Substrate Preparation: The Key to Durable Floor Tile Installation

ditra-1Tile is an unparalleled flooring choice for easy maintenance and versatile style. However, wooden and concrete slab subfloors can shift and move over the years, causing floor tile to crack. Large-format tile is especially vulnerable to damage if flooring installations are not fully supported or leveled. As the surface to which tile adheres, the substrate requires strength and support so that the floor tile remains intact for many years of durable use.

In the past, additional support could be added to subfloors with a layer of structural plywood topped with sheets of non-structural concrete board. However, these additional layers require a great deal of effort to install. They also raise the level of the floor and create transitional differences that are difficult to integrate with other types of flooring materials throughout the home.

As a modern solution to these issues, uncoupling membrane is the ideal solution for a wide variety of interior and exterior flooring substrates; it flexes to absorb stress and the expansion or contraction of the subfloor. This thin polyethylene membrane is easily cut and adhered as an underlayment between the subfloor and tile, and it creates very little extra installation work. At less than ⅛ inch thick before installations materials are added, it does not create a significant height difference to the level of existing floors. Because the membrane is waterproof, it also adds a layer of protection from moisture for wooden subfloors, which is ideal in kitchens and bathrooms.

When you shop with D&B Tile Distributors, you will enjoy a comprehensive selection of floor tile paired with high-quality contemporary tools and installation materials, including uncoupling membrane. Contact us today for more information about our floor tile products and tools or visit one of our nine showrooms and authorized dealers.