Are you thinking of replacing your existing tiled shower? Do you have a tub surround and you want to replace it with a beautiful walk in shower? Is your shower not large enough and you have the space to make the shower bigger? Or do you have a shower that is leaking and/or having a mold problem?
We would like to educate you on shower systems; Mud Base vs. Schluter Shower System.
TRADITIONAL MORTAR BASE
The diagram above shows a traditional shower pan design. You can see the waterproofing membrane, demonstrated by the black line, is below the mortar base, it is not pitched and is installed behind the backer board only a few inches in height. Although porcelain tile is not porous and most of the water makes its way to the drain, the grout is porous. The grout allows water to seep into the mud base below. The mortar bed absorbs the water and some will make it to the waterproofing membrane, “bladder”, but the remaining water is left to sit. It is recommended to install the shower floor tile with a modified thinset over the mud base. Modified thinset has a latex additive, which gives mold and mildew something to “eat” and grow. We all know that standing water will mold. The mortar base will eventually become saturated and any added water will need a outlet, which turns into a leak.
The diagram above also shows that there is no waterproofing on the walls of the shower, other than a few inches off the floor. Concrete board will hold the moisture from the porous grout as well and turn into the same problem; mold and mildew. In the past installers would use mastic to install wall tiles in the shower. If mastic gets wet it will re-emulsify, meaning to turn back into a liquid form, and the tiles will start to fall off the wall.
WE HAVE A SOLUTION!
SCHLUTER SHOWER SYSTEM
The Schluter Shower System solves all the problems listed above with the traditional mortar bed shower pan. The Schluter tray and curb is made of lightweight expanded polystyrene. The tray is pre pitched and is specifically designed to accept the Kerdi Drain. Since the tray is made of foam that can be cut to fit various size shower floor layouts. The shower base can also be extended past the perimeter of the shower tray using dry pack mortar. The installation of the Kerdi Waterproof Membrane is directly underneath the tile. The Kerdi Drain is designed with a intergrated bonding flange which ensures a secure connection to the Kerdi Waterproofing Membrane at the top of the drain assembly. The water or vapor that passes through the grout is immediately hitting the waterproof membrane and is directed towards the drain; no standing water. When installing the tile on the Kerdi membrane you will use a un-modified thinset; no latex, nothing for bacteria and mold to grow.
In the diagram above you will notice that the Kerdi waterproof membrane is installed at the same height as the tile. Kerdi Band is then installed on all seams and corners with a 2″ overlap. Any water or vapor that passes through the grout on the walls will also make its way to the drain. Schluter also makes prefabricated inside and outside Kerdi corners for ease of installation. One last step, pipe and mixing value seals. With overmoulded rubber gaskets Schluter ensures a permanently watertight seal.
At Glens Falls Tile and Supplies our staff are all Schluter Certified and have attended seminars and classes. We are a Authorized Schluter Dealer and stock all the products we have spoke of above. Please call or stop into one of our stores and ask a sale associate any questions you may have regarding the Schluter Shower Systems.