doesn’t resolve all of the problems associated with high water tables and water problems inside the home or office, but it takes care of some of them.

Many homeowners want a finished basement, complete with hardwood floors, wooden column wraps, and elegant wood furniture. These things are fine as long as no water gets into the basement. If it does, then the hardwood floor and possibly everything resting on it is kaput.

The trick is to give water someplace to go besides into the expensive hardwood flooring and the furniture it supports. That is where the DriCore Subfloor System comes in.

DriCore comes in easily handled panels of engineered wood bonded to a rigid, moisture-resistant polyethylene sheet. The bottom of the poly sheet is molded into a grid of projections that lift the wood panel off the concrete floor about one-quarter of an inch, allowing small amounts of water to drain away. The grid system also keeps dampness away from the wooden flooring above. The air gap also allows air to circulate between the subfloor and the concrete floor to dry up moisture. By eliminating cold moisture, the DriCore Subfloor System has been shown to raise the surface temperature of a floor by six degrees Farenheit.

The DriCore Subfloor System is easy to install. The panels fit snugly together using a tongue-and-groove system; no fasteners or glue are needed. After calculating how many panels are needed, installation is very straightforward.

The DriCore Subfloor System panels to be used should be kept in the basement room where they will be installed — out of any packaging they may have around them — for at least 24 hours (and probablay longer) before installation. This is to let the panels acclimatize to the temperature and humidity of the room, shrinking or swelling to the size they will maintain there.

Temporary spacers one-quarter inch thick are placed along the walls of the room and around any obstacles such as columns. The spacers will provide room for expansion of the DriCore Subfloor System due to seasonal temperature and humidity variations.

Starting in one corner, DriCore Subfloor System panels are laid and locked together. Leveling kits are provided in case there are spots in the concrete floor that are depressed. The kits can be used on depressions less than one-quarter inch; deeper depressions should be filled in with concrete or spackling compound.

The DriCore Subfloor System is laid one row at a time. Each succeeding row is staggered, like a brick pattern. Panels are easily cut to fit around obstacles and into corners.

A variety of floors can be installed on top of a DriCore Subfloor System. Carpet, floating hardwood panels, and floating tiles are popular floorings. Fixed tile installations can be tricky. The DriCore Subfloor System is a floating panel system, and the movement of these panels can crack the grout in a fix tile floor. However, there have been successful installations that used a one-quarter inch underlayment and half inch cement board suitable for ceramic tile installation. It is important to use fasteners that do not penetrate the Dricore Subfloor System panel to pierce the polyethylene sheet.

The DriCore Subfloor System will not protect against a catastrophic flood. But it will prevent creeping damage due to small amounts of moisture, and provide a much warmer, more comfortable basement floor. It also doesn’t prevent mold problems, due to high moisture.

9 thoughts on “Dricore Subfloor System”

  1. I installed DriCore Subfloor System in part of my basement four years ago. When I went to finish installing the remainder of the subfloor I removed some of the existing subfloor and found the concrete floor was slightly damp from watering wicking through the concrete and there was a musty smell. I removed the Subfloor panels and cleaned the concrete floor with bleach. The concrete floor was painted but not sealed. Should all the paint be removed and a moisture sealant applied and if so do you recommend any particular products? Since there were no walls/vapor barrier on the walls and moisture was hard to control in the summer months could this be a reason that there was a musty smell under the subfloor? If subfloor is completed and walls installed with proper humidity control in place should there be any issues even if floor is not sealed?

  2. Hi John,
    Yes, it sounds like you should take measures to control the moisture coming through the concrete if at all possible. That’s probably where your musty smell is coming from. Loot at the links over on the right and click on “Moisture Proofing”. I don’t know if the paint will need to be removed as I don’t know what type of paint it is and don’t know what kind of product you’ll be using to waterproof the concrete. Some products will not react well with certain types of paints…..

