In order to protect the integrity of the tile assembly, an underlayment that performs multiple functionsis required. UncouplingTile has been successfully installed for thousands of years by incorporating an uncoupling layer, orforgiving shear interface, within the tile assembly. The free space provides a route for excessmoisture and vapor to escape from the substrate that could otherwise cause damage to the tilelayer above. Column-like mortar structures areformed in the cutback cavities of the matting.

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In order to protect the integrity of the tile assembly, an underlayment that performs multiple functionsis required. UncouplingTile has been successfully installed for thousands of years by incorporating an uncoupling layer, orforgiving shear interface, within the tile assembly. The free space provides a route for excessmoisture and vapor to escape from the substrate that could otherwise cause damage to the tilelayer above.

Column-like mortar structures areformed in the cutback cavities of the matting. Loads are transferred from the tile covering throughthese column-like mortar structures to the substrate.

Since DITRA is virtually incompressible withinthe tile assembly, the advantages of uncoupling are achieved without sacrificing point loaddistribution capabilities. The ability of DITRA installations to support and distribute heavy loadswhile preserving the integrity of the tiled surface has been verified through extensive laboratory andfield testing, including applications exposed to vehicular traffic.

Type, thickness,and format of the ceramic or stone tile surface covering must besuitable for the intended application. It also increases the movement accommodation capabilities of the product, allowing for the installation of ceramic tile over singlelayerwood subfloors on joists spaced at 24" mm o. From a technical perspective this was a sound approachbecause DITRA is configured to provide load distribution and is virtually incompressiblewithin the tile assembly.

These customers felt that using two layers of DITRA wasreasonable on relatively small applications, as the benefit outweighed the additionallabor in their perspective. However, they requested a better solution. Research and DevelopmentSince the uncoupling function is based on the geometric configuration of the product,we recognized that increasing the thickness of DITRA would result in increasedmovement accommodation. When the new product was tested, it became clear thatthe increase was significant.

Test results are summarized in the table below. Proper installation results in full contact betweenthe fleece webbing and the thin-set mortar. The following points willhelp differentiate between the two products.

WOODEvery substrate presents unique challengesAll wood materials, including OSB, plywood, and framing members, are subject to expansion, contraction, bending, and deflection as aresult of changes in moisture content and loading. Further, these deformations fluctuate over the life of the building structure. Wood continually absorbs and releases moisture. Setting and Grouting Materialslatex portland cement p. Setting and Grouting Materialsfast-setting latex portland cement p.

As an alternative, asuitable cement-based embossing leveler oran appropriate latex-modified thin-set mortarcan be used to skim coat the vinyl to providea bonding surface. See page 25 fordiscussion on latex-modified thin-set mortarssandwiched between two impervious layers. To begin, the coefficient of thermal expansion of concrete is close to twice that of ceramic tile.

Additionally, tile contractors are often expectedto install tile over young concrete concrete cured less than 28 days. However, rigid surface coverings installed over young concrete aresusceptible to damage as a result of shrinkage during curing. Although pre-stressing is used to help control deflections in concrete structures, these slabs are still subject todeformations caused by changes in moisture, temperature, and loading.

Many concrete slabs on or below grade are subject to moisturemigration, which can be problematic. Furthermore, these structures experience the same deformations as stated above. Vapormanagement is also essential for slabs subject to moisture migration.

This allows DITRA to be installed in commercial and industrial applicationsexposed to heavy vehicular traffic, provided the type, format, and thickness of the tile is appropriate for the application. GYPSUMEvery substrate presents unique challengesBonding ceramic or stone tiles directly to gypsum concrete substrates is generally considered questionable or not recommended.

Thechallenges associated with gypsum-based underlayments include the requirement of an extended drying period before installing tile andcontinued sensitivity to the reintroduction of moisture throughout the life of the installation. In addition, since the coefficient of thermalexpansion of gypsum concrete is substantially greater than that of ceramic tile, shear stresses caused by temperature fluctuations canresult in delamination or cracking of the tile covering.

This is particularly important when gypsum concrete is used as a thermal mass forradiant heated floors. With the increasing popularity of radiant heated floors, which typically utilize gypsum concrete, tile installers need areliable installation system to address these issues. This is particularly important since gypsum concrete must dry in order to gain strength. Unlike other surface coverings, the low thermalresistivity of ceramic and stone tiles allows them to be used in radiant heat applications without sacrificing the energy efficiency of thesystem.

However, there are inherent challenges in combining rigid surface coverings with radiant panel heating systems.

A viableinstallation system must address the magnified fluctuations in temperature that contribute to increased shear stresses between the heatedassembly and the tile covering. The system must also limit thermal striping by promoting even heat distribution and protect the assemblyfrom moisture, which is particularly important when gypsum concrete is used as the thermal mass. Differential movement stresses are magnified in radiant-heated floor applications because of significant temperaturegradients.

This isparticularly important for gypsum concrete since it must dry in order to gain strength. In addition, the free space beneaththe matting limits thermal striping by promoting even heat distribution throughout the assembly.

