Do I have to use a Decoupling Mat Over a New Screed?

When laying tiles over a new screed, the question of whether to use a decoupling mat arises, with considerations spanning moisture control, crack isolation, and overall tile longevity. Traditionally, new screeds undergo a drying process, which can result in shrinkage cracks. Decoupling mats like Schluter Ditra or Mapei’s Mapeguard UM 35 provide a buffer against such cracks, safeguarding the integrity of the tile installation. Brands like Mapei offer compatible adhesives and grouts, ensuring optimal performance when used in conjunction with decoupling mats. While not mandatory, their usage offers added insurance against potential issues, making them a prudent choice for tile installations over new screeds.


These mats serve as a protective layer between the flooring material and the substrate, providing several critical benefits:
  1. Crack Isolation: New screeds may develop shrinkage cracks as they cure, especially if not properly reinforced. Decoupling mats help isolate these cracks, preventing them from transferring to the flooring above and compromising its integrity.
  2. Uncoupling: Decoupling mats allow for slight movement between the substrate and the flooring above. This is crucial in areas where temperature and moisture fluctuations can cause the substrate to expand and contract, reducing the risk of tile or grout damage.
  3. Waterproofing: Some decoupling mats, like Ditra, feature built-in waterproofing properties. This is particularly advantageous in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens, where protecting the subfloor from moisture infiltration is essential to prevent mold, mildew, and structural damage.
  4. Load Distribution: By providing a cushioning layer between the flooring and the substrate, decoupling mats help distribute the load more evenly across the surface. This can help prevent stress points and potential damage to the flooring material over time.
  5. Sound Reduction: Decoupling mats can also help reduce impact sound transmission, making them ideal for multi-story buildings or areas where noise control is important.

While using a decoupling mat over a new screed may add to the overall cost and installation time, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial investment. They provide added peace of mind by ensuring the longevity and performance of the flooring system, protecting against common issues like cracks, delamination, and water damage. Additionally, manufacturers like Mapei offer a range of compatible adhesives and mortars designed specifically for use with decoupling mats, further enhancing the installation process and guaranteeing optimal results.


What’s Next?

Have a browse of our website and look through what some of the ranges like our Space Own Tiles, as well as brands we work with such as Ca’ Pietra, minoli, Original Style, Geotiles, and Porcelanite Dos have to offer. Then we advise visiting one of our showrooms to see a vast selection of porcelain and ceramic tiles on display and in person. As you step into one of our showrooms, you’ll be greeted with a world of possibilities. Our knowledgeable staff is there to provide insights and guidance. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore the diverse range of colours and designs, ensuring you make an informed decision that will elevate your space.

So why wait?

Don’t hesitate, contact us for any assistance…

Ruislip: 01895 621 651
Maidenhead: 01628 624 546

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20mm Outdoor Porcelain Tiles

20mm Outdoor Porcelain Tiles

Start enjoying life outside

Outdoor 20mm Porcelain tiles can create a seamless transition from inside your home to your outside space.

With bi fold doors and open plan living areas becoming increasingly popular 20mm thick porcelain tiles are uniquely designed to be ideal for patios, outdoor kitchen areas, terraces and just about anywhere you need a unique alternative to stone or concrete.

Our 20mm Porcelain can make your outdoor space the safest, most resistant and uniquely designed area of your home.

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