DRICORE subfloor

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by ctkeebler, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. ctkeebler

    ctkeebler New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I am redoing my basement to make it a livable space and was wondering if anybody has used the dricore subfloor system. Its available at lowes as dricore and home depot as subflor. Its a plastic bottom attached to tongue and grove osb. Its comes in a 2 foot by 2 foot square and is supposed to replace traditional 2x4 stringer and plywood floor over concrete basement floors.

    I am also planning on putting in a below grade basement and was wondering how this type of floor system would work with new plumbling.

    Thanks
  2. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    It seems like an extravagant waste of money to me. The "potential" warmer floor created by the pocket of air under each section probably isn't even noticeable in reality. I guess it depends on what type of flooring you're going to go with. I believe it's only a viable product for laminate; I wouldn't try it out with an expensive hardwood. And if you are going with laminate, you might as well put the money into a premium underlay.

    Just my opinion.
  3. ctkeebler

    ctkeebler New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I am most likely going with carpet and just want to keep the finished floor off the concrete basement floor. I do get some water every now and then, 3 times in 12 years. I have sealed the seam between the floor and wall and will be putting in a sump pump as well. I will also put ugl or Behr's concrete waterproofer paint on the walls.

    I was wondering if the 2x4 sleeper system with plywood on top was still the preferred method or if anybody has tried or have heard how these DRICORE/SUBFLOR systems work.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    I think Fine Homebuilding had an article on that product awhile ago...you can search the library free, but may have to pay to read the article (If I'm remembering properly...not definite!). If it is there, you may be able to read it at your local library. The buttons on the bottom would mean any moisture that does get under there has a chance of not being trapped by 2x4's, plus, is more likely to sit relatively flat without gaps if the floor isn't perfect (and consider regular wood, if it gets wet is likely to warp when it dries, creating a big mess). So, from that viewpoint, it is worthwhile.
  5. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I installed Subflor (which is just like Dricore) in my basement. I love it.
    I disagree that it's a waste of money and time. More than anything, I like what it does to the FEEL of the floor. It feels like a 1st floor, not a concrete slab.

    That being said, it doesn't do much for the overall warmth of the basement. To improve that, you really need to address the walls. Before you finish, insulate the walls with wrap. It's hard to do it after the rock's up, as I'm unfortunately finding out.

    One caveat: I only did Subflor (Lowes) bkz I had a coupon. IMHO, Dricore looked like it had a better lamination of the plastic to the osb.
  6. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I haven't tried it, because it seems like a waste of time & money - price it out, compared to sleepers & ply, you'll see what I mean.

    And for what? So you have to adjust each 2' square to level?

    Seems to me it'd take a lot longer to install than the traditional sleepers & ply, where you're leveling 8 feet at a time.


    side-note: Lurker, I think you'd be amazed how much of a difference in comfort it makes, to have a subfloor with an air pocket under it. Night & day.
  7. ctkeebler

    ctkeebler New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts


    Any issues in installation that I should be aware of? Also have you built any walls on top? I want to add a few walls and the dricore rep told me to build right on top of the dricore, but Im thinking to build the walls first and then dricore around them.

    What did you put on top of the floor as your finished product?
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    If my basement got wet periodically, I would not put sleepers and ply down. I'd either try something like you're comptemplating, or I'd tile it, maybe with in-floor heating.
  9. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I used linoleum over top of my Subflor. I first installed a 1/4 plywood subfloor on top of Subflor, bkz linoleum can't be installed on a floating floor , which is what Subflor is.

    I thought of another reason I like Dricore: The T&G is better. The subflor required a good amount of malleting and I was afraid of breaking off the tongues. The dricore slotted well. You shld build yrself a little jig out of a scrap of 2x4. Rout a 1/4" groove in it and you can use it to mallet pieces together.

    I built my walls on the concrete first; but doing so kind of negates the reason for using it in that area. Also, plating on the concrete means you might need a double plate in order to have enough height to nail your drywall to. It also means more cutting of the subflor panels which is doable, but a pain since it's got all that corrogated plastic.

    If I were doing it again, I'd lay the Dricore FIRST and then tack your wall plates through the panels into the concrete with long tapcons.

