Basement subfloor – Platon, Truwall or DRIcore

September 23, 2008 · Filed Under Home Maintenance · 11 Comments 

It’s the time of year to think insulation and how to keep the heat inside during the upcoming winter season. With that in mind I have FINALLY gotten around to installing a basement subfloor.  So off I go to The Home Depot for some pricing. (Jump to the bottom for updated results for what I used and how it preformed)

The rec room portion of my basement I want to sub floor is approx 24′ x 24′ or 576 sqft. I was familiar with the “normal” process of strapping my floor with 1″ x 3″ on the Truwall and nailing/screwing 5/8″ plywood on top, but a friend of mine mentioned to me he just installed Platon. So along with the two previously mentioned methods, I decided to toss DRIcore panels in the mix and compare price, functionality and installation ease for each product.


dricoreDRIcore are 2″ x 2″ engineered tongue and grove panels, 7/8″ in height (~$7 per panel). The bottom portion of the panels is made of a high density polyethylene moisture barrier bonded to the underside of the Random Wafer Board (RWB). The moisture barrier is molded with “dual wall cleats” that act as a raised moisture barrier.


This “appears” to be the easiest method. Lay them down, and click into the adjacent ones.
Even though they say 2″ x 2″ they are smaller then that. (closer to 23 1/4″ x 23 1/4″) On the display pamphlet is said total square footage divided by 3.3. So 576/3.3 = 175 panels. This is approx $1400 with taxes.


From the website Platon is “a tough, durable, double dimpled, high-density polyethylene air gap membrane”. Found in rolls 6′ wide by 66′ long. (~$115 per roll) The Platon looks VERY similar to the bottom side of the DRIcore panels. Doesn’t appear to be as sturdy.
platonThe concept behind Platon, is roll it out, over lap the edges and seal with Tuct Tape or Chaulking. This creates the raised air gap / moisture barrier. On top of the Platon you have to install 4′ x 8′ plywood sheets. I chose 5/8″ thickness. (~$30 per sheet) For my area I would need about 18 sheets + 2 extra. So 20 sheets * $30 = $600. Plus the 2 rolls of Platon.
Note: in this method you would need concrete nails or my personal favorite, my 22 caliber single shot Hammer Tool. Cost for 100 inch and a half nails = $15 and about $10 for the 100 shots. Grand total for this method is approx $1000.

Truwall, strapping, and plywood method

plywood subfloor

This method is by far the most time consuming. You have to first layout your Truwall (complete with strapping grooves). You then have to lay the 1″ x 3 ” strapping in the grooves and while using your trusty 22 cal hammer tool, fix to the concrete. On top of this you then lay your plywood. Again, using 5/8″ thickness. At this point I would screw the plywood to the strapping holding it firmly in place.
4′ x 8′ (1 1/2″ thickness) Truwall = $16 (Need 20)
4′ x 8′ x 5/8″ Plywood = $30 (Need 20)
1″ x 3″ x 8′ strapping = $1.50 a piece (Need 60)
100 1 1/2″ nails = $15
100 22 cal shot = $10
1 1/2″ screws = $30
Grand total = $1200


I opted for the DRIcore Panels.  For the extra cash I hope they are as easy to install as they say they are. (100sqft per hour)  I opted for the panels for the overall funcationality.  I also liked the ease to access my floor drain and my main sewer clean out pipe incase of an emergency.

UPDATE: As an update I did buy and install the DRIcore panels.  Man…..the easiest thing to use.  You can install them wearing a shirt and tie and not even break a sweat.  HIGHLY recommend them.  The slight difference in price was well worth it in “man hours”.  I installed 12mm laminate flooring over it and it’s was a perfect combination.  And on the feet….perfect.  Nice and firm and toasty on the feet. ( Of course laminate in a basement will appear “cool” to the feet anyways)

Would I use it again?  Absolutely.  Even convinced 2 other friends finishing their basements to use it, and from the results I’m sure they will be referring it to others.

Basement renovations Tips

September 12, 2008 · Filed Under Energuide Info, Home Maintenance, St. John's General · Comments Off 

Although it’s the middle of September and the temperature is quite comfortable, winter will soon be here.  Fall is normally the time of year to start inside home renovations, particularly basement renovations. By making a few changes, you can create a cozy space to spend time with guests during the holidays. By adding insulation to your exterior walls, installing a sub floor, you’ll notice some big changes in both your heat bills and the condition of your property.  I personally insulated my basement last year before the winter arrived and notice a huge change.

These tips are curiosity of the Home Depot.

• Turn up the heat

Basements are the coldest areas in the home, yet with the potential of becoming the most inviting.  A fireplace will instantly add warmth to this cool area, providing direct heat into the room. There are several different styles available ranging in price range and total square footage it covers.

• If these walls could talk

New paint on walls is like an instant facelift for your basement. Painting is an effective and quick way to change the look and feel of the room – making it a more inviting place to spend time. There are also several different styles of wallpaper available at The Home Depot that will help give your basement a fresh and updated look.

• Walk this way

Keep your toes warm and toasty by installing subflooring on top of the cold basement floor. Once installed, cover it with carpet, wood, laminate or tile – whatever suits your style.

• Let there be light

Many basements have little or no available natural light, which can make the room gloomy.  Consider installing pot lights or track lighting across the ceiling.  These types of light fixtures will instantly brighten the room by giving it a warm glow.