Self-build system makes uncoupling mat superfluous

by Staenis | 11/10/2021

Prevent damage to your floor? This DIY system makes an expensive uncoupling mat superfluous.

Many floors show damage over time: cracks, subsidence and so on. That could be better. By placing an uncoupling mat under your floor finish, tensions in the floor are largely absorbed. But such a mat is not cheap. Find out how to avoid the cost of an uncoupling mat and save around 30 euros per square meter, without compromise.

Crack in the tile floor
Expansion joint in the screed and tile
Sagging of the insulation layer and 'dishing/cupping' of the screed

Damage to tile floors, a common problem

From cracks, subsidence and loose tiles to loose joints and unintended expansion joints. Many tile floors show damage over time. This not only disrupts the beautiful overall picture, it also leads to unpleasant situations. How does tile floor damage occur? The causes of damage to tile floors are very diverse. Often the error occurs during the design and/or preparation phase. The Scientific and Technical Center for the Construction Company (WTCB) emphasizes that you must take into account the flatness of the substrate and the level of the finished tile floor, and that you must provide the necessary reinforcement. How can you prevent damage to your future floor as much as possible? Find out here how to limit the risk of damage.

Preventing damage to floors: how does decoupling help?

Tiles have to process varying temperatures due to, for example, insolation or underfloor heating. Heating causes the tiles to expand temporarily, causing stress in the floor finish. This can cause tiles to come loose, crack or break. This mainly happens where glue has been applied directly to the stony surface. By disconnecting you can largely prevent such damage. Decoupling means that the floor finish can move separately from the substrate. A studded plastic foil (decoupling mat) is placed between the substrate and the tiles. That way the tile can expand and contract sufficiently. Not in the mood for extra costs? Discover the Staenis grid and save about 30 euros per square meter.

What is the function of a decoupling mat?

A decoupling mat is a kind of decoupling system that is placed between the floor finish (eg tiles) and the screed. The decoupling mat must ensure that the stresses, movements and vibrations are not (or only partially) transferred from the screed to the floor tiling. This limits the risk of cracking in the tiling or the tiling coming loose. Placing an uncoupling mat does not exclude damage, but you do reduce the risk of damage. However, the Staenis roster goes one step further. Learn more about the decoupled operation of the Staenis grid.

When to place an uncoupling mat?

Uncoupling mats are recommended when stresses in the floor can rise sharply. For example, if you use large-sized tiles, if you install the tiles early, if you use underfloor heating or if you place dark tiles outside (for example on the terrace) on which a lot of sunlight falls. In concrete terms, tiles from 60 x 60 are usually placed on an uncoupling mat. This also applies to all other tiles that are not installed with linear joints. This advice is based on test trials and damage cases. Do you really need a decoupling mat to absorb stresses in the floor? Not if you lay your screed yourself using a handy DIY system: the Staenis grid.

Buy a decoupling mat? It can also be done without!

There are various types of uncoupling mats: multi-layer uncoupling mats, single-layer uncoupling mats and drainage mats that are glued to the screed. Count on a cost price of about 30 euros per square meter if you hire a professional. In concrete terms, you pay between 10 and 20 euros/m² for the uncoupling mat, plus the costs of the tile adhesive and the necessary working hours.

decoupling mat

Before you inquire about the ideal thickness of an uncoupling mat or buy an uncoupling mat, you should know that there is also another way. Even without an uncoupling mat, you can limit the risk of damage. Meet an efficient DIY system that makes an uncoupling mat superfluous.

The Staenis grid makes an uncoupling mat superfluous

As a do-it-yourselfer, you can easily install your screed or screed yourself, even if you have no experience. If you start using the Staenis grid, you will save the cost of an uncoupling mat. The Staenis grid divides the screed into areas of 0.5 x 0.5 m. This distributes the saucer-shaped effect and the tiles or floor finish are not exposed to tension. Also, the shrinkage stresses and thermal stresses are negated. The Staenis grid therefore solves the problem at the source (the screed). As a result, patch aids such as an uncoupling mat are not necessary. Discover more benefits of the Staenis grid.

Which is most suitable for limiting the risk of damage: an uncoupling mat or the Staenis grid?

Decoupling mats absorb horizontal forces and tensions. But the Staenis grid goes one step further: this DIY system absorbs both horizontal and vertical forces or tensions. Moreover, you no longer need expansion joints on large surfaces. Expansion joints are still placed at doorways. Watch the introduction video and see how the placement of the Staenis grid works.

Do I need a drainage mat if I'm going to clad my terrace with the Staenis grid?

New. A drainage mat is usually used under a screed if there is already a concrete slab. If moisture enters the screed, the mat will collect this moisture. The drainage mat also drains the moisture to, for example, a drain. But if you use drainage mortar in the Staenis grid, you don't need a drainage mat. Drainage mortar even allows water to pass over its full height, while a mat only allows about 1 cm of water. Furthermore, drainage mortar is much cheaper than a drainage mat. In addition, a mat is made of plastic and can be compressed under a high load. So while you reduce the compressive strength of the floor structure with a mat, everything remains super strong with drainage mortar.

Without decoupling mat

If you want to create your terrace and a concrete slab is already present, a Staenis grate that you fill with drainage mortar is ideal. You save on a drainage mat and can carry out your project completely yourself. This way you save on material costs and on the working hours of a professional.

Good to know: for a terrace with a flat floor plate you should choose a different floor structure than for a terrace with a sloping floor plate< /a>. Discover here the ideal screed floor construction for your project.

Technical advantages Staenis grating with screed

Why hire a chapper when you can install your flat, crack-free screed floor construction yourself? With the Staenis grid it is guaranteed to work. In addition, you do not need an expensive uncoupling mat or drainage mat. Use the floor construction tool and get more information about your ideal floor construction. You can easily order online in the Staenis webshop.

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