Sheet Membranes vs Liquid Membranes

Sheet membranes vs liquid membranes

Frequently our technicians at Mar Flex find ourselves in discussions with customers, resellers,  designers, and specifiers. And a question that arises is whether sheet membranes or liquid membranes are better.

This is a hard question to answer definitively, except to say, it depends a great deal on the situation.

Sheet membranes

Sheet membranes are part of systems that are becoming more and more popular in the marketplace. Most membranes bond really well to substrates. This allows the flooring systems to be bonded over so that there’s no adhesion issues at all.

Well, one advantage of a sheet membrane is that you have a uniform shape. It’s  factory made, and you’ve got uniform thickness, so you don’t have any risk that there could be any differences between the film thickness of the membrane.

Secondly, it’s not as elastic as a liquid membrane, but it’s far higher strength. So when you have a concrete bit or concrete slab with hairline cracks, a sheet system makes sure that you’ve taken care of those cracks. So that sheet is an anti-fracture system as well as a waterproof membrane.

Third, installation of sheet systems is far quicker because there’s no coming back to the second coat or the third coat.

Liquid membranes

If sheets are so great, then when would you use a liquid over the sheet?

Sometimes it comes down to cost

Liquid membranes can be used in the place of a sheet, and can be effective when properly installed. This means that applicators will be asked to work harder because they’re concerned with a liquid membrane reinforcing cracks in the concrete.

Sometimes certain joints on the substrata need to be reinforced with a sheeting system. This happens a lot with timber flooring, where installers are putting additional reinforcement over all the joints. They put an extra layer of of liquid membrane down.

From a customer standpoint this will work just fine, but as an installer, when you actually analyze all of that, you could have done it a lot quicker with a sheet, and at a much better quality.

Contractors value time over material cost

There are many situations where a sheet is far quicker than a liquid, AND it is far more effective. However, it will be more expensive.

As a contractor, your time is more important than the cost of materials. Using high quality systems helps your company build a strong reputation for building quality, durable projects.

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash