Tile installers place underlayment underneath flooring systems to prevent or solve one or more issues. An important purpose of tile underlayment is to make the system more rigid. Underlayment can also prevent the infiltration of moisture through the subfloor, prevent subfloor cracking from traveling to the installed tiles, and provide soundproofing. At Tile This, we of various tile underlayment membrane options to help you achieve the proper tile base for your floor.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing tile underlayment. To begin with, is the underlayment flat enough? Secondly, is it necessary to provide a sloped floor for proper drainage? Thirdly, are there any flat spots or other areas that need leveling?
Every project will dictate the type of tile underlayment that is optimal for the installation.
Modern Tile Underlayment
Mortar bed was once used as the underlayment of choice for floor tiling projects. However, the weight and length installation process afforded with mortar bed has now been replaced by modern alternatives, such as liquid underlayment, cement or cement board, plastic uncoupling membrane, and exterior-grade plywood.
Liquid Underlayment Membrane
Liquid underlayment is easy to apply. In addition to being lighter than poured cement, it produces an ideal sealant and support for tiles.
Cement or cement board
Cement is an inexpensive and popular tile underlayment membrane option. It is easy to mix and provides a durable support base. You can use cement blocks for a fast installation or pour the cement directly onto the base.
Plastic uncoupling membrane
Plastic uncoupling membrane appears as layers with mesh patterns on top, which keep the back of the tiles secure. The membrane reduces the risk of vapor pressure and moisture. It separates the base from the top layer of the tile.
Exterior-grade plywood handles extreme weather and temperature effectively. Therefore, it is ideal to handle moisture issues.
With concrete as the tile underlayment, you get a string layer with a flat surface that is ideal for the installation of small and large tiles.