Schluter Shower Installation (Part 3 – Waterproofing Shower Pan & Curb) — by Home Repair Tutor

Schluter Shower Installation (Part 3 – Waterproofing Shower Pan & Curb) — by Home Repair Tutor


Here’s the question: How do you waterproof
a Schluter pan and curb when installing a Schulter shower kit?
Well, in today’s video, we’re going to show you how to do that step-by-step. Now
remember, in our prior videos, we showed you what was inside the Schluter shower kit, how
to cut the pan and the curb to size, and installed the corner niche. And in video 2, we actually
showed you how to waterproof all the walls using the Schluter KERDI. So we’re creating
a playlist of how we built this awesome looking shower, and we’ll also go into tiling it
in the next videos. But for today, we’re going to show you how to waterproof the pan
and the curb. This is really important, so we’re going to dive into that right now.
The only difference with the floor is that we’re going to be using a ¼ inch by 3/8
notch trowel; this is a U-notch trowel. But you want to use a thicker trowel for the floor,
so they recommend the ¼ inch by 3/8. It could be square or a U-notch; this is a U-notch.
Let’s try and clean up. Just kind of wipe off the surface. But as you could see, we
have a lot of thinset that we had from the walls. Now if you’re doing this right away,
you don’t have to worry about this. But if, say you’re going to put this drain in
the next day, you’re going to want to scrape all this stuff off of here so that you have
a nice surface to adhere the pan to because you don’t want to have all this just sitting
on there. Okay, so same pattern of adhering. You want
to get some thinset on there and kind of scratch it into the surface.
So just like we did with the walls, you want to burn the thinset into the plywood with
the flat side of the trowel. It’s really important to do this because we’re eventually
going to add more thinset and do our directional troweling over top of this first layer.
And then get enough in there to trowel. So as you see, Steve is adding more thinset
and doing the directional troweling because, that way, whenever we set the pan over top
the plywood covered in the thinset, we’ll be able to compress the pan and remove any
of the air that’s between it and the thinset mortar. So again, you want a nice, thick layer
of thinset mortar on the plywood. And it’s really important to do this because you want
your pan to have a solid base to be set into. So you see Steve is pressing the pan down
into the thinset; nice and tight fit. Okay, so once you get it in place there, just
walk on it. Make sure it’s all embedded. It’s not a bad idea to kind of lift a part
of this up and just take a look at your coverage and make sure that you’re getting good coverage.
Okay, so go ahead and thinset the curb in, too.
So a little 6 inch drywall knife does come in handy in pulling the thinset out of the
bucket. So you want to adhere a little bit to the
pan as well and on the sides where it meets. We’re applying more thinset to the edge
of the pan where it’s going to meet up with the curb. So when you do that, you’ll have
a nice, solid bond. We’re applying more thinset to the outside of the pan on the plywood
and setting the curb into the thinset for a solid bond that’s super strong.
And then where these two meet, we’ll get some thinset just to bond the two pieces together.
I’ll just get some on the edge here for against the wall.
Remove excess thinset with a sponge and the drywall knife. You don’t want really any
humps or bumps on the outside of the pan or the inside.
Just double-check your level on your curb and make sure that that’s sitting nice because
obviously the curb is where your glass door is going to be sitting on. So even an 1/8
inch can make quite a bit of a tough situation with the glass doors. You could always build
up underneath this curb if you need to try to get it level, but that’s pretty spot-on
right there. Okay, so we’re going to go ahead and put
this corner bench in. I had actually meant to dry fit this before we set the pan down;
totally forgot about it. But the way this is designed is you want to have this sitting
down to the subfloor. So as you could see, it’s because of the sloped pan, it doesn’t
want to sit well on the sloped pan. So you actually have to cut the pan at that diagonal.
So let’s just go ahead and do that. I just set the pan, so I’ll be able to get
a piece of that off. So let’s make a mark here, and we’ll just cut the pan with a
utility knife to get it out of there. It would have been easier to do this before I actually
mortared it down, but no big deal. Okay, so for the
corner bench, you want to use that same 3/8 x ¼ inch trowel, and you want to just coat
the whole back and bottom of where this corner bench is going to go.
Notice how we’re applying a generous amount of thinset to the wall and how the notches
all face the same direction. So we’re also using directional troweling on the wall for
this bench. And then the base as well. Maybe even put
a little bit against the base too. And these come with some special corner pieces that
allow you to finish off this edge pretty easily. So you need to have these in place. Just like
that, and it has the two inside corners for the bottom. So we’re going to put these
bottoms in after we get the floor sheeting down.
So we’re applying excess thinset to the wall to accept these outside corners. Now
remember, you want to go back to using the KERDI trowel whenever you’re doing this.
So we use a different trowel to set the pan, but you go back to using the Schluter KERDI
trowel to embed these outside corners. And you can also use your 6 inch drywall knife
to get them embedded nicely into the thinset. So again, we got our two outside corners for
