One of the important steps overlooked when laying tile is the installation of a tile underlayment. Many homeowners may not know what underlayment is and why it is important in a tile installation. We cover these subjects below. At Tile This, we are your source for underlayment options and other tile installation tools for tile installations.
What is Tile Underlayment?
Underlayment as a general category can include items such as mortar beds, backerboard, patching compounds, uncoupling membranes, liquid and sheet membranes, and self-leveling underlayment’s (SLU).
Purpose of Tile Underlayment
There general three layers involved with tile floors – the tile, the subfloor, and a layer in between referred to as tile underlayment, which is sometimes the neglected layer of the three. The purpose for tile underlayment is to even out uneven areas of the subfloor and provide something to which the mortar may adhere effectively. Other than this, underlayment for tile can also provide a barrier against air and water in the floor.
Choosing Tile Underlayment
The tile underlayment chosen often hinges on the types of issues found when evaluating the substrate or subfloor of the tile installation project. Some of the consideration to make when choosing underlayment include whether the subfloor or substrate is sufficiently flat, has low spots, needs leveling, or requires a perimeter edge or slop to a drain.
Whether the surface is concrete or wood, if it is not leveled or flattened according to industry standards and requirements before installing tile, problems are likely to occur. In addition, wall surfaces require proper preparation prior to tile installation in order to prevent certain issues.
Benefits of Tile Underlayment
Underlayment for tiling projects is designed to solve various issues in a flooring system. Some of the benefits of adding tile underlayment include the prevention of subfloor cracks in the tiles, enhanced tile system rigidity, protection against moisture affecting the subfloor and causing issues with the finished floor, and soundproofing in the room.