Tile Shower Waterproofing

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by killavolt, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. killavolt

    killavolt In the Trades

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Southington CT
    Quite a few places in my area sell this tiled shower waterproofing system:

    http://www.schluter.com/8_4_kerdi_shower_kit.aspx

    It's been endorsed by John P. Bridge as an alternative to a mud bed. It comes with it's own drain system, which eliminates the use of a weep hole drain and the associated drain pan waterproofing rubber membrane.

    Another system I've come across is this one:

    http://www.wedi.de/usa/wedi_partner/contractors.php#

    The Wedi system uses a waterproof backerboard with shiplap joints, that is basically your tile backerboard and waterproofing together. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with the Wedi system. It seems to be less labor intensive, eliminating the installation of a seperate waterproofing membrane over the shower pan and walls. I plan on calling the company, but I know I'll get the company "line" about how well their system performs. I want feedback from anyone who has used or is familiar with this system. Schluter-Kerdi is available for about $600 plus the dryset mortar, additive, backerboard, mesh tape and fasteners. This information is for a potential customer of mine. If the systems are similar in price I could pass on the labor savings to the customer in the bid process. It's a tough economy right now so any edge in pricing is an advantage. Thanks in advance.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Schluter is a well known brand with proven reputation. I have not used it personally, but am familiar with numerous installations.

    I am not familiar with the Wedi, but it looks pretty good. I am not so comfortable about all the seams that are taped on caulked, especially at the floor/wall joint in the shower. Looks like good stuff, worth checking out.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    A Wedi kit will cost you more, but then you don't need to put up drywall on the walls, the Wediboard is the wall. Total cost, assuming you are using the Kerdi tray would probably come out about the same, but the Wedi would likely go up quicker, so your labor costs would be lower. With Kerdi, you have the option of making a drypack sloped bed, then covering it with the Kerdi verses using the tray which is cheaper and more flexible, but will take longer. You can customize the Wedi tray to fit, but just like the kerdi one, then your edges won't be exactly the same all around unless you cut it symetrically.

    Wedi has the advantage that it adds some insulation to the walls, if that is a factor.
  4. killavolt

    killavolt In the Trades

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Southington CT
    Thanks Jim. I talked to the Tri-State/New Enland rep from Wedi this morning. He put me in touch with a firm who distributes to CT. The fellow I spoke with says if I've never done a Wedi system before, I could do it in about 3 hours Vs. a day and a half with backerboard and Schluter-Kerdi. They're faxing me a quote on the products to compare. The distributor handles both and says while Schluter-Kerdi is a great product, the Wedi system is probably the one to use if I have any time constraints. Oh yeah, and they'll deliver either product tomorrow from New Hampshire if I need it that fast.
    Edit:
    Price for Schluter-Kerdi: About $600, it doesn't include backerboard, mesh tape, fasteners or dry set mortar.
    Price for Wedi: About $750 comes with everything, ready for tile when done and should take about a day's less labor, the savings of which I can pass on to the customers.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    With Kerdi, you can use drywall as the material will never get wet and is the recommended wall. No need to tape the seams, as the membrane reinforces it fine. So, from a materials viewpoint, Kerdi would be less expensive, and even more so if you chose to make the pan (best if the drain isn't exactly where you want it or for shapes you can't cut the tray symmetrically), but still, timewise, Wedi should win out if you are contracting it out.

    Once you are familiar with Kerdi, you can slap the stuff up pretty quickly. You don't have to wait to then start applying tile, so it can be pretty quick as well. It's sort of a toss-up, each having its good points.
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