Ditra, manufactured by Schluter, is a membrane placed over a subfloor material to provide an ideal surface for laying tile. Ditra provides an even surface over any material that prevents tile movement or cracking caused by the subfloor material expanding, warping or contracting. The space between the Ditra membranes allows surfaces like wood to absorb and release moisture without affecting the tile. Ditra also adds waterproofing, load-distribution and air transfer properties to your tile installation.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Thin-set mortar
- 1/4 by 3/16 inch v-notched trowel
- Ditra matting
- Unmodified thin-set mortar
Mix thin-set mortar according to the manufacturer's directions so that it has a fluid consistency that enables it to hold a notch when using a trowel. Use a thin-set that is compatible with the subfloor material.
Apply the mixed thin-set mortar to the subfloor material, covering only the area with which you'll be working, using a 1/4 by 3/16 inch v-notched trowel.
Lay a section of Ditra large enough to cover the mortar on the thin-set with the fleece side down.
Press the matting into the mortar using a float or a screed trowel. Run over the Ditra end to end and side to side to ensure that you make good contact between the Ditra and the mortar.
Apply first the thin-set, then the Ditra until you have covered the area you'll be tiling. Butt ends and sides of each piece against the previous piece.
Lift a corner of the matting after laying each section to ensure that it contacts the mortar. All areas of the underside should be covered in mortar if full contact is made. Replace the corner and press it down again.
Fill joints with unmodified thin-set mortar to waterproof the Ditra underlayment. Center the mortar over the joints, making a strip of mortar that is about 8 inches wide.
Spread another layer of unmodified thin-set mortar over the joint using a 1/4 by 3/16-inch v-notched trowel.
Press a strip of Schluter Kerdi-Band firmly into the mortar, using the flat side of your trowel, removing all air pockets.
Apply a Kerdi-Band where the Ditra meets the walls as well using the same process except this time, apply the thin-set so that it is centred where the wall meets the matting. The band will lay half on the floor and half on the wall.
Lay tile over the Ditra according to the manufacturer's recommendations. You may lay it immediately. You don't need to wait for the mortar to cure in most situations.
Tips and warnings
- When mixing the thin-set for application of tile to the Ditra matting, use one 22.7kg bag of mortar for every 150 to 200 square feet of surface area. If you're using a 1/4 by 3/8 inch square or u-notched trowel, use one bag of mortar per 40 to 50 square feet of space.
- Use unmodified thin-set mortar to bond the tiles to the Ditra matting. Unmodified thin-sets require consistent moisture to cure and strengthen. Ditra is impermeable, so the moisture is able to stay in the mortar, making it an ideal environment to cure. Modified mortars need to air dry to gain strength. When placed between tile and Ditra, the drying and curing time is much longer, up to 60 days depending on the climate and location of the tile installation.
- Kerdi-bands are waterproofing strips manufactured by Schluter for Ditra installation. You can purchase them wherever Ditra is sold.
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