What is the smallest tile allowed on the Schluter foam pan? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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04-02-2013, 02:46 PM
is 5/8" x 5/8" allowed?

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Bodie Powers
04-02-2013, 03:03 PM
I'm not aware of a minimum tile size.

I do know that round-bottom stones/pebbles are not approved by Schluter in that application.

04-02-2013, 03:25 PM
I've not seen a limitation in the documentation. The reason there's one on Ditra is that the tile must be supported by a minimum amount of mortar to prevent a point load from 'tipping' the tile. Smaller than 2", and it might only be supported by a single plastic dimple, and not have any mortar underneath it that goes to the floor to transfer the load. Unless you plan to walk in the shower with spiked high heels, I doubt you'd ever have an issue.

04-02-2013, 03:52 PM
that's how i wrecked the last shower!!

Bodie Powers
04-02-2013, 04:24 PM

04-02-2013, 05:31 PM
Seems like I remember a thread several years ago where a guy had a problem with small tiles on a Kerdi Tray. I believe we finally found out that he had the hole in the plywood too large and the Tray didn't have good support around it.

04-02-2013, 08:23 PM
That might be a good question for their tech support. Suggest sending an email. :)

Let us know what you find out.


Executive Flooring
04-03-2013, 05:41 AM
I rarely use the trays simply because I know a mortar bed will hold up to even the a fat man.

The other reason is that I came across this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyjMI6XQw_c) quite a long time ago where it was smaller tiles and it freaked me out a bit. From that point on, I swore I would never use small tiles on the foam.

04-03-2013, 07:08 AM
Ray, there's a thread on here somewhere that was started by the fella that made your video. Don't think there was any definitive conclusion about his particular problem, but I believe it was narrowed down to a probable support problem in his subflooring.

Schluter folks were scheduled to visit his job and observe the tear out to make a final decision, but the guy elected to do it himself before they were scheduled to arrive. Wasn't the cleanest resolution of a problem we've ever had and then, as I recall, he made that video and continued to complain about the product.

While I'm not much of a fan of that, or any other foam shower floor product for other reasons, I don't think there is any demonstrated functional problem with their use.

My opinion; worth price charged.

04-03-2013, 09:09 PM
To CX, if there is no problem with the system then why don't you like it? Is it just a purist, nostalgic posterity thing for you or are there any real drawbacks?

04-03-2013, 09:40 PM
1. Foam trays are expensive.

2. The foam tray may or may not be the same size as my shower footprint, therefore requiring that I cut off and throw away some of the very expensive foam or I have to extend the foam with deck mud, or both.

3. The drain location in the foam tray may or may not be in the same location as the drain in my shower, possibly requiring more cutting and fitting and/or extending.

4. The foam tray requires that my subfloor be near perfectly level before installation, frequently requiring some leveling and flattening of the subfloor.

5. The slope of the foam tray may or may not actually be the required 1/4" per foot and any unlevel condition in my subfloor, no matter how slight, may further exacerbate that condition.

6. Any cutting of the perimeter, or extending of the perimeter of the foam tray will result in the perimeter not being level and adversely affecting the appearance of my tile installation.

7. The foam tray is not as substantial as a floor made of deck mud.

That's just off the top of my head.

Other than that I like'em fine, but not a single one of the above limitations applies to a deck mud shower floor.

On the plus side, the foam tray is lighter.

Just a personal preference. :)

04-03-2013, 10:47 PM
IF the tray fits, and the drain is exactly where it's needed for it, the tray can be faster since you can install the Kerdi immediately after setting the pan down and hooking up the drain. That doesn't happen often. And, deck mud does go in pretty fast once you get the hang of it (depends on how handy you are) and is LOTS less expensive. Deck mud is cheap enough where you could practice and make lots of trials before you'd get to the cost of the tray...but, again, if speed is critical, and it fits, it works quite well. Lots of people here have made a successful deck mud base for their conventional and Kerdi based showers their first time out, so it shouldn't be considered magic. Now, doing one in say 1/2-hour takes some real skill, though! Your first would likely take you 3x as long at least (can't take too much longer, or the stuff sets up).

04-09-2013, 07:40 PM
fair enough

Houston Remodeler
04-09-2013, 07:53 PM

We've even had some gen-you-wine wimmin types :ct: make their own mud shower pans. We're sure you can do this. :tazebro:

Just ask Wendy (http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=84616).

04-10-2013, 09:32 PM
i dont count women as a lesser sex and ive also done my share of mud pans

Screw Loose
04-10-2013, 10:03 PM
I use FinPan pans, which are basically the same/similar product to Kerdi pans, except that FinPans are WAY easier on the $$$ in the wallet; but that the FinPan foam pans are spec'ed to use a tile is size no less than 2"x2" for compression.
So I'd a reckon that the kerdi product has a similar issue.

For a 5/8x5/8 tile, I think you're stuck with a traditional mud pan.

04-11-2013, 08:40 AM
I have installed two schluter pans. One with 2x2 tiles and it was quick and easy. The other , I installed and then had to do some out of sequence work before the tile went down. Every place I kneeled down the pan deformed and the 1x1 tiles were a real pain.