Tile Fix Direct Blog

April 2013

Benefits of DITRA Matting

Schlüter DITRA Matting is one of the most popular types of under-tile decoupling systems in the UK and in this blog post we will take a look at some of the benefits of using DITRA Matting.

What is DITRA Matting?

DITRA Matting is a polyethylene membrane with an anchoring fleece laminated to its underside. The matting has a grid structure of square cavities which are each cut back in a dovetail configuration. DITRA Matting is specifically designed for tile and natural stone installations.

DITRA Matting

  • Uncoupling – DITRA Matting decouples the floor covering from the substrate, which means that movement in the substrate will not affect the tiles.
  • Waterproofing – DITRA Matting creates a waterproofing assembly with the tile layer, as long as the joints, floor to wall transitions and connections to building fixtures are properly installed.
  • Equalisation of Vapour Pressure – Vapour pressure is neutralised as the moisture in the substrate is able to evaporate due to the air channels on the underside of the DITRA Matting being interconnected and remaining open.
  • Load Impact – Tiles that are laid on top of DITRA Matting are able to withstand greater loads because the matting transfers the load directly to the substrate.
  • Adhesive Properties – DITRA Matting has excellent adhesion and can be used for both wall and floor coverings.

Using DITRA Matting

DITRA Matting can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including: concrete, mortar screeds, gypsum based screeds, radiant heated screeds and masonry/mixed substrates. DITRA Matting is particularly useful when installing underfloor heating and provides a decoupling layer between the underfloor heating and the tiles.

Prior to Installing DITRA Matting

It is important the substrates are even, load bearing, clean and compatible prior to installing DITRA Matting. If the substrate is uneven, then it should be levelled first.

The flooring should also have had sufficient time to dry prior to installing the DITRA Matting. This process will differ according to what type of substrate you are using, and should be factored in to your timeframes. We recommend seeking specific instructions for the type of floor you are using.

Installing DITRA Matting

  1. Apply a bonding adhesive, such as Schlüter KERDI-COLL, to the level substrate using a 3 x 3mm or 4 x 4mm notched trowel. The type of bonding to use depends on the type of substrate – make sure you check the compatibility of all materials prior to installation.
  2. Cut DITRA Matting to size if required, then embed the anchoring fleece on the underside of the matting into the adhesive so that its entire surface is strongly bonded. Immediately work it into the adhesive using a float or screed trowel. Notes: Make sure you observe the open time of the bonding adhesive. Installation is made easier with a second person.
  3. Once installed, we recommend placing boards down to protect the matting against damage or loosening from the substrate, which can be caused by heavy mechanical loads.
  4. Tiling can begin straight after the DITRA matting is installed.

Find out more about DITRA Matting online or by giving us a call on 0333 320 04 24.

UPDATE for 2018

Schlüter have now launched DITRA-HEAT-DUO – an uncoupling matting that can also be used with electric underfloor heating cables. The matting has the same decoupling and waterproofing properties but with added thermal break layer and sound insulation. This matting has a series of studs built into the surface to make installing Schlüter cables quick and easy, alternatively it can be used without UFH as a replacement for DITRA-25 matting with the above added benefits. Order DITRA-HEAT-DUO matting online here.

Tile Fix Direct is an authorised national distributor for the full Schlüter range of products. Our fully-trained staff can provide technical information, obtain manufacturer’s support, and offer the best possible price for the complete Schlüter range including DITRA Matting.

Sealing and Cleaning Tiles

So you’ve decided that your life just isn’t complete without tiles? (At Tile Fix we couldn’t agree more!). Or you’ve already got tiles in your home and it occurs to you that maybe they don’t just clean themselves (sorry, they haven’t advanced quite that far yet!). Well we’ve put together this handy tile cleaning and sealing blog post to help you determine how best to clean tiles and to highlight the potential need to seal tiles.

