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Old 02-07-2019, 06:23 PM   #46
916tile
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I did not take the video down because of anyone's criticism of my techniques...I've been doing YouTube videos for almost 10 years, and I have heard it all. You can't be in this game unless you have thick skin.

All I can say is that I did this build as best as I could. I'm not saying I could have made a mistake, but I purposefully used close up camera angles and did not cut out any of the video during the installation so everyone could see how I did it. I and my crews have been installing kerdi almost exclusively since 2012--so I have a pretty good working knowledge. We went to the Reno workshop in 2015, and we won the best display in our group. I have done probably half a million in Schluter sales over the last 5 years. If someone tells me I didn't build it right, they may be correct. But if they are saying that, I would bet that so are 99% of the installs going on out there. I purposefully mixed the thinset to Ardex's spec's because one of the many complaints on my second test was that the thinset was too loose. But normally I mix my thinset looser for my kerdi installs.

Last October we built a demonstration display in my shop with about a dozen contractors in attendance..It was fun- a BBQ with 2 of my Schluter reps and we built a display that had a Kerdi line drain with a mud base, and we also installed Ditra heat cable to kick it up a notch. A local supplier (DeSoto Sales Sacramento) pitched in some deck mud and thinset for us to use. He gave us Ardex X-5 because he said that's what everyone has been using for Kerdi. My Schluter reps weren't crazy about it but they weren't there to complain. They had already provided the line drain kit, ditra heat cable, and a couple of items for a raffle. In Sacramento,X-5 has been the thinset of choice for Kerdi. It's not even close, since Ardex has a strong presence in my region and they said they would pick up the warranty. I used to buy it by the pallet. I would say X-5 outsells all other thinset for Kerdi 10-1.
Long story short I ended up flood testing that display and it was over the Christmas break. So it sat for like 9 or 10 days in my warehouse. It's not a small display either...the size of a 42x42 pallet. When I came back on New Years eve to check on it, I noticed the water had dropped significantly but I figured it was evaporation. So I decided to do a little YouTube vid on the tear out to see what happened. Well, that turned into a huge mess. Water had soaked all the way through each layer of kerdi, and into the mud substrate below which acted like a sponge. Everything was wet and there was mold that had grown in between the layers of kerdi. I was freaking out. The video is actually really interesting because of the expressions on my face as I peeled back layer after layer. I didn't know what to do. So I uploaded the video, left it unlisted (which means you need a link to see it) and sent it to my reps and Sal Diblasi (who is a friend and does a lot of kerdi). Well Sal sent it to a few Schluter people and it ended up on the Director's desk. He called me. Then that's when I started to find out more about Kerdi, how it's not meant for submerged areas like fountains and pools. That it has never been tested (which I don't believe) for more than 48 hrs submersion (per ANSI A118.1). I was also told that these tests were testing the product beyond it's capabilities and that it is unfair to make them public.

Anyways, that video remains unlisted and I may publish it someday, but not now. But I still wanted to make sure of my findings, so I did another test. That test I did for 7 days, using Laticrete 317 (unmodified) and drywall instead of mortar bed underneath. While the test did perform better (because non-modified has a lower absorption rate than Ardex, and the mortar bed acted as a vehicle to draw the water), the water still made its way under the kerdi into the drywall and there was a small puddle of water that was present in the floor/wall transition. Only one 6" area made all the way to the drywall, but there were several other areas that it was very close. If you want to see that video here you go: https://youtu.be/jMGotWT4NOc

So even though I was convinced, I still had many doubters that couldn't fathom that Kerdi would do that. I heard it all... Thinset was too loose, too sharp of a drywall knife, not good enough coverage, not enough pressure, etc.etc. So That's why I made the last video (that I just took down), because I knew the Ardex would show the results I expected, in a faster and more substantial way. And even though it is not shown per Schluters recommended guidelines (modified thinset), it is the most common way it is done in my region. I also wanted to throw Schluter a bone to say it's a good reason to use their thinset, and not Ardex. But they didn't take it that way, they thought I was bashing them. I accidentally used my Sales reps name in the video and slightly misquoted him. So it was highly suggested to me to edit that out of the video. Once you upload a video to YouTube, you cannot edit it. Only take it down. So I did.

It has turned into quite a thing, which is good for my YouTube, but has strained my relationships with Schluter and now I know they watch what I do online. So I feel like I have to watch everything I say, which sucks. But I also feel like I would want to know if someone else had found this out.
I actually really like Schluters products and I will continue to use them in certain applications and with some modifications.

