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Why do I need a subfloor?

98% of basements will have a moisture problem at some point in time. All basement floors, even in new homes, have a tendency to be very damp. To compensate for the dampness, many people will cover the concrete surface with flooring in hopes the problem will go away. The problem with this method is that concrete is a porous substance and needs to breathe. As temperatures in the basement fluctuate, it creates the perfect environment for moisture to accumulate between the underpad and concrete. This is where mold begins to germinate which can lead to poor indoor air quality.

Why is DRICORE the best Subfloor system?

DRICORE Subfloor is a simple do-it-yourself solution to help you create a warm, dry, comfortable basement. DRICORE subfloor panels are manufactured with a high density polyethylene moisture barrier that raises the 15/32" core a 1/4" away from damp, cold concrete floors. Since the panels are raised off the surface, the concrete floor is allowed to breathe.

The DRICORE moisture management system allows any seepage or moisture to channel freely under the DRICORE subfloor panels to keep floors both warm and dry.

NOTE: DRICORE is not a replacement for a good foundation nor a solution for home drainage maintenance, flooding, or continued water leakage. Any leaks or excessive moisture should be attended to prior to any flooring installations.

How do DRICORE Subfloor panels prevent moisture problems?

DRICORE has an integrate high density polyethylene membrane bonded to the underside of the panel which provides an excellent moisture barrier. DRICORE has also been designed with Air Gap technology that encourages constant air flow and evaporation of surface moisture emitted from your basement concrete floor.

What is unique about DRICOREs polyethylene moisture barrier?

The high density polyethylene moisture barrier bonded to the underside of DRICORE Subfloor panel is molded with dual wall cleats that are durable and act as a raised moisture barrier. Independent lab tests confirmed that the DRICORE polyethylene moisture barrier does not support the growth of mold.

Why are there sometimes variances in the color of wood in the DRICORE panels?

Color variances are natural and not an indication of quality. Variances can be driven by several factors including; the type of trees, the geographical location of the trees and the growing conditions.

The tongue and groove are not aligning perfectly?

Sometimes wood variances occur, in this situation manually insert the tongue into the groove by lifting the boards slightly and inserting.

Is DRICORE a healthy home product?

YES - DRICORE promotes good indoor air quality by allowing your concrete to breathe which in turn reduces the potential for mold and mildew. Also, no urea formaldehyde glue is used in the construction of the panels.

What components make up a conventional subfloor?

A conventional subfloor includes 2x4 sleepers, vapour barrier, 1"-2" rigid insulation, 15/32" plywood, and a lot of fastening. The combined height is between 2-1/4" and 5-1/4" compared to 3/4" for a DRICORE Subfloor panel.

How much headroom is lost when using DRICORE subfloor panels?

The DRICORE subfloor panels are only 3/4" in thickness, less than half of the height of a conventional subfloor.

Can DRICORE Subfloor panels support heavy objects?

DRICORE Subfloor can support 6,642 pounds per square foot and DRICORE R+ can support 3,153 pounds per square foot as tested by an independent lab, so heavy furniture and equipment like pool tables, weight sets and pianos are not a problem.

What size are the DRICORE Subfloor panels?

The DRICORE Subfloor panels come in a 3/4" x 23.5" x 23.5" format. This size was created to provide a convenient, lightweight solution that is easy to handle and meneuver when loading into basements.

Is there a warranty?

Yes. The DRICORE subfloor panels feature a 25 year limited warranty.

How is DRICORE packaged and sold?

DRICORE subfloor is sold as an individual 4 square foot panel which weighs approx. 8 lbs.

Can I cut DRICORE panels inside the house?

Cutting DRICORE panels is best done outside or in a well ventilated garage to avoid dust particles and odours from filtering throughout the house or resting on the floor during installation.

How long does it take to install DRICORE Subfloor panels?

The length of installation time will vary by the room size and complexity of room layout. An average 400 square foot basement should take 4 hours and take 50-60% less time than a conventional subfloor!

Can I install it myself?

Yes, the easy-to-handle, 3/4" x 23.5" x 23.5" panels are configured with a tapered tongue and groove edge making panel assembly fast and easy. Panels cut quickly with a circular saw, jigsaw, or hand saw.

How many panels will I need?

