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-   -   Kerdi-Line: what to use to fill gap between channel and tile on top? (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=130049)

MrPete 11-09-2020 08:17 PM

Kerdi-Line: what to use to fill gap between channel and tile on top?
Hi all, this looks like a GREAT community!
We have a 2015 home with Kerdi-Line drain in the master bath. I'm fixing up several issues, among them:
- Whatever was used to grout the tile to the channel has disintegrated along the edges in many areas.
- The sides of the drain also have most of the (grout?) gone.
- Using a mirror to clean/check the near side of the drain, I discovered that probably nothing was EVER done to protect that side. I see tile, then a thin fiber mat, then the stainless drain.

- What is your fave material to fill/protect under the cover tile and on the edge of the drain? (I've seen anecdotes about using Thinset and Grout, but no actual instructions or evaluations anywhere at all.)
- Anybody know what that fiber mat is? Should it try to cut it back so I can have a good sized space to fill with (something)?

The fact that the tile support/grout/whatever has disintegrated so much in just a few years is more than a little concerning.

I do know they used Mapei grouts for most grouting....


cx 11-09-2020 08:49 PM

Welcome, Pete. :)

I think some photos of what you've got would help a lot. Use the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box to attach photos from storage on your computer.

MrPete 11-10-2020 09:11 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Below are some pix...

Some of my questions:
* What is the fiber mat?

* Is it even ok to fill with some kind of grout or ???... or must I take this completely apart?

* What is your fave material to coat these areas?

* How do you do it? (these seem like large areas to fill)

* Do you take further steps to protect (511 impregnator? Something else?)

* I added blue tape thinking I'd create a nice line for aesthetics, and thinking anything on the channel "legs" would soon break off after the channel is lifted N times... but maybe I should coat all the way down the legs?


Edges of the line drain. Note that the "near side" (only visible using a mirror or cam) mostly have/had no grout at all. The fiber mat with small dots is hopefully visible!)
Attachment 216243

Channel with tile and eroded grout.

Attachment 216244

cx 11-10-2020 09:10 PM

Some of the older members would benefit from you backing up a bit and giving us a photo with some perspective of what we're looking at, Pete.

1. Not sure where you're seeing a fiber mat. If it's the fuzzy like I see in one of your photos, I'd say that's likely the edge of your Kerdi if you've got a Kerdi line drain.

2. Sorry, I'm still not sure what "these areas" might be that want coating.

3. See #2.

4. See #3.

5. Maybe one of the others who have installed a Kerdi Line Drain recently will recognize what your blue tape is showing.

MrPete 11-10-2020 09:26 PM

I'll post context in a sec...

Dumb question: what's a "Kerdi"?

I thought that was a brand of line drain from the vendor?!

Sounds like it is also one part of the system?

cx 11-10-2020 09:32 PM

Kerdi is Schluter's waterproofing membrane, Pete. And yes, it's part of a system. Visit their website and you can get some better insight into what you've got.

MrPete 11-10-2020 10:39 PM

10 Attachment(s)
My apologies. I've been staring at this (up close and personal) I tend to forget other people don't see it as intimately as I do :crazy:

(AND: now having watched the Kerdi tub install video, yep I agree what I am seeing could easily be Kerdi. If I trust the Schluter folks 100%, it seems maybe I need to seal everything with Kerdi-Fix... but I'm not so sure about that. Y'all have a LOT more experience. I have nothing but 5 years of watching this erode and get moldy ;) )

So, a brief intro to Pete's walk-in shower repair project...

First, an overview, including with the channel flipped on its side:
Attachment 216265

Attachment 216266

Now let's zoom in on the left edge.

First, the channel and tile-top, showing how it has eroded:
Attachment 216267

Attachment 216268

Now, the left end of the drain, with camera tilted toward the back wall, centered, and toward the front:
(Hopefully you can see the grout erosion...)
Attachment 216269

Attachment 216270

Attachment 216271

Now let's get down low, still looking toward the left end of the drain:
Notice that the front/lower part of the photo, there never appears to have been much grout at all (can't see it unless I use a mirror or camera!):
Attachment 216272

Here's two closeups of the above:
Attachment 216273

Attachment 216274

OK, that's 10 photos. Time for another comment to get in the rest...

