Schluter Shower Installation


What you need to know about installing a shower system. How to avoid trouble and possible demolition of getting your shower redone.

 

Schluter Shower Installation

 

Doing a Schluter shower installation can be pretty straight forward once you now what you’re doing. Just as you have different tile setters working in the field of using the Schluter system they may take different approaches on how they will prep your walls and do the install. What I’m going to describe here is my method and why I choose to do it this way.

 

photograph of schluter shower install

 

But just before we get into the how and why of how I install Schluter showers, there are a few things I like to point out.

 

  • Never use a premixed mastic! When you use a premixed mastic, they have a tendency to promote the growth of black fungus and mold in damp areas such as showers.
  • Do not use modified thin-sets and again premixed mastic! These products require air space and sub-straights that can absorb and allow for moisture dissipation from the thin-set for proper cure time.

 

You see when you’re using Kerdi from the Schluter shower system it is a waterproofing membrane that requires an unmodified thin-set that cures because of time, not air circulation and absorption. With all that taken care of, it’s time to move on to the installation segment.

 

So one of the biggest questions people ask is what are the walls made of, cement board, green or regular drywall, etc. Because you’re using a waterproofing system when installed according to manufacture’s specifications, that part is not an issue, the kirdi protects everything it covers. If you were simply going to use dens shield or cement board for instance for around a tub surround, then you would need to seal the joints and prime it. Priming the joints after mudding, gives it the ability to resist any water that may get past the tiles and grout, but ultimately it is always best to totally waterproof any area under heavy moisture conditions.

 

Each Schluter shower kit you buy is designed to fit all standard size showers. For instance, if you take out a tub you can replace it with an offset Schluter base system. The beauty this system is when you have a differently designed shape to your shower, you can modify your tray. Check out my post on “Building Shower Base.”

 

So to get started you will have your shower totally prepped by all your plumbing roughed in with the drain pipe just dry fitted in not glued in yet. The reason I like to do this is to cut the pipe to length once I’ve cemented the base into place; the other option is to cut it when it’s glued in place, which can be tricky. All the wall board is installed, taped and mudded for painted areas with a level floor or you will need to fix the floor before you begin.

 

Now I have a direct link to Schluter for their video shower system installation that you can get all the finer details for installation; I’m just going to run you through the sequence of how I do it to ensure there are no problems.

 

This picture below can demonstrate a typical shower to be waterproofed.

 

photograph of schluter shower install layout

 

I do not like to cement in the tray then start working on applying kerdi on in the corners then kerdi the walls and in some cases start tiling.

 

Here are the possible problems:

 

  • When you cement in the tray and keep walking on it while adding all the kerdi, sometimes the tray looses its bond and does not fasten in place correctly and floor tiles can crack from tray movement due to deflection.
  • If you tile while kerdi is not set and lift a tile of the wall to check or adjust back buttering to set the tile on the wall better. Due to the imperfections of the wall, the kirdi may decouple and not cement back to the wall properly once separated from the wall.

 

My sequence will ensure cure time while still getting the job done properly in proper time.

 

photograph of schluter shower install prep work

 

  • The first thing to do is cement in using an unmodified thin-set for the whole job starting with the two corners of the kerdi band and a center panel strip from your kirdi panel roll. Due to the dimensions of this shower a narrow panel is required to allow for proper overlap of the kirdi. The kirdi rolls are 39″ inches and I like at lease a 6″ of overlap, and I cement this on with 1/4 x 3/16 V-notch trowel.
  • The next thing I do is cement in all the panel peace required such as 4 of them for this shower. The two side panels would be cut back to proper required wide.
  • My next step now is to cut the floor around the drain pipe for the Schluter flanges bowl. They have cut out templates for the required sizes need for each stage.
  • Measure out for the tray to cut or add as required to fill in space. This one needs extra peace at each end that I have left over from a previous job that had a tray reduced to fit.
  • Cement the tray pieces down using a 1/4 x 3/8 trowel. If you did not have the extras but require a larger tray then the post link above Building Shower Base explains how I accomplish this. If you do require to do the steps from my other post, then you would be done for the day. The following day you would carry on with the next point.
  • With the tray cemented in you can cement in the curb and glue and cement in the flange for the drain.
  • Now you will cement in all your kirdi band and corner piece in the corner areas around the shower.
  • Cement your kirdi panel for the tray area then wrap over your curb with the measured off a peace of kirdi that you cut to finish off the curb.

 

photograph of schluter shower install finished prep work

 

You’ve now finished for the day, and you now have your shower totally waterproofed and ready to start tiling for the next day.

 

You are now ready for Ceramic Tile Shower Installation

 

For more information on renovations

click through to my site TD Remodeling

 

 

 

 

28 Comments:

  1. Hi, Travis!

    What an outstanding job you did making this post!

