Our Basement Journey Part 2: Installing the DRIcore Subfloor
Hello my friends!
Remember on Monday when I let you in on the dirty little secret that is our basement? How up until now it’s been a place where old mattresses and wreaths go to die? But no longer! We’ve teamed up with DRIcore® to start our basement renovation and we couldn’t be more excited!
DRIcore® is a one-step engineered subfloor solution that is specifically designed for basements. It’s meant to be laid over the concrete to insulate and create cushioned floors. And once they’re laid, and the rest of your basement is ready, you can lay down hardwood, laminate or carpet on top of it. Or you can even leave the DRIcore® as it is and cover it with a few coats of polyurethane to create a great storage area or place for the kids to play!
We have just finished laying down the DRIcore Subfloor, and we actually can’t believe what a difference the subfloor has made in our basement already! Honestly, it feels like a new basement…it looks new, smells new and already is starting to feel un-basement like. I don’t even mind going downstairs anymore, and that’s saying something! 🙂
Come along and see how we made the first phase of our basement renovation happen! The installation of the DRIcore Subfloor is SO easy and takes no time at all! With 2 people working hard, were able to have it done in one day!
Before we got started we had to get rid of A LOT of our junk…how on earth does one family amass such a cluster of junk?!
Then we took the time to watch this video, we read up on installation tips and calculated how many tiles we needed. The initial step, and honestly the most daunting for me was trying to figure out how many tiles we needed to cover our basement floor. But we soon realized that this wasn’t at all complicated! All you have to do is calculate the total number of square feet of your floor (length x width), then divide that number by 3.3. This is the number of panels you will need. You can also use this calculator here. Once we had the tiles (and there were a lot of them – 219 tiles to be exact), we stored them in the garage and just grabbed stacks as we needed them.
Once the tiles were delivered we were ready to go.
Here are the tools that you will need:
- A measuring tape.
- A circular saw and/or jigsaw to cut tiles as needed
- A hammer and a carpenters square.
- A tapping block (we just used a 2×4 block) and pry bar.
- Levelling shims
- A sufficient quantity of flooring spacers to create the proper expansion space between the panel edges and the walls or other fixed surfaces
- A dust mask or respirator for cutting panels outside.
- A pair of safety glasses for eye protection
Because we are installing both the DRIcore Subfloor and the DRIcore SMARTWALL (but at separate times) we had to do some preparation work ahead of time to make sure that our basement was ready to receive both systems. (Later I will post more about the DRIcore SMARTWALL, but for now I’ll just focus on the subfloor.) First we removed all of the existing studs and insulation and stripped the walls down the concrete. We did this step to accommodate the DRIcore SMARTWALL based on the advice we found in this Detailed Instruction Guide. This may seem daunting but was actually easy and the demo was fun! We will repurpose acceptable 2 x 4’s for interior walls and the insulation will be used in the garage.
Then we made sure the floor was level and clear of debris. Once that was done the basement was ready to have the subfloor installed. Woohoo! We started in a corner, and laid the first panel with the tongue sides facing the wall side. We made sure to leave a 1/4″ gap between the subfloor tile and the wall. Then we started putting the panels together, laying them out in a brick wall pattern. Because the DRIcore Subfloor tiles are a tongue and groove system, putting the tiles together was as simple as tapping them together using a block and hammer until the seams were tight. SO easy.
As we went along we found a few areas of our floor that weren’t completely level, so we dealt with these by using shims. But we found at times we were tempted to use more shims than necessary. Only shim if you really need to because you will find that you will be constantly trying to level the floor when it doesn’t really need it.
In no time the floor began to take shape! This is exciting my friends!!
And before we knew it, it was done. In 1 day. Can you believe it?!
What a difference this floor makes! I can’t even begin to tell you…it feels like a new home. Our basement is cleaner, brighter, and warmer. I am in love with how our basement feels already. Not to mention that it’s starting to look less like a basement space, and more of a space that is promising to be turned into something beautiful! I can hardly wait to get the DRIcore SMARTWALL installed…I’m feeling so optimistic that a beautiful basement space is just around the corner for us!
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Now that the DRIcore Subfloor is down we’re getting ready to install the DRIcore SMARTWALL! I can’t wait to share this next step with you!
Thank you so much for reading!
Disclosure: DRIcore® has generously provided us with the DRIcore Subfloor for this project! We are so thankful! 🙂
Progress! Going to be fun watching this evolve!
Yay for progress!! 🙂
SUCH a transformation already! Looks amazing!
Isn’t it?! I can hardly believe what a difference the subfloor has made already! Woot!!
It’s crazy how fast it all comes together, isn’t it? Your basement looks amazing, lady! I can’t wait to see how you guys make progress! I found that the basement was warmer almost immediately after our subfloor went down. Have you noticed that?
I am just a handy man in training so I was super stoked that the DRIcore subfloor system really was very easy to install. We required minimal tools (and confidence) to put the floor in and the finished result is awesome!! Plus the basement has that newly reno’d smell which I kinda like too… I cannot wait to get going on the DRIcore walls and watching our basement take shape.
I’m staying tuned for the updates! I’m afraid what our pile of stuff would look like in our basement. Yikes!
Thanks Angie! I was afraid too, but so surprised how much better it all seemed after clearing a few things out then laying the new floor!
We finished our basement renovation last year and I so wish we had been able to use this. It’s such a great product and it will help your basement out so much.
It really is making our basement renovation go smoothly so far! I love how it feels already!
wow! looks amazing and you’re not even done!!:) I am so jealous of a basement you’re not scared to go into! LOL:) can’t wait to see more progress:)
Thanks Heather! It really is nice to be able to go down there unafraid LOL!
I’ve been seeing this product more and more. Will definitely have to keep this in mind when it comes time to finish our basement. Looking forward to following along and seeing how your basement turns out! For some reason I really love basement transformations!
I love basement transformations too! It’s neat to see an unused space be turned into something beautiful!
Jo-Anna this is so exciting! I loved how much living space we gained by finishing our basement and only wished we had done it sooner! (well, that’s true of most of our renos probably!) Can’t wait to see it done!
Thank you Andrea! We are really excited to see this finally come together!
Looks amazing, Joanna!! Can’t wait to see the progress!
Thank you Heather!
I am loving the DriCore system. It looks like it is so easy and efficient to use. Can’t wait to see your renovation unfold.
Great minds think alike! 🙂 LOL Isn’t it something how one thing can make such a difference?! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you do down there. We are working on our basement too. Finally! We’ve only been here 10 yrs. We actually replaced the windows and bought the spray foam pack from the home improvement store and sprayed the rim, pulled out all of the batting and did the spray foam. Between that and the new windows (much better quality!)… oh the difference!!!!! It is the warmest area in the house. 🙂
Who knew a basement reno could be so much fun heh?! Good luck with yours…I can’t wait until ours is done!