Tile Fix Direct Blog

How To Install DITRA Matting

DITRA matting is one of the most popular under-tile decoupling systems stocked in the UK. The bright orange uncoupling membrane is instantly recognisable and the range of benefits it provides to an installation makes it easy to see why it’s one of our best sellers.

What is DITRA Matting?

DITRA matting is a polyethylene membrane which has a specially designed 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 Functions

The DITRA Matting has many functions that make it an ideal product for tile installations:

  • Through uncoupling the floor covering from the substrate, DITRA matting can stop stress cracks being transferred from the substrate to the surface covering.
  • The DITRA Matting can also help with waterproofing. Thanks to the waterproof polyethylene membrane, the matting creates a certified bonded waterproofing assembly with the tile covering. Through this DITRA matting will protect the substrate against moisture damage.
  • The matting ensures equalisation of vapour pressure, by keeping the interconnected air channels between the cavities on the underside of the matting open, allowing any moisture trapped in the substrate to evaporate.
  • The matting significantly improves load distribution, by transferring the load directly to the substrate.
  • DITRA matting has outstanding adhesive properties, meaning it can be used on both floor and wall 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.

Substrates for DITRA Matting

Substrates on which the matting can be installed must always be checked for their suitability to make sure they are level, load-bearing, clean and compatible with the materials to be used.

Concrete: Concrete is subject to deformation processes due to shrinkage. Concrete and pre-stressed concrete may build up tension because of deflection. The Matting means the tensions occurring (in the floor and wall area) between the concrete and the tile covering are absorbed.

Mortar screeds: Tiles can be installed on as soon as they are ready to bear weight as opposed to the usual 28 days of curing.

Gypsum based screeds: According to the applicable standards, the residual moisture of gypsum based screeds should not exceed 0.5% prior to the installation of tiles. With the application of DITRA matting, tile coverings can be installed as soon as the residual moisture is below 2.0%.

Masonry / mixed Substrates: Using the Matting stresses and cracks will not transfer to the tile covering.

Stucco / plaster: Plaster substrates should be examined in accordance with the applicable building codes to ensure they are dry.

Balconies / terraces: As an uncoupling membrane, DITRA Matting neutralises the stresses between the substrate and the tile covering that are caused by the frequent and extensive temperature changes occurring on balconies.

Rooftop terraces: In the case of roof terraces over residential/ commercial or other spaces as well as roof-covered surfaces, the surface needs to be designed as a flat roof, following the applicable technical rules for roof structures.

Synthetic flooring and surface coatings: In principle, the surface must be load bearing and prepared in such a way that a suitable tile adhesive will adhere to it and anchor the fleece on the underside of the DITRA Matting.

Plywood and chipboard: These materials are particularly prone to deformation under the influence of moisture. DITRA Matting neutralises the stress occurring in the tile covering and prevents the penetration of moisture.

Structural plank subflooring: Sufficiently load bearing structural plank subflooring in tongue and groove construction, with the appropriate screws in place, is suited as a substrate for ceramic tiles.

Bituminous screed (paving grade asphalt): DITRA Matting allows for the installation of ceramic coverings on standard weightbearing, unheated mastic asphalt screeds in indoor areas.

Installing DITRA Matting

Prior to installing DITRA matting it is important to make sure that the substrates are even, load bearing, clean and compatible. The flooring should also have sufficient time to dry before you get started with the installation.

  1. Apply a layer bonding adhesive to the level substrate using a 3x3mm or 4x4mm notched trowel.
  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.
  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.

DITRA matting is available to purchase online at Tile Fix Direct in 1m lengths, in full 30m rolls or as a full pallet of 6 rolls. For more detailed instructions check out the Schlüter DITRA PDF guide.

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