this bench sitting in the corner. You just want to smooth out these corners with a knife.
We’ll go back over these with a damp sponge, too. So the inside corner is important as
well; you want to get this sitting nice and flat, so you don’t have any tile setting
problems. The corners go with the KERDI-Band.
Now we’re just adding our thinset mortar for the KERDI-Band. So we’re not using the
KERDI membrane; we’re using the KERDI-Band for these sections of the bench. Now the KERDI-Band,
as Steve has mentioned, is thinner than the KERDI, which is nice as it won’t interfere
as much with your tile setting. That’s really important to consider whenever you’re applying
all this waterproofing. You can get a lot of build-up in the corners with this thinset
and with the KERDI-Band and with the inside and outside corners. So as you’re setting
all this in place using your drywall knife and your KERDI trowel, you definitely want
to ensure that the bands are nice and embedded and that you sponge down everything to get
a smooth finish. It’s really important especially with this bench area.
We go to the side. So now we’re doing the vertical edges of
the bench where it meets up with the KERDI on the wall, and we’re using our directional
troweling. So again, notice how all the ridges are facing the same direction on both sides
of the bench. And so we’re just making a crease in that KERDI-Band, and then we’re
going to smooth it out using our knife. And make sure, again, that you don’t have any
excess build-up behind the KERDI-Band and on the wall or on the bench. As I mentioned
briefly earlier, that can interfere with the tile. So when you get to set the tile, if
you have a bump in the thinset mortar underneath the KERDI-Band, that will affect how flush
or how flat the tiles sits. So it’s always nice to use a sponge and make everything nice
and smooth on the bench area. Just make sure that everything’s still sitting
right dry fitted-wise. Next thing we’re going to do is fill in this whole area where
the KERDI drain adheres to it because this is how that drain is basically going to be
bonding to the pan. So kind of be generous with it. And then whatever you squeeze out
of it, you can just clean up. You can just have regular ABS cement. So make
sure you put it on your fitting below on both ends. Just twist it in. It’s a nice fit.
All right, so let’s cut some of this membrane to the size of the pan. Okay, so what I’m
actually going to do is set this and then just cut it against my bench so I have a nice,
tight fit there. So on this, you’re going to go back to using your KERDI trowel. Fill
in all the waffle of the pan first. As you can see, we’re using a generous amount
of thinset initially to fill in all of the waffles that are in this Schluter shower tray.
So we actually mixed up a whole bucket of Schluter ALL-SET for this application. And
the reason why is not only are we going to use it for the pan, we actually added DITRA-Heat
after this. So if you’re doing the same thing in one day, then having a large amount
of thinset mortar is helpful. Now we’re embedding the KERDI over top of
that and smoothing it out before we have to cut it down. but as you see here, Steve is
using his 6 inch drywall knife and the KERDI trowel to smooth out the KERDI that’s going
over top of the shower tray. He’ll mention why here in a moment why this is so important
and critical. Now I can just scribe cut against the bottom
here. Now granted we’re going to have another KERDI-Band around that corner, so it doesn’t
have to be 100% accurate. But you want to make sure when you’re putting that KERDI-Band
in, you want to get a full 2 inches of coverage, so try to get it as tight as you can. Make
sure there are no air bubbles. Okay, and then you can just cut out your drain. I usually
try to cut a little bit shallow first to see where I’m at. Just be careful not to penetrate
the flange. I kind of just put my blade sideways here.
Basically the fleece is just bonding to the top of the flange. So when you look at the
drain, there’s like a two-tiered thing. So you still want to have this step in it;
you don’t want to be trying to force the KERDI on this lower portion of the drain because
it’s just bonded to the top. So I’ll just clean that out. Clean that out the best you
can because when you go put your drain in there, you want to make sure that’s all
nice and clean. It’s easy to get excess mortar on this pan,
so I would just try to squeeze it out so that you’re not creating any low spots anywhere.
The reason you bought this pan is it’s formed to the slope, so you don’t want to have
excess build-up of mortar not making it slope the way it should. So let me try to… maybe
see I’m getting quite a bit of extra mortar out of it. Overlap this other sheet by 2 inches
as usual, and then we’ll wrap the whole curb with one piece. So fill in the curb top.
Some on the sides. Now, we’re just compressing the KERDI into
all sides of the curb, making sure that we have a nice, tight fit. And then we’re using
the 6 inch drywall knife to compress it into the thinset mortar. Again, we’re trying
to remove all the excess mortar that’s in between the curb and the KERDI. You want a
nice, smooth, flat finish on top of the curb as well because that’s where our tile is
going to go, and then the shower doors are going to go over top of that. So now we’re
just cutting down the KERDI on the outside of the shower because, as we said, we’re
going to be using DITRA-Heat in this bathroom. So we’ll bond that to the KERDI after we
get this shower all set up. We’re just smoothing out the curb; super important to get this
done right, so make sure you focus on that and remove all the excess mortar underneath
the KERDI. Okay, then the final step is to do the corners,
and these corners come in that dfrain pack with the KERDI drain. It comes with that.