Estimating is easy. The total square footage of your room divided by 3.3 equals the number of panels you need. This factor includes an allowance for normal wastage and cutting around obstacles and pipes.

What tools are required?

Safety glasses, work gloves, pencil, measuring tape, carpenters square, circular saw and/or jig saw, level, hammer or rubber mallet, chalk line, taping block and pry bar are the basic tools that help to install DRICORE subfloor panels quickly.

Please note: For protection against airborne dust particles, it is recommended to use a certified dust mask when cutting panels.

Do I glue the seams or install plastic on concrete before laying down DRICORE subfloor panels?

No. Gluing the panel edges is not recommended. The panels are intended to expand and contract with the seasonal temperatures of the basement. A vapour barrier over the concrete surface is not recommended. The built-in high density polyethylene membrane is the moisture barrier on the underside of the panel which allows incidental moisture to dry easily. Normally, its not necessary to apply paint or sealant to the concrete floor before laying DRICORE subfloor panels.

Does DRICORE work on uneven concrete floors?

Yes. For uneven floor variances greater than 1/4", we recommend first using a concrete self patching compound or if required, similar liquid concrete patching product. For sloping or uneven sections of your floor, we recommend stacking DRICORE leveling squares until you get the height adjustment needed to level the panel. Once installed for a week or more, the panels will settle and contour to your concrete floor.

To check for floor height variances, take a 4ft level or longer straight edge and place over the concrete surface where the installation is to take place. Raise the straight edge or level to the level line and measure the height difference between the concrete floor surface and straight edge with a measuring tape. Mark the spots on the concrete floor where liquid leveling is required and fill in as necessary.

Where can DRICORE subfloor panels be installed?

DRICORE can be installed in basements, slab-on-grade homes, garages, workshops, storage rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms and above ground concrete floors. Remember to leave a 1/4" expansion gap around perimeter walls and stagger panel seams when installing. Some fastening to the concrete may be required.

Can DRICORE subfloor panels be installed in a bathroom or laundry room?

When installing DRICORE panels up to shower stalls or bath tubs, run a flexible caulking to seal the gap between the finished floor and the tub/shower unit in this area, only to prevent excessive moisture from seeping between the finished floor and DRICORE panels. Continue to leave the 1/4" spacing around the remaining perimeter edges as specified in our installation instructions.

While DRICORE panels can carry the weight of tubs and/or shower stalls, it is recommended to install these fixtures directly over the concrete surface as to prevent exposure to leaks from plumbing or cracks in seams or fixtures to the surface of DRICORE.

See the finished flooring section for details on finished flooring installations.

Can I install perimeter or interior walls directly onto DRICORE subfloor panels?

Stud walls can be set right on top of your new DRICORE subfloor. Install your 2X4 walls directly on top of the DRICORE panels, measuring for a snug fit between the panels and ceiling. Once the walls are framed and in position, simply screw the bottom plates of the 2X4 wall to the DRICORE panels, using 2" wood screws.

To finish the anchoring process, we suggest pinning the bottom plate to the concrete floor using either 3" concrete nails or self-tapping concrete fasteners. Only minimal fastening to the concrete is required. For example, on an 8 foot length of wall, you would require only 2 fastening points (one at both ends). Again, only minimal fastening to concrete is required. Too many fastening points breaking through the polyethylene moisture barrier may defeat the moisture resistant benefit of the DRICORE subfloor system.

NOTE: If you are planning to use metal studs in place of wood, the base track for the studs should be affixed to the DRICORE panels with wood screws. Metal stud base plates should be anchored to panels every 2ft when installing over DRICORE panels. As above, 2 fasteners should penetrate the panel and go into concrete, securing the wall into place.

What if my walls are already in place?

No problem. Drywall should already be in place or installed prior to DRICORE subfloor panel installation. It is recommended when installing drywall to leave a 1/4" gap between the concrete floor and the base of the drywall to avoid moisture contamination. Install 1/4" spacers between the drywall and the DRICORE subfloor panels before panel installation.

Dust particles from drywall and sanding could potentially rest into areas where moisture collects and may cause mold to form. Moisture checks and repairs should have been performed prior to installation. However, controlling humidity and ventilation will be key to a sound installation and mold prevention. Clean up and remove any dust and dirt in the area of the installation, including window sills, ceilings, air ducts, floors, etc.

