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Unread 04-09-2022, 09:06 AM   #1
thegr8_1_bb
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Schluter shower remodel flood test failure/questions

Hello,

I have used these forums for guidance a few times on my second floor bathroom remodel and have ran into a problem/issue. I called Schluter to ask for help/questions but they are closed since it is Saturday so figured I would ask here to see if anyone had any opinions.

I recently had a mudpan done using a FloFX drain. Over the mudpan I used Schulter all set thinset and then put ditra heat membrane down with ditra heat cables. Then used the all set again and put on the kerdi watrerproofing membrane on top of the ditra heat. Taped all the wall/curb seams with 2 inch overlap following the instructions using corners and the kerdi band etc. Did a flood test yesterday which saw the water level drop half an inch in 12 hours. I could not see any water under the plywood and this morning took video again and could see directly under the drain water discoloration. Pulled the drain plug and couldnt see any water rush out when pulled. Cut a hole in the ceiling drywall underneath the bathroom drain and could see the plywood around the drain saturated. It has continued to drip from this point.

How would I go about fixing this or even be able to figure out the exact leak? I dont believe it is the drain as the plywood is saturated dripping from the top and not at the trap. Is it because there are gaps in the thinset in between the ditra heat and waterproofing membrane? Is there some other way to tape/waterproof around the drain flange cutout?

I have attached some pictures from above and underneath showing the drip.

If anyone has any suggestions/tips/help I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your time.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 09:29 AM   #2
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From your description it sounds like the heat is under the kerdi? Do you have pictures of the Ditra heat installation before the kerdi?

Did you leave a clear area around the drain to ensure the kerdi can bond directly to the drain flange?

Bit late now but I’d have put the kerdi water proofing layer first and the Ditra heat over the water proofing layer. But that’s just personal preference.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 10:01 AM   #3
thegr8_1_bb
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Yes the heat is under the kerdi waterproof membrane as I going off the video from Schluters installation of Ditra Heat in shower off their website and pretty much was done step by step as they show.

The only pictures of the Ditra Heat I have before the membrane are just general test runs of where to put the wire.

I also found a picture of the drain flange/mudpan which was taken during the process and I thought I wiped down the area after when completely finished. However I could be wrong and it was not completely clear.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 10:28 AM   #4
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Hmmm, can’t say I’m a fan of all those layers at the drain. Personally I’d remove about a 16” square section of the Kerdi centered on the drain and cut back the DitraHeat away from the drain flange leaving 1-1/2” clear area around the flange.
Next I’d put a 24” kerdi patch over the section making sure to overlap the first layer of kerdi at least 2” on all sides. Shouldn’t be a problem if you use a 24” patch.
I’d also use kerdi fix or Sikaflex to bond the patch to the drain flange given it’s the second time.

Just my 2 cents and worth even less!

Last edited by PC7060; 04-09-2022 at 11:40 AM.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 11:47 AM   #5
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Welcome, Justin.

I think PC has properly diagnosed your problem. There's just no way to make a waterproof bond between the fleece on the bottom of the DitraHeat and the top of your bonding flange drain. You really needed the Kerdi bonded directly to that drain flange.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 12:33 PM   #6
thegr8_1_bb
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Thanks for the help and replies. That was also my worry doing it just didnt seem right
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Unread 04-09-2022, 12:56 PM   #7
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Apologize for another question. When you say you would put a 24" kerdi patch do you mean a 24" piece of the kerdi membrane? Or is there some kind of patch/collar they have?

Also thinking out loud about the process. Seeing as I am not sure where the DitraHeat cable wires are, is it possible that they could be closer than the 16 inch cut back and therefore risk getting cut?
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Last edited by thegr8_1_bb; 04-09-2022 at 01:54 PM.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 02:58 PM   #8
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Justin - Just standard Kerdi. Hopefully you’ve got enough leftover. Nothing sacred about the 24” size. Just need to be large enough for 2” overlap.

Re the concern about the cables, Good point. After thinking about it Theres no reason to cut the original kerdi back further than the DitraHeat so that will reduce the patch size to maybe 16” with 4” overlap . Just make sure you have really good bond to the drain flange.

You can buy Sikaflex construction sealant at Lowes or Home Depot for around $8 tube.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Sikaflex...6045/300934496

Question: How did you deal with the heat cable coming over the curb? Just curious.

Ps: you aren’t the first one to have to patch a floor. I got a bit a practice a while back after dropping a heavy floor tile on the finished floor.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 04:33 PM   #9
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PC - Thanks again for the reply and help. Really appreciate it.

Sadly i do not have any kerdi left over. The mudpan was just under 5 feet in length so was able to just get 5 feet. I will go and get 2 more feet for the patch.

Sorry I most likely am confusing myself as I over analyze too much to make sure I am doing everything correctly. When you say no reason to cut the kerdi back to the ditra heat do you mean far enough to where the cables are? As the ditra heat is directly under the kerdi membrane currently on the flange. So when I cut any of it back i will be cutting into the ditra heat. I am guessing you mean to cut just enough of the membrane/ditra heat/thinset away to expose the drain flange? And then when the drain flange is exposed to then seal the patch straight to the flange with kerdi fix/sikaflex, and overlap 2 inches past where i cut out?

I have a tube of kerdi fix already so is that fine to use instead of the sikaflex? Or would you recommend the sikaflex over using kerdi fix?

In regards to the heat cable over the curb, I cut out I forget how wide but notched out the sides and over the top. Then hot glued the wire to the foam. And then when sealed the shower I put thinset on it and covered it with kerdi band.

Ugh that stinks but looks good.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 04:55 PM   #10
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With shower floor heat, you typically can’t screed to height of drain flange, it needs to be lower by the thickness of ditra heat so when that’s installed, the Kerdi has a smooth transition to the bonding flange with no “steps”.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 05:04 PM   #11
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Justin - originally I said to:
1. cut the kerdi back 24” square and
2. cut the ditraheat (and kerdi) back to leave gap of 1-1/2 to 2” around the drain flange which will create a exposed donut shaped section of the mud base.
3. Then patch with kerdi / thinset with 2” min overlap with existing kerdi layer
4. Bond kerdi to the drain flange using the kerdi fix you have

So the modified plan deletes step 1. All other steps are the same.

Too bad you are not in the northern Va area; I d be happy to share some of my kerdi scraps.

Thanks for the info on crossing the heat cable over the curb. Just be sure the glass door guys don’t drill through it!

Last edited by PC7060; 04-09-2022 at 05:54 PM.
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Unread 04-09-2022, 10:21 PM   #12
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PC’s got ya squared away, here’s a pic
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Last edited by CaliGrown; 04-09-2022 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Add pic
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Unread 04-10-2022, 05:34 AM   #13
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Pictures worth a thousand words! Thanks @CaliGrown.
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Unread 04-10-2022, 11:52 AM   #14
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Haha thats great Cali, thanks. Hopefully will be able to get to it sometime soon but pretty busy right now. Will update when i do.
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Unread 04-11-2022, 08:31 AM   #15
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PC- Sorry for another probably dumb question but just want to double check I do it correctly.

When you say use the kerdifix to bond the membrane to the drain flange, do you mean to thinset the membrane patch down like normal over the mudpan/drain flange and overlap? And then to just use the kerdi fix around the edge of the new patch to seal the connection to the drain?

Or do you mean to put kerdi fix around the drain flange and then put the patch down on the kerdi that is on the drain flange?
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