We all want the best for our homes and we want a quality that you can trust. Where this is more desired than any other part of the home is where it involves water. For us that usually involves a shower that a customer has asked to have repaired or built in their home. Nothing does damage to your home faster than water that is where it is not supposed to be. Besides the cosmetic damage it does to the finishes it comes in contact with…it also affects things behind what you can see with the naked eye. I am talking about the sheet rock/plaster/studs and sub floor. These items can rot and have mold growing on them in a relatively short amount of time. Who even wants to think about that? That is too gross to even think about! However, we often come across it in our business. That is why we are very sensitive and so diligent in our efforts to keep any of our customers from encountering what no one even wants to think about.
How can we ensure that you should never have to even think about this when we complete a new shower for you? Our answer is Schluter shower systems. It utilizes a bonded waterproofing material. This material is the answer to moisture control which will keep water and vapor penetration from reaching the items behind your shower that are sensitive to wetness. Below are the definitions of what is included in both a Schluter shower and a Traditional Tiled shower.
The Schluter®-Shower System is an integrated family of products that creates a
“sealed” system. First, the Schluter®-KERDI-DRAIN is installed in conjunction with
either a sloped mortar bed or the Schluter®-KERDI-SHOWER-ST prefabricated
foam tray. The KERDI-DRAIN provides a simple and secure connection to
the Schluter®-KERDI waterproofing membrane at the top of the assembly via
the unique integrated bonding flange. Unlike shower pan liners in traditional
assemblies, KERDI is a bonded waterproofing membrane that allows for
the direct application of tile with thin-set mortar. KERDI is bonded to the
mortar bed or tray and the surface of the KERDI-DRAIN’s integrated bonding
flange. In addition, KERDI is installed over the solid backing (e.g., gypsum
board, cement backerboard, etc.) on walls, creating a fully waterproof and vapor tight
enclosure. The resulting assembly provides superior moisture management as it does not
permit moisture to penetrate into the mortar bed or solid backing, allowing the
assembly to dry completely between uses. The integrated Schluter®-Shower
System eliminates leaks, reduces the potential for efflorescence and mold growth
in the system, and dramatically reduces total installation time to ensure success
and make shower installation easier than ever.
Schluter Kerdi shower
The Traditional Tiled Shower System
The traditional method for installing tiled showers is time and labor intensive and
creates a “water in/water out” system. First, a mortar bed is sloped to the weep
holes in the drain. The waterproofing membrane, called a pan liner, is placed over
this “pre-slope” and clamped into the drain. Pan liners do not allow for the direct
application of ceramic or stone tile. Thus, another mortar bed must be installed
to provide load distribution and a bonding surface for the floor tile. Finally, a
moisture barrier typically must be included behind the solid backing on the walls
(e.g., mortar, cement backerboard, etc.) and lapped over the pan liner to protect
the wall cavities from moisture penetration and divert that moisture into the pan.
Contrary to popular belief, the tile covering itself is not waterproof. Moisture
will infiltrate the mortar bed and solid backing on the walls. This moisture must
percolate through the mortar bed to the sloped pan liner and exit through the
weep holes in the drain. With regular use of the shower the mortar bed can
remain saturated, particularly if pre-slope installation is ignored or the weep holes
become clogged, thus increasing the potential for efflorescence and mold growth
within the system
Traditional tiled shower
Why would anyone want to build a new shower in your home out of traditional system that increases the potential that moisture can seep behind your tile and allow for saturation to occur? See that orange colored material above in the picture? That is the moisture barrier that keeps the water from going past it into the structure of your home where it is invisible to the eye. You can technically use a Schluter shower after the water proofer is installed without the decorative tile covering. It is what keeps everything dry, provided that the Kerdi is not punctured anywhere.
Protect the investment that you are making in your home with a tile shower. The tile itself is not waterproof. Water and vapor will penetrate the grout joints and tiles even when sealed. An effective waterproof system is required to ensure the long term beauty and functionality of your tiled shower.
Contact us today to let us show you how we can give you the “quality that you can trust” in your shower installation.
Additional information on the Schluter shower product line is available at www.schluter.com