Why should I install a MEMBRANE before my TILE?
The membrane we use is a product of Schluter and is called DITRA. It is also available in a thicker version called DITRA-XL. We realized that the explanations provided by the company and all the mumbo-jumbo was so confusing! This entry is a broken down, dissected version, free of fluff and clearly communicates the benefits of installing a membrane to your subfloor prior to your tile.
On the Schluter website, the definition they write for their product is this: "Schluter-DITRA is a polyethylene membrane that acts as an uncoupling layer in-between your subfloor and tiles. It is also a waterproofing membrane, provides vapour management and supports load distribution" (Schluter Website). Cool. Now, in English ...
FIRST! What is an uncoupling membrane?
It is a tool used to "uncouple" the tiling layer from the substrate, whether it be concrete, plywood, gypsum or heated floors. Having a layer in between neutralizes the tile movement, thus eliminating the major cause of cracking. So, plain and simple the membrane adjusts and absorbs the movement of your subfloor instead of your tile.
SECOND! What does a waterproofing membrane mean?
DITRA is suited for both interior and exterior applications, and protects your subfloor from moisture. If moisture penetrates, it can cause your setting materials to loosen and cause your tile to lift. It can also cause irregularities in the thickness of your adhesive thus changing load distribution and cause cracking. Finally, the most obvious downfall of water penetration is mold...yuck!
THIRD! What does vapour management mean?
Simply, vapour management means that the membrane allows your subfloor to "breath." It's square channel configuration effectively gives free space for vapour and moisture to escape from your subfloor without compromising the tile.
FOURTH! What does load distribution mean? My subfloor is already level? DITRA and alike, distribute weight evenly and transfers this load from the tile to the substrate. It basically provides support to the tile layer. Schluter notes that they have gone through extensive testing where large loads, and we mean LARGE have been able to be evenly distributed. So yes thats right, it can be used in commercial applications and even garages!
NOW can you see why we offer this to all of our clients and customers?! Perfect solution to an on-going problem. Want to learn more? Check out their Data Sheet for additional information or their Brochure PDF - both provide diagrams and photos. Want to see what else Schluter carries? Check out their website www.schluter.ca.
Profile is an authorized dealer of Schluter!