  3. We moved in to our current home located in CT last May. By mid-summer, we were aware that the previous owners had focused much of their efforts on cosmetics and not so much on the mechanics. Because the main living room of the home was remodeled into a spacious expanded kitchen, that shifted the living room partially below ground level (we have a tri-level split). While the finished product was visually appealing, it was easy to see where they cut corners. They installed the carpeting directly over the concrete … which created a “sweating” effect during the summer months. When winter set in, it was considerably colder than we liked. Long story short … we have just completed the installation of a perimeter basement drain system and new sump-pump (due to a high water table). Upon removing the old carpet, we discovered 70’s style vinyl tile (much like you find on the floors of today’s big box stores). We are now looking to install DriCore as a subfloor prior to carpeting (ThermalDry was our first choice, but proved too costly). My questions for you: 1) Should we remove the tile (we are leaning toward yes just to be thorough), 2) was the condensation we discovered during the summer on the tile (and subsequently in the carpet) there just because the carpet was directly in contact with the tile leaving no gap for air and 3) will the residual tile glue cause problems in the future with water condensating/pooling beneath the DriCore? Since this is our only living room, we want to make sure everything is done right!

  4. If the tile is old (early 70’s or earlier) you should have it tested for asbestos. If it contains asbestos you can either cover it, or remove it (preferably by a professional because of the health hazards). It is safe to cover it, I’d recommend a moisture barrier. It’s hard to say why your problem occured, but I would suspect that part of the problem is because you need a moisture barrier. If this is so, you may not even need to use the DriCore, though I suspect there is more to the story since you mentioned a sump pump. It’s really difficult for me to give you proper advice since I don’t know exactly what issues you’re going to have to deal with and I sure can’t determine 100% correctly since I’m not there. My thought is, in order to do it correctly, is to hire a professional who can evaluate first-hand what is going on. If you still have problems, you can always insist on the professional to fix it remedy the situation.

  5. Hello!
    I installed vinyl floor on the top of DriCore Subfloor System. (under DriCore there is a concrete floor). I didn’t put any underlayment between DriCore and vinyl floor. Should have I done it? The vinyl floor was I piece, on the roll.
    My friend told me that I should have put a one-quarter inch plywood as an underlayment and because I didn’t do that it’s possible that the movement of DriCore panels can crack the vinyl floor. The other friend told me that people don’t use an underlayments between them. Could you tell me if I made a good decision not using any kind of underlayment? Thank you.

  6. Hello,
    My house was built in 1923, the basement has concrete flooring but does get humid and moist. 10 years ago, we created a room there, did not do anything to the floor except raised the floor with studs and plywood, and covered it with a rug. Now my daughter wants to live in the room, I took the rug up (moldy) and want to put something down. I cannot seal the floor unless I take up the plywood and the suds….what would work best? My daughter has allergies. Please help!!!

  7. Beverley,
    Sealing the concrete would be the best idea to keep out the moisture. If there is moisture getting in under the plywood, the underside of the plywood is probably also molding along with the studs, and that will not be healthy for your daughter (or anyone else). The moisture problem really needs to be addressed first.

  8. Approx 4 years ago, we ripped up a foam back carpet that was glued to painted concrete. We scrapped most of the glue off, layed plastic sheeting followed by foam and laminate. Several months later, my wife complained of a musty smell under the couch. After watching Holmes on Homes, he advised on never putting plastic against concrete floors. I lifted the laminate, half the room at a time and was pleased to not notice any signs of water infiltration. I installed dri-core panels and relayed the laminate. It wasn’t long that my wife again complained she could smell mustyness when a fan was on in the room. After trying to put her off for months, I again lifted the floor and panels and boy was she right. The glue residue that had remained stunk to high heaven. We bought floor scrapers and went to town followed by two coats of resilicrete paint prior to reinstalling the panels and floor, half the room at a time. We washed the panels’ bottom surface with bleach and water and let them dry before reinstallation. We also threw out the foam underlay under the laminate and replaced it with new. Hopefully, this will be the end of the musty smell. Interesting note is that there was never a musty smell when the carpet was down on the floor, likely due to air circulation across the floor.


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