How to use a ditra mat

Written by faith chandler
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How to use a ditra mat
Ditra strengthens the integrity of lightweight ceramic flooring. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Ditra is a polythene membrane used as a protective barrier between sub flooring and ceramic tile. This membrane adds extra cushion and displaces the weight of people walking across a ceramic floor. It also acts as a water barrier, preventing moisture from entering the home. The standard Ditra mat is not as thick as the Ditra-XL mat, which also operates as a lift to allow a smooth transition from ceramic tile to wood flooring between rooms. Both are installed in the same manner.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Ditra mat
  • Box cutter
  • Thin set mortar
  • Bucket
  • Trowel
  • Ceramic tile
  • Level
  • Grout

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  1. 1

    Measure the length and width of the area you need to cover. Purchase enough Ditra mat to cover and enough Keri-Band to cover joints between the mats and the wall edges. Ditra comes in rolls that are 3.3 feet wide and up to 98.5 feet long.

  2. 2

    Mix a standard thin-set mortar for the substrate, usually wood or gypsum. Apply to the floor in sections using a notched trowel.

  3. 3

    Roll out the Ditra mat a section at a time with the fleece side down. Press mat into the mortar by applying pressure with the flat side of the trowel.

  4. 4

    Apply a top coat of 8-inch wide mortar to the joints where the mats abut one another on the floor. Firmly apply the mortar to ensure that the cavities in the Ditra mat are completely filled with mortar, then apply a top coat to provide complete coverage.

  5. 5

    Center the 8-inch Keri-Band over the joint and firmly press into the mortar with the flat side of the trowel.

  6. 6

    Apply the same process used in Steps 4 and 5 for the wall edges around the room, but apply a coating of mortar about five inches up the side of the wall as well. Use a 10-inch Keri-Band centred over the joining of the wall with the floor.

  7. 7

    Top the Ditra mat with a layer of the thin-set mortar, a section at a time. Follow Step 4 for instructions in applying the mortar.

  8. 8

    Lay down the tiles on top of the mortar and Ditra mat. Wriggle and press each tile into place. Check with a level as you go along to ensure a flat surface and make adjustments, as needed.

  9. 9

    Allow it to dry for two days before applying the grout between tiles.

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