How is the Kerdi Schluter system?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by amateurplumber1, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. amateurplumber1

    amateurplumber1 Member

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    I want to rebuild my shower and am wondering if anyone has used this kit. Thanks for any advice!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    New England
    There are pros and cons to any system, but any bonded membrane shower is, IMHO, a better choice than a conventional shower build. If you want some advice from people that use Kerdi on a regular basis, you may want to check out www.johnbridge.com. I've used it, been to the factory training, and have a decent handle on what it is and how to use it. John's idea of how it must be installed differs from the NA instructions.

    Noble TS is good stuff, but thicker is not necessarily your friend when you must overlap the seams to make things waterproof...an 1/8" glass panel is every bit as waterproof as 1/2" plate glass, but once your membrane is covered with tile, if you don't damage it, it's waterproof. A DIY'er won't be having lots of contractors using the shower as a garbage bin before it is tiled.

    The issue with the kit is the foam is fairly expensive, and your floor must be perfectly level before you install it, and the drain must be nearly perfectly centered. Unless you can use the entire tray or can cut it symmetrically, while it will still work, cut asymmetrically, the bottom row of the tile won't rest at the same level (which most people do not like visually - functionally, it's fine). Most of the pros do not use the foam, and make their own pans out of deck mud which is cheap, works fine, and isn't really all that hard to use. It's cheap enough so that you could do more than several mockups to practice and still not spend as much as the foam pan. It's like working with wet beach sand rather than wet concrete. So, there are choices. Only one of them is the materials you choose. Do not try to create a hybrid...pick a system and follow through with it. If you haven't watched any of the videos on Schluter's U-Tube channel, you should take the time to watch some to get an idea. Noble only has one video on their website that I could find as an example, and that does not show their latest drain choices or build techinques (it's years old). They may exist, but they aren't easy to find. If you do find them, let us know! Both NOble and Schluter have been selling these membranes for over 20-years, and they both work. You have to decide if the design of one has some features you prefer over the use of the other. From a cost viewpoint, buying the raw parts to do a Schluter shower gives you more flexibility and less cost than the kit, but the kit will be faster and require less learning curve than making your own pan and curb. If you don't want to deal with applying the membrane to the walls, you could instead use KerdiBoard directly on the studs which can save the time to install a suitable solid wall backer then install a membrane over it.

    But, instead of a very small handful of tile people here, www.johnbridge.com has hundreds of active pros that can help you should you decide to go Kerdi, or any method.
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    North Vancouver, BC

    I would not use it.​
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
    New England
    Over the last 10-years, Schluter has introduced many new products...their training courses cover a bunch of them, and not only the use of Kerdi, but also uncoupling membranes, floor warming systems, tile profiles, hydronic heating, and many other products. If you want to stay up with what's new, you go back again. And, each time you do, you pick up little tricks and knowledge from not only the instructors, but from the other people attending the workshop. That John uses that as a slam, just shows he doesn't understand or appreciate talking to others that not only understand but also use the products in question and can point out their good and bad points. The stuff works. Is it the best, that's like asking is a Chevy or Ford a better vehicle, and one reason why both companies are still in business, they each have their good and bad points.

    So, while most pros don't use the kits because the showers they tend to build require custom installations, doing something like a motel where all of the showers may be the same and it was designed to use the kit, they can save a bunch of time, and time is money for the motel owner.. If a kit works for you will depend. But, building a shower from the basic materials (Kerdi, Kerdiband, the Kerdi Drain, etc.) is fundamentally the same.

    As you can tell, John doesn't like me, and disregards most anything I say. That is to his detriment. If you want a non-confrontational discussion, visit that other site I mentioned where you'll have access to faster, and more numerous inputs, from a site dedicated to tiling things.
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