Moisture can be a constant problem in basements and must be dealt with to extend the life of a project. Moisture culprits include rainwater and groundwater, unvented basement clothes dryers, humidifiers, showers and poor ventilation in humid climates. To help address these moisture issues, Kruger Panels Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, created its DRIcore Subfloor.
DRIcore is a one-step engineered subfloor specifically designed for basements and other concrete floors. The product consists of a high-density polyethylene moisture barrier bonded to the underside of a wood panel. The subfloor is molded with dual wall cleats that act as a raised moisture barrier to protect, insulate and cushion finished floors over concrete. An air gap between the concrete and moisture barrier encourages airflow and evaporation of surface moisture. The 23- by 23- by 7/8-inch modular tongue-and-groove panels require no edge fastening or adhesives.
“DRIcore is an easy solution to protect finished flooring investments in the basement or when covering concrete,” says Clayton Fearon, sales manager for Kruger Panels, DRIcore Subfloor division. “It provides an R-value and addresses the common issues and concerns there are with concrete, like it being cold, hard and damp. Wood is a natural insulator, and airflow underneath the panel allows for any moisture to flow underneath to the drain.”
DRIcore can be installed below ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate, hardwood and carpet, but each flooring type may require some preparation. For example, DRIcore should be pinned down with concrete fastening screws when installed under ceramic tiles. This will keep the subfloor from floating or moving, which could cause cracks in the ceramic tiles. In addition, Kruger Panels recommends an underlayment be installed over the subfloor to create a smooth surface before laying vinyl flooring.
Fearon notes if you intend to install DRIcore well before you install the final flooring, the subfloor should be coated with polyurethane to protect it. DRIcore also is not a flood-proof product or water barrier. Instead, it is ideal for moisture and minor water-related accidents that happen in laundry and utility rooms.
DRIcore Subfloor is an example of a homemade invention becoming a successful product. Ten years ago, a Kruger Panels sales manager was helping a neighbor renovate his basement. The sales manager cut hockey pucks in half and installed plywood over them before laying the basement flooring. The hockey pucks created an air gap so the wood would not contact the concrete. The success of the invention drove Kruger Panels to apply for a patent. With a few refinements during the years, DRIcore has become a division of the Kruger family.
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Subflor consists of 2- by 2-foot panels that are 7/8 inch in height. The panels interlock to create a smooth, solid surface below virtually any finished floor covering. Type #64 E-Inquiry Form.