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Unread 02-08-2021, 02:07 PM   #1
OverBuilt
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Schluter Linear Drain Problem / Question

This is the second Schluter steam shower that I've built so I'm pretty familiar with and confident in how to use their products...

However:

I have just discovered a problem with the Schluter Linear Drain that I have installed into my master bath steam shower.

The drain is completely set, glued to the drain piping and water proofed.

Just before I was ready to start the shower waterproofing I discovered a problem with the stainless steel drain body and factory installed kerdi flange. The factory sealant had 4 areas with air bubbles between the SST flange and the kerdi.

In the attached pics you can see how the flashlight illuminates the air pockets/bubbles. The positive is that I caught this before any more work has been performed on the install.

I need to know how to repair this area. I've cut out the ~10" of kerdi flange and cleaned the SST flange... how do I attach and ensure that the drain body is waterproof?

My plan is to:

1) Use a matching piece of Kerdi and bond it to the SST flange using kerdifix
2) Bond the new patch to the existing ditraheat using AllSet
3) Place the Kerdi waterproof shower liner over the drain body and bond the liner on top of the factory and patched section kerdi flange using kerdifix.
4) Bond the balance of the kerdi sheet to the floor of the shower over the ditraheat mat using AllSet (I've used AllSet for everything)
5) Perform a 24 hour flood test per code & common sense.

The thought of ripping out this drain body and starting over makes me ill and would be really, really costly. There is no access to it from below and it's glued in place to the drain piping.

Pics attached.

Please let me know your thoughts and what questions you may have.

Thank you in advance and appreciate your help!
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Unread 02-08-2021, 04:57 PM   #2
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You should contact Schluter. That’s how I would address it but I’ve never asked what they use to bond to the metal body and it is not Kerdi fix.
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Unread 02-08-2021, 06:47 PM   #3
OverBuilt
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Thanks Jeff, that is a good suggestion.

I called Schluter this afternoon. They gave me the local rep's name and contact info. I've sent him an email and have left a VM for him.

You are correct, the factory glue is very different from Kerdifix. If I were going to guess, the factory probably uses a heat activated glue that is probably much cleaner, faster, more consistent and easier to use in a manufacturing environment vs a product like Kerdifix. The kerdifix seems to stay very pliable... the factory glue was absolutely rock hard and was difficult to remove from the drain body.

It appears that the factory gluing has its issues and I'd suspect that the air bubbles were undetectable to visual inspection before it was boxed up... I feel really lucky that I caught the issue before I performed a flood test where I'd have had a much bigger problem trying to figure out where it was leaking from.

If I get a response I'll be sure to post up their recommended path forward.
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Last edited by OverBuilt; 02-08-2021 at 06:57 PM.
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Unread 02-09-2021, 05:41 PM   #4
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I just heard back from the local Schluter Rep. I sent him an email with all the photos of the subject problem. He is forwarding my info and problem onto the NY office for technical guidance on how to resolve this issue. He hopes to have guidance on how to remedy this problem in the AM.

Anyone else have this issue and willing to share your experience with me?
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Unread 02-09-2021, 06:44 PM   #5
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We normally peel off the factory added fabric so our (one large) piece of kerdi fabric covers the entire floor from the flange to the main bath floor.
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Unread 02-09-2021, 06:52 PM   #6
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Paul,

Thanks for the quick reply. I like what you are doing with using a single sheet of kerdi and bonding it to the cleaned kerdi drain...

Are you using Kerdifix to bond the Kerdi to the drain body flange?

Thanks again!
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Unread 02-09-2021, 11:16 PM   #7
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Yes we use kerdi fix for that seal. It doesn't take too much. Just get a nice, flat, even bead on the flange, then press the fabric into it.
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Unread 02-10-2021, 09:26 AM   #8
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Paul,

Your reply and detail is EXTREMELY helpful to me and I am sure will be very helpful to others. Thank you for sharing your experience, you have just helped me avoid a big headache and a lot of time in dealing with this issue!!!

Thank you!
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Last edited by OverBuilt; 02-10-2021 at 11:17 AM.
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Unread 02-11-2021, 04:17 PM   #9
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Trowel Size Recommendation

I am installing a wood-look Porcelain tile in a shower floor with a linear drain.

The tile comes in sheets, each sheet has 7, 23 5/8" long tile strips on it. So each strip is about 1 1/8" wide. Grout joints appear to vary between 1/16" joint or 1/8" joint... haven't decided how to deal with that yet... open to suggestions!

The tile is 3/8" thick (Florim brand).

The overall sheet size is: 7 7/8” wide x about 26" long (the ends of the tile strips are staggered).

Setting on Schluter Kerdi

My questions:

1) What size trowel should I use to set these? I'm using Schluter AllSet.
2) Since this is a shower I need to try to ensure over 95% thin set coverage and support... aiming for 100% support.

Any tricks of the trade I need to be aware of or guidance that would be helpful?

