🤔 Cement Board Or Uncoupling membrane, choose wisely.

pretty much everyone knows what this is
this is hot hardie backer and why are these products better than this okay so pretty
much everyone knows what this is this is hardie backer there’s different versions of
this there’s the rock there’s wonderboard and hardibacker utila
Creed and they’re all cementations backer backer boards this one actually
in fact is a fiber cement board some import to rock wonder border actual
cement boards so a lot of people are using this to install to the underlayment
or the tile so why at these products got a flex Bone we got Ditra this is Ardex
flexbone we got Schluter ditra and we got a Mapei Mapigaurd um so these three
one two three a very similar products and then there are other ones which I
don’t have here but I’ve used in the past like laticrete strata mat and
there’s a few other ones but they’re all basically the same thing they all do the
same thing and why these products better than this when you install a back
aboard like hardie backer or Durok you have to follow manufacturer’s recommendations
and the same same for these products you still have to follow manufacturer
recommendations and you also have to make sure that your flaw can support a
tile you know I taught a porcelain tile or ceramic tile marble tile whatever is
you’re going to install and I have a video about that and how link to that in
the description and it’s about deflection of the flaw and what it needs
to be so that you can install your tile flaw the underlayment is the product
that you put on top of your now we’re talking about plywood subfloor see
although these these free products can also and uncoupling membranes can also
be installed on concrete floors and actually if you’re doing a concrete
floor I would probably say that you better off using this and going directly
over the concrete but that’s a discussion for another video today I
want to talk about plywood subfloor so when you install this you’re gonna
install a leveling bed up tin set mortar there’s a lot of guys on YouTube that
say you don’t have to do that what you want to do is follow manufacturers
recommendation if you wanted to perform the way it’s designed to perform then
follow the recommendations that the manufacturer is set out every one of
them without exception will tell you you have to cement it you have to use a
leveling bed up thin set mortar under the backer board and the reason for that
is is because when you if you just nail this down you’re leaving voids under the
under the backer boards and it’s not completely supported this needs to be
completely supported so if you just screwing it down no matter how many
nails you you you you’re putting down it is not completely supported just take my
word for it and don’t take my word for it take the manufacturers word for it so
you have to install this with a thin set mortar
and you’re going to use the proper one all over the plywood so this obviously
this is a quarter inch stick they make the half inch version doesn’t matter
whether you use a half inch of the quarter inch backer boards like this
have no structural value they are not going to stiffen up before it might seem
that they do but they add no structural strength to sub-clause neither to these
products well there’s one in particular that that you could use but I’m not
talking about that here the none of these had to add structural strength to
your flaw if flaw has to meet proper deflection before you can install your
flaw and as I said I’ll link to that video in is in the description below so
you know on your back about the back and board is a rigid surface it does not
flex these are all very flexible when you cement this to your floor and you
add your screws or your roofing nails whatever it is you use to attach the
flaw to the substrate and what happens with this is it all becomes one unit or
becomes bonded together so whatever movement is under the floor is gonna
transfer through the mortar through the through the the board and up through the
tile so if you have lateral movement in the floor that movement is going to
transfer through to the tile this is a assembly that will transfer
all the forces through the entire assembly of the floor so what’s the
difference between this and this so besides your obvious fact that these
this is rigid these are flexible this will not protect you from the small
movements that are under the floor now don’t get me wrong I have installed
thousands upon thousands upon thousands of square feet of this product over the
years and this stuff is been around like the ditra this is the Detra Richelieu de
deitra the orange one is the original uncoupling membrane that shrewder
invented and then now all the other manufacturers are addicts I map a ladder
Cree and all the other ones even custom has as an uncoupling membrane they all
have uncoupling memories and the benefits of this as opposed to this
substantial like I said this does not protect from movement of the subfloor
these will so what happens so like I said you install this with the with a
simit with a thin set mortar and then you put use a thin set mortar on top to
install the tile the tile is bonded to the board the board is bonded to the
subfloor how do you install these these and these these ones here only 1/8 of
any stick if you look at these I’ll bring he’ll show you in a minute
these are these are only 1/8 of a stick so besides besides the height
differential and the weight difference you carry if you’ve got like a hundred
square feet of this to do you’ve got a you’ve got a lot of weight that you got
to carry into the into the into the room a lot of weight that you have to move
around and a lot of weight that you’re adding to the floor these ones here are
very light you can bring a hole like you can get the Dietrich for example comes
in a three hundred forty foot roll you can put carried three hundred and forty
feet of Detra up the stairs into the room on your shoulder no problem
try and carry three hundred forty square feet of this into room all at once I’m
not gonna do it let’s go into the path a little history on how these methods
developed so years ago like you’ll hear a lot of people it the only way the
floor to do a floor is to float a floor and I’ve got uploaded plenty of laws and
that is actually a great method but the problem with that is very
labor-intensive it’s very heavy it takes a lot of time it takes a lot of effort
and even those even if you’ve got a few if you’re doing a mud floor over a
plywood subfloor what do you do you put down top paper Wyatt Wyatt lat and then
you put a ninja nation of water sometimes you can do less table deck mud
which is saying there’s a mint and you screed that out to be flat gives you a
perfect surface every time but it’s very heavy and very labor-intensive
but the key thing to remember here is the top paper you put down the top paper
you put down acts as a slip sheet so that the mud is not directly bonded to
the plywood subfloor so in other words it uncouples the floor from the plywood
go back even further into historical times when they built the built all
these cathedrals and stuff they used to use a sand strata method what’s that so
what they did what they used to do back then and in some places is still used I