Anyways, that's the story (long version) of why the video was taken down. I could re-edit it and put it back up, but I have the other one that basically shows the same thing so why bother. But I think my fist video would be fun to upload...just need to think about that and make sure it's in my best interest to do so.
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Last edited by 916tile; 02-07-2019 at 07:15 PM. Reason: No one from Schluter ever asked me to take a video down. Only to edit out certain parts of it.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:41 PM   #47
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Isaac, I am not a professional but I've been watching a lot of your videos and I really like them. You're a tile professional, not a hack.
It is really good to know what the limits of these sheet membranes are. I am using my two Schluter showers according to design so it is unlikely I'll ever have any moisture trouble. However, it is clear from your test that if flooded for a long time, the membrane will not keep the moisture in. The theory that capillary action is completely broken up by the fleece/thinset bond is thus disproved. It is perhaps retarded sufficiently for the purposes of a shower but not completely stopped.

Two questions (for you or for anyone who is in a position to speak in an informed way):
1.) If you used Kerdifix to bond everything together, would the receptor be completely waterproof? My guess is yes.

2.) Do you think that if submitted to similar testing, other sheet membrane systems would exhibit the same long-term leaking? My guess is yes.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:13 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makethatkerdistick
Two questions (for you or for anyone who is in a position to speak in an informed way):
1.) If you used Kerdifix to bond everything together, would the receptor be completely waterproof? My guess is yes.
No. Kerdi fix actually speeds up the water migration by matting down the fibers. A thick 2" embedded swatch of kerdi fix will work, but not a bead. Try it on a simple test...fold a corner, put a bead over it, let it sit with water in it over night. It will all drain out.

Quote:
2.) Do you think that if submitted to similar testing, other sheet membrane systems would exhibit the same long-term leaking? My guess is yes.
My guess is yes, although I haven't tested it. But is all seems to work the same way.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:44 PM   #49
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Appreciate the unfiltered truth Isaac about the video take down. Shows at least to me youíre a straight shooter and have good intentions on what you do. Of course itís always easier to pick apart someone elseís work, Iíd say your prep is real world.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:58 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Ostrom
No. Kerdi fix actually speeds up the water migration by matting down the fibers.
Do you have documentation that supports that? If that is the case then why is Kerdi-fix even used? lol

Never mind found it.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETBJqTwS44w
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Last edited by mullet; 02-07-2019 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:13 PM   #51
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In the video that is the subject of this thread, you can clearly see the mortar was not fully imbeded. That is irrefutable. Look at the stills I posted. Not trying to be a jerk, but it's clear as day. At least it's clear when the camera is in focus, which isn't often. Furthermore, Ardex only specs X-5 for the installation of tile OVER Kerdi, not to install the membrane itself.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:12 AM   #52
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my supply house had this on the wall one day. I don't use kerdi so I have never dug deeper than this flyer
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:30 AM   #53
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Isaac
Again you went above and beyond with testing. I too fell out of good graces with Schluter when an issue came up with the Kerdi membrane. Schluter was great to deal with until they started to put their product into the big box stores. My relationships with the reps changed. They changed. I do know that their new thinset didn't go over well at a few distributors I use. I tried it and was not impressed.
I still do a 24 hour flood test on all my showers. My feeling is that a waterproofing membrane should work beyond a 48 hour test. I wish there was a camera there to capture your look on your face when you opened up the line drain mock up.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:43 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
too bad their videos are all 240p, very low resolution. you cant see details at all!
Hey Mike I just found this, these are the same 2 guys just older and they weigh more LOL but its a better video quality of what I was referring to. This is how it is suppose to be done.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=viSf77JMK4I
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:18 PM   #55
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Ostrom
No. Kerdi fix actually speeds up the water migration by matting down the fibers.
Do you have documentation that supports that? If that is the case then why is Kerdi-fix even used? lol

Never mind found it.
Watch this video : https://youtu.be/Nl-c8LH6cmo

I have tried it several times, and ask you rep. Kerdi-fix is used to bond kerdi to surfaces that you cant use thinset on...tub flanges, stainless steel. But it doesn't show in any of their documentation it is used to seal kerdi.

