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Unread 05-15-2021, 08:08 PM   #1
kingtigg
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Linear drain question

Hi, I hope someone can offer some helpful advice!

I'm using a waterproof membrane system (alino) using their linear drain system.
After the thinset dried I noticed that the drain tray is sitting a bit too high to allow full drainage!!
I feel like filling that hole and smoothing out the angle with some thinset is the right thing to do before tiling..am I right?
(If I don't I could imagine water will pool)

Should I use thinset?
Should I cover that thinset with another layer of membrane before tiling?
Should I use another product?
Do nothing?

Thanks for any help!
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Unread 05-16-2021, 12:13 PM   #2
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Hmmmm, that's a problem without an easy solution. Looks t be about 3/16" or 1/4" depression?

Assuming the level isn't lying, if you fill the depression, you'll effectively mitigate the surface slope but the waterproofing surface will not change, essentially creating a bird bath. It will make it easier to tile, but won't drain right. The slope really needs to be consistent from perimeter to drain.

Adding another layer of waterproofing on top of existing isn't really a good plan either as it introduces "moisture sandwich" potential. One could argue that the bottom layer would never see moisture if the top is done right, but there's an element of wishful thinking involved.

Absolute best would be to remove and replace, but I guess you get to decide if that's viable.
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Unread 05-16-2021, 02:27 PM   #3
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Darn, that's what I was thinking too.

If I peal off the waterproofing membrane is it still ok to reapply thinset to reseal it though?
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Unread 05-16-2021, 02:47 PM   #4
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If I do fix the slope with thinset and leave the birdbath in place will that be a problem long-term?
Ie: will the thinset filled in there be ok with being in a birdbath?
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Unread 05-16-2021, 03:03 PM   #5
kingtigg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan@klann.org View Post
If I do fix the slope with thinset and leave the birdbath in place will that be a problem long-term?
Ie: will the thinset filled in there be ok with being in a birdbath?


Ie: I have lots of room too makeup a decent slope to drain so am not worried about that.

Thx in advance for all advice!!
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Unread 05-16-2021, 05:02 PM   #6
jadnashua
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Pulling the membrane off once the thinset has cured pretty much destroys your ability to have it rebond. I'm not familiar with the one you're using, but I'm assuming it has some fleece on the exterior, and to bond, the thinset flows around the fleece, then cures locking it in place. Tear it off, the fleece comes off of the membrane. So, while you can likely strip the membrane and fix the slope, you'd need new waterproofing material to put back down.
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Unread 05-16-2021, 05:19 PM   #7
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Here's the thing, the membrane defines the drainage plane. Anything on top of it you have to assume will be water transparent and the birdbath will still exist and be a problem.

To add complexity, I think it'd be safe to assume if you pull any membrane off, the fleece that facilitates bonding will be compromised. It's not like glue, the cement in thinset mortar interlocks and kind of knits itself into the fleece.

Your only good choice is remove membrane, get the slope right then recover with new, but then the question will be how to tie new to old because of compromised fleece. It looks like they bonded membrane to drain flange which presents another issue. I think it could be done, but you're going to end up with build up where you don't want it and a less than ideal bond at the least.

I don't know this product but it appears a lot like Kerdi. Is there an accompanying sealant that mfg. recommends? I'd be likely to give them a call and explain situation to get their take.
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Unread 05-16-2021, 06:19 PM   #8
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The mfgr responded to me: they say to just thinset on top and to leave a birdbath there.
I don't like that idea tbh.

Yes, this membrane is almost identical to kerdi.. it has fleese on it too so all of what you said will apply.

I actually figure Ill just cut the membrane right at the edge of the drain pan, then remove the pan, chip out the old thinset, then drop it back in... I'll be able to apply a new strip oof membrane on top of the bit already bonded to the tray and the piece that I had cut off of it.

I won't have 2" of overlap.. but it should be ok I think.

What do you think?

(I can/will also put a bunch of kerdifix around the drain tray too I think to help ensure the bond)

Thoughts?
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Unread 05-16-2021, 07:40 PM   #9
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I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of mfg's recommendation. I'd say they don't understand their own product or don't care to offer good advise.

