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Unread 05-24-2005, 02:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Portland, OR
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Longevity of Kerdi?

Hi, thanks for everyone's contributions to this forum-- it's very helpful. We will be tearing out a basement shower soon. I've never posted to a forum before so I'll try to make sure words work before I try any pictures. Anyway it's hard to take a picture that really shows how horrifically moldy and disgusting it is. It was built directly on the slab so the floor doesn't slope to the drain, with no waterproofing, and sheetrock (or maybe greenboard) walls. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. We're currently in the planning stages. I have been reading about the Kerdi membrane and it sounds great. My first question is for those of you who've installed the Kerdi membrane for some time. It sounds like it's only been around a few years? What are the oldest installations you've done? How are they holding up with time? Just from reading about it, it sounds like weaknesses that might show up after a long time might be adhesion of the tile, and maybe leaking at the seams or drain. I'd like to build a shower that lasts as close to forever as possible, so I'm interested to hear about your experiences. Thanks so much, Jennifer
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Unread 05-24-2005, 04:04 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Nashua, NH
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From what I understand, Kerdi has been in use in Europe for a fair amount of time. Suggest you check out www.schluter.com and go through the site to include viewing the install videos to give you a feel for how it works.
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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Unread 05-24-2005, 04:50 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply. Maybe I should clarify. I have looked into the products available quite a bit. I'm not (currently) asking about the mechanics of installing Kerdi, and I'm doing my best not to ask questions that have been addressed elsewhere on this site. In theory, at least, the Kerdi installation actually seems pretty straightforward.

I not a pro at this stuff by any means, but I do have a little experience. My husband and I have completely demoed and tiled our first floor bathroom, (new subfloor, new walls, tile on walls and floor), but that did not include a shower. We did use Redguard around the tub (no shower) and I suspect the tiles don't adhere to it as well as they do to the cement board. But, I think the total install, especially with all the tiles connected by grout, is pretty strong. Still, I wonder about something like a shower floor where you're basicly making a tile-thin cement-plastic layer then immersing it in water. It seems like maybe when/if water works its way under the tile, maybe it could pop it off. In our nasty basement shower, lots of the floor tiles have popped off. (That's partly my fault because the grout was really bad and I tried just putting some caulk on the biggest cracks to see if I could slow down the leaking a little, as a temporary measure. Clearly some water got sealed in-- I don't know how; it seems to go everywhere else just fine-- and created pressure.) We have also tiled our fireplace with slate.

I know that when you read about the older technologies, eventually they fail in one way or another. Perhaps some failures could be avoided. Perhaps they are just a limitation of the technique. I'm wondering about people's experience with Kerdi. Maybe it hasn't been long enough for anything to crop up. Maybe the stuff is really bulletproof. Just asking about people's experience. What is the oldest shower you've done in Kerdi? Does it still look great/ is it still leak free? Anything you wish you'd done differently?

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Unread 05-24-2005, 04:59 PM   #4
John Bridge
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Welcome aboard, Jennifer.

I've been doing Kerdi showers exclusively for two years. No problems. Kerdi has been in use about 18 years in Germany -- closer to 10 years in the States and Canada.

Like any other system, it must be done correctly, and if done correctly, the shower will last indefinitely. I'm not in the least worried about seams coming apart or the drain leaking. Most experienced tile setters, even if they haven't done a Kerdi shower, can look at it and tell you it's not going to leak.

We had someone in Portland do a Kerdi shower about a year ago. Can't remember who, though.
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