There are tons of different uncoupling membrane options available on the market, and people often seem confused between two popular options, RedGard uncoupling mat vs. Ditra.
Uncoupling membranes are well-known for significantly increasing the durability of a tiled floor. Simply put, the membrane works as a break between the floor and the tiles. This way, both surfaces get to move independently.
In this, I’ll compare RedGard and Ditra uncoupling membrane to help you get rid of the confusion here. Keep reading as I discuss different factors.
A Quick Comparison Table
Before we head into the detailed discussion, I have compiled a quick comparison table here. It’ll give you a primary idea about the differences between the RedGard uncoupling membrane and Ditra.
Also, if you are in a hurry, you can get the gist of the whole comparison from here.
|Specification||RedGard uncoupling mat||Ditra uncoupling membrane|
|Material||Liquid-applied elastomeric |
|Ease of installation||Easy||Complicated than RedGard|
|Subfloor surface compatibility||Good||Better|
|Cost||Cheaper||Expensive that RedGard|
Key Differences Between RedGard Uncoupling Mat And Ditra
After the comparison table, let’s consider the detailed differences from different aspects. Some significant differences are coming up, and in the end, you should be able to decide which one would be a better-suited choice for you.
The first significant difference we see here is the materials used for both membranes. As one is a membrane and the other one is a mat, it was pretty much expected here.
While RedGard uncoupling membrane is made of Liquid-applied elastomeric waterproofing material, the Ditra uncoupling membrane is made of polyethylene.
While the elastomeric material of RedGard turns into a monolith membrane to work, the Ditra membrane has a grid structure with anchoring fleece of polyethylene. However, both the RedGard uncoupling mat and the Ditra uncoupling membrane work flawlessly despite the material difference.
- Ease of Installation
To get the best out of the uncoupling membrane/ mat, you must ensure the installation is perfect.
In that Regard, Ditra seems to have the upper hand over RedGard. Let me tell you why.
Without proper installation, the membrane might not work collectively with the mortar, causing stress to the whole tiling structure.
Ditra has an anchoring fleece that provides strong adhesion and better uncoupling performance.
But more importantly, you get a more straightforward installation process just with the help of some primary tools.
If you have done your share of research, you might have already noticed that uncoupling membrane/ mats come in a different thickness like 5/16”, 1/8”, or 1/4”. Now each of these sizes, thin and thick, has its advantages and disadvantages.
The RedGard uncoupling membrane mat is 1/4” thick, while the Ditra uncoupling membrane is only 1/8” thick. While thicker membrane/ mats can help durability, they are not great at eliminating the moisture inside.
So, the 1/8” thickness of Ditra gets the upper hand with less humidity and reduces the thickness of the overall tile structure.
- Crack Isolation
Crack isolation is an essential feature since it can play a role in protecting your tiles from future cracks. When there are cracks in the substrate you are installing the tiles on, your uncoupling membrane must have some crack isolation.
The crack isolation will isolate these cracks on the substrate and prevent them from coming up through the tiles. While the RedGard uncoupling mat is known to be a crack isolator, there is no such thing advertised from Ditra.
So, RedGard seems to get the win in this segment.
- Subfloor Surface Compatibility
While there are many factors to discuss, this compatibility is the one we often forget to consider. You have to understand that not all substrates are compatible with all types of uncoupling mats or membranes.
So, before making the purchase, you have to ensure sure whether RedGard or Ditra works with your particular substrate.
Both Ditra and Regard offer broad compatibility, so it’s hard to pinpoint any difference here. However, it’s a little heavier on the Ditra’s side with installation over gypsum, plywood/ OSB, heated floors, concrete, etc.
On the other hand, the RedGard uncoupling membrane works excellent with various substrates, including challenging ones like wooden floors and green concrete.
Uncoupling membrane/ mat isn’t something you change every day.
So, you have to make sure that whatever you are installing lasts you long enough and provides you with the necessary durability.
After all, the structural integrity of your tiles is on the line here.
While the thicker frame of RedGard has an issue with moisture, it’s excellent in terms of longevity for years to come.
On the other hand, Ditra has done a better job at keeping the moisture out, but that might compromise the longevity of the membrane.
At the very end, I’ll talk about the price for a moment. Both RedGard and Ditra come in different sizes and price points, and Ditra seems to cost a few bucks more than the RedGard option.
Though the price gap isn’t significant enough to affect a purchase decision, you should know it beforehand.
Which Uncoupling Mat Is A Better Choice?
Considering the different aspects of the RedGard uncoupling membrane and Ditra uncoupling membrane, there are some significant differences between these two. While most differences are mixed bags, it’s tough to pick an overall winner here.
So, depending on your priority and need, puck the one that suits your tiles installation, and you should be good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, you can easily use RedGard as an uncoupling membrane. Not only does it works as an uncoupling membrane, but it also does a great job of protecting your tile job even by pairing up with challenging materials like green concrete and wood-framed floors.
The answer to this question is a bit tricky since different peoples have their theory of whether it’ll work or not. If you ask me, it should work fine as the manufacturer advertises itself for waterproofing and crack isolation. Just get a suitable substrate, use two layers of Regard, and you should be good to go.
Yes, you can use Regard over Schluter membrane. But that installation will neither have any positive nor any adverse effect. So, using RedGard over the Schluter membrane is pretty much pointless.
Every uncoupling membrane on the market is entirely waterproof. Apart from being waterproof, it allows the substrate and tiles to move freely, making uncoupling membrane a better choice than cement boards.
Here we are at the end of our article. I hope my article will help you decide between RedGard uncoupling mat vs. Ditra. Uncoupling membrane is still relatively uncommon, so it’s okay to get confused here.
But if you can bear the cost of an uncoupling membrane, it will be worth every single penny.
Especially if you are planning to use expensive tiles and ensure they don’t crack, uncoupling membrane can be a significant part of your tiles set up.