actually read about it there’s a place I don’t remember exactly whether where
they still use this system where you put a layer of sand and then they build them
water-based on top of that and then they put the tile there and what does it say
the sand or the sand and couples the floor you know the the the the mortar
base from the structure below it on couples so what is what alcohol these
that when deitra invented when Sudan invented the uncoupling membrane what
did they do they they condensed all that history and all that
that method into us into a tiny little sliver an eighth of an inch thick so you
still have your floor uncoupled like in ancient times and even more modern times
where they use where you know and we still use those a lot of times I
actually will always still pretty much do my shower flaws in mud so they
condense that into an eighth of an inch where you get the principles that they
used to have for uncoupling the floor from the the the tile floor from the
structure so that’s just one benefit uncoupling membrane this here bonds
everything together so what are the other benefits well
it’s plastic well in the case of strata mat they have holes in it so in that
case it’s not really valid but in the rest of these cases these are all all
our plastic type material so everywhere you install this besides
the themes it’s completely waterproof if you want to proof the entire floor you
just apply a banding of some kind over the seams and and you made a completely
waterproof floor I’ve shown this in several times in several videos so what
else does this though so you can create a waterproof law you’ve uncoupled the
ear ROM your floor your tile from the floor below so if the plywood moves and
shifts as it will because it’s a wood structure that movement will not be
transferred through to the tile and it also has if you’re on a concrete floor
there’s also vapor management because of the empty empty space if there’s like
moisture in the concrete or coming from below it can disperse in the empty voids
of of the deidre so or the flexbone water stratum at so how does this
achieve the bonding of the membrane to the floor
well the as you can see they all have a fleece on the back
all have a fleece on the back so you you know I have many videos showing how to
install this and how it works I just want to make a comparison between this
and in the back of one so the fleece is attached to the floor when you attach
that fleets to the floor all the voids in between the membrane do not get
attached so you have empty space between all these indentations and that allows
the membrane to the full it allows but for vapor equalization under the mat
these fleeces heat welded to the membrane so they’re not going to come
with you you know it takes takes a bit of an effort to peel these off that’s
pretty stuck on that pretty good it takes it takes quite an effort to peel
these off so the voids in the in the membrane allow it to the form and not
transfer the movement through to the tile floor actually has a pretty good
video showing how how this works I might link to that in the description
so you can see and all these other products they all work the same way a cement board is mechanically fastened to
the subfloor it is adhered to the subfloor via the thinset so it’s all one
no allowance for movement of the subfloor through the board through to
the tile this was great when it first came out and I like I said I’ve
installed thousands upon thousands of square feet this Detra I can came out
with this sure came out with a version of the ditra I think in nineteen I don’t remember exactly I’ll look it up
and and I’ll put a put a date in the video as I’m saying I’m saying this I
don’t remember exactly but it’s being around for for over 25 years so this is
not a new product it’s just taking a long time for people to adapt okay so
this is a Detra very thin like an eighth of an inch this is the Flex phone same
thing and this is the mappa guide um it’s not the same they’re all about the
same about Nathan a stick you can get different versions of these which I
think alike the Detra has the Detra excel Strada matt has has a thicker
version and they all work the same way so the thing that they have in common is
they all have a method to mechanically attach the tile to the membrane without
actually bonding to the material so if you look at at the beach right here and
if you can see it it has like a dovetail it’s kind of hard to see it has that’s
like a dovetail so that the mortar will fill these these voids and will be
locked into the membrane without actually sticking to it
the same with the the deck flexible it has a method of attaching the tile to
the surface without bonding to it and the same would this takes a different
approach instead of having a reverse or a cutback or a dovetail type they have a
mesh on top which holds the tile to the membrane but they all have empty spaces empty spaces it’s hard to see with the
they all have empty spaces between between the pots of the mortar that go
down to the bottom and fill the pattern on on the membrane so if you’re a DIY ax
this option is probably gonna be cheaper for you because it’s cheaper to buy this
than it is to buy this but the benefits of this far outweigh the extra extra
cost if you’re a professional installer if you’re a if you’re a tile guy that
the stalls tile all the time and you’re not using this the cost difference
between this and this is is is really irrelevant sure it’s
gonna be cheaper to buy this but it’s got a lot gonna be a lot more
labor-intensive to install this well this if you’ve got if you’ve got a
thousand square foot this to install it’s gonna take you two or three days
you’re not gonna do it in a day if you got a thousand square feet to install
this one guy can install a thousand square feet of this provided it’s a wide
open area in four hours five hours you’re gonna
get done really quick they’re stalling this amount of thin-set that used to
install this over this short you’ve got the waffles on top of this but you use a
very small trowel to install it on the floor with this here you got to use the
water in square notch trowel and then whatever it whatever trowel you got you
got to use to install your towel depending on the size of town so the
amount of things that you’re gonna use between one the other it’s gonna be
about the same so there’s no savings there the benefits of this over this are
enormous so this is the first time seeing my videos my name is Zelda Blasi
tile contractor in the Boston area for over 35 years in a stolen tile a long
time and if you check out my channel you gotta find all kinds of videos on how to
install tile the correct way I see a lot of guys on YouTube that handymen
so-called tile contractors that tell you how to do stuff but they’re not
following the proper standards and methods you need to follow TCN a
guideline manufacturer’s recommendations if you if you follow the proper methods
and standards it’ll work every time if you need to know something about tile or
how to install it check my channel out leave your comments in the comment
section below check me out on patreon if you can if you can support me that would
be great and also don’t forget to subscribe
I will leave links in the description below thanks for watching and don’t
forget to subscribe

