How to Lay Tile Over a Concrete Slab
Christa Campbell has a good building site for a passive solar home, and she’s planning on laying tile over a concrete slab for the finished floor. An “uncoupling membrane” used between the concrete and tile, such as Schluter’s Ditra, is designed to keep any cracks that develop in the concrete from telegraphing into the tile and grout.
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But, Campbell wonders in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor, will the membrane insulate the tile from the concrete and lower the potential for the slab to absorb and store thermal energy?
Answers to that question, the topic of this week’s Q&A Spotlight, offer a range of advice. While some posts argue that uncoupling membranes are really designed for use over lightweight wood subfloors, not concrete, others claim that concrete’s tendency to develop cracks as it cures makes a good argument for using a membrane here.
A compromise would be to use strips of membrane only over control joints or cracks, a strategy that provides the benefits but at a lower expense. GBA advisor Michael Chandler explains.
Keeping cracks in check Applying strips of uncoupling membrane between a concrete slab and a tile floor can help prevent cracks in the slab from affecting the finished surface