Schluter has some of the best products for waterproofing bathrooms.
And we use their systems in the bathrooms we remodel.
BUT there are always questions about the type of thin-set to use when installing DITRA, KERDI-BOARD and tile.
When we heard the new Schluter thin-set was coming out it was a HUGE deal.
Today you’ll learn what makes Schluter’s thin-sets different and how to use them.
This is a game changer!
Three Different Schluter Thin-Sets
Schluter now has three different thin-sets.
ALL-SET is their modified thin-set that can be used under and over Schluter products.
Simply put, this is the only thin-set you need for installing Schluter products and setting tile.
Schluter SET is an unmodified thin-set.
This is for setting tile on top of Schluter products.
FAST-SET is a special modified thin-set for setting both Schluter products and tile.
All the thin-sets come in either white or gray as indicated on the bag.
ALL-SET will likely be our thin-set of choice when using Schluter systems. Primarily because it can be used under and over DITRA, DITRA-HEAT and KERDI-BOARD.
You can do the same with FAST-SET but the open time is a little less. We’ll discuss open time and pot life a bit later.
What’s most important with Schluter’s thin-set is to read the directions.
I’ll repeat that…READ THE DIRECTIONS.
How to Mix Schluter Thin-Set
Each Schluter thin-set has different directions. It’s not hard to mix but a lot of folks will be tempted to eyeball the consistency.
ALL-SET and FAST-SET require 5.5 to 6.5 quarts of water for a 50lb bag.
Schluter SET requires 6 to 7 quarts of water for a 50lb bag.
Pour water into a 5 gallon bucket then add the thin-set.
This prevents the thin-set from sticking to the bottom of the bucket and also cuts down on the dust.
Mix the thin-set for 5 minutes at a speed of 300 RPMs.
We found that the thin-set will appear a bit dry after the 5 minutes but don’t add more water.
Let Schluter SET and ALL-SET sit or slake for 10 minutes.
This allows the thin-set to absorb the water and activate all the ingredients.
After 10 minutes you need to mix Schluter SET and ALL-SET for an additional 3 minutes.
This 5 – 10 – 3 procedure gives Schluter SET and ALL-SET the best consistency, open time and pot life.
FAST-SET can be used after mixing for 5 minutes.
Why the Different Water Ratios?
Schluter requires the thin-set to be a bit loose for it’s DITRA and DITRA-HEAT. The directions call for the thin-set to be loose yet still hold a trowel ridge.
This ensures the fleece will be 100% covered in thin-set.
If you’ve never mixed thin-set for DITRA it can be a bit daunting or at least raise questions as to whether you did it right.
Now those questions are eliminated with the directions on the Schluter thin-set.
Basically you want to use the maximum amount of water when mixing Schluter thin-set for DITRA or DITRA-HEAT.
For example, if you’re using ALL-SET use close to 6.5 quarts of water with a 50lb bag. This will give you the consistency required to set DITRA or DITRA.
On the other hand, if you’re setting tile on a shower surround you want to use the minimum amount of water, e.g. 5.5 quarts per 50lbs of thin-set.
This ratio provides a thicker thin-set that prevents tiles from sagging on vertical surfaces.
Open Time and Pot Life for Schluter Thin-Set
Open time is the time in which the thin-set will remain creamy and workable.
The open time for each Schluter thin-set is as follows
Schluter Set = 2 to 4 Hours
ALL-SET = 2 to 4 Hours
FAST-SET = 30 Minutes
If the thin-set gets a bit stiff within the open time you can re-mix it. BUT don’t add any additional water…this is per the directions.
Pot life is the time you have before the thin-set starts to skin over and become unworkable.
Here’s the pot life for each Schluter thin-set
Schluter SET = 20 Minutes
ALL-SET = 20 Minutes
FAST-SET = 10 Minutes
Watch our video for all the details on Schluter’s new thin-set. We’re pretty stoked to have it as an option.
We highly recommend using Schluter’s new thin-set if you’re using any of their products. Primarily because we like the consistency and the fact that you’ll get a Lifetime warranty.
Let us know if you have any questions.
If you’re remodeling a bathroom you might like our new guide ‘How to Remodel a Tub Shower Combo in 7-Days’, it has a ton of great tips
Thanks for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome DIY community.
Have a great day and talk to you soon,
P.S. If you didn’t know, we have online classes for homeowners doing a DIY bathroom remodel.
They’re affordable, step-by-step and awesome for newbies.