TILE Magazine has put together a collection of the newest underlayments and membranes that are available from both domestic and international manufacturers.


Ardex UI 740™ Flexbone®

Substrates provide many challenges for tile and stone installations. Ardex UI 740™ Flexbone® Uncoupling Membrane is designed to protect installations from subfloor movement, moisture vapor and point loads preventing tile and joint cracking, buckling and disbonding. Its unique bone shape design makes Flexbone easy to install, ideal for large-format tile installations in high-traffic areas and the most advanced single-source solution. When used with select Ardex mortars, grouts and self-levelers, it creates a strong, long-lasting system backed by a 25-year Ardex SystemOne™ warranty.



Bostik Accelerated Mortar (BAM™)

BAM™, the Bostik Accelerated Mortar, is a fiber-reinforced, large, heavy tile mortar offering a traditional feel with rapid return to service. It demonstrates exceptional strength and maximum performance, making most jobs ready to grout in four hours. It also delivers an open time and adjustability time of up to 30 minutes with exceptional sag resistance and a bond strength that exceeds ANSI 118.15 requirements. It is suitable for both commercial and residential environments, indoor and outdoor, as well as for submerged applications. And, can be used over a wide variety of substrates, uncoupling membranes and various sheet membranes.



RedGard® by Custom

RedGard® Liquid Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane from Custom is a ready-to-use, elastomeric product with outstanding adhesion that delivers a seamless waterproof barrier and reduces crack transmission in tile and stone. RedGard exceeds ANSI A118.10, bonds directly to drains and is IAPMO listed as a shower pan liner. This liquid-applied membrane is the first to exceed the low perm requirements of ASTM 96E for moisture vapor control in steam showers. RedGard also exceeds ANSI A118.12 for high-performance crack isolation and achieves an extra heavy duty service rating for commercial applications.  



HardieBacker® Cement Board by James Hardie

HardieBacker® Cement Board with HydroDefense® Technology from James Hardie has a 100% waterproof composition throughout the board. Passing the ANSI A118.10 test for waterproofness, it offers built-in protection from water, eliminating the need to spend extra time applying waterproof coating across the entire surface area of your board. Just waterproof the joints and fasteners† and move forward knowing your work and reputation are secure.

†Some application areas such as shower pans may require additional waterproofing. Refer to local building code requirements.



NXT Level Plus by Laticrete

Laticrete launched the new and improved NXT Level Plus, a problem-solving self-leveling underlayment that will save time, labor and materials for more efficiency in the workplace. As a premier choice and the ultimate problem solver for challenging installations, this product features upgraded benefits such as being able to be applied over plywood and oriented strand board with no lath and being able to be applied over gypsum. NXT Level Plus has higher strength at 5300 psi, is fiber reinforced and is equipped with Microban® Anti-Microbial Protection.



Mapetape BB by MAPEI

Mapetape BB is a butyl-based, waterproofing sealing tape for use with the MAPEI peel-and-stick crack isolation membranes. Mapetape BB has an extremely aggressive grip and superior long-term adhesion, ensuring immediate leak-proof sealing upon contact. It is reverse-rolled for easy, fast application. A clear release liner on one side allows for easy handling and dry-fitting. Mapetape BB is compatible with Mapeguard® 2, Mapesonic™ 2, Mapesound™ 90 and Mapeguard CI membranes. Mapetape BB is perfect for residential and commercial floor applications, both interior and exterior (with proper drainage).



Level EZ® by Maxxon

Level EZ® from Maxxon is a self-leveling cementitious underlayment engineered for leveling, smoothing and repairing interior gypsum and concrete substrates, as well as non-water-soluble adhesive residue on concrete prior to the installation of finished floor coverings. No mechanical preparation is required with Level EZ to provide a durable, flat, smooth floor surface that is installed at ¹/₄ inch to 2 inches. Minimum labor and installation time is needed with Level EZ for a subfloor that is suitable for virtually all flooring coverings.


Fracture Guard FD by Merkrete

Fracture Guard FD is a low-VOC, fast-drying crack isolation membrane specifically formulated by Merkrete for same-day tile installations. Fracture Guard FD provides a thin protection layer to inhibit substrate crack transfers up to ¹/₈ inch. Because Fracture Guard FD is a liquid-applied membrane, it conforms to any shape or pattern, thus allowing endless architectural designs. Used on both residential and commercial interior and exterior applications, Fracture Guard FD exceeds ANSI A118.12 and offers essential crack prevention protection to the finished tile and stone surface.