58 thoughts on “🤔 Cement Board Or Uncoupling membrane, choose wisely.

  1. In 2005 I mortored and screwed 900 Sq feet of concrete board (the heavy 1/4" that only comes in 4×4 sheets), then mortored porcelain tile. This is in a log cabin in the UP of Michigan. It was a huge job but that floor is rock solid and not a single hairline crack in grout in 14 years. The subfloor was 2 layers of 1/2". There was no bounce before install and there is zero bounce now, built like a brick sh*t house. I'm going to build a luxury shower and all the failures of shluter and similar systems (by "professionals") on YouTube scares the crap out of me. I've been watching Sal for years and I would trust him but I don't know about trusting any other.

  2. Great video.. I've seen guys use nail guns to slam down hardiebacker dry without care to stagger seams in backer layer and over seams in the subfloor they are going over and they don't use tape over the joints. Hardie board goes down pretty quick with that method but boy oh boy what a recipe for failure.

  3. I always tell my customers, if I'm already going to be spreading thinset to install cement board properly, they might as well spend the money for uncoupling membrane and put it down instead of backer board and get the bonus of uncoupling, lighter weight, and faster installation. Good video Sal!

  4. Thank you for sharing all your expertise! DIYers here. Last year husband and I redid our kitchen together subfloor up with woodlook plank LVT and people say it looks like a magazine. Hoping to redo our 80s bathrooms with tile when we can afford it so I am soaking up all your videos getting ready for the big day. Thanks for explaining everything for newbs like us!