If you're willing to remove drain, I think your suggestion might be best short of a new drain. You'd be painting outside the lines some and assuming some risk, but you're gonna flood test, right? That would comfort me if doing for myself, but couldn't, in good conscience, offer this to a client.

Judicious Kerdi Fix will be your key. More is rarely better, but if you view it like precision work, gobs is almost never called for.

If drain is really expensive, I might consider bonding a new membrane flange onto the cleaned up and pristine stainless part.

And I have to invoke CX's credo, "worth price charged". What's being proposed is kind of a crap shoot and all the risk will be on you and your workmanship/good judgement.
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Unread 05-16-2021, 08:30 PM   #10
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Also agree with your assessment of the manufacturer's suggestion. I don't know this company. But I have talked with a number of manufacturers who have appeared to copy other successful manufacturers in the hopes of making money. Routinely, their "technical service" is very poor and they appear to have no knowledge other than...."It's cheaper than the other guys".

If you're willing to remove the drain, can you bond the new membrane to the top of the existing drain flange? That will give you something almost perfectly clean to bond to.


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Unread 05-16-2021, 08:55 PM   #11
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Yeah, the best plan I have as of right now is to remove the drain by cutting the membrane right at the edge of the stainless steel, then cleaning off the bonded membrane that is left over while leaving the bonded membrane in place.

I'll then clean up the hardened thinset, and then bond some new membrane to the stainless steel drain using kerdi fix (yes, I'm mixing brands but kerdi fix sounds amazing and is literally recommended by kerdi on their stainless drains).
On The new membrane that I use I will ensure plenty of overlap(3-4") to ensure that the thinset will bond well to the top of the old membrane that I left behind from cutting as well as going further to bond with the base membrane too.

I'll have buildup, but should be far better then my situation right now imo.


Lmk if you guys think this is silly in any way.

Also, thank you again for all of your help and opinions!!!
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Unread 05-17-2021, 11:26 AM   #12
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Let me be the contrarian in this thread. Admittedly, people have chimed in here who have tons more experience than me, so I respectfully acknowledge that I am just a mere DIY guy, albeit one with Schluter linear drain experience.

The Schluter drain has a factory-tested sealant/bonding agent applied to where the fabric attaches to the stainless steel body of the drain. I am pretty sure it's not Kerdifix.
Usually, whatever is attached at the factory under controlled settings is better than what you can achieve in the field. I don't know what your manufacturer used to create the bond. It might be different from what Schluter uses.
Still, I would be very hesitant to remove the factory-created bond and do a field assembly with Kerdifix. Sure, Kerdifix is great, but there is no guarantee that this bond will be of the same quality as the manufactured bond. I would be nervous.

Secondly, I am not sure if filling in the slight dip with thinset would create a birdbath. Thinset is very dense, and its ability to absorb water is limited. Provided you have 100% coverage (not just the built-up slope you'd create, but also the actual tile installation, that would be crucial), you should never see any water really pooling below. Just not possible. Additionally, if you planned on using cementitious grout, this assembly should be able to sufficiently dry out. I'd be more hesitant about this if you were planning to use a grout that seals in moisture (like epoxy or many one-component grouts popular these days)

I think neither of those two solutions is ideal. Probably, both a workable enough to function ok in the field.
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Unread 05-17-2021, 11:43 AM   #13
kingtigg
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no, apparentlty Kerdi actually requires using kerdi fix on some of their stainless drains!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKaCwAE4I_o&t=378s


also: yes, I am hoping to use epoxy grout (I REALLY hate cleaning and resealing grout
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Unread 05-17-2021, 12:00 PM   #14
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Well, then I'd be confident in using the Kerdifix. Didn't know the round Kerdi drain was available in stainless steel construction.
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Unread 05-17-2021, 12:21 PM   #15
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I think the reason Schluter doesn't use KerdiFix to attach the bonding membrane to their drains is not because it wouldn't work, but ultimately, it takes too long to cure...in class, they said it cures at about 1/8" per day from the outside in...way too long to have a piece where they could move from the production line into packing, etc.

THe stuff sticks to almost anything, and you may want to wear gloves when using it!
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