Best Underlayment for Tile Flooring

If you are installing tile flooring you may inundated with all the options available for tile underlayment. We will share with you what we think is the best underlayment for tile flooring – one that will last for years to come! Don’t make the mistake of using the wrong underlayment and living with regret every time you see your tile floor!

Actually, let’s just cut straight to the chase! Our personal favorite (by far the best one we’ve ever installed) is Ditra underlayment by Schluter Systems. If you don’t have time and you want to skip this informative article, just trust us and go add Ditra underlayment to your material list!

For those of you who actually care why we chose this as our preferred underlayment, continue reading!


News flash! Tile and grout are not completely waterproof on their own! That’s right, they will leak!

The majority of tile floors and showers will allow moisture to pass through them over time. This is especially true if the tile is going to be exposed continually or heavily to water.

For years contractors thought they could just put cement board behind tile and everything would be just fine. But cement board is not waterproof either! So guess who pays it? You do in a few years when your tile shower needs replaced because of moisture damage – oh and they may even be an added mold remediation bill!

Things are changing in the industry, luckily. More and more installers are using a waterproof membrane to go behind the tile. This means your tile may still allow some moisture through it but now you’re prepared with a barrier to keep it from going any farther.


There are lots a great features that make the Ditra membrane by Schluter Systems a great choice. Here are a few of the reasons we like using the product:

  1. Ditra is made out of a waterproof polyethylene making it a great choice for you to protect your floor against future moisture issues.
  2. It’s uncoupling design (it looks like little boxes) was engineered to reduce movement in your subfloor. In other words, it helps keep your grout lines from cracking by absorbing some of the give and take of your subfloor.
  3. The design of the bottom of the Ditra helps any left over moisture below escape without causing issues.
  4. Ditra is really hard to smash. So it can take a lot of vertical weight and distribute it effectively.


The steps are pretty simple to install the Ditra Uncoupling Membrane. We’ll try and run you through it:

  1. Figure how much of the Ditra you’ll need (always figure a little extra).
  2. Order your Ditra from a local supplier
  3. Apply a layer of thin-set mortar to your substrate
  4. Install the Ditra underlayment on top of the mortar.
  5. Install tile as recommended by manufacturer (apply a second layer of mortar directly to the Ditra).

If you’re a contractor, you can actually take one of the Schluter Systems classes for free!


If this has helped you or if you have any questions, leave us a comment below! We’d love to hear from you!

Ethan McNeil

Ethan McNeil has worked in the office of T&H Keith Inc since 2008. He currently takes care of all things office, from estimating to scheduling to accounting. He also has his realtor license and helps individuals sell and buy their homes.

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