schluter shower system problems

Schluter Shower System Problems & Solutions

The Schluter shower system is a completely bonded, waterproof installation for tiled steam bathrooms. It minimizes overall installation time and avoids the possibility of tile board failure stemming from vapor and water retention in showers. 

However, with waterproofing showers using Schluter apparatus, there has been much debate and revision of the tradition of trust. Grout joints and tiles are not waterproof by nature; hence, fit them with a waterproofing system that properly regulates moisture and prevents mold formation. 

This piece delves deeper into the issue to provide information and satisfactory answers to frequently asked questions about the topic. 

Schluter Shower System Problems, Mistakes, and Solutions

1) Not Having The Studs In Line With One Another

If the studs aren’t in alignment with each other on foam board, cement board, or anything else with a ½ inch thickness, you’ll have a dip and a difficulty with your tile work. 

You need a flat surface for easy tile installation. As a result, aligning your studs is critical.

Since most half-inch states mandate studs at the center, making sure the space between the studs is 16 inches is essential. 

Removing one-piece fiberglass surrounds is a prevalent problem in bathrooms because the individuals placing these pieces don’t care about stud orientation. 

The constructors are aware that there will be one piece and don’t care whether they conform to the others. So, it may be problematic. 

However, there are ways to keep the studs aligned with one another. First, furr out the studs using plywood of proper size. 

If you have a quarter-inch or more, you may furr it out with plywood strips. You might also use an electric plane or a hand planer to align a stud, not in line with the others. 

In a nutshell, ensure that the framing is sound for a fresh installation.

2) Not Having Enough Screws

Most kits only include 100 screw packs, and you must install the screws and washers according to Schluter’s specifications. You’ll want to keep it within six inches on the ceiling and 12 inches on the wall, meaning you’ll need a few extra screws. 

When most homeowners run out of screws, they complete the shower and leave the board swinging. 

To address this issue, buy additional KERDI-BAND and knit complete seams from top to bottom, concealing all the screws. It is less arduous than cutting standard squares. 

So, if you’re purchasing a kit, consider purchasing an additional roll of Kerdi. 

3) Trowel Sizing

Trowel size is critical for installing shower pans, DITRA-HEAT, KERDI BAND, or DITRA-MAT. These require unique trowel sizes, so ensure you’re using the correct ones. 

When applying KERDI-BAND to drywall or KERDI-BOARD, use a KERDI trowel. You should use a U-notch trowel or 1/4 inch by 3/8-inch square to install your shower pans. 

Additionally, you’ll need a 1/4 by 1/4 for DITRA-HEAT and a 3/16-inch notch trowel for DITRA. 

The primary reason the trowel size is crucial is to avoid humps and to push out excess thin-set beneath. When assembling these waterproofing materials, it is critical to use the appropriate quantity of thin-set to guarantee a leakproof setup.

Read also KBRS Shower pan reviews

4) Having Build-up In The Corners

Build-up is frequently caused by not using the proper size trowel. If you use a larger trowel, you’ll apply too much thin-set, which causes an additional build-up.

However, sometimes build-up is just a result of what you’re building. If you’re putting in a bench or curb, these are two spots that create build-up in the corners since you’re overlaying KERDI several times in one area. 

You can prevent this by using the right size trowel, a drywall knife to level out the seams, keeping the thin-set beneath it smooth, and managing transitions in these corners. 

5) Not Using The Right Amount Of Water To Mix The Thin-set

can result in the thin-set not sticking to the waterproofing layers. It might cause the tile to become loose and fall out of position.

If you have a Schluter system, experts recommend purchasing the ALL-SET (a customized item designed exclusively for Schluter’s products). 

You will see two distinct ratios at the back of the bag: one for membranes, while the other is for tile installation. For membranes, always use the membrane ratio.

Read also Wedi shower system problems

What Exactly Is A water Test? How Do I Do It With The Schluter Shower System?

A water test is a quality control check done before installing tile in any shower. It involves inserting a test plug into the sewage line and filling the shower stall’s base with water to test for leaks. 

Fill the pipeline and drain with water up to the level of the KERDI-LINE network or the KERDI-DRAIN inbuilt bonding flange to examine the test plug. You can refill the assembly if the plug is waterproof. 

Mark the water level and leave the unit for 24 hours. The shower will pass if there are no leaks. 

What Could Schluter Shower System Do Better?

While fitting the tray, drain, and curb is a breeze; experts won’t tell you the same about a waterproofing membrane. It takes a significant amount of time and works to install them, and even then, specific areas of the wall may become loose. 

Pros and Cons Of Schluter Shower System

Pros

  • Schluter is one of the most visually appealing shower drain sets.
  • It has a robust PVC drain flange for enhanced durability and lifespan. 
  • The shower system has several adjustable settings.
  • It has an adaptable and easy-to-use shower curb and prefab substrate tray. 
  • Schluter offers you versatility. 

Cons

  • It is tough to fix the waterproofing membrane. 
  • The extra bulk of the central partition is a letdown.
  • Some homeowners employ old traditional ways to install the shower system. 

Read also Kerdi shower pan problems and solutions

FAQ on Schluter Shower System Problems

1. Is The Schluter System Worth It?

Excellent stuff. It takes longer than the waterproofing procedures and the typical mud shower bed, but it is well worth the extra time. 

2. Can Schluter Get Wet?

The Schluter system assembly enables total moisture control by not allowing moisture to infiltrate the tile substrate, either the walls or the base, and allowing the set to dry entirely between usage. 

3. How Do You Test A Schluter Shower?

Fill the piping and drain using water up to the level of the KERDI-LINE channel body or the KERDI-DRAIN inbuilt bonding flange. If the plug is waterproof, you can proceed to fill the system. 

4. How Thick Are Schluter Shower Pans?

The shower tray, which is available in many diameters and thicknesses ranging from 1 to 21/32″ (42 mm) to 2-3/8″ (60 mm), removes the need for a mortar bed and is simple to install. 

5. What Is The Slope Of Schluter Shower Pan?

The drain hole is 1/8″ in diameter. Ensure you have wood or cement around the drain; otherwise, it will break. 

6. Can Schluter Board Be Painted?

You may paint over Schluter board, but you’ll need to sand it down and apply a thin layer of joint compound. 

7. How Much Does It Cost To Install A Schluter System?

Installed costs range between $3.25 and $4.75 per square foot, including labor and fasteners. Schluter-DITRA’s uncoupling membrane is waterproof and thin. 

It is ideal for situations that don’t need additional height. 

The material for DITRA XL (5/16″) and DITRA (1/8″) costs between $1.35 and $2.15 per square foot. 

8. Can You Use Any Drain With Schluter?

The manufacturer designed Schluter®-KERDI-LINE drains and Schluter®-KERDI-DRAIN to work in tandem with the Schluter®-Shower System. Using other drains would violate the Schluter®-Shower System’s 10-year warranty.

9. Is Schluter’s Thin-set Worth It?

It is more expensive than similar items but works well with Schluter/Kerdi equipment. The extra expense is well worth knowing that it functions with the other components. Furthermore, the convenience of usage is far superior to a regular, unaltered thin-set.

Final Thoughts 

The article details common problems associated with Schluter shower systems and how to curb them. You can go over them again to avoid incurring unnecessary costs.

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