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Remodeling a basement: DRIcore and Carpeting from Empire Today

Category : remodeling


As I mentioned briefly in my previous rant on Craig’s List, I’m in the midst of remodeling my basement. I’ll post some more details of all the considerations for those looking to build a waterproof, or at least water-resistant basement. Long story short: yes, it is indeed possible if you focus on all the details and use the right products.

In this post, I’d like to focus on two products I’m using to make this a success:

  • The use of Dricore subflooring system
  • Empire Carpeting products that let you put carpeting in the basement

DRIcore - Isolating the dampness of concrete floor

DRIcore is a unique product that is a sandwich of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) plywood and an impermeable polyethylene layer with feet that separate the potentially damp concrete floor from the flooring on top of it. In essence, DRIcore isolates the movement, cracks, and moisture of the basement floor from the dry flooring (like carpeting) you want to put on top of it. As noted on their website:

DRIcore subfloor panels are engineered specifically for cold, damp environments typically found in basements. DRIcore subfloor panels are manufactured with a high density polyethylene moisture barrier that raises the 5/8″ Random Wafer Board core a 1/4” away from damp, cold concrete floors. Since the panels are raised off the surface, the concrete floor is allowed to breathe. The DRIcore moisture management system allows any seepage or moisture to channel freely under the DRICore subfloor panels to keep floors both warm and dry.

Empire Carpet – “Empire Today”

Empire Today 800-588-2300Many of you are already quite familiar with Empire Carpet (remember the ol’ jingle “588-2300… EMPIRE!”)… well, I decided to give them a whirl for my basement remodeling activity. In particular, I trust their advice and feedback on installing carpet in a relatively moist environment. I’ve heard numerous horror stories about flooded basements, mold, and dampness that can quickly turn a carpet into a biohazard. For those that are looking to put carpeting in a basement… yes, it is possible!

Here’s the key: don’t use padding that will absorb moisture. There are a good number of posts on this subject, but here’s the key advice from a Yahoo! Answers board:

Most carpet fibers and their backings in modern carpets are completely synthetic, but the same is not true when it comes to carpet padding. It’s very important that you purchase a 100 percent synthetic carpet pad in any situation where water or moisture (high humidity) may be an issue. As much as I recommend a high density bonded urethane (multi colored) cushion for any above grade surface, stay away from it in a basement. Bonded urethane pads are constructed by adhering a combination of synthetic and non-synthetic foams together. The non-synthetic foams are known to grow mold and mildew when they become moist. Besides the horrible smell, mold can cause several health issues.

The two most logical pad choices for a basement are felt, or injected (prime) urethane (solid color foam). The injected urethane will initially give you a more luxurious underfoot feel, whereas the felt will be much better for maintaining the original integrity of the carpet. Injected urethane padding is well known in the industry for premature breakdown. The purpose of carpet pad is the same as a vehicles shock absorbers. If your vehicle has weak shock absorbers, your vehicle will have more mechanical problems than one with good shocks. Think of injected urethane as a weak shock absorber and felt as a good one. After all of the above babbling, the answer to your pad question is simple; GO WITH THE FELT.

Anyways, I want to rave a bit about Empire Carpet and their service. Empire Today has been a leading provider of installed Home Furnishings and Home Improvements for more than 45 years, with over one million satisfied customers. Empire Today’s line of quality home products make it easier and faster for you to improve the look and value of your home and provides superior service and world-class customer care to more than 50 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada.

Probably the most important and valuable service is Empire’s in-home demo and in-home shopping. This is key especially in a tricky environment like a basement that requires a “see it to believe it” approach to purchasing. Here are the key elements to the Empire Today process:

  • Make an appointment for a free, no obligation in-home estimate.
  • On the day of the appointment a friendly, professional Empire Today Representative will arrive at your home to show you samples, allow you to match the samples with your existing décor, measure and give you a fully installed price to give your home a new look. The rep will also discuss credit and payment installations and schedule an installation, which can happen as soon as the next day.
  • On the day of the installation, experienced professional installers will arrive at your home. After the installation is complete, they will review the job with you to make sure you’re completely satisfied and give you a customer care package that includes the care and service information you may need in the future.
  • Within 2 weeks after the install, an Empire Representative contacts you to make sure you’re completely satisfied

Rather than put words here to describe, figure I’d link to a few videos that explain the overview of services and offerings:

For those not looking for carpeting, you can also check out their hardwood flooring options. Also, those who are doing work on their bathrooms and not basements can also get benefits from working with Empire. Check out their “Empire Today Bath Stories”.

In my next posts, I’ll post photos of pictures of the remodeling project as its underway and you can see these products and services in use!