  5. You speak the truth, deflection is the death of all tile. 99% of all wood framed floors will not provide adequate substrate for tile. Ditra over OSB will fail. Anyone installing a custom shower over Schluter's EPS foam shower base is laughing in the face of destiny….get ready for massive class action lawsuits. Mud your floors, Mud your showers, yes it is labour intensive and it's heavy and it's difficult, and you have to know what you're doing, but it will last! Schluter and similar systems are engineered and marketed for modern Low skilled, throw away society, nothing has a projected lifespan beyond 5 yrs. and it doesn't require any knowledge beyond the weekend warrior who wants to install tile on foam board.

  6. ditra e un prodotto per crepe e impermeabilizzazione per esterni peccato che le colle marciscono con il caldo e il freddo con gli anni….prodotto bocciato per me…… va bene solo per interni dove serve.

  7. Sal, I beg to differ. That stuff is called Hardy Backer not, Hadee Backa!!! Oh, man where do I come up wit dem!! All in fun Bud!! Hope all is well, keep droppin mad knowledge and Dirty Jersey out!!!

  8. I did a little bit of research on Hardie products, and I was shocked at how hard they fight customers to deny warranty claims. Their argument appeared to be that their product was flawed by design, but was not defective in materials and workmanship so the terms of the warranty should not apply. From what I saw, the courts side with Hardie basically every time. Don’t buy a Hardie product for the warranty unless you have an army of lawyers.

  9. Back door into a sunroom exit door…plywood floor to be build up to have doors leveled without step. Also if weight is an issue, how would u build up the floor on plywood other than concrete slab?

  10. Great video Sal hope your well.👍 the only downside to these mats is sticking to Green chipboard they use a lot of this in the uk !..

  11. The beauty of the ditra is in the inverse egg carton design . The thinset is in the 'nests' , never attaching to the Ditra by surface contact but by a 'Velcro' like attachment . Think of LEGOS that snap INTO the adjoining surface . The thinset is surface attached to the tile back but the Ditra can move horizontally , not forcing the tile to move with it . Hardy back , cement board , dense shield are ONLY for a better base than drywall (including the green junk) ON WALLs only .

  12. The issue i see here is, yes this membrane may be flexible, but tile and thinset/mortar are not meant to flex. So what's the point of a flexible subfloor if your main floor isn't flexible? Also, at the end of the day you're tiling over plastic… I could pull off a tile from this membrane even after 30 days of cure. I don't know how we've come to the point of thinking tiling over a plastic sheet is a job well done.

  13. I used Ditra for my bathroom floor tile. Easy to put down and tile over. Good product. Great video Sal, well explained.

  14. Great video, thank you! What would you recommend to place under ditra to allow for future remodeling? For example if the floor sheathing that the ditra should be bonded to cannot be removed, is there something that can be placed between the floor sheathing and the mortar that ditra is adhered to? Thanks again!

  15. Schluter has great customer service. They will actually help you if their product fails. The other thing I liked was if you use Kerdi in a shower, you don't need a vapor barrier. That's Schluter policy, though I'm not sure if TCNA would agree. Btw….nice clip, Sal.

  16. I feel like you should have written yourself a script. This video although informative, took way longer than it had to be.

  17. You forgot one thing apart from the weight, the health benefit of working with it because there isn't as much dust with the membrane. Thick cement boards will be cut with a power saw of some description which makes a lot of dust and in tern mess and a health hazard. Cheers Sal

  18. sal. great stuff, i plan on installing Schluter®-DITRA on concrete.

    what if the concrete is painted or has peel and stick tile on it. i assume it needs removed and cleaned..

    also, what thin set/ mortar product can i use from say lowes or home depot? i cant find TEC 338 that i saw you use in one of your videos.. box store sells the Schluter®-DITRA but not the thin set.. thanks in advance

  19. Given that my washing machine weighs about 250 lbs dry (probably 300 lbs full load), should I put an uncoupling membrane between the concrete subfloor and the tile in the laundry room?

  20. very informative video. A tile Contractor told me that the thicker hardie backer board was for floors and heavier tiles on the walls.

