DryTile: Laying ceramic floor tiles entirely without glue or mortar

Circular economy is the order of the day, many options are not popular, yet. Photo: Patrik Nylin / <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/"target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>, <a href=" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license"target="_blank">Creative Commons License</a>s

The system uses cork as a base and a special grout / Can the principle be used for natural stone?

We occasionally look at the competitors for the natural stone sector, what their associations and companies are doing. This time: DryTile with stoneware floor tiles from Germany

DryTile is an innovative method for laying stoneware tiles. As the name suggests, it works entirely without glue. This means that such work can be done much faster than usual. Moreover, the floor can easily be removed and reused.

The latter is the aspect that makes the process interesting for the natural stone sector.

DryTile was developed by Deutsche Steinzeug AG, a leading producer of stoneware, together with Trison GmbH, from which the material recipe and the craftsmanship know-how come. Since 2017, DryTile has also been distributed in North America by a subsidiary.

The principle is simple: the tiles have cork on the underside, which serves as a separating layer from the floor (and as insulation against impact noise).

The stability of the installation is ensured by a special joint compound. It firmly connects the tiles to each other.

A special feature of this grout is that it can be easily removed, either (without dust) with a special tool or normally with an angle grinder.

However, some conditions must be met for DryTile to work:
* the substrate must be absolutely level. If necessary, a self-levelling mass must be spread;
* when mixing the grout, the prescribed mixing ratio must be meticulously observed;
* after 12 hours such a floor covering can be walked on with restrictions and after another 12 hours it can be used without restrictions;
* without grouting, the floor can be walked on immediately, so that other trades can already work.

The guarantee is 5 years. The flooring is also suitable for underfloor heating, as tests conducted by the Nuremberg Institute of Technology (TH Nürnberg) have shown.

If, for example, the entire floor or parts of it are to be renewed later, the tiles can be removed individually. Rather, larger groups can also be separated out.

At the heart of the process are the joints and the grout. The width of the joints can be from 3 to 8 mm: it is ensured by the fact that the cork layer protrudes a little, and thus when laying the tiles, the distances are created automatically.

The tiles can also be laid on wood or on chipboard, but not on inclined planes or on the wall. It is not possible to use in outdoor areas or in certain wet areas.

For processing without special measures, temperatures between +5 degrees C and +30 degrees C are needed.

Expansion joints are possible, also distances and transitions to the wall.

DryTile won the German Green Product Award in the architecture category in 2020. The jury pointed out other special features:
* in the transport stack, the cork backing acts as a buffer, reducing the amount of packaging required;
* all components meet the requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and are thus suitable for food contact;
* the “Hightec“ product variant promises to neutralize odors and air pollutants and have an antibacterial effect by means of photocatalysis.

DryTile Ceramics GmbH

The stone sector has come a long way in terms of recycling leftover pieces from production. Now, the next step is to reuse an entire product, for example the tiles of a floor.

(27.01.2021, USA: 01.27.2021)