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Getting Schluter’d.

August 28, 2013

There’s this whole new system in waterproofing bathrooms now-a-days…It’s called the Schluter System.  Our carpenter Al, schooled us on this nifty new process.  Back in the good old days (like 7 years ago) when we did our first master bath, it was all plastic sheeting, cement boards, etc…  Now it involves rolls of bright orange plastic called Ditra and it’s applied with mortar.  According to the website it’s a polyethylene membrane.


This fancy stuff is for sale at Lowes and Home Depot, but we ended up getting ours from the local flooring store, Nitro Carpet and Tile.  It’s supposedly the state-of-the art water proofing system.  It’s light and airy…reminds me of a breakfast waffle (but not near as tasty).

Before  the Ditra could be installed we had to remove the old (original hardwood floor).  We then screwed in two layers of plywood to get the floor back up to the height we needed.



We did all the plywood ourselves, but since we had never worked with Ditra, we let Carpenter Al show us the way…



It looked fairly easy and I have no doubt that we will do it ourselves if when we re-do another bathroom.  Here’s the gist of it:  Mix motar, plop mortar on plywood, spread evenly with flat trowel, lay Ditra on top of mortar.  Boom.   Oh yeah, he smoothed over the entire orange surface with a piece of 2×4 so it was level.   Boom.

Now for waterproofing the shower, we were supposed to use Kerdi panels on the walls, also a part of the Schluter system.  Of course the ceramic wall tile we bought was not recommended for use on Kerdi panels.  So we went all old school in the shower and used good ole Durock cement board and mortar.



To waterproof the Durock, we used a product recommended by my hair stylist Esta (who was doing a bath remodel at the same time….she’s finished though, go figure).  It was called RedGard.  It was only available at the Home Depot and it was a little pricey, but it was a fabulous and easy process.


Supplies needed:  Paint tray and liner, unused 3/4″ nap roller, and old paint brush….that’s it!  It was just like painting a wall, except it was really thick.  You apply the pink goop with a roller or spackle knife and that’s it.



The trick to the RedGard is to make sure you are getting it on the wall thick enough.  I can’t remember how thick it was supposed to be but it says on the bucket.   It took about 3 gallons to waterproof our 5×8 shower.  It says you can use this anywhere you want to keep water out…basement walls, etc…

Once the waterproofing was completely dry we could move on to the shower floor.  I’ve traveled an unusual amount this summer.  There were several weekends I left Ryan and Al to do the dirty work while I frolicked in far-away cities with sorority sisters.     One of their projects while I was away included the installation of the shower pan,  It was also part of this Schluter System….it was called the Kerdi Shower Kit.  


The pan itself was a styrofoam-like material.  It wasn’t large enough for our 5×8 shower so they ‘packed’ cement around the outside edges, making sure it sloped down towards the pan/drain.  I checked all my photos…nope, not a single picture of this.  Use your imagination….or google it.

In comparison, we really liked working with the Schluter System in the bathroom.  It seems like a fool-proof way to waterproof any bathroom.  We’ll let you know after we take our first shower…but we would need tile in the shower before that could happen!  One day at a time…..right now we are focusing on working the reno a few days a week and enjoying the boat and the golf course all the other days.  Summer will be over before we know it, we need to enjoy some of it………………………………………..


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