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Ditra – Waterproof Membrane

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ditra

During our master bathroom renovation, we spent a good chunk of money on something no one will ever see.  We installed Ditra underneath the tiles.

Ditra is a waterproof membrane.  If you watch HGTV or DIY (which if you are reading this I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you do) you have seen the orange stuff making an appearance on floors and inside showers.  This was a very important feature for us to ensure there wouldn’t be any damage caused by leaking water (after all the bathroom is on the second story).

I have a confession to make.  I am one of those people that jump out of the tub or shower soaking wet and stand there on the tile floor.  I should know better, really I should, but it is a habit I can’t break.  I know the damage this can cause.  My dad had to rip up the subfloor in the bathroom when I still lived at home due to this, but I just can’t help myself.  My name is Manda, and I have a problem.

Now I don’t have to worry (well, the floor is still slippery but the subfloor is safe!).

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Not only does this product offer waterproofing, but it also helps:

  • Eliminate cracking (from Ditra’s website: Tile has been successfully installed for thousands of years by incorporating an uncoupling layer, or forgiving shear interface, within the tile assembly. Schluter-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.)
  • Helps with vapor management (from Ditra’s website: The distinguishing feature of Schluter-DITRA is the existence of free space created by the configured channels on the underside of the matting. The free space provides a route for excess moisture and vapor to escape from the substrate that could otherwise cause damage to the tile layer above. Thus, DITRA effectively manages moisture beneath the tile covering.)
  • Provides support/load distribution (From Ditra’s website: When placed on a solid foundation, columns or pillars can support tremendous loads. The same physical principle applies to Schluter-DITRA installations. Columnlike 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.)

We bought our Ditra from a local Bath Show Room in a large roll. To install the first step is to give the wood subfloor a good drink of water.  Then a layer of a thin set like material called DitraSet is spread out across the floor.  If you do not wet the wood floor down beforehand it can pull too much water out of the DitraSet too fast and cause problems. The Ditra is then rolled out across the DitraSet and pressed down.  Once you run to the end of the wall the Ditra is easy to cut with a pair of scissors.

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There you have it, a water tight bathroom floor!

Previous Master Bathroom Posts:

Gutting the Bathroom

Cutting Up the Sub-Floor

New Water Lines

Patching the Sub Floor

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3 thoughts on “Ditra – Waterproof Membrane

  1. =D Cool! I asked about using a water-proofing membrane because I did see it on some home improvement site or show, but we purchased concrete hardi-backer for our shower and pebble tile wall instead. I’d love to know updates on the Detri and tile in the future!

  2. Pingback: Tile for the Master Bathroom Floors | Our Wolf Den

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