Tile Backer Board Essentials

The introduction of Schluter-DITRA “universal underlayment for ceramic and stone tile” has raised a lot of questions:

  • What exactly is the purpose of floor-mount backer board?
  • How does the new product compare?

Additionally, there was already a wide variation in what was considered acceptable backer material and thickness.

Therefore, I propose to tackle the following subjects:

  • What was the structural purpose of traditional (durock, fiberock, etc.) cement backer board?
  • What is the goal/purpose of the new Schluter material?
  • Analysis/comparison of the two different approaches (point load seems like a big strike against Schluter)
  • Best practice and recommendations going forward
  • Relevant pointers for wall-mount backer