MrPete 11-10-2020 10:47 PM

5 Attachment(s)
(continuing the tour...)

Still looking to the left, here's the back side of the drain. It is mostly-grouted still...
Attachment 216275

Now looking to the right:
Attachment 216276

Attachment 216278

And a final closeup at the right hand end, with the Kerdi (?) clearly visible:

Attachment 216279

I hope this all makes sense now!

MrPete 11-10-2020 10:50 PM

(BTW, I had hoped I could stand the photos up vertically next to each other, but that seems impossible. Maybe someday ;)

MrPete 11-11-2020 07:00 AM

I've been reading the Kerdi shower guide...

1) I'm honestly not sure what Kerdi looks like up close. IS it Kerdi between my tile and the Kerdi-Line?

2) Schluter says, with respect to the mortar between Kerdi and tile:

What type of thin-set mortar should I use when installing Schluter®-KERDI?

The thin-set mortar used for bonding KERDI must be appropriate for the substrate and must penetrate and engage the KERDI fleece.
Seems clear that at the least, on the edges of the line drain, the mortar did not "penetrate and engage the Kerdi fleece."

I am hoping I can "retrofit" by pushing the right material into all gaps.

But now I am incredibly cautious about exactly what I ought to use for this. Hoping all y'all's experience can help out here.

(I am way past my one-year home builder warranty... so this is on me, one way or another :( )

MrPete 11-11-2020 06:14 PM

While waiting for my new Tile-Expert friends here to have a minute to look at my situation :) , I just called Schluter. Interesting!

Their take:
  • We have a process when there's a potential failed install
  • Please give our area rep a call.
  • He may want to take a look at your situation in person

While this may slow us down from regaining use of the shower, I must say I'm impressed with their focus on quality and desire to find root causes rather than just blow by a problem!

(Ours is the first of literally hundreds of new homes built in this new filing of an ongoing development. If our shower failed, seems plausible that there could be issues with many others as well. I deal with quality control in my own industry... so I sure appreciate their response!)

cx 11-11-2020 10:34 PM

Well, I'm hoping someone with some recent experience using Schluter's line drain will show up here. Been five years or more since I've even had one of those in hand.

But if it's just a matter of the aesthetics of what appears to me to have been a rather sloppy installation, my thought would be that you could fill all those voids with a cementitious grout of a color to Mrs. Pete's liking. Won't fix anything, but I'm not sure anything actually needs fixed. Certainly not optimal to have those large voids to catch and hold whatever gunk passes by, but I don't think they're gonna cause a functional failure of any kind in your shower.

Of course when we see sloppy work visible anywhere in a wet area installation it always plants the seeds of doubt about the attention paid in other critical areas.

My opinion; worth price charged.

MrPete 11-12-2020 07:09 AM

Thanks, CX.

Any thoughts on what cementitious grouts can better handle significant (hot shower) water? I know for sure the center channel was originally grouted, but obviously it didn't last too long.

For patching cost if nothing else, my hope is that a pound or two of Mapei Ultracolor Plus FA from Lowes down the hill will do the job, perhaps with 511 Impregnator?

cx 11-12-2020 09:25 AM

Pete, any cementitious grout (ANSI A118.6 or .7) you find will do what your need done there. I'd use a sanded grout. Your Ultracolor Plus FA will do the job, but is way more expensive than you need. The FA in that material means Fine Aggregate, which might be good in your application.

Forget the sealer. Of no value at all in your application.

My opinion; worth price charged.

MrPete 11-12-2020 11:51 AM

What's good about UltraColor FA is I can buy one pound for 5 bucks.

If I lived near you I could borrow a few cups for free ;)

Otherwise, it's not a bad deal. :)

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