Planning to turn your basement into a functional space? Then you will need a specialized subfloor system.
An efficient and durable subfloor is a crucial element for proper house construction. Subflooring serves a number of benefits, but is typically used in basements where moisture can seep into and ruin a floor. Subflooring blocks the moisture and keeps the room dry and warm, prolonging both the life of the room and your personal comfort.
There are several companies that manufacture basement subfloor systems. Two of the best are the Dricore Dry Barrier. This review will identify the differences between the two, and hopefully allow you to make an informed decision in your construction project.
All About Dricore and Dry Barrier
Dry Barrier is a specialized subfloor system manufactured by DuraDrive Systems International Inc. Made of thermoplastic elastomer, the subflooring is a modular solution used on concrete as a slab on grade, below grade, and as suspended slab construction.
It is essentially used to protect the floor covering from concrete, as well as a moisture barrier. It also features several mold resistant technologies (which I will discuss further in the next sections).
Dry Barrier’s underlayment is ideal for all types of floor covering, including vinyl, laminated, engineered hardwood, or carpet.
Dricore is another flooring company that manufactures an all-in-one subfloor solution that can be used in any area of the house but was specifically designed for basements. Dricore’s subflooring features several technologies that promise to keep your basement dry, warm, comfortable, and with healthy air.
For instance, Dricore subflooring has a high-density membrane that creates a gap between the concrete and the floor, preventing moisture from accumulating. The underlayment is also easy to install and can be done without professional help.
Furthermore, Dricore offers a 25-year warranty for every purchased product.
A Side-by-side Comparison
Now that you have an idea of what Dricore and Dry Barrier are, let’s do a side-by-side comparison of each of their features.
A subfloor’s durability relies on both its efficiency and longevity. And as a home-owner, the first thing you should look into is the product’s strength.
Dricore and Dry Barrier both guarantee that their subfloor systems can withstand—and even prevent—common basement floor problems. Both manufacturers’ flooring materials were developed and designed with a number of technologies that can make it sturdy and long-lasting in return.
- Airflow technology. Quality airflow beneath the sub-flooring is critical to preventing moisture accumulation. To accomplish this, manufacturers have developed a solution called “airflow technology.”
Dricore and Dry Barrier both use this method to keep their sub-flooring dry.
Both subfloor systems are designed with raised channels (or panels) beneath the floor covering which allows the concrete to (a) breath, (b) dry up moisture, and (c) let the air underneath flow freely. Dricore calls the feature “Air Gap Technology” while Dry Barrier calls it the industry standard term, “airflow” technology.
But not only that!
Dry Barrier’s subfloor system comes with a thermal break, too, which provides an additional 3% of warmth to the finished floor. Dricore, on the one hand, is integrated with a high-density polyethylene membrane that acts as a moisture barrier. Its thermal break gives off the warmth of R-value 1.4, too.
- Waterflow channels. Since basements are underground and are therefore prone to flooding, both Dry Barrier and Dricore products focus on keeping your floors dry and preventing water from accumulating beneath the sub-flooring.
As mentioned above, the basement subfloor systems are designed with raised panels which allows water (not only air) to flow beneath the tiles.
- Mold resistant. When it comes to mold growth, both subfloor systems are excellent at preventing it. Dry Barrier, for example, is made from thermoplastic elastomer which is proven to resist mildew and mold buildup. It also does not contain any inorganic by-products that, in the long run, will degrade especially if exposed to moisture.
The same is true for Dricore’s basement subfloor system thanks to its Air Gap Technology and polyethylene membrane that are both used to prevent moisture accumulation.
- Weight capacity. Dricore and Dry Barrier are strong enough to hold heavy equipment and furniture too. The former, for instance, can carry up to 7 pounds per square foot while the latter can hold up to 11 pounds per square foot.
Comfort and Convenience
- Air quality. The quality of air circulating in a room is important, particularly for kids and older adults. Both brands provide healthy air as both subfloors come with raised panels that allow concrete to breathe and prevent moisture from accumulating. In return, the floor will not emit musty odors.
- Versatile. Both Dry Barrier and Dricore work on any type of floorings. Be it carpet, laminate, vinyl, or hardwood.
- Softened floors. Concretes are inherently hard. And walking on such a surface could be troublesome. It is particularly true for kids who might love to play and run around. Dry Barrier and Dricore, on a good note, features an underlayment that makes any type of floor covering soft.
Installation-wise, both Dricore and Dry Barrier guarantee an easy and fast procedure. Dry Barrier, for example, only takes 3 to 5 hours to install. This is also true for Dricore. And it is all thanks to their groove and tongue design.
Aside from that, you will only need a few basic cutting tools to complete the job as well, such as a hand saw and circular saw. Both subfloors also support all types of floor covering such as vinyl, carpeting, and hardwood.
While both brands assure that their basement subfloor systems are tough enough to last for a long time, they still provide limited warranties for their products. Dry Barrier, for instance, provides a 30-year product warranty while Dricore covers 25 years.
It should be clear by this point that both products do their job well. They are both excellent options.
Dricore and DryBarrier both provide “airflow technology” which helps prevent moisture accumulation and, at the same time, keeps the air healthy by preventing musty odors from circulating around the room. Both can be installed without professional help, which can also save you money.
All in all, it comes down to how much your budget is and what you think your basements needs.