So you put the corners in first, and then we’ll do them straight bands afterwards.
And then the corner for the bench, they came with the bench,
these special corners for the 45. So now we’re going to be adding the KERDI-Band
to the transition between the shower pan and the walls. Again, we’re using the Schluter
ALL-SET to do this, and we’re using the KERDI trowel to get a nice layer of thinset
mortar between our vertical surface and the horizontal. So we’re using these inside
corners that came with the bench that’s in the corner there. And we’re using the
inside corners that came with the shower tray for the shower. So you want to smooth this
out using your 6 inch drywall knife or the KERDI trowel. Again, we’re trying to make
everything nice and smooth as you can get a lot of build-up in these inside corners.
So it’s super important to do that and to get a nice finish for your tile.
So here’s the inside corner between the shower pan, the wall, and the curb. And what
we found is these inside corners can be a little bit thick. So again, removing any of
the excess thinset will help out a lot with the tile. So again, we’re just going to
do this for the inside corners for the curb, and then the inside corners on the plumbing
wall in this shower right underneath our niche. So that is really important. We have these
outside corners that go over top of the curb and meet up with the wall and the shower pan.
Okay, so since we cut down the curb, we’re going to cut this down a little bit to make
these fit. So we get like 2 inches off of the curb.
The nice thing about these corners, like Steve just did, is you can cut them down to size.
So everything is customizable. If you cut down your curb even more than we did, then
you can cut down any of these outside or inside corners too to make sure that they fit. So
that is the nice thing about using the Schluter system; you can customize it quite a bit to
meet your needs. Straight pieces here.
So one of the final waterproofing steps with the Schluter shower installation is to apply
KERDI-Band to all the vertical and horizontal transitions in the shower area. So that’s
what we’re going to be doing here. We’re going to be adding our KERDI-Band to all those
transitions, again applying the ALL-SET to the walls and the shower pan. And you can
crease the KERDI-Band to make this a little bit easier. And we’re applying our thinset
mortar with all the ridges facing the same direction, both on the wall and the shower
pan. We’re creasing the KERDI-Band; we’re going to compress that into the wall after
you ensure that you have copious amounts of thinset on the wall. And then we’re going
to use our 6 inch knife to get a nice, tight fit between all the different transitions.
So again, we’re removing any of the excess thinset that’s behind that KERDI-Band because,
keep in mind, these KERDI-Bands are going to be sitting over top of all your inside
and outside corners too. So this is an area that can interfere with your tile, especially
depending on what kind of tile you’re going to be using on the shower pan and the walls.
So using these knives and the sponge to get everything nice and smooth is a critical step.
It’s one of the final steps—not the final, final step as you’ll see here in a minute—but
we’re applying the KERDI-Band to all the sections here and getting a nice, tight fit.
That’s why you want to pay particular attention around how it’s fitting at the intersection
with this shower bench—if you’re going to use the same shower bench—and then the
plumbing wall too. This is critical because it’s going to receive a lot of water, as
the person who’s going to use the shower is going to be standing in front of it.
So the one thing that we went back and did—because we’re sitting and we’re kneeling on top
of the shower pan—is to make sure that that surface is still smooth and removing any of
the excess thinset mortar toward the drain. And then we’ll sponge that out of the drain
area so that it’s not left there. So that’s what Steve is doing in this case.
Okay, so the next day, I think many of you might possibly might have an issue where you—and
I have this about in every shower I do—there might be some areas where it just doesn’t
look like your band… like it has a little bit of a hole. It’s not like that it’s
not bonded; it’s just that there’s like a little bit of a crease that’s popping
up. And what I would recommend the next day is just using some KERDI-Fix; it’s just
their sealant that they have. So I just take a good amount of this KERDI-Fix and just use
a putty knife and just seal that little deal. I don’t think that’s something that would
leak, but it’s something worth putting a little bit of this in just to ensure that
it will be okay. And then you can see right here, like this fleece is bonded; it’s just
kind of peeling off a little bit or I just didn’t have enough on there. So I’m just
going to put a little KERDI-Fix around there. And then same with this joint.
And then the one other area that I’m going to go ahead
and seal is this corner since we cut off the side of that flange. I just want to get this
whole corner just to ensure that there isn’t any gaps there. And then same with just the
top corner here. And as you could see, a little bit on my band right there would be good.
Remember, if you missed videos 1 and 2, you can watch them right here in our playlist
where we’re going to show you we built this shower step-by-step.
Now, if you are doing a bathroom remodel, you can click right here to get our free guide;
it’s awesome. It’ll show you how to remodel a bathroom step-by-step. Tons of great tips
there as well. So make sure you get the guide right here if you’re doing that project.
We’ll see you in the next video, thanks for watching this one, and we hope you have
a great day.

