Posted by Andy Clifford | Filed under Methods & Techniques
I thought I’d talk about one of the new innovative products that I’ve been researching and using of late called The Kerdi System for tile installation.
Kerdi is a polyethylene, waterproofing membrane, which is covered on both sides with an anchoring fleece. It is suitable for waterproofing in conjunction with tiled surfaces on walls and floors.
And why do I use it? And why do I think you should as well?
The biggest complaint about tile jobs in a wet area such as a shower is leaks…OK…lets assume we have no leaks…There is another issue we all have to deal with no mater how well the tile job was performed…and that’s mold and mildew. Something that’s almost unavoidable…until now!
The Schluter company has come out with the Kerdi product not all that long ago.
I asked numerous people about it and the response I kept getting was that it’s to water proof your wet areas to avoid leaks. Well, that answer wasn’t really good enough for me. My tile jobs have never leaked because I pay close attention to my work. What I couldn’t avoid however was mold and mildew eventually poking its dirty little head through the grout joints. Mold is ugly and nasty and even smells bad but worse than that it harbors disease.
In the past a good tile installation would consist of your stud walls and attached to that Iwould install a poly vapor barrier. Over the vapor barrier (sheets of plastic) I would attach my CBU (cement board units). I would then thinset (cement adhesive) all seams and then begin my tile installation.
The thing about cement boards is that while they won’t decompose like drywall but they will absorb water/moisture and hold it there for extended periods of time….hence our ugly friends mold and mildew eventually and inevitably visit us.
So how do we help avoid this?
We install the Kerdi fabric to the walls to be tiled. No moisture can get behind this fabric/membrane so any moisture that gets behind our tile will dry out quickly.
Kerdi fabric is installed similarly to wallpaper except the glue is our thinset/cement.
Kerdi is waterproof therefore we can attach this membrane directly to sheetrock if we so desire or….continue to use a CBU (our cement board units) and cover that with the Kerdi membrane.
How long does it take to install?
Typically you can figure in a shower stall it takes a good part of the day after everything is said and done…..
And the cost?
The cost of labor is typically a little more than the kerdi materials themselves. It all depends how big your wet area are.