An interview from 2018 Remodeling Show and Deck Expo
Featuring Andrew Acker – Director of Education, Schluter Systems
James: We’d like to also give a shout out to Schluter systems. They’re the folks that have a terrific display here at the Remodeling Show and Deck Expo creating innovative and waterproof systems for showers, tub showers, and heated bathroom floors and the like. Invite you to visit our website to learn more about them or go directly to their web site. It is Schluter.com and speaking of Schluter, we are joined at our broadcast location by a guy who knows a lot about their product. That’s because he’s with Schluter! He’s Andrew Acker. Andrew welcome to the program.
Andrew: Thank you for having me gentlemen.
James: So Morris spent a good part of yesterday at the training session that you are hosting throughout the event where you have mockups of a bathroom. So tell us what you’re doing here at the show and talk a little bit about the value proposition associated with using the Schluter product. We already know because we use it.
Andrew: Yes you do. We appreciate that. You both told me you’re anecdotal stories of your own projects that you usually show your stuff. We do appreciate you using that product. But yeah we’re here at the show. We think it’s important that we do training along with offering product, so the demos that you were looking at yesterday are about training the field. We’ve got a lot of