SEBC FEATURE: Stop Cracked Tiles with GatorMat®

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Homebuilders save as much as $250,000 a year on proven underlayment system

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The most cost-effective crack isolation system in the homebuilding industry has been on the market for nearly 15 years. Still you may not have heard of it. Manufactured by Propex Global, an establish leader in Geosynthetics, GatorMat®, is an underlayment system that protects tile against crack migration and has been serving homebuilders since 2004.

That’s close to the time Marty Uptain, National Sales Manager for GatorMat, first became a dealer for the product. Uptain has served in sales and management roles for Florida homebuilding products since 1991.

“I had been working for a tile company that was one of the first to start using and selling GatorMat,” he said. He was soon moving truckloads of it.

Developed in Florida, GatorMat is used when ceramic tile, porcelain or stone is installed over concrete slabs. It protects floors from reflective cracking caused by cracks in the slab up to 1/8 inch wide.

All concrete eventually cracks. Cracks in a concrete slab will transfer to the tile floor above unless a “de-coupling” layer is installed between the two. Some homebuilders forgo crack isolation on concrete slabs because of cost.

GatorMat lets builders offer crack isolation at a fraction of the price of other systems.
Six of the top 10 National Production Homebuilders have been using GatorMat for over 10 years. A production builder can save as much as $250,000 a year by switching depending on the current system they are using.

“We just came out of a recession, and times are good right now for the building industry. Wouldn’t you want to save as much money as you could and put that in the bank?” Uptain said.

The GatorMat system combines a fabric membrane with a formulated adhesive that is faster and easier to install than other underlay products. When the membrane and adhesive are used as a system, it comes with a 5-year warranty. GatorMat has had zero claims for failure in its nearly 15-year history.

“One GatorMat customer told me when he started using this product he had three service techs doing repairs for cracked tile for his number-one builder account in Jacksonville,” Uptain said. “The following year with GatorMat, he was down to only one technician doing tile repairs. There were virtually no cracked tile problems with over 600,000 square feet of tile per year.”

Gator Mat has been tested by the Tile Council of North America for residential and light commercial use and has proven effective in the most challenging of concrete-on-slab building environments.

To learn how you can stop cracked tile affordably with GatorMat, or to become a GatorMat distributor, call 800-621-1273 or email

(Each week we will feature one of the Florida Green section exhibitors at this year’s Southeast Building Conference in Orlando. Thanks for your support.)