If wood or gypsum concrete substratesare exposed to moisture, the tile layer above can be damaged as a result. Typical areas that require waterproofing include tub surrounds and showers. However,there are other commonly tiled areas that may, through unexpected circumstances,become exposed to significant amounts of water; for example, an overflowed toilet, orruptured dishwasher, icemaker, or washing machine lines, which can result in flooding.

Waterproofing these floors can save an owner from replacing the tile assembly andsubstructure in the event of a leak. Theresult is a waterproof installation that will not suffer damage in the event of anunexpected water leak. Exteriorbalconies and terraces are ideal opportunities for the installation of tiled surfaces. However, these installations have typically presentedsignificant challenges to tile setters. Since hard surface coverings are rigid by nature and have different physical properties compared tovirtually every substrate, they cannot be bonded directly to the substrate, particularly in exterior applications where they are exposed topotentially severe climatic changes and the recurring introduction of moisture.

This is particularly important since these stresses are magnified by the significant temperature gradientscommon to exterior applications.

This is especially important when installing tile over a young slab, concrete slabs subject to moisture migration,or a fresh mortar bed.

Sloped structureA sufficient slope 1. See note onoccupied space, pg. Available in many different colors and finishes. Material: stainless steel or aluminum. Ceramic or stone tileInstall surface covering using unmodified thin-set.

Note: Movement joints are mandatory; see page 20of this Handbook. The National Building Code ofCanada NBC requires that a roofing membrane be used on all balconies, decks andterraces that are not a flow through surface, including areas over occupied or unoccupied space.

Sloped wood structureA sufficient slope 1. Use exterior grade subfloor panels. Offset joints in thebackerboard panels in such a way that they do notline up with joints in the substrate. Fill gapsbetween panels with dry-set mortar and tape alljoints with 2" 50 mm -wide alkali-resistant meshtape.

Also available: a complete line ofsystem accessories. Ceramic or stone tileInstall surface covering using unmodified thin-setmortar. Note regarding occupied space: Occupied spaceis not limited to living space. For example, garages,open-air balconies with finished ceilings beneath, etc. As an alternative, tiles can be installed with an overhang.

It is placed along the edge area of an existing sloped substrate. Garages, openairbalconies with finished ceilings underneath,etc. Roofing membraneThe roofing membrane must be sufficiently sloped 1. Edge insulation strip compressible foam 6. Also available: a complete lineof system accessories. For example, garages,open-air balconies with finished ceilings underneath, Schluter etc. Any waterthat penetrates the mortar bed is directed under normalgravitational force to the drainage exits.

In addition, thewaterproofing layer is effectively protected from damage. As an alternative, tilescan be installed with an overhang. The various components of atile assembly tile, mortar, substrate, etc. Furthermore, structures that restrain overall expansion of the tile field walls, columns,etc. If the aforementioned movements are notaccommodated through the use of movement joints in the tile field and at restrainingstructures, the resulting stresses can cause cracking of the grout and tile anddelamination of the tile from the substrate.

Thus, movement joints are an essentialcomponent of any durable tile assembly. Guidelines for the placement of movement jointsField size not to exceed ft 2 The ratio between length and width shouldnot exceed See figures1, 2, and 3. The sill seal band is placed against perimeter structuresbefore any component of the tile assembly is installed, e.

See figures 2 and 3. After the tile is installed and grouted, any excess sill seal materialis cut away, leaving a movement joint with uniform width that is void of any mortar, grout,or other restraining materials that would render the joint ineffectual.

Surface JointsSurface joints must be placed within the tiled surface regardless of substrate conditions. See figure 4. They are typically placed at columns, walls, and anyother restraining surfaces. Expansion joints must be continued through the tile covering. True cold joints bond the new concrete to the old and do not allow movement. Cold joints are treated in the same manner asexpansion joints. See above. They are typically formed by sawcutting, tooling, or through the use of inserts.

Seealso Surface Joints.


Schluter®-DITRA Installation Handbook 2010 - Schluter Systems

Free-space on the underside of the matting provides a route for excess moisture and vapor to prevent damage to the tile layer above. The anchoring fleece is embedded in thin-set mortar to provide a mechanical bond to the substrate. Tile is installed over DITRA using the thin-bed method in such a way that the mortar becomes mechanically anchored in the square, cutback cavities of the matting. Designed specifically for ceramic tile and dimension stone installations, DITRA serves as an uncoupling layer, waterproofing membrane, and vapor management layer that accommodates moisture from beneath the tile covering.


Schluter DITRA – Underlayment for Tile Installation

See all questions about this product. The Ditra Mat is a great product and as a tiling contractor I use it whenever possible. Leave a Comment 1 of 1 found this helpful. Do you? Yes No.


Ditra-Heat Installation Handbook

Professional tile installers and DIY homeowners use Schluter-DITRA matting to prevent the cracking of tile and grout caused by movement substrate, the foundational material beneath the tile. DITRA is also noted for its ease of use when compared with materials like cement backer board. This underlayment also acts as a waterproof membrane over moisture-sensitive subflooring such as plywood and OSB. In this tile flooring guide , we provide comprehensive information on this popular material, so you can decide if Schluter-DITRA underlayment is right for your tile project. For more on buying, installing, pricing and caring for tile and stone floors click here.



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