Ceramic and stone tiles are durable, easy to maintain, and hygienic, representing the ideal surface coverings. However, today’s lightweight construction methods can make the installation of hard surface coverings particularly challenging. In order to protect the integrity of the tile assembly, an underlayment that performs multiple functions is required. DITRA is specifically designed to allow the installation of ceramic and stone tile over any even and load-bearing substrate. The integration of DITRA’s uncoupling, waterproofing, load-distribution, and vapor management functions makes consistent results viable.
Tile has been successfully installed for thousands of years by incorporating an uncoupling layer, or forgiving shear interface, within the tile assembly. DITRA provides uncoupling through its open rib structure, which allows for in-plane movement that effectively neutralizes the differential movement stresses between the substrate and the tile, thus eliminating the major cause of cracking and delaminating of the tiled surface.
DITRA provides reliable waterproofing in interior and exterior applications. Its polyethylene composition protects the substrate from moisture penetration, which is particularly important in today’s building environment where most substrates are moisture sensitive.
The distinguishing feature of DITRA is the existence of free space created by the configured channels on the underside of the matting. The free space provides an escape route for excess moisture and vapor that could otherwise cause damage to the tile layer above. Thus, DITRA effectively manages moisture beneath the tile covering.
When placed on a solid foundation, columns or pillars can support tremendous loads. The same physical principle applies to DITRA installations. Column-like mortar structures are formed in the cutback cavities of the matting. Loads are transferred from the tile covering through these column-like mortar structures to the substrate. Since DITRA is virtually incompressible within the tile assembly, the advantages of uncoupling are achieved without sacrificing point load distribution capabilities. The ability of DITRA installations to support and distribute heavy loads while preserving the integrity of the tiled surface has been verified through extensive laboratory and field testing, including applications exposed to vehicular traffic.