32 thoughts on “Schluter Shower Installation (Part 3 – Waterproofing Shower Pan & Curb) — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. Why didn't you start with the floor, and work upwards, so the overlaps of the membrane would be in the direction of the downward water flow? I assume it's not necessary if it's set correctly, but it makes sense to me to overlap it that direction as a little extra insurance. Thanks!

  2. Doing the no access drain flange this way makes sense to me but not the way Schluter shows in their video. They show glueing the drain in first using the center section as a spacer but then your more likely to wind up with a flange thats not level with the pan. I like your way, are there any downsides to this method?

  3. I wanted to say thank you for your videos it really help me out with doing my bathroom I just got done putting all the Kirby board down and the floor pan. Another 2 hours and I'll be ready to set tile

  4. When you use thinset to apply the Kerdi waterproofing, does water not get wicked up into those seams, and thus get behind your waterproofing membrane? Seems to me that competitor products that use polyurethane sealant would do a better job? What do you think?

  5. I really like the inclusion of mistakes in the video as it is helpful to know how to address the mistakes many of us will encounter on this type of project.

  6. Just installed Schluter pan and did everything to spec but still got small bumps and air pockets between fabric and pan. Is this something I should be concerned with?

  7. Do you think you could do this in a basement on an elevated subfloor? My drains are above the floor of the basement, not too excited to excavate the basement/outside to drop the main-drain? Or is it always better to drop the basement drain in order to plumb more or less at the floor level?

  8. Thanks for the video. I am about to start my bathroom soon. I was wondering if it would be advisable to mix the thin-set a bit thinner to aid the installation and adhesion. Any tricks to achieve a proper consistency of the mortar? Cheers to all!

  9. When your applying the thinset to the floor do you worry about puncturing the membrane on the wall? The trowels and the putty knives have sharp edges. My wife and I are doing our bathroom. That’s something I’m curious about.

  10. I don't know about anybody else, but my wife couldn't fit one ass cheek on that little corner bench. Going to end up being a place where women pile up their hair products.

  11. People should watch the videos put out by Schulter they show the proper way to install without any problem and with less mess was given hands on demonstration on actual I stall

  12. I like how you show realistic site conditions and timeframe. There just isn’t time to fuss over minutia if one wants to make a living at it. Paying attention to the important bits like thin-set type, consistency, band overlap etc. It doesn’t have to look pretty at this stage it just has to work. You have shown us just that. Thank you. Cheers!

  13. Why would you not put the floor membrane on first and let it run up the walls a couple inches and then put the wall membrane on later to overlap the floor membrane that you ran up the walls? This would create a better waterproof system.

  14. Thank you thank you thank you! This one video made sense of the whole thing after dozens of Schluter's own videos failed to do anything other than contradict and confuse me on some key points.

  15. You say you're using Schluter All-Set Modified thin-set to install the membrane, but the formal Kerdi instructions say to use Unmodified for that. Why are you using the wrong thin-set? Your blog post on Schluter Thin-set also states that All-Set can be used for over and under application when Schluter formal installation instructions specifically only call out using Modified for the underside of Ditra application with certain sub-floors. According to Schluter all membrane installation should be done with their Set Unmodified Thin-set. What gives with the conflicting info?

  16. That bench should have went in first and waterproof membrane applied over the top of the corners and bands. Think of doing a roof. Start at the bottom and everything overlaps from there.

  17. Your videos are really guiding me for this project, thanks. Quick question, I am installing the Schluter shower pan on a concrete slab. Should I use unmodified 'Schluter Set' to do that? As a matter of fact, can I use Schluter's unmodified thinset for the entire project (pan to concrete, kerdi to pan, tile to kerdi. Also, kerdi to drywall, tile to kerdi)? Thanks.

  18. Is there any reason why you couldn't also use red guard on the drywall prior to applying the thin set?

  19. Great video! I am doing a similar shower using kerdi I got a full kit from eBay for only like $400 including sheets and the drain and curb. For the pan I used the Kerdi but on the walls I used red-guard paint on plastic waterproof from home depot as it was much easier and faster than kerdi. I did use one sheet of kerdi over the pan/curb and around the corners of the pan/curb but that is it, the rest is all red-guard. I had some left over red-guard so I used it over the hardiebacker on the bathroom floor, why not? πŸ™‚

  20. So what prevents water from seeping down behind the band along the wall, or under the band at the base? What waterproofs that joint?

  21. What a slob ! Dirty tools,dirty pants ,shirt, I would not want this guy doing a job in my house , definitely don't look like a professional tile installer to me .

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