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Best underlayment for tile

Best underlayment for tile

Years ago I used Schluter-Ditra XL 5/16" Underlayment along with a floor heating electric system in my house built in 2001. My tile has not cracked, moved and none of the grout has cracked.

It stiffened the subfloor greatly but also allows the structure to move without damage to the floorI love Schluter my brother is a kitchen and bath designer and that'll those guys use for decades. Great product super easy to work with and super light THAT WORKS!!!

I have specified Schluter-Ditra Underlayment for many years and it has never failed. I first used it 20 years ago in two office block foyers where the contractor had laid tiles direct on the concrete floor that had subsequently cracked along joint lines in the substrate below.

The installation allowed the contractor to retile the floor as originally specified that was now fully reliable and without having to rebuild the foyer floors to cure inherent problems. I have since spec'd this below all wet tile areas and in location where the substrate was variable, irrespective of where a finishing screed was laid on top. I have had no reported tile failures of any sort.

Based on my personal experience, you should buy Schluter-Ditra

I also used this in a kitchen remodel above grade. It worked great. After 5 years, no cracks in the grout. the previous installation used cement board and it kept developing cracks in the tile and grout due to the bounce of the subfloor.

How much Does it cost?

Although Schluter is not cheap by any means, I have used it over the last year and had great results with absolutely no call-backs! I would definitely recommend the stuff!

This product should be cheaper than the alternatives because it's just some molded plastic, that cost almost nothing to produce, but instead costs a ridiculous amount. I have used it though and it is good.


It simulates a floating floor, waterproofs and is a huge deterrent against tile breakage!!! If used for a second floor install in bathroom, it contains any moisture and/or leaks and prevents damage to first floor ceilings! If on first floor with basement does the same prevents damage against anything below!!!

Overall and in general it will contain most leaks to area and hopefully have an extra drain set so leaks can drain without causing too much damage if it would have been huge!!! Would need an alert system on the drain that if it experienced water flow it could alert the home owner immediately!!!

I installed this when I remodeled our master bath

Complete custom shower, tub area, and flooring. About 500sq total tiling, including shower. It was an easy install and I really liked the fact that I can waterproof areas easily.

My original tile floor was about 1" thick and now it is about 1/2" thick, so now I have door jams that have gaps, not sure what do about that. I would recommend this product to anyone think is building or remodeling a home.

Also, building the shower curb was a breeze and looks amazing. They have products that make the install look clean and professional.

I’ve been installing tiles for years

Schluter is by far and away the most inventive companies i've ever used products from. it has saved me time, headache, and sheer pain. to go from 80lb sheets of concrete board to a roll that can do a whole floor that weighs like ... nothing? it's stupid strong, flexes with movement, is virtually mold immune, can be waterproofed completely.. i mean it's stupid not to use honestly. i do not work for schluter, I am just a tile guy who loves good products.

I used it under ceramic tile for the area where my wood stove sets.

Use the proper thinset for the ditra and different thinset for the tile. Backbutter those tiles. First time ever doing it and it came out beautiful. If you follow the manufacturers instructions, you will have no problems. Be patient for the thinset to dry thoroughly before laying your tile.

It provides a slight thermal insulation layer between the cold cement foundation and the "floating" tile.

Helps to reduce under-tile and over-tile condensation. Condensation that forms when you have a hot house or heated rooms, where the foundation is just cold from the night, or perpetually colder.

Also, where AC lines and water pipes may be constantly cooling through the foundations. Again, it is slight insulation, but it is absolutely more than tile to thinset to cement, or cement-board.

We have a patch of tiles that is always perpetually wet, due to the AC lines and water lines. However, soon the water line will be forced to be CPVC, as they are nearing that age of decay and the new code does not allow for in-foundation pipes.

If the tile didn't crack with the foundation, in our situation, it would be a bloody mess! Water would float the whole floor off the foundation and we would have to replace all the tiles, not just the ones along the cracks with the water pouring up out of the crack. So, this system has advantages and disadvantages. (I'm not going to go into substrate flexing as the material decays and becomes an inert bond.)

This can be used for other things as well

My sister is having to tear down her entire house here in Florida because the AC unit which was installed in the middle of the house and started leaking slowly.

The wood floors buckled all down the middle of the house, and when they tore out the kitchen cabinets there was black mold underneath. This product would probably be good under an AC unit as well.

Where can you get this for a much cheaper price?


Things to know before buying this Underlayments

Be warned, this stuff SIGNIFICANTLY increased mortar cure time (concrete slab, with large sized tiles), it doesn’t allow the moisture to leech and evaporate the same way backer board does. It was three days before I could put weight on the tiles to grout. I still like the low profile and ease of install—just plan your job accordingly.

James McGowan

Hey Guys! My name is James and at the moment I’m either designing a room, thrift shopping or DIYing something and then sharing them with you guys here on my blog. I post new blog post every Sunday so if you love DIYs as much as I do stay tunned.

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