Strataflex by NAC Products

Strataflex from NAC Products is a thin, flexible sheet membrane that is applied with a NAC primer for interior and exterior applications. A unique feature of Strataflex is the 2-inch overlap joint that creates a watertight seal, providing superior waterproof protection. The Strataflex is permanently bonded to the concrete or wood substrate, creating a continuous, impervious water barrier to set a variety of hard surface flooring, including, ceramic, porcelain, stone, marble and more. Strataflex will also provide crack isolation protection for hard surface flooring, protecting for up to ³/₈ inch of lateral substrate movement.



Prodeso Membrane by Progress Profiles

Prodeso Membrane from Progress Profiles is an uncoupling and waterproofing membrane in polyethylene with drop-shaped cavities for problematic supports and horizontal surfaces of any size. Provided on both sides with a non-woven polypropylene thermoswelded fleece, which ensures the adhesion to the support and the bonding to the floor, the membrane guarantees the application even in case of old tiles and not perfectly cured substrates, and can be used on plywood/OSB. Prodeso waterproofs the substrates in the case of overlaying on cracked or imperfectly cured floors with a risk of vapor stress.



Prova-Mat® by Prova Products

Prova-Mat® from Prova Products is a TCNA-defined, low perm waterproofing membrane and is ideal for use in wet areas such as showers, bathrooms, laundry rooms, backsplashes, countertops and more. Its low perm rating provides great resistance to water vapor transmission, making it the perfect choice for continuous-use steam showers. The membrane also resists mold growth and is easy to install using polymer-modified thinset mortar over plywood (EPG), drywall, backerboard and cement slabs. This 17-mil-thick membrane is ICC-ES evaluated and approved for compliance to the Uniform Plumbing Code and the National Plumbing Code of Canada.



Schluter-Ditra-Heat-Duo is an electric floor warming system with an integrated thermal break and sound control to overcome multiple construction challenges. The thermal break on the underside of the membrane allows the system to warm tiled floors up to 70% faster over concrete substrates by directing heat to the tile, not the subfloor. The membrane also reduces sound transmission by producing an increase in impact insulation class (ΔIIC) of 20 to a concrete slab floor-ceiling assembly. The dual benefits of reducing impact sound transmission and providing faster warm-up make this membrane ideal for multi-story residential construction.



SikaTile®-200 by Sika

SikaTile®-200 Fracture Guard Rapid is a single-component, fast-drying, thin, liquid-applied crack isolation membrane for installation under ceramic tile or stone in residential, commercial and industrial environments. With excellent elongation, adhesion and high-strength properties, SikaTile-200 Fracture Guard Rapid provides a thin, continuous barrier providing up to ¹/₈ inch (3 mm) of in-plane crack isolation. It dries in one to two hours depending on ambient conditions and is then ready to receive any Sika polymer-modified or epoxy mortar. SikaTile®-200 Fracture Guard Rapid exceeds ANSI A118.12 standards.



TEC® HydraFlex™

TEC® HydraFlex™ Waterproofing Crack Isolation Membrane is an IAPMO, ready-to-use, flexible, mold- and mildew-resistant waterproofing crack isolation membrane for interior and exterior applications. It forms a smooth, monolithic, watertight surface over walls, floors and ceilings. HydraFlex stops in-plane cracks up to ¹/₈- or ¹⁄₄-inch-wide (based on application) at the subfloor from telegraphing through to ceramic and stone tile. For residential to extra-heavy commercial applications.



USG Durock™ Brand

USG Durock™ Brand Quik-Top Self-Leveling Underlayment is a pre-sanded self-leveling underlayment with self-sealing technology designed for interior use in commercial, institutional and rehab construction. It features a compressive strength of up to 10,000 psi, exceeding the commercial requirement for vinyl floor coverings. In most applications, there is no mechanical preparation required and for those jobs that require a quick turnaround, floor covering can be installed in as little as 15 hours. USG Durock Quik-Top Self-Leveling Underlayment is available in two colors: white and gray.



wedi Subliner Systems

wedi Subliner Systems are sheet membrane products, each designed to provide sound and thin profile underlayments for tile. Each system component offers water- and vaporproofing as needed over standard cement/fiber-cement backer boards or mortar beds, as well as other comparable and suitable traditional structures for tiled applications in wet rooms. The Subliner Dry Sheet Waterproofing Membrane and its Subliner accessories and components are sealed and connected with 2-inch-wide (50.8-mm) membrane overlaps. In between, wedi Sealant 620, a specialty sealant, is used to water- and even vapor-proof these connections.