Uncoupling mats

Use uncoupling mats under your tiles to uncouple the substrate and covering so that large-format tiles or tile coverings over larger areas remain permanently crack-free. Tile installers around the world rely on the quality of our proven DITRA.

Floor structure in the kitchen with the Schlüter-DITRA uncoupling mat.

What is an uncoupling mat?

An uncoupling mat is laid between the floor covering and the substrate so that the two are independent of each other. This means that the floor covering is not laid directly on the substrate (concrete, screed, wooden floor), but on the uncoupling mat. It is often used when laying tiles, laminate, parquet or other floor coverings. The uncoupling mat can reduce vibrations, movements and tensions between the floor covering and the substrate, helping to prevent cracks, breakages or damage to the floor covering so that you can enjoy your floor for a long time.

When do you need an uncoupling mat?

The substrate and floor covering should always be uncoupled from each other. 

Wooden substrates, for example, tend towards changes in length and react immediately to penetrating moisture. Schlüter-DITRA as uncoupling and protective waterproofing is the ideal solution here.

Floor coverings on balconies and terraces are exposed to the weather without protection. Uncoupling of ceramic coverings is essential here due to the thermal stresses. Leading manufacturers of construction chemicals recommend the use of DITRA or DITRA-DRAIN in outdoor areas.

We generally recommend the use of an uncoupling mat in the following circumstances:

  • Young concrete
  • Fresh cement screed
  • Gypsum based screeds (anhydrite flowing screed)
  • Heated screed
  • Masonry/mixed substrate
  • Gypsum plaster/bricks
  • Balconies/terraces
  • Roof terraces (uncoupling with DITRA-DRAIN)
  • Vinyl coverings and coatings
  • Chipboard and compressed wood panels
  • Hardwood floors
  • Poured asphalt screed

Uncoupling mats and floor heating systems

Uncoupling mats are often used in conjunction with floor heating systems. The heat from the floor heating system can cause the floor covering to expand, which can cause stresses and eventually cracks or damage to the floor covering. The use of an uncoupling mat uncouples the floor covering from the substrate so that movements and stresses are absorbed. This preserves the floor covering and prevents any damage caused by the thermal expansion and contraction of the floor heating system. 

In addition, by reducing the heat transfer from the floor heating system to the substrate, uncoupling mats can also provide a certain level of heat insulation – and thus greater energy efficiency. This contributes to more efficient heat dissipation into the room. Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT-DUO and Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT-DUO-PS provide this function through an additional non-woven layer.

What uncoupling mats are available?

DITRA: An uncoupling mat that is even easier to process in the latest version thanks to the Easyfill system and Easycut cutting grid.

DITRA-DRAIN: The world's first and only uncoupling mat that also functions as passive capillary bonded drainage.

DITRA-HEAT: The uncoupling mat for our electric floor heating system and DITRA-HEAT-E radiant panel heating system, in which additional heating cables can be installed.

Did you know? Our company founder Werner Schlüter invented the uncoupling mat in 1987.