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ComfortsRadiant Heat And Ceramic Floor Tile
Homes with radiant heat can be ideal for ceramic flooring - if you know the functions of the elements involved. Using the right membrane can help ensure a quality installation and years of beauty and functionality.
There have been many tragic ceramic floor tile installation disasters by using the wrong membranes or none at all. If the membranes and/or bonding mortars are not compatible your bond will be lost and problems will occur.
With a floor tile installation make sure your membranes meet current ANSI standards and that manufacturers instructions are followed properly.
With floor tile installations, membranes are used for a variety of reasons, each having a specific purpose, such as moisture vapor emission membranes, cork underlay, peel and stick membranes and liquid or trowel applied membranes.
A load bearing, bonded, uncoupling membrane is also a full coverage membrane, but it’s made of thicker material than the anti-fracture membrane. The air cavities that are pressed into its surface allow for lateral movement.
A cleavage membrane is not bonded to the concrete. The function of this membrane is to separate the tile assembly from the concrete and isolate the wire-reinforced mortar bed and the ceramic floor tile installation from any instability in the wood or concrete sub-floor.
A crack isolation membrane is bonded to the sub-floor to cover existing shrinkage cracks and must cover three times the width of the floor tile used, with a minimum width of 6 inches.
An anti-fracture membrane is also bonded to the sub-floor, but this membrane needs to fully cover the sub-floor in order to protect against shrinkage, moisture and expansion and/or contraction of the concrete.
With a radiant heat system a moisture barrier is important in controlling moisture and stopping liquid from passing through. Always consider all of the options, because the improper use of a membrane may trap moisture and cause condensation.
Just remember that when you’re doing a ceramic floor tile installation make sure that you use the correct membrane especially if you have in-floor radiant heating otherwise you could end up with cracked tile and grout and an expensive repair bill.
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