Preliminary Tile Cleaning

When you install tiles in your house they will need an initial clean to ensure they start off looking as gorgeous as they do online and are not marked in any way. This process should be quite simple and you just need to use the correct cleaning product for your tile type – check out our great tile cleaning advice guide to find the perfect product.

Sealing Tiles

Sealing tiles refers to covering the tile with a tile sealant that, when dry, will help protect your tiles from stains etc. It is an important preventative measure and can make cleaning tiles easier and potentially reduce ingrained dirt. If required, it should be performed after the initial tile clean.

TIP – When sealing tiles it is advisable to wear gloves to prevent fingerprints from staining the surface.

  • Certain types of tiles need to be sealed, including: quarry, terracotta, polished and textured porcelain, and natural stone tiles.
  • Glazed ceramics, quality unpolished tiles, and porcelain tiles that have been factory sealed do not require sealing.
  • Porous substances such as limestone, travertine and terracotta are best sealed all around on the front, back and sides.
  • Tiles will need to be resealed during their life – refer to the manufacturers’ guidelines for more information.

The type of sealant and quantity to use will vary depending on the type of tile being sealed. It is important that the correct sealer is used for the type of surface that is being sealed to prevent damage to the tile. For more specific information about what type of sealer to use for your tiles and how to apply it, please see our handy tile sealing advice guide.

General Tile Cleaning Maintenance

So you’ve got some gorgeous tiles installed that have been initially cleaned and correctly sealed and are now admiring the glossy newness of them. Or perhaps you’re staring at your slightly dull older tiles, reminiscing about a time they had a lustre to rival the hair in a Pantene advert. Cleaning tiles is an important part in the ongoing maintenance of your tiled area and, done correctly, will help to extend the life of your tiles and keep them looking gorgeous.

  • Wipe up spilt liquids immediately to prevent staining.
  • Clean up dropped items straight away to prevent them drying on and becoming more difficult to remove.
  • Regularly sweep or vacuum your tiled floor.
  • Mopping with water alone is often not sufficient to thoroughly clean a tiled surface.
  • Clean all tiles once a week with a tile cleaning product designed for your type of tile.

Tile cleaning, when done regularly, should be quick and easy to do. However, using the wrong chemicals can damage your floor so it is important to use the right products on your tiling. For specific information on what product to use for each type of tile see our tile cleaning advice guide.

Tile Fix Direct sells a huge range of tile cleaning and tile sealing products at the best prices. Visit our website to see our extensive selection and purchase online.

Why Invest In Underfloor Heating Systems

Are you looking for cleaner and more energy efficient heating? Underfloor heating systems may be the best choice for you. They evenly distribute heat across the floor and efficiently warm up the whole room, regardless of its size.

Underfloor heating systems are particularly effective in tiled rooms that get cold easily, such as kitchens, bathrooms and conservatories. If you have a wet room then they are a fantastic option as they not only create a cosy and inviting floor to walk on, but they dry up the floor quickly, potentially reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls caused by wet tiles.

Savings And Health Benefits With Underfloor Heating Systems

Since underfloor heating systems spread their warmth across the whole floor space of a room, they are able to heat the room more quickly than traditional radiators. This means that you can keep them on for shorter periods of time compared with conventional heaters, potentially resulting in lower energy bills for your household.

In addition to financial savings, underfloor heating systems may create a more hygienic indoor atmosphere because dust is not circulating throughout the room.

Tile Fix Underfloor Heating And Wetrooms Supplier

Tile Fix Direct is a leading supplier of great value wetroom components to create a convenient, stylish and safe showering room for your home. On our website you can find supplies from top brand suppliers like DEVI, Marmox, Orbry and more.

DEVI is a well-regarded brand of underfloor heating systems and we stock a wide range of items. All DEVI heating mats and cable come complete with a 10 year warranty and there is a 5 year warranty on the DEVIreg Touch thermostat.

To make an enquiry please visit our website or call Tile Fix Direct on 0333 320 04 24.


Waterproofing Kits Ideal For Small Jobs

What Are Waterproofing Kits?