    I thought this would be a challenge because I am turning a bedroom into a bathroom and I am wanting to have a hot tub and a stand-up shower in the same room.

    I am going to do this all at once so your website will come in handy when I start the project
    .
    Looking forward to the tile installation and could you possibly do a hot tub install post?

    Shawn>>

    • Travis Smithers

      Hi Shawn glad you liked the post and there will be others to follow. Adding a hot tub in the room with the stand up shower is not a problem and by all means when the time comes for your renovations if you see I may not have certain information that you require then just get a hold of me through comments again and I will get you fixed up with the information you may require.

  2. Wow you have a very well formatted page indeed. Very easy to navigate and read. The grammar is great indeed and there are no spelling mistakes that I can see anyway! The post is a good length (how to install) And I really like the home renovation images page. It really is a lovely site and one that I personally think you will do very well with.

    • Hi Simon and thanks for the visit good to hear you liked your tour I decided to start doing a DIY where so many people request me to help them out with answering there questions that this seemed to be the best way to do it. Using the pictures also help explain a little better and sometimes it can give people better ideas of what they do or do not want.

  3. This is very detailed information and very good quality shower workmanship. You are really master of your craft with the best shower product.
    The pictures also are very much convincing when evaluating the quality and your track record. For sure you will make a good business out of it!
    If you need any design requirement I can help you out too, just in case you need it.
    Cheers!

    • Hi Leo at present I work with four different designers but one never knows how things can change, I may need to look you up and take you up on your offer.
      I am putting this site together to keep helping those in my geographical area and try to reach out and help those that live outside my work area. I want to try to help as many people as I can so they can make a more informed decision on what and how to get there renovations done as best as possible with the least amount of problems.

  4. Hello Travis,
    Great job explaining how to install the shulter shower, I have a question,
    What is mastic?
    I am a former drywall contractor and I don’t remember that term LOL.
    We always used green board for the showers, fire taped them and spotted the screws twice for the tile guys.
    Thanks
    San

    • Travis Smithers

      Hi San thanks for the visit and the answer to your question is mastic was a premix product made to replace the powder form of thin sets that tile setters normally use. When you use the schluter shower system as a water proofing membrane, tile setters will only use an unmodified thin set for proper curing. Mastic requires a good air flow or cemented against an absorbing sub straight to cure. So in a water proofed shower it does not cure properly and the product produces mold in damp areas.

  5. Hello Travis,
    Great job explaining how to install the shulter shower, I have a couple of questins
    What type of mastic would you recommend
    i am about to start my shower i have done all the rest of the house now the shower in the bath room.
    We always used green board for the showers, our walls are larfun plaster very old how can i tile this or do i need to remove all and start again

    • First off I never use mastic in high moisture areas do to the fact that mastic will actually produce mold when used in damp or wet areas. I’s always best to use a thin-set you need to mix to activate for proper curing. When your using a membrane you can cement it over plaster if the plaster is in great shape otherwise replace it with green board, cement board etc.

      You just need to make sure the structure is sound and you use the right thin-sets for the type of tile being used and your good to go.

  6. Hello Travis. As I see you are an expert in home remodeling area. There are so many subtle things, when somebody wants to change their homes inside. I think that to hire professional is a best deal. Of course, having recommendations from previous customers, is great to. Because sometimes people pretend to be experts. As I see you are competent in your area, because you described so many details about shower installation. It looks at first simple, but if somebody skips little detail, consequences can be not so pleasant.
    Happy writing and educating people, Nemira

    • It is true that if you skip a detail or two you definitely will have problems when dealing with renovations like showers or structural issues when it comes to other parts of the house. At least when you have some understanding of what needs to be done, you will know whether it’s a renovation you can do or hirer out for a professional or work with a professional.

      Also by knowing what to do it is easier to spot the so called experts that really do not know how to do the job properly.

  7. Wow. Is this what people in your area usually do when they have their own landed property? I have stayed in public housing almost all my life and the bathroom is always done by a contractor.

    Seeing the before and after photos, I’m really impressed! And I never knew you needed to waterproof the bare walls before tiling. Always thought the tiles were the waterproofing.

    • There are a lot of people and contractors that just tile the walls and do count on the tiles, grout and caulking to be the waterproofing. This usually leads to water damage as the water does eventually gets past the tiles etc. By taking the extra steps of doing a waterproofing membrane you do not need to worry about water damage when done properly.

