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Schluter System Install Mistakes

Pro Tips for Homeowners

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by Jeff Patterson in DIY Bathroom Remodel
Schluter System Mistakes to Avoid

Schluter System mistakes are costly.

These systems are great at waterproofing showers or bathroom floors.

But they’re also expensive. If you install them incorrectly you’ll be wasting money.

Read and watch this quick tutorial to understand the proper way to install Schluter products.

Our last tip is crucial.


Tip #1: Framing

Stud framing is important for Schluter KERDI-BOARD. Depressions or bows in studs will affect the boards.

This same principle applies to any 1/2 inch backer board. Even cement board needs proper stud framing.

What should you look for? It’s simple,

  1. Even studs
  2. Plumb studs
  3. Studs that are 16 inches on-center

How can you fix these problems?

Uneven studs can be resolved by nailing the appropriate thickness of plywood to the surface, e.g. 1/4 in plywood.

Sistering new studs to old studs is also a great way to make them plumb and 16 inches on-center.


Tip #2: Screws

Most Schluter System kits only come with 100 screws and 100 washers. You’ll likely need more.

Thus, buy another set of 100. That way you won’t run out and can also abide by Schluter’s screw schedule for KERDI-BOARD.

How many screws are needed for KERDI-BOARD?

That depends on the number studs but is easy to calculate.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Schluter requires screws ever 12 inches along vertical studs
  2. Horizontal surfaces require screws every 6 inches, e.g. ceilings

Count the number of studs or joists, e.g. 14 total studs.

Measure the total length for each stud, e.g. 96 inches.

Divide the total length for each framing member by 12, e.g. 96/12 = 8.

Then multiply this last number by the total number of studs, e.g. 8 x 14 = 112.

That’s the minimum number of screws and washers needed.


Tip #3: Trowels

Schluter Systems need thin-set mortar.

Therefore, you’ll also need a variety of trowels for proper installations.

For example, KERDI-BOARD requires all screws and washers to be covered with KERDI-BAND. This requires the use of either the KERDI trowel or 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch square notch trowel.

Furthermore, DITRA and DITRA-HEAT require different trowel sizes.

Simplification is awesome. Here’s a list of all the trowels required for Schluter Systems:

Some product links may be Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.


Tip #4: Thin-Set Buildup

Thin-set buildup is a problem with Schluter Systems.

It never seems like a big deal until tiling the shower or floor.

Shower benches, niches, and corners are particularly susceptible to thin-set buildup.

What can you do to prevent this problem?

First, use the correct trowel size per Tip #3.

Second, watch out video below.

It has several tips for how to prevent buildup and what to do if you encounter it during tile installation.


What’s Next

Are you attempting a DIY bathroom remodel?

Check out Bathroom Repair Tutor where we have detailed tutorials and support inside our private Facebook Group.

We make bathroom renovation easier and enjoy helping members build amazing bathrooms.

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Jeff Patterson





1 Comment
  1. Erwin says:

    I just installed my Kerri shower system and it out good, my question is I have couple of spots regarding the Kerri band that has a small pinch on top that didn’t bond. The Kerri band has a good bond except those very small pinch spots, should I fix that and how. Thanks

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