Technical Papers

Integrated Schluter-Shower System

Friday, January 17th, 2020 by Starcom Intern

Integrated Schluter-Shower System - Image 1

Moisture control is necessary for any bathroom. Despite popular belief, shower tiling itself is not waterproof. Proper bathroom tile requires a waterproof foundation. A reliable waterproofing system is important to maintain a clean and hygienic bathroom. Without this foundation, you carry the risk of mold and water damage. At Starcom, we want to set up our clients for success by offering mold preventative products. Schluter Systems offers multiple integrated products that simplify the waterproofing process and decrease these risks.

Schluter-KERDI

KERDI is a waterproof membrane that ensures the protection of bathrooms from mold and water damage. The membrane is placed behind tile to protect from moisture. It is made out of a modified polyethylene core and features polypropylene on both sides.  KERDI is pliable and sheet-applied. It comes in different variations including strips, boards, seals, and seamless corners. Not only is KERDI waterproof, but it is resistant to most chemicals found in tiled areas including acids, alcohols, and oils. The Schluter-Shower System allows for easy integration between the membrane and other components. Secure bonding ensures protection against mold and water damage throughout multiple components in the shower.

Tradition Shower System

The traditional system of waterproofing requires multiple additional steps. Due to this, the pan liner method is time consuming. For this process, the first step is to install a sloped mortar bed to lead moisture into the weep holes in the drain. Next, the waterproof membrane, the pan liner, is secured on to the drain over the sloped mortar bed. A moisture barrier, like plastic sheeting, is bonded to the walls and pan liner.

Now that the waterproofing is finished, the job isn’t done yet. Due to the materials used in this process, tile may not be directly applied. Mortar must be installed over the pan liner and the surface of the wall to support the tile. In this system, however, tile covering is not waterproof. Described as a water-in/water-out system, water will seep through the mortar to the pan liner and exit through the drain. Due to this, the mortar bed will remain soaked with regular use causing clogs and potential for mold. Most homeowners are unaware of these issues because it happens underneath the surface of the shower.

Schluter-Shower System

Using the integrated products of the Schluter-Shower System, the waterproofing process is made simple. First, solid backing panels are installed on the walls. For the floor, Schluter Systems offers the KERDI-SHOWER-ST, a prefabricated shower tray. These are the support layers of the waterproofing system. Next, the KERDI-DRAIN is placed over the shower tray. The KERDI-DRAIN comes with a variety of finishes and thicknesses. Schluter Systems also offers the KERDI-LINE, which is a low-profile drain that is ideal for curbless showers. Curbless showers offer an open concept design. The KERDI-DRAIN includes an integrated flange that securely connects to KERDI waterproofing membranes. Lastly, the KERDI waterproofing membrane is bonded to the walls and floor. KERDI waterproof membranes are sheet applied which provides simple installations and uniform thickness. It is also vapor retardant with a vapor permeance of 0.75 perms.

What makes the Schluter-Shower System different from the traditional method is that tile can be installed directly over the KERDI waterproofing membrane with a thin-set mortar. Not only does this drastically reduce installation time, it also reduces the potential for leaks and mold growth. It is important to take the preventative steps necessary to prevent mold growth as it can pose a health risk to homeowners. These steps may also increase the lifetime of the shower.

Integrated Schluter-Shower System - Image 2

Conclusion

Members of the Starcom team had the opportunity to attend a live demonstration of Schluter Systems products. As pictured on the right, waterproofing experts provided hands-on lessons on each Schluter-Shower System product. This experience further added on to Starcom’s quality assurance when installing waterproofing products like the Schluter-Shower System.

The Schluter-Shower System is more efficient and effective than the traditional method of waterproofing. It not only reduces the risk of mold, it also reduces time and labor involved in the shower installation process. Because we want to offer the most reliable products to our customers, Starcom has been proudly using Schluter Systems products for over 10 years.

Works Cited

All information taken from Schluter.com

Shower System. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us/en_US/Shower-System/c/SS

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