Nanotechnology is making all kinds of improvements in construction and home improvement products. One of the most notable is a new product that reduces the need for backer board when tiling a floor.

When installing tile over an old floor, traditionally you had to use a leveling compound, then a board of concrete (called backer board), and then mortar to hold the tile in place. If mortar is applied over many types of surfaces, the tile can crack, which is why backer board is necessary.

Nanotechnology can make the process simpler by incorporating nanopores, along with rubber granules, into the leveling compound to add some give to it. Because of that give, the backer board isn’t required, making installation faster and less expensive.

BASF is using nanotechnology to improve the performance of leveling compounds used to prepare floors for laying tile in building renovations. PCI Nanosilent not only simplifies the tiling process but also reduces the sound that footsteps make when walking on the floor.

BASF developed a curing process that produces nanopores in the dried leveling compound. The nanopores are then combined with rubber granules. The combination reduces the chance of the tile cracking if the old flooring expands at a different rate than the tile as a result of temperature changes.