Turning a basement into a functional living space is something that many homeowners do not attempt to do. More often than not, they leave it as it is—dark, unfurnished, and cold—as renovating a basement is not that easy and will require you to shell out a significant amount of money to maintain.
But this was only true when the only viable option for a homeowner was a custom-built basement finishing.
Today, installing a basement finishing system is easy and costs less thanks to prefabricated designer systems that are widely available. These finishing systems not only make the job less complicated but are also effective at keeping the walls from accumulating moisture, which effectively prevents several issues like mold growth.
Two popular basement finishing system brands are Wahoo Walls and Dricore. While both brands serve the same purpose, each comes with different features, perks, and drawbacks.
Curious to know which is the best choice for your basement? Let’s find out more.
All About Wahoo Walls and Dricore
Wahoo Walls is a Basement Finishing System manufactured by Wahoo Composites LLC. It is a prefabricated designer system made of inorganic materials that are incredibly effective at preventing mold growth. It also comes with aluminium tracks that make the installation easy and fast.
Wahoo Walls systems come with pre-insulated panels (Integrity EPS by Atlas R-13) that are rated R-15/16, especially when constantly used without studs. Wahoo Walls are available for purchase for all types of builders: homeowners, residential and commercial contractors, and waterproofing specialists.
Dricore is an all-in-one engineered subfloor solution that was developed and designed specifically for basements. Known for its many wall and floor technologies, the finishing system promises a warm, dry, and cozy basement. For instance, it comes with a high-density plastic membrane which contains a patented air gap pattern to prevent moisture accumulation.
And just like any prefabricated finishing system, it is easy and quick to install. Dricore also offers a 25-year warranty for every purchased product.
A Side-by-side Comparison
Now that you have a brief idea of what Dricore and Wahoo Walls are, let’s talk about each of their features and how they differ.
Whether you are a residential or commercial space owner, everybody prefers durable and long-lasting products.In order to guarantee that durability, Dricore and Wahoo Walls come with different features that make their materials sturdy enough to withstand common wall and floor issues. Here’s how:
- Mold and mildew growth. Whether in the basement, kitchen, bathroom, or even in the patio, mold growth is a typical problem that many homes and commercial space owners complain about. This is particularly true on walls and floors. But because basements are underground, they are more prone to moisture accumulation which can cause mildew and mold growth.
This is where a prefabricated finishing system can help you.
Dricore’s basement finishing system, for example, is designed with raised subfloor panels—also called “Air Gap technology”— that helps the air flow freely beneath the boards. Consequently, it stops moisture from accumulating and causing mildew buildup. It also comes with a high-density polyethylene membrane attached to the panel which acts as a moisture barrier for the hardwood, carpeting, or linoleum on top of the sub-flooring.
Wahoo Walls, on the other hand, are made from inorganic materials which prevents water and moisture accumulation, making the panels’ mold resistant.
- Weight capacity. You can turn your basement into any type of functional space you want. Whether it is a mini-theatre, a second living room, or even a gym, if you use either sub-flooring option, your floors will be strong enough to hold all the equipment you want to put in there.
Both Dricore and Wahoo Walls are strong enough to withstand heavy equipment. Dricore, for instance, can support up to 7lbs per square foot which supports items as heavy as gym equipment. This is also true for Wahoo Walls.
One of the many reasons builders prefer prefabricated finishing systems is how convenient they are to install. Both Dricore and Wahoo Walls are easy to install. In fact, you can do the installation yourself.
If you are going to install the sub-flooring yourself, you will need a few basic pieces of equipment to do the job. Some builders recommend a circle saw and masonry blades to cut through the panels. Wahoo walls provide the square slat needed to attach to each panel’s square slots, which makes the whole installation process easier.
Dricore also guarantees fast and easy installation thanks to its groove and tongue design. It even claims that a 500sq ft room can be done in just half a day! You can DIY the process, too, and use basic cutting tools such as a hand saw and jigsaw.
When it comes to price, Wahoo Walls and Dricore are similarly priced. While the total price tag for a basement finishing system can be quite pricey, it is because these systems provide a better quality than a custom-built finishing system.
Having said that, below is a quick price overview:
- Wahoo Walls. Wahoo Walls costs about $500 for five panels that are 20 linear feet long.
- Dricore. Dricore’s panel costs around $6.50. If you have an estimated 675 square feet of space to cover, you will shell out approximately $1,283 to cover it.
While both brands claim that their subfloors are strong and long-lasting, they also provide warranties should the subfloors malfunction. Platon provides a 30-year product warranty while Wahoo Walls provides a 25-year warranty.
To answer which basement finishing system is better, I would recommend Dricore over Wahoo Walls. While both systems serve the same purpose, Dricore has more features (that looks promising) compared to Wahoo Walls. Wahoo Walls’ website also does not look updated, and some customers say that the company is out of business too.