  8. Your website looks very professional and has a lot of helpful information on it! The only thing I would consider is to break up some of the extensive paragraphs just so it’s more appealing to the audience! For example, on the Cordless Combo Kit page, I would break up that paragraph that you have and add more white spaces to it so the reader will more likely be appealed by it! If you have any questions let me know 🙂

    • Hi, Mary and glad you liked the information you took the time to check out. I will look into the paragraph sizes to make it easier for some people to read. After all it’s all about getting the information out there in the simplest way possible. You have a great day.

  9. Hi there Travis
    What a wonderful post.
    Thanks so much for a very well explained.Just came at the right time because l have been thinking of renovating my house and since the shower is so tiny,was worried how to do it the right way.
    Not me exactly, l will have it done and im sure your tips will come handy as they are easy to follow given you have explained so well.
    Thanks once again

    • It’s great you found the post of some help for you. I have others that may also help out with your bathroom renovations, so check out what you like and if you have any questions you know where to find me.

  10. Thanks for this – I am considering putting in a new shower over the next few weeks and am debating what type to use. The schluter shower installation seems to have many benefits but can you tell me how long it took you.My bathroom is quite small so although I am aware you can’t give me an exact price… what is the price range on average? Also would this type of material go well with a rain forest shower which is what I want… please advise. Thank you 🙂

    • To do a schluter shower system takes 3-5 days depending on size what you’re planning on doing and your experience level which can add more time if this is new to you. Using a waterproofing system works no matter where you live but the cost of materials is something you would need to check out in your area. A three foot by three foot shower normally costs $800.00 for materials where I live all installed.

  11. I definitely want to avoid any type of demolition. I didn’t know mastic promoted the growth of anything. Good tip, I’ll keep that in mind. I’ve cleaned up mold in showers and would be happy to avoid this task in the future. These are great tips. It’s nice to know that this kind of information is available online. I don’t do much physical labor, however, I do enough that I could certainly make use of the information you have provided. I like your DIY store. It looks quite natural.
    I think I could handle this task after reading your post. Knowing the proper sequence when building things can really save some frustration. I’m very much into robotics and automation, however, I do think there will always be a need for manual labor. Also, it’s nice sometimes to take a break from the computer screen and get my hands dirty. Thanks for this helpful write up.

    • From the large amount of customers I have had through the years and the ones I still do work for, quite a few like to do some of the work which is why I have included a DIY etc. to my site now. I use to have the typical construction site but decided to change it over from all the request I was receiving from others

  12. What an excellent source of information!! I’m looking to remodel my bathroom and your detailed steps are just what the doctor ordered, especially the info on water-proofing the shower. I also enjoyed watching the shower system installation video and the before and after images of the finished bathroom were very impressive. I’ll be sure to bookmark this site!
    Thanks very much!
    Shawn

    • The biggest thing that people run into for home renovation how to projects is the knowledge behind the project they wish to accomplish. In time as I transform this site from the old website containing just local photographs of jobs done in my area to an actual all around website to help people learn more about the renovations done and what it takes to do them, I will keep developing the navigation and content to make it better.

  13. Just moved in to a apartment so no need to do this right now, but it would be a good idea for my parents’s house.
    It would probably be a lot cheaper than laying spoke for everything as well.

    What do you recommend following steps and doing it on your own ? Or paying a professional?

    • Well, the big thing that I’m now doing on my site is by giving out all this DIY information it makes it easier if you have the ability to do renovations you’ll be able to do the work yourself by knowing what needs to be done.

      If you’re not one that can do renovations, then the knowledge will help you make the right choices for who will do the work and how you want it done. When you understand what needs to be done and how you’ll save a lot of money whether you do the job or hire someone else.

      There are a lot of people passing themselves off as contractors that actually should not even hold the tools and make the claim. You’ll be able to start picking out the amateurs when you know the right ways renovations should be carried out.

      So that you know, the top professionals do not have a problem working with others who know right from wrong. The only people I’ve seen having problems with customers looking over their shoulder are bad contractors and individuals that don’t know what there doing.

  14. Hi TSmithers,

    I am going to be moving into a house with my fiancee very soon, so this article is helping us greatly. We wanna start the bathroom from scratch and build it up (cheaper that way, and i know a thing or two about bathrooms).

    I gotta check out this Schluter kit and equipment, sounds like a sound investment in my eyes, I shll pass this review to the future wife and get her thoughts.

    Many thanks TSmithers,

    Regards,

    Mark

    • Travis Smithers

      Wether you use the schluter waterproofing system or decide to go with another system, the important thing to remember is to do one and make sure it is 100% water tight before moving on with anything else.

      I have ripped out more showers form not having any system in place to systems installed incorrectly which led to leaks. Waterproofing is one area you do not want to take lightly.

      Once you have it all in place the rest is typical tile and grouting work as per normal.

      You can check out the shower tiling tips I also have in other posts that may come of some help to you as well.

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