Ceramic and stone tiles can be subjected to a variety of strains and stresses caused by movement in the tiled surface. Movement joints compensate for the movement of tiles which extends down through the tiles, the bed and screed layer below.
They create a tile field which moves independently from those around it, and should be included at set distances in floor and wall tiles, in accordance with recommendations from the British Standards Institution (BSI).
Technology governs the amount of movement that can be absorbed - and therefore the degree of protection given by the joint - through the size of the profile and the compressible material used. Pre-formed surface joints will usually accommodate movement up to 20% of the movement zone width. A 10 mm joint will extend and compress by approximately 2 mm. One of Schlüter's stress-relieving movement joints, the Schlüter-DILEX-KS, has a movement zone of 11 mm, which will accommodate up to 2.5 mm of tile movement.
Because there are specific movement joints for specific types of application, most tiling failures are caused by using joints that aren't suitable for what is being demanded of them. The correct technology in terms of width and material - brass, aluminium, stainless steel or PVC - must be taken into account when specifying movement joints.
Transition Profiles: Edge Protection For Tiles Meeting Other Flooring Surfaces
All too often, where ceramic or stone floor tiles join neighbouring surfaces such as timber, carpet, vinyl or laminate, the edges of the tiles can crack and chip, and even debond from the substrate. An appropriate profile will prevent these problems occurring. The technology behind Schlüter-SCHIENE, such as its specific angle and wall thickness, means it transmits point loads into the substrate and surface covering, protecting the edge of the tile from damage.
For adjoining surfaces of different heights, Schlüter-RENO-U, Schlüter-RENO-TK and Schlüter-RENO-RAMP have a fixed sloping arm to provide stepless transitions - thanks to the shallow angle of Schlüter-RENO-RAMP and its long-sloped transition edge, it is easy to use with wheeled traffic and creates stepless transitions to comply with disability requirements. Schlüter-RENO-V has an adjustable sloping arm to accommodate different heights. The anchoring legs for these profiles is fixed underneath the tiles.
However, there is also a profile that can be retro-fitted to adjoin different types of floor coverings at the same height -- Schlüter-RENO-T overlaps both surfaces, preventing the edges from being damaged when subjected to mechanical stress.
Stair Nosing Profiles
The Schlüter-TREP range of slip resistant stair nosing profiles forms a clean, decorative stair edge that is highly visible, while protecting it from damage. Some have a replaceable plastic tread insert. For those fixed at the same time as the tiles, the anchoring legs are installed beneath the tread tiles, with the surface tread improving safety and protection. Specific products are available to comply with current DDA requirements.
Wall Corners And Edge Profiles
The outside edges of tiled corners - indeed any exposed edge of a tiled surface - can often look unattractive and become damaged. This is because many tiles on the market today don't have a glazed, finished edge.
Specially engineered profiles are ideal for providing the dual function of combining an attractive finish, with protecting the vulnerable outer edge of the corner. Profiles are available in a wide variety of materials (including stainless steel, aluminium and chrome plated brass), colours, surface finishes and designs to co-ordinate with the tiles and grout. The technology of the Schlüter-QUADEC, Schlüter-RONDEC, Schlüter-JOLLY and Schlüter-ECK-E ranges focuses on the anchoring leg fixed behind the tiles, and the protective, finishing, edge.
Some also come with matching inside and outside corner pieces for elegant connections.
Balcony and Terrace Constructions
A wealth of technology has gone into developing protection and drainage systems for balconies and terraces, incorporating waterproofing and uncoupling membranes, a passive capillary drainage system, and movement joints (as described above and in the article in the previous edition of Tile UK) as well as systems developed specifically for such exterior applications.
For example, Schlüter-TROBA is a separation and drainage layer for use above a horizontal waterproofing layer, and below a screed or gravel. It consists of a pressure stable polyethylene sheet with perforated studs for reliable drainage.
The technology behind the Schlüter-TROBA-STELZ range was developed specifically to aid in the installation of large format pavers. They are polyethylene rings placed where the slabs meet, then filled with fresh mortar. The corners of the pavers are placed over the rings and tapped to the correct height and alignment.
Waterproofing assemblies on balconies and terraces often lack sufficient height to connect smoothly to door connections and other fixed building elements. This led to the development of Schlüter-TROBA-LINE, which is a stainless steel channel that guarantees drainage, even with low connection heights.
To complete balcony installations, Schlüter created its Schlüter-BARA and Schlüter-BARIN ranges of finishing profiles and gutter systems. Each has its own appropriate technology, including providing a functional frontage with a drip lip, protecting the exposed edges of the screed bed and the exposed edges of the floor assemblies. The Schlüter-BARIN gutter system is connected to the balcony edging profiles, and elongated slots at the back make it possible to slope the gutter up to 30 mm.
The technology behind each individual product combines to provide a full protective, drainage and finishing system for balconies and terraces. The technology also allows for a number of variations to take preferences of style and functional requirements into consideration.