Most basements are prone to moisture. The way basement floors are constructed, almost always allow moisture to seep in through the concrete. When builders create the foundation of a home, the basement floor is the component that sits right on the ground. When the hole is dug in the ground and the construction of that foundation begins, concrete is poured and levelled to seal the basement floor which sits right on the frost line.
In the winter time the ground becomes frozen and the only line of defence is that poured concrete that separates the ground from your basement. When the seasons change and the temperature rises a considerable amount of water builds up underneath that floor. Oftentimes this is what causes problems with excess moisture in our basements. Installed flooring materials will not survive this moisture and a whole horde of different problems will the arise.
There is a simple way of making sure your flooring materials are kept away from that moisture. There is this product called Dricore. It is nothing other than a piece of high density fibre board cut into a 2 foot square and a piece of dimpled polyethylene vapour barrier glued on one side of this board. The boards edges are cut into a tongue and groove configuration so it is easy to piece together during installation. Installation is very straight forward and anybody with a little knowledge of carpentry can do this.
The Dricore sub-flooring product allows your new flooring material to be 7/8" away from the basement floor. Its dimpled polyethylene vapour barrier stops any moisture from reaching the fibre board and allows the air to move around thus drying up any moisture present. This product can also take a lot weight on top of it when installed. It is rated to take a load of 4000 lbs per square foot. Essentially one can place a pool table or a piano on top of it for an indefinite period of time and this sub-flooring material will take the load. If your plans call for divisions in your basement and walls have to be constructed, you can stud your walls on top of Dricore.
Installation is putting the boards together through the tongue and groove and there is no glue required. However should the installation of the Dricore be in a larger area of say 1000 square feet, Tapcons should be fastened every 10 feet to prevent separation. As any wooden floor is installed, an expansion gap is required between the Dricore panel and the wall. This will prevent the wooden subfloor from touching the walls as it expands during the warmer summer months. This gap also allows the air to escape from the floor as it moves around underneath the boards.
There are generally 3 types of flooring that is warrantied for installation in basements. They are Laminate flooring, Engineered flooring and carpet. Special attention is required in anchoring the the boards on its edges with Tapcons when installing carpet. As the carpet is stretched the Tapcon anchors will prevent the edges of the boards from lifting due to the tightness of the carpet. Proper manufacturers instruction should be followed when installing Laminate and Engineered flooring. The gaps between the flooring and the flooring materials can easily be covered by your baseboards and if they are larger gaps, the combination of baseboards and quarter rounds is in order. In cases where the basement floor is uneven, there are pre-packaged shims that can be purchased to correct the deflection of the floor. The tools required is a good Skill saw, a leveller, a tapping block and a hammer. Safety protection for the eyes is a must and never use gloves while cutting with a mechanized saw.
Dricore is a product of Kruger Panels and is manufactured here in Oakville, Ontario. This is sold per panel at the Home Depots. A similar product manufactured by the same company is called SubFloor and can be purchased in any Rona Store. SubFloor shares the same characteristics and quality as Dricore. For more information about this product visit: www.dricore.com.