Why You Need Membranes Under Ceramic Tile To protect a tile job from water and building movement, think membranes! by STEVE THOMPSON In the past five years, tile has become quite popular in New England and with that popularity has come a host of installation problems. Aside from sloppy workmanship, the two major problems we see stem from expansion and contraction of substrates and the lack of waterproofing. In more temperate parts of the country, frost heaves and seasonal building movement are less of a problem. But here in New England, those forces can wreck a tile job quickly. To minimize these problems, we rely heavily on membranes. Membranes have always been part of the tile trade. The ancient Egyptians used melted lumps of crude oil or asphalt to waterproof surfaces covered with tile. And for