  21. Hi Sal , I just called Schluter today. I was trying to find out if there is any Ditra or any of product can be help with ICC Rating , which is  for sound control . When we working on HOA units . And, Schluter answered , they don't have it right now , everything is basic on working on the concrete slab . would you recommend any of 55+ IIC rated product that work out on the second floor with floor joist substrate? otherwise , I think I will put the whisper step underlayment and then screw down the 1/4 hardiebacker board.Thank you

  22. Sal, I have problem/question. Now this is my first time using kurti. I used some uncomplaining membrane mortar Alexa to the specifications on the bag we applied it 2 blue board installed the kerdi got out all the bubbles got it as smooth as possible the still yet after two days it looks like the kerdi is coming off. Any suggestions?

  23. Great video, Sal, thank you! I'm a young tile contractor in Colorado and have learned how to do basic tile installation from my dad, who is a custom home builder. Everything more complex, such as pouring a shower, installing Ditra Heat, etc. I have learned from you. I'm always open to trying new methods to get the best results. I just installed my first heated floor this week and while I must say that it's relatively labor-intensive, it's a great product that I plan to use more often. Glad to hear all of this from your perspective with your experience!

  24. Hey sal thanks for this video 🙂 I’ve learned a lot but I have a question. So I’m gonna be building a house in the next year or two and I am gonna have a slab floor instead of a basement. What do you recommend I do for that to tile it? Would I wanna raise it at all? Cause I figure I should use the membrane but does that slab move like a wooden floor would? I feel like I’m going to have to raise it up a bit at least cause I wanna put wanna of those long short drains in cause it’s going to be a walk in shower, so I just been thinking a lot about the design. I actually designed about 16 years ago and now since I’ll be building a home I figure hey why not build that bathroom I designed some time ago. Any info would be good 🙂 also thank you for making these videos I have honestly learned a lot of stuff.

  25. I am tiling my home and it is 3,000 sq ft. These membranes cant get expensive. Is Red Guard a good alternative

  26. You are a fountain of knowledge for us DIY types. Honestly, cable should offer you a big contract to put your videos on their channels.

  27. Thanks! I was starting to experience buyer's remorse after grabbing a couple rolls of the Redgard uncoupling mat and then seeing the price of Hardiebacker boards. Sticking with the membrane and I'll look for your other vids on other possible tiling tips and guides. Already did the deflection one, thanks!

  28. In NZ we have Hardies 6 millimetre thick tile and slate underlay which is a fibre cement sheet .the installation instructions are to use cartridge adhesive like nail bond and flathead galvanised nails at 4 inch centres nailed over the whole sheet. I have laid hundreds of sheets over the years,in theory the nail bond acts as an uncoupling I guess and the tile and cement sheet become one.

  29. Thank you Sal I made notes of your video. Now I will have valid answers to why I will use an uncoupling membrane instead of durock. If not I'll just pass that n the job. I prefer quality. Not dealing with cheap customer s that want to pay cheap for materials.

  30. Great Stuff as always! I just Did 650ft Wood look tile job over Ardex Flexbone..I wont use backerboard again! Also used Rigid level max spacers and was impressed with there ability to ensure it was a lippage free install! Ive been instaling Tile for 10 years and basically taught myself. Id love to come work with you on a shower or 2 for FREE because the learning experience would prove to be invalubale! Thanks for showing how to do things the right way! ..Nick from Jersey

  31. Hi Sal, thanks so much for the info. Just wondering what happens if you want to change the tile out in a few decades, can you strip it down to the ditra and lay the new tile over top or does the ditra have to come up too?

  32. what if you are doing a tile floor in a bathroom (starting from the subfloor) but meeting up to an existing floor thats, lets say 3/4" thick. if ditra is 1/8" or whatever it is thick, plus tile, it's still too low to meet up with the other floor. what is the best way to do this to try to avoid a big lip? thanks

  33. Question Sal as I get different opinions on this and haven't located the answer in the TCNA handbook (I'm sure its there I just haven.t found it). Installing tile over perfectly level concrete slab foundation subfloor. Do you waterproof/seal/vapor barrier the concrete slab before installing the tile? Obviously an uncoupling membrane is optimal in every situation, but if the customer doesn't want to spend the money on ditra or the like, do you go directly over the bare slab or prime/seal it first? On the one hand you want the thinset to permeate into the concrete slab and back of the tile to promote a strong bond, on the other hand I can see situations where you would want a vapor barrier. Thanks as always!

  34. Im so happy you explained this, I've been wondering for a long time. I started wondering when I was 11 years old, I'm now 40 yours old. video could of been shorter lol . but very good info keep it up!

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