Almost every building material within a home expands and contracts over time and with changes of temperature, but modern structures are even more susceptible to movement and cracking.

Within a bathroom, this often applies to the substrate, whether it be a timber or a solid floor construction.

The impact of this expansion and contraction on tiled floors can result in the cracking of grout joints and tiles. Whilst this can be a frustrating issue for homeowners, within commercial installations such as gym changing rooms, hotel bathrooms etc, repercussions can be even more costly.

Decoupling or uncoupling membranes ensure that any movement in the floor substrate caused by expansion or contraction is accommodated, thanks to its ability to bridge the tension. The membrane is simply installed between the floor substrate and the floor tiles and acts as a cushion to ensure that any minor movement is isolated and cannot be transferred through to the tiles.

Decoupling membranes are also compatible with underfloor heating systems which are becoming more popular in wetrooms. The decoupling membrane allows heat from the underfloor heating system to be spread evenly across the surface, which in turn helps to improve the effectiveness of the heating system.

If you’re thinking of installing new tiling into your wetroom and you have a large space with lots of natural light, it’s worth bearing in mind that lighter coloured tiles will expand and contract less than darker tiles, which absorb the heat. As glass expands more than other building materials in the bathroom, the more glass and glass panels your bathroom contains, the quicker the bathroom will heat up when flooded with sunlight, increasing thermal expansion considerably.

 Wet room design popular among interior designers

The new Tilesure Waterproofing & Decoupling Membrane from CCL Wetrooms provides decoupling properties of up to 12mm, thereby preventing the grout or floor tiles within the wetroom from cracking should there be any movement within the substrate. In addition, the self-adhesive butyl membrane ensures a secure waterproof barrier that is guaranteed to remain waterproof for the life of the wetroom tiles.

Installing a waterproofing and decoupling membrane such as Tilesure, will help reduce the impact of expansion and contraction of construction materials within your wetroom.