Do I need an anti-fracture membrane?

On many floors - especially larger ones - there is a need to absorb limited lateral movement that could, over time, cause tiles to crack. At Porcelain Superstore we supply Tilemaster Adhesives’ Anti-fracture Mat to prevent this from occurring. This mat de-couples the tiles from the subfloor, preventing lateral movement and any stress from below, such as that caused by underfloor heating, being transferred through to the tiles.

The mat can be used on most domestic and commercial projects and, as it is only 0.85mm thick, there is minimal height build-up. Use a 3mm bed of Tilemaster’s Setaflex adhesive (either Standard or Rapid-Setting) to fix the anti-facture mat to the subfloor. Each 20 kg bag of adhesive will cover approximately 12 sq. metres of mat. Once the adhesive has dried, you can immediately tile over the mat.

Of course, the usual precautions should be taken. Prior to installation, the integrity and suitability of a substrate must be checked. The substrate must always be stable, completely cured and dried cured (if concrete), and strong enough to withstand the anticipated loads.

If you require any impartial guidance in this area, we suggest that you visit The Tile Association’s website – - where you can source impartial and professional technical advice on all aspects of tiling.

When tiling a floor, one area often overlooked is the surface flatness of the floor. According to British Standard BS 5385, the flatness of the substrate must be checked with a straight-edge at least 2 metres long by placing it on the surface of the substrate in all directions. The maximum acceptable tolerance is ± 3mm.  If the floor exceed this value, it must be evened out using a suitable levelling product; such as a patch repair, skimming mortar, or smoothing compound.

Once the floor has been checked and approved, proceed to install the Tilemaster anti-fracture mat. This three layer mat designed to accommodate and absorb lateral movement in sub-floors.


This mat offers a range of clear benefits:

  • Fast: speedy installation
  • Simple: butt-joint, so no need for overlaps or jointing tape
  • Slim: only 0.85mm thick so minimises height build up
  • Cost-effective: less than £7.50 per sq. metre
  • Efficient: uses 20% less adhesive that alternative cavity mats
  • Sustainable: saves 30kg of tile adhesive per 20sq. metre roll
  • Safe: ideal for timber substrates
  • Versatile: can be used over electric and water-based UFH systems


Compatible substrates

  • Sand/Cement Screed
  • Concrete
  • Plywood Overlay
  • Tile Backer Boards
  • Tile on Tile
  • Flooring Grade Asphalt and Bitumen
  • Anhydrite Screeds
  • Fibre Cement Sheet
  • T&G Wooden Floorboards
  • Floating Floors
  • Existing Vinyl Tiles
  • Steel/Metal Surfaces
  • Fibreglass


Some people assume that if an uncoupling membrane has been used on a floor then this does away with the need to use movement joints. This is not the case, although movement joints can be used in conjunction with an uncoupling membrane.


The rules for movement joints will vary from project to project. At Porcelain Superstore we recommended to referring to British Standards BS 5385 for guidance.


Typical Flooring Tile Build-up

A - Solid substrate or timber substrate

B - Tilemaster Rapid Setaflex flexible rapid-setting adhesive or Tilemaster Standard Setaflex Flexible standard-setting adhesive

C - Tilemaster Anti-fracture Mat

D - Tilemaster Rapid Setaflex flexible rapid-setting adhesive or Tilemaster Standard Setaflex Flexible standard-setting adhesive

E - Tilemaster Grout 3000