Take some kerdi board, glue it together with kerdi fix to make a box, put a bead in all of the corners, fill it up. But put it somewhere you don't mind getting wet!!
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:31 PM   #56
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Total BS, I love how you hid the angle from the camera. I think the more this goes on I think you want Kerdi to fail and are doing everything in your power to make it come true. There is NO WAY if Kerdi fix is used between two overlapped pieces of Kerdi it would leak. Not to mention at the bottom point you have ZERO overlap. but by all means keep going with these ridiculous test.

This RedGard test is so over the top. You even misspelled it its redgard not redguard. good grief.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYkQ9pNc1aQ
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:31 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HS345
you can clearly see the mortar was not fully imbeded.
I encourage you to make a similar test with ardex. The moisture clearly entered areas that was 100% coverage. The fact that the membrane against the drywall had some ridges shouldn't affect the outcome at all, should it? The overlaps had 100% coverage and water still made it through.

But please do your own test and report back. Or don't. I don't really care if you believe me or not. I would have quit these tests long ago if I listened to everyone who told me I was wrong.

This isn't really even a question anymore within the Schluter technical dept. They will tell you kerdi is not meant for submerged applications (I spoke to the director). Why else would they say that ??? Because it leaks if it is submerged. Period.

By the way, your local "territory sales managers" are not part of the "technical department".
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:46 PM   #58
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Isaac, there may have been some that told you that you were wrong with your testing. I'm not one of those people. What you tested showed that Kerdi leaked when submerged. No argument on my end here. I'm really not surprised, and would never use Kerdi for that application.

It's just that given what Kerdi is designed for, what you have shown is of no consequence to those building a shower, because a shower doesn't get submerged.

And although Schluter doesn't recommend Kerdi for submersion, it seems like you, and maybe other installers, have heard their company reps claim that it will survive those conditions. If that's the case, it sounds like Schluter needs to clarify that with their employees, and make sure they're not representing this product in the field to do something that it won't do.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:19 PM   #59
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Isaac , very courageous to take on the taboo subject. Quite frankly , the capillary action or wicking water on the kerdi seams , it is an old subject , tested first time as far as I know by the flood test your shower pans -- 72 h -- fellow , which really doesn't post anymore . Hard to say if the "S" is/was involved , but he made quite few good arguments .

I could inflame the discussion even more on the kerdi board but I would refrain myself.


I hear your argument loud and clear that

Quote:
If someone tells me I didn't build it right, they may be correct. But if they are saying that, I would bet that so are 99% of the installs going on out there.
but with the promotion of '' no competence required '' to install the shower kits , couldn't be more obvious the results .


I am not a fan of non sag mortars for Kerdi , but thin set works better , as far as I am concerned . My favorite one for Kerdi is GR or UFRS.


ANd if we want to be technical about it , there is no technical data sheet on mortars where it says to be used for waterproofing the 2'' overlap seam on any sheet membrane . No permeability data , nor tolerences for the thickness of the mortar needed to allow the waterproofing of the seam when used in combination with the sheet membrane .

Basically , all the places around the world which do not accept -- my understanding of it -- the argument of the non modified to be used for waterproofing the Kerdi , are applying a more in depth engineering reasoning.
If Kerdi membrane is waterproof , the thinset is not , then the result is quite simple , you can not have a waterproofed surface with the combination of both .

Done tests where a liquid membrane was used to glue the Kerdi and the seams , including the fleece on top of the Kerdi , but I always thought of protecting the assembly by going over with a thin layer of GR . It doesn't take long , it has a fast cure and it works .

Just on a side note , the unprotected fleece on top of the Kerdi has more benefits to be protected by a thin layer of mortar , rather than have it done while you install tile , have dust collect on the fleece , encapsulate the fleece and then remove it while you remove the tile for mortar coverage check up or mortar adjustment .

Do you remember the video where Schluter had the video of taking a shower directly on the Kerdi , saying the tile is just for the looks ?
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:58 PM   #60
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To work, you cannot have trowel notch ridges still showing in the mortar when you tear things apart...you need a COMPLETE smash down of the ridges, at least in the seamed area. If the mortar is mixed properly and is of decent quality (fine grained sand and cement particles mixed with enough but not too much water), achieving 100% coverage without ridges isn't that hard to do, but you must be meticulous and get all areas, especially the seams, for it to work. Your video teardown vibrantly shows trowel notches in areas. That WILL NOT WORK!

FWIW, KerdiFix cures at about 1/8"/day, so depending on how wide/thick it is applied, it could take a number of days for it to cure and achieve its full potential. I've heard from people that have patched the liner of their pool without draining it when using KerdiFix and a square of liner material. It cures underwater, but it still takes time.
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