It is also recommended to check and/or change your air filter on the furnace after any renovation to prevent dust particles from travelling throughout the homes ventilation system.

What surface treatments can be applied to DRICORE subfloor panels?

Any surface treatments such as paints, stains, varnishes, and polyurethanes must be tested first for compatibility.

To apply, brush or roll on 1 coat of a high quality primer prior to painting, or 2-3 coats of polyurethane or varnish to the surface of DRICORE panels. Ventilate well during this process.

What floor coverings can be installed over DRICORE subfloor panels?

Carpet, Engineered, Hardwood, Laminate, Vinyl

Please check out of detailed installation instructions "Finish With Flooring" section for complete installation details.

How does air get underneath DRICORE panels?

The ventilation system of your home recycles air causing pressure changes throughout the house. These pressure changes force air under baseboards, cracks, expansion gaps, cavities of studs, leaks from ducting etc... Do not seal or block the 1/4" gap in a way that prevents air from filtering underneath panels. When installing trim, it is best to raise the trim slightly above the finished flooring material, by approximately 1/8", to help encourage airflow. For basement conditions, proper ventilation and a dehumidifier is recommended to control temperature and humidity levels.

Can I increase the air movement underneath DRICORE panels?

There are several options available for increasing airflow under DRICORE panels. You can increase the occurrence of air flow under DRICORE panels by cutting 3" x 10", or 4" x 10", air register vent openings every 10ft around the perimeter walls of the room to allow air to escape.

Can DRICORE Subfloor panels be installed in a garage?

Yes. Install DRICORE panels as recommended in our instruction sheets. For garage installations, panels must end a minimum 1ft from the garage door opening. Anchor panels with Tapcon type concrete fasteners at the leading edge, install a 3/4" transition strip to protect the edges of the panels, and anchor perimeter wall edge panels to the concrete floor every 2nd panel.

Is fastening of the DRICORE Subfloor panels to the concrete floor required?

No, but it is required in some installations. Below is a list of conditions that require fastening:

  • If a power carpet stretcher will be used to install carpeting: prevent panel uplift when stretching carpet by fastening DRICORE panels to the concrete floor with Tapcon type concrete fasteners at perimeter edges every four feet plus one in the panel in the centre of the room.
  • If using DRICORE panels for a garage or workshop where the panels will be left exposed, fasten every 2nd panel at perimeter wall edges to the concrete floor to prevent lateral movement or shifting with heavy equipment or use. Keep in mind that DRICORE subfloor panels are not manufactured to be a finished floor nor left exposed to exterior weather elements.
  • In high traffic areas, where the finished flooring material may not be installed, such as hallways.
  • If installing walls on top of DRICORE: use 2 fasteners for each 8ft base plate, through the panels and into the concrete floor, to fasten base plates.

Is a floor drain necessary?

No, but if you have a drain or access to clean-outs, access should be maintained, not restricted. Be sure to check with your local authority for building code recommendations before covering any basement floor drain or clean-out access.

It is not a requirement to install a basement drain prior to installing a DRICORE subfloor. If you install DRICORE panels over the drain access, cut an access opening in the panel that rests over top of the drain and install a decorative floor drain cover over top of your finished flooring.

How do you finish panel edges, floor height transitions and doorways?

Transition and reducing strips for bridging floor height variations can be found in the flooring or lumber department of your local home improvement centre. Use a combination of 1" flat moulding stock and quarter round mouldings as a transition.

Can I use radiant floor heating systems with DRICORE subfloor panels?

It is recommended to install radiant floor heating systems on top of the DRICORE Subfloor panels for optimal performance. The insulating properties of DRICORE will slightly reduce the effectiveness of a radiant floor heating system that is installed underneath DRICORE panels. DRICORE panels have an R value of 1.4 which makes the floor temperature more comfortable.

Can I install DRICORE over existing floor surfaces?

When installing DRICORE panels over existing floor surfaces, the existing floor surface must be clean, structurally sound, and free of debris or materials that may impair the performance of the panels. The existing floor surface must also be free of materials that may trap, block or absorb moisture, or promote mold growth. Some vinyl glues are known to mold when installed directly to concrete. It is recommended to remove any residue or debris, and clean the concrete surface thoroughly, before installing any flooring materials.

For asbestos tile, please check the Environmental Protection Agency or Environment Canada for specific removal, repair and handling recommendations.