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 02-11-2021, 04:46 PM   #10
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You can set the floor in place dry first, getting your cuts made and in place. Once you get them the way you want, mark the floor in places at the corners of some of the tiles/sheets so they can be put back down in the same spot. Work from the back wall first, lifting one row at a time, spreading thinset making sure not to cover your lines. Set that row and then go to the next row.

If you feel that kneeling on the dry set tiles will break them, remove a few full sheets in the middle, leaving your cuts in place.

When making your cuts, if you can, instead of pulling tiles off the sheet and cutting them, run the sheet thru the saw, that way the cuts stay connected to the sheet. But, if the tiles are bonded to the netting with water soluble glue, you may not be able to run the sheet thru the saw without having the tiles fall off. You'll have to experiment to see what type of glue you have.

I would probably use a 1/4 x 1/4 notch trowel.
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Unread 02-11-2021, 05:13 PM   #11
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Hi Davy,

Thanks for your quick reply.

I have cut and dry-set nearly all of the tile on the shower floor... will finish the balance of the cutting and fitting tonight.

You are correct... I discovered that I have glue that is water soluble. I was concerned about this and was cutting the sheets on my wet saw then immediately setting them on a dry towel to draw out as much of the water as possible before setting them onto the dry floor. So far I've only lost 3 tiles from one sheet where I got careless and didn't dry it out as fast as I should have.

My plan is to sequentially number each sheet with tape then put them back in the boxes as I pull them out to get to the back of the shower where I'll start the setting process. I don't think kneeling on them is a good idea... I always worry about damaging kerdi and not realizing it.

I like the suggestion of marking lines on the floor before I pull each row out, so I will have a boundary of where to place thin set as I work my way out.

Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with the inconsistent grout spacing on the sheets? Looks like most of them are at about 1/16"... others are definitely too wide and I don't think that is what was intended by the manufacturer. I think I'll just have to use 1/16" spacers to ensure that all the gaps are the same.

I think you're right a 1/4 x 1/4" square notched trowel seems like it should do the job.
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Unread 02-16-2021, 04:21 PM   #12
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Schluter - Linear Drain Repair

Linear Drain Repair - Update

I spoke at length with the Schluter Rep who had consulted with the technical folks in NY for repair guidance. They would have preferred that I tear out the drain and replace it, they would have provided a new one since it was a factory defect.

I did not want to tear out all this work. The biggest issue would have been dealing with the drain connection which is unreachable from below and would have set the project back by weeks, if not months. All I can say, is that my wife is a Saint putting up with my endless projects - and project setbacks.

Per the Schluter rep, this recommended repair carries the same warranty as if it were from the factory.

The Schluter recommended repair is as follows:

Use a matching piece of Kerdi plus at least 2 inches overlap onto the original factory Kerdi flange and bond it to the SST flange and factory glued portion using Kerdifix.

Steps:
1) Overlap the sides of the patch by 2" onto the existing kerdi drain flange
2) Bond the new patch to the existing ditraheat using AllSet (or unmodified TS)
3) Bond the kerdi patch to top of the factory kerdi and to the clean stainless steel flange using kerdifix. When doing this use plenty of Kerdifix and work it into the fabric. I found that the fabric turns dark if you really work it in properly. I did a couple of test pieces to get a good feel for how to do this. I used a drywall knife.
4) I did this in 2 steps. Step one was bond the patch to the drain flange with kerdifix. I extruded all the excess out into the drain body, then once it was setting up, I cut off the excess with a razor, this made a nice clean edge. Step 2 after the Kedifix had set for 24 hrs, I thin set the balance of the patch to the floor.
5) continue with the rest of the waterproofing of the shower floor as per Schluter standard installation.
6) Perform a 24 hour flood test.

As of this writing, I have not installed the shower liner yet but hope to this evening. I'll post up results following the flood test.

I hope that this helps someone else deal with this problem or one similar to it.
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Unread 02-22-2021, 12:35 PM   #13
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Thumbs up Flood Test Successful

With the repairs to the liner drain body-to-kerdi membrane made, I installed the pan liner and formed up a temporary dam for the barrier free shower.

The final 2 Kerdi, pre-formed corners were installed for a little over 24 hrs before I started the flood test.

Due to the color of the Kerdi and the super-clear water, I found it difficult to accurately mark a line on the liner so I used a stainless steel scale with black markings on it which made it much easier for me to read.

This Schluder drain body repair was nerve-wracking but it was effective and in hind-sight, it was relatively simple to do. The key was to take the time to do it right by following Schluter's guidance; be certain to embed the Kerdifix into the Kerdi very thoroughly to ensure a tight seal.

I ended up leaving shower flooded for about 26 hours. I drained it and carefully removed the Kerdi corners. It was pretty easy to remove these since they had only been installed for about 50 or so hours... 26 of which were under water.

Again, I hope someone finds this helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Next step... tile the shower floor.
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Last edited by OverBuilt; 02-24-2021 at 09:51 AM.
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