Homeowners who want to tile or re-tile a room or area in their home have four basic choices in tile underlayment membranes that they can choose between.
Waterproof membranes can be used either horizontally or vertically. They can be used in thick beds or in thin. These membranes are designed to keep water from the base layer coming up through and ruining your tile floor or wall. You can find waterproof membranes.
Crack isolation membranes are designed to be used in thin-bed applications of glass, stone, and ceramic tile. These must be bonded to the substrate to function properly. In order to stop a crack from getting more significant, the wall or floor must be load bearing.
Uncoupling membranes are designed to create an air pocket between the subfloor and the tile. Then, the air pocket keeps the tile from cracking when put under stress. They are most commonly used with concrete subfloors that have not had time to cure properly, but they can be used with wood subfloors. Many uncoupling membranes are waterproof. A geometric design or mesh is often found on top of this membrane, which is designed to help it adhere better to the tile.
Bonded sound reduction membranes are designed to stop noise between floors. The tile is bonded directly to these membranes. Then, the membrane is bonded to the substrate.
Your circumstances dictate which choice best meets your needs. It can be helpful to speak to a professional before making a final decision on tile underlayment membranes.