Believe me when I say…a shower and/or bath project does not fall into my comfort zone. (Unless, that is, it involves bubbles and wine.) Laying tile after the fact? That I can do. As for all the hoopla involved in prepping the mortar bed? Not so much. I’m fairly confident though, that even I could manage the Schluter-KERDI watertight shower kit. This system is so easy to install… I mean, other than a hand or coping saw and a trowel, no tools are even required. (FOR SHAME!!!)
Schluter Systems has come up with an ingenious alternative to shower bases constructed of mortar: The Schluter Kerdi Shower Kit. Anyone who has ever attempted, or even witnessed, the installation of a mortar bed will soooo appreciate this little gem. You know how it goes; if the mortar isn’t mixed just right…you’re screwed! Too dry or too wet, and the mortar won’t pack properly, creating future issues with cracked tile, pooling and seeping water, and mold/mildew growth. I won’t even get into hoping the bed’s slope is sufficient for proper water drainage.
Even if you manage to get the mortar bed laid just right – who has the time?! All you can do is walk away and wait…wait…wait… until it’s totally dry, at least 24 hours, before moving on to the next step. At this point, you still can’t lay the tile because a bladder with some sort of epoxy seal or a hot-mop job is needed as an additional base and now it’s time to wait just a little longer. Take me to the dentist. Deprive me of really, bad TV. But don’t make me suffer through this.
I’ll take the Schluter-KERDI shower kit any day. Their package comes with all the components necessary for a watertight shower assembly including the shower pan, membrane and curb. The membrane is so light-weight, it hangs as easily as wallpaper. (Or not, depending on your comfort level and expertise as a paper- hanger.)
All the materials are prefab substrates made of expanded polystyrene foam. (In my super-professional opinion, this just might be a fancy way of saying compressed “styrofoam”). Everything is specifically designed for use in tiled shower bases, and compatible with the waterproof membrane and drain. Sloped shower pans are available in 48″x48″, 32″x60″ and 72″x72″. The curb is 48″x6″x4 ½” and cuts to size, (like butter), with a coping or handsaw. The drain casing material, available in ABS and PVC, is designed to match existing plumbing systems and connect to standard drain outlets. This means suitability for new construction as well as renovation projects on older homes. The drain is attached using either ABS or PVC cement. All material specifications are made when you place your order with Schluter Systems.
Need more convincing? All the materials are physiologically safe as well as resistant to most chemicals commonly used to clean the bath, shower and tile. They’re also resistant to aging and rot. (You gotta love that in the john!)
Schluter Systems provides you with a hard copy, instruction manual or you can go directly to their site to watch a step-by-step video of the shower kit installation process, or download their mega-informative instruction manual. (Trust me – you will be able to handle this prefab shower kit.)
Whether you’re a DIY guy or a pro contractor, Schluter’s Kerdi no mortar bed, shower kit eliminates water seepage and leakage, mold and mildew growth, maintenance related headaches and potential, related warranty obligations. It’s also the perfect product for use in multi-unit facilities such as hotels or condos because it saves a ton of time…time better spent at the OTB doing other things. You can find the Schluter Kerdi Shower Kit With Off Center Drain at Amazon for about $440.