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Basement subfloor

mcervinojr | Posted in General Questions on

Hey all!

My name is Mike.  Got my basement framed and am ready for a subfloor.  Once I get the drop ceiling installed, I only have about 80 inches of room from the concrete to the top of the grid.  Previous owners partially finished the basement w/ a plastic vapor barrier, underlayment pad, and engineered click flooring.  Not sure I should replicate that moving forward however.

Im in NJ climate zone #5.  What would be an acceptable subfloor to install considering my height restraints?  I was thinking either DRIcore, Delta FL w/ 3/4″ OSB, or something similar.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    For more information on this topic, see "Fixing a Wet Basement."

    In that article, I wrote:

    "The usual technique is to install 1 or 2 inches of XPS or EPS foam insulation on top of the existing concrete, followed by a layer of plywood that is fastened through the foam to the concrete with TapCon fasteners. ... If you don’t want to lose the height required for rigid foam, you could try installing a dimpled subfloor product like Delta-FL. (Note that some similar products, notably DRIcore, have mixed reviews from some builders. For more information on this topic, see comment #6 from Mike Guertin, below.) While Delta-FL is worth considering, especially when the basement ceiling is already low, it’s not the preferred solution. If you plan to install finish flooring in your basement, it’s always better to install rigid foam insulation on the slab than to proceed without any floor insulation."

    1. dbaker11 | | #13

      Could you install porcelain tile on the plywood on top of the foam?

  2. FluxCapacitor | | #2


    I'm also in New Jersey and remodeling my basement. I only have 83 inches to the joists and spent considerable effort to tuck all my plumbing and electrical in the bays between the joists so I can put sheet rock directly to the joists.

    Anyway, since i don't have room for the "correct" amount of underfloor insulation I'm planning on using Delta FL or DMX airflow under 6 mm vinyl planking. The DMX states it can be used directly under vinyl.

  3. mcervinojr | | #3

    I definitely need to go the same route as you FluxCapacitor. I need something that is as thin as possible.

    What about the following: Tyroc? Barricade, Dricore? Between those and the Delta FL / DMX, what would be the best method? I'm not planning on using OSB on top.

  4. FluxCapacitor | | #4

    My basement floor gets damp so I’m avoiding all organic materials that might support mold or mildew. Therefore Dricore and Barricade are out, due to OSB.

    The Tyrroc is intriguing to me because it’s partially made with MgO and I used MgO wall board throughout my basement finishing project instead of sheet rock. However, my basement floor may not be level enough for the hard brittle properties of the MgO (website indicates 1/4” max unevenness)

  5. mackstann | | #5

    I've got just a hair over 84" and my solution is Delta FL + 1" EPS + 23/32" T&G OSB. Headroom be damned -- I couldn't bring myself to skip the insulation.

    Don't forget landscape fabric under the Delta FL to reduce noise.

  6. mcervinojr | | #6

    Bumping this thread up. Since I only have 78" w/ the laminate, I've narrowed it down to something 1" or less. DRIcore R+, standard DRIcore, DMX Airflow, or DMX One Step. Can anyone chime in on what they would recommend?

  7. FluxCapacitor | | #7

    Here something I found.

    How do you guys think this compares to DMX, Delta, Dricore?

  8. mackstann | | #8

    Any product with unsealed seams, like Dricore or that DryBarrier product, seems like a building science failure to me. You really need an air tight layer to prevent moisture issues in a basement.

  9. Kalai31 | | #9

    Hi all, I am new to this forum and looking for the answers to the same question that has been discussed in this posting. I am also from NJ and got my basement done recently. Not able to decide which way to go for the subfloor. Also, I am not able to find any store carrying either DMX airflow or DryBarrier around NJ. I don't dont want to put OSB due to the same height issues.

    @FluxCapacitor / @mcervinojr - What option you guys went with? Also anyone know where to buy DMX airflow if I want to go with that option? is charing $14 per piece which seems way too expensive for the shipment. I need to cover 800 Sq.ft. and hence need 8 rolls which will cost $111 just for shipping.

    Any help / info is really appreciated.

  10. FluxCapacitor | | #10

    I ended up installing 7mm vinyl plank on top of Drybarrier.

    It’s only been down a week. The drybarrier seems ok but the floor sounds a little hollow, especially in areas where the concrete is not in perfectly flat. Maybe the vinyl plank and drybarrier will settle over time but I probably should have been a little more diligent and used self leveling compound.

    1. Kalai31 | | #11

      Thank you very much for the quick response. Can I know from where you got the drybarrier? I don't find it in any big box stores in NJ.

  11. FluxCapacitor | | #12

    I ordered it form

    I ordered one roll of DMX airflow and one box of DryBarrier to compare the products.

    I think both products would have worked but the DryBarrier is MUCH thicker/heavier and seemed easier IMO to work with. DryBarrier is probably 3 times heavier per SQ.FT than DMX (not necessarily better, just an observation).

    The DMX may have been quieter due to the foam coating.

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