Waterproofing kits conveniently contain all the items needed to tank (waterproof) small, indoor areas. They are suitable for use in wet or dry places and provide waterproof protection of substrates prior to applying tiles. They are ideal for use in showers, bathrooms, kitchens and laundry/utility rooms. Waterproofing kits add a protective waterproof coat on a variety of backgrounds such as cement, plaster and plasterboard. Tiled surfaces cannot be guaranteed waterproof unless they have specifically been made impermeable. Once you have used a kit to waterproof the area, you will be able to tile it and be assured that it is watertight and will not cause damage to the surfaces behind.

Using Waterproofing Kits

Waterproofing kits are specifically designed for indoor usage and are not suitable for external use or use in submerged environments, such as swimming pools. The waterproofing should be applied at temperatures above 5°C and tiling can be undertaken as soon as the membrane has dried, which varies depending on the kit used as well as the temperature and humidity of the room. Tile Fix Direct stocks a great range of waterproofing products that allow you to create waterproof environments in a variety of spaces. If you have a small area that you need to waterproof then an all-in-one waterproofing kit could be just the option for you. For larger spaces, purchasing several kits could be the right way to go.

Popular Waterproofing Kits

In this blog post we look at the features of three popular waterproofing kits that you can buy online from Tile Fix Direct: Norcros Wet Seal, BAL WP1 Waterproofing Kit and Ardex WPC Waterproof PRO Tanking System.

Norcros Wet Seal

The Norcros Wet Seal tanking kit consists of a 5kg liquid membrane, 500ml of Norcros Prime Bond Primer and 10m of 100mm wide waterproof polyester tape.

  • Suitable for use on all types of wall and floor backgrounds.
  • Great for using with ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles.
  • Provides a flexible tanking membrane that can be applied with a brush.
  • Tileable 24 hours after application in most instances.

BAL WP1 Waterproofing Kit

The BAL WP1 Waterproofing Kit contains an acrylic based flexible WP1 Tanking Coating, WP1 Polyester Tape, WP1 Polyester Matting, and APD Acrylic Primer.

  • Suitable for areas where movement may occur (e.g. around drainage channels or junctions between walls/floors) and for preventing water penetration through suspended floors.
  • Sets in 3 hours and drys in 24 hours in most instances.
  • Ideal for using with most wall and floor surfaces, including brick and block work, partition walls and glazed tiles.

Ardex WPC Waterproof PRO Tanking System

The Ardex WPC Waterproof PRO Tanking System consists of a solvent-free acrylic dispersion and a reactive cement-based powder. The proportions of each can be adjusted to yield a brushable consistency for painting and roller application, or a non-flowing consistency for trowelling.

  • Provides up to 6.6m² of coverage when using painting consistency.
  • Rapid setting and drying time – tileable after only 90 minutes.
  • Simple to apply with a roller, paint brush or trowel.
  • Waterproofing, tiling and grouting can be completed in one day.

Features And Benefits Of A Wet Room

Wetrooms – A Popular Alternative To Bathrooms

Wetrooms are increasingly becoming popular across the UK for a very good reason – installing a wetroom makes the bathing area appear more spacious and luxurious. Wetroom owners enjoy the spa-like feel of showering and getting ready in these sleek surrounds.

A wetroom also provides the freedom to truly express your personality, as the entire layout of the room and tiling can be created to suit your tastes.

Why Is A Wetroom Right For Me?

  • A wetroom is a great option for creating more usable space in small and compact bathrooms, as less fixtures and fittings are required than in a traditional bathroom.
  • When properly installed and ‘tanked’, a wetroom is completely watertight and will not leak through to adjoining rooms, even if water splashes outside of the shower area.
  • A wet room is easy to clean, as the surfaces are flat and tiled and exposed to water regularly.

Buy All Your Wet Room Installation Needs Online From Tile Fix

If you are looking to install a wetroom then Tile Fix Direct can offer you all of the necessary components to create a watertight and stylish space. Visit our website to purchase your wetroom needs today.

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams