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!

Installing DRIcore Subfloor {A Pretty Life}

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!!

Installing DRIcore Subfloor {A Pretty Life}

And before we knew it, it was done.   In 1 day.  Can you believe it?!

Installing DRIcore Subfloor {A Pretty Life}

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!

– – – – –

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!

SignatureDisclosure:  DRIcore® has generously provided us with the DRIcore Subfloor for this project!  We are so thankful!  🙂

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  1. 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. 🙂