"Tension-free" - the key to lasting flooring assemblies


Around 1960, the new tile laying technique employing thin-set mortar became widely used.  The screed was now bonded directly to the concrete substrate.  Once the screed had hardened, the tiles were laid using dry-set mortar.  The  former sandwich structure, built-up in four layers, was thus  replaced by a monolithic structure. However, the new process  failed to take into account the differences in physical behaviour of each of the layers, particularly the difference  in dimensional changes between concrete/screed on the one hand and ceramic tiles on the other.  Problems were created by shrinkage, warpage and cracking of the screed, the creation of temperature gradients caused by the installation  of radiant heat systems, and floating screeds introduced for  acoustic and thermal insulation. Schluter Systems GmbH has developed special systems to address these problems, namely Schluter-Ditra, a polyethylene membrane which compensates for dimensional changes between the screed and the floor tiles, and Schluter-Bekotec, a studded screed panel which eliminates warpage and cracking where there are radiant heat  systems. Flooring assemblies that integrate insulation and radiant heat are emerging as major markets of the future.

Primary author(s): Schluter W

                            Schluter Systems GmbH

Source: Tile Italia Int.


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