Tile Fix Direct Blog

Uncoupling

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.

Product Feature: Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting

At Tile Fix Direct we choose the very best products to suit your every tiling need, so you can be sure your tiling is second to none. Introducing Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting. This product is an uncoupling and anti-cracking waterproof membrane with high adhesion for balconies, terraces and horizontal surfaces before laying ceramic tiles or natural stone. The Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting creates a waterproof surface even when overlaid on substrates that are cracked, have not been perfectly cured or might contain vapour pressure due to residual substrate moisture content.

The Unique Features of Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting

Green-Pro is a highly innovative Kerakoll creation. The membrane is a high-technology, multi-layer composite polymer system comprising:

  • PA – hydrophobic PA fibres with high tensile strength to guarantee a superior and more evenly distributed available contact surface.
  • HDPE – waterproof and variable geometry HDPE structure to guarantee physical separation between the substrate and the flooring.
  • TNT – highly breathable sheet to guarantee passage of the vapour from uncured screeds or screeds with high residual humidity and to guarantee high levels of adhesion to the substrates.

The Benefits of Using Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting

We all know the benefits of using a decoupling layer, but Kerakoll Green-Pro has a range of additional advantages:

  • Waterproofs any surface, old or new, damp or dry, cracked or subject to dimensional variations.
  • Compensates for hygrometric shrinkage and thermal deformation stress.
  • Reduces on-site working times: waterproofing and laying of the coating without waiting, withstands foot traffic immediately.
  • Solves the problem of respecting substrate joints in staggered or diagonal laying (cuts in doorways).

Where to Use Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting

Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting can be used both externally and internally. It can be used to waterproof, separate and compensate for vapour pressure prior to laying of ceramic tile and natural stone coatings for domestic, commercial, industrial uses (like industrial kitchens, food industries, warehouses) and for street furniture (check that the size and thickness of the material to be laid is suitable).

  • Screeds, including any that are cracked and not completely cured of with possible vapour pressure caused by residual humidity.
  • Existing ceramic, marble floor tiles, natural stone floorings anchored to the substrate.
  • Cured concrete.
  • Fibre-cement and plaster-board panels anchored to the substrate.

Do not use on anhydrite-based substrates without the use of Primer A Eco professional, concentrated, water-based surface insulation, on bituminous sheeting, on exposed surfaces, on inverted roofs made with insulation panels or low-density screeds, and on roofs of residential spaces built without vapour barrier and insulation layers.

How to Install Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting

  1. Clean the substrates of dust, oil and grease, loose debris or flaky parts, residues of cement, lime, plaster/render, or paint coatings.
  2. Do not apply to substrates at a temperature > +35 °C (temperature of the substrate).
  3. Unroll the sheets and cut them to size, considering a space of approximately 5 mm between the sheets and the perimeter walls, stringcourses, protrusions, columns, pillars, architectural elements, drains, etc., and between one sheet and the next.
  4. Apply Biogel No Limits adhesive using a suitable toothed spreader; lay a thin layer with the smooth side, pressing down heavily to achieve maximum adhesion to the substrate and regulate water absorption.
  5. Regulate the thickness by the tilt of the spreader, using the toothed part. Apply the adhesive to a surface area that will allow laying of the sheets within the open time indicated (check the state of the adhesive frequently). Avoid any build-up of adhesive, that might compromise the flatness of the matting.
  6. Position the sheets or unroll them onto the fresh adhesive, taking care they are flat and avoiding the formation of creases or bubbles.
  7. Create joints approximately 5 mm in width between the sheets and the perimeter walls, stringcourses, etc., and between one sheet and the next.
  8. Immediately press the sheets down onto the fresh adhesive using Aquaform R mixed with a bag of adhesive.
  9. Check that the whole of the white unwoven fabric on the back of the membrane has been dampened; if necessary increase the amount of adhesive and press more carefully. Press properly to ensure that the membranes are taut.
  10. Avoid getting fresh adhesive onto the roller, as this might compromise the surface of the sheets.
  11. Lay the next sheet, aligning it with the preceding one and leaving a gap of approximately 5 mm between one sheet and the next; press immediately, paying particular attention to passage of the roller along the edges of the sheets.

Protect the rolls from direct sunlight, heat sources and rain, both during storage in the warehouse and on site. When laying the matting, protect it from sunshine until shortly before application. For further installation instructions click here.

Green-Pro revolutionises the world of underlying waterproofing, re-writing performance standards to allow applications that are impossible for mineral products. This top of the range standard is why we have chosen Kerakoll Green-Pro Matting, and why you should too.

NEW BAL Flexbone VAried & 2Easy Uncoupling Systems

Great news – BAL Flexbone 2Easy and Flexbone VAried are now in stock at Tile Fix Direct! We’re excited to be able to offer you these two exciting new uncoupling products that will save you time and money on your next floor tiling job. BAL now offer a complete uncoupling package of solutions and say “Each and every project has different requirements. Maybe height build-up is an issue, perhaps time is an issue, or the substrate is particularly troublesome. Cavities or no cavities, lightweight or floating, water- proof or not – we have the uncoupling solution for you!”

BAL Flexbone 2Easy Floating Uncoupling Matting

Flexbone 2Easy is a unique uncoupling matting that requires no adhesive between the mat and the substrate. That’s right, as long as your floor is level and stable you can simply give it a quick sweep, roll out the matting and start tiling. Flexbone 2Easy is 3mm thick and has a bone-shaped structure that’s much easier to fill with adheisve than other cavity-style decoupling mats. Because there’s no adhesive beneath the matting it can be used in places where tiling was not an option before; for example rental properties, heritage projects or showrooms where the flooring might need to be changed frequently. You can even use it over new anhydrite or sand & cement screeds that are not cured as the moisture will evaporate through covering joints. The matting comes on a 20m roll but you can also buy it in 5m cut lengths.

BAL Flexbone 2Easy Perforation for Moisture Vapour Dissipation

Flexbone 2Easy Perforation for Moisture Vapour Dissipation

BAL Flexbone VAried Bonded Uncoupling Matting

Flexbone VAried is a bonded uncoupling mat but with the same bone-shaped structure as 2Easy that’s easy to fill and reduces installation time by up to 30%. This matting is perfect for floors subject to lateral movement; it stops tiles cracking or popping up and has 50% higher shear strength than other cavity mats. It’s also waterproof so it’s the ideal choice for wet rooms, showers and bathrooms as no additional tanking is required. Flexbone VAried is recommended for underfloor heating, new cement screeds, timber floors and existing floor surfaces and can be used to install large format ceramic & porcelain tiles, slabs & natural stone with a minimum edge length of 100mm. As well as domestic environments, it is perfect for high load bearing commercial projects such as shopping malls, airports, car showrooms, office buildings and hospitals.

BAL Flexbone VAried Griplock Technology

Flexbone VAried Griplock Technology

Find out more about the full range of BAL uncoupling solutions and which one is right for your project on the BAL Uncoupling Tip Sheet and shop the full range at Tile Fix Direct here.

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