    If yr setting a toilet, be sure to secure the underlying panel to the concrete with anchors or t-cons also.

    You know, b4 you settle on this, you should check out Johnbridge.com. If yr at all contemplating a tile floor, there are other options including ditra and radiant flooring. Those options, while possibly more expensive, seem to have a larger fan base, which counts for a lot.
  10. ctkeebler

    ctkeebler New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Thanks for the information, guess I should have kept that impact driver I returned today if I need to tap con the plates into the floor.

    My brother in law works for a big contruction company and anytime they put sleepers or bottm plates into a cement floor they drill a hole first, put in a piece of romex wire and then drives a 16 gauge nail and the wire and the nail complete the attachment to the floor.

    I was afraid that if I build the walls on top of the DRICORE it defeats the availability to pick up the DRICORE panels in case I get water. But hopefully my other water prevention measures will take care of that issue. DRICORE says putting the walls on top of the DRICORE is the preferred method, but you have to secure the DRICORE to the floor first.

    The question I have to figure out is do I use a ejector pit and dig up the floor or use a sanitrol macerating pump because Im below grade and have to use a pump to make a bathroom in the floor.

    If I dig up the floor I need to figure out high high to make the drain and toilet flange above the DRICORE and finished floor. IF I use the sanitrol pump would be easier to install, but then I wont able to use the TOTO Drake I hear so much about.

    I was going to leave the drywall 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the floor anyway again for water and moisture problems. But your right I may need two bottom plates, buts thats no big deal a few bucks more for a 2x4.
  11. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    If you go ejector, then you'll want the toilet flange to sit flush ATOP the finished floor. Just make the stub longer than necessary and cut it appropriately once you have the finished floor installed. Since it'll be hard to cut the pipe below the floor, I actually just dry fitted the stub into the elbow in the floor. This way I was able to mark and remove the pipe for cutting. Then I cemented the stub and the flange at the same time. Anyway, there's a million ways to skin that cat.

    You should search the many threads here on macerators vs ejectors. Pros and cons of each.

    The impact driver wouldn't help with tapcons. For that you need a hammer drill. The hammer drill impacts with higher frequency and less impact than the i driver. I bet an i driver would shatter the hdrill bits. FYI, you can get cheap hammer drills on that famous auction site for like $30! Be sure to blow the dust out of each hole else the scews won't go in.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I hate Tapcons

    I routinely snap off Tapcons with a regular 19.2V non-impact drill, particularly in old concrete that's had time to get reeeeallly hard. Be very careful to drill the hole with the right size drill and clean it out with compressed air before trying to drive the Tapcon.
  13. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I hate tapcons too, but setting anchors is a pain. The easiest is to rent a Ramset.
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I used a 2-part epoxy to set a bunch of 5/16 allthread for the last job needing anchoring to a concrete floor. Best solution I've found yet.
  15. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Tapcons definitely have a learning curve to them, and they definitely come in handy in certain situations like anchoring toilet flanges nicely.

    But I much prefer my Ramset Cobra gun...BAM! BAM! BAM! and I'm all done!
  16. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    I would use Delta FL rather than Dricore... You supply the plywood, whereas Dricore has OSB already attached.... If a floor ruins the plywood, you replace that, not the entire subfloor....

    I've been contemplating this, but reading through the JB archives is giving me second thoughts..... any wood that close to the slab will be vulnerable to flooding (the plates in my 50 yo laundry room were slimy cardboard when I pulled them out recently)..... I'm also not sure how well ventilated that space is between the Delta FL/Dricore and the slab, that's an awfully short height.....

    Perhaps Ditra or a foam-based backing board would provide an equally good moisture barrier, my concern is furniture in the basement rotting from moisture in the ground..... 1/2" Easy Board or Wedi would also provide a thermal break, cut down on condensation.... With Ditra I could use an unmodified thinset like Ditra Set, less food for mold..... I'd have to use a leveler, but Delta FL/Dricore also recommend leveling before applying their product.....

    Definitely insulate the walls.... I was planning on 1" EPS or more, so the walls can breathe... Wish I could get some of that EPS panel impregnated with borate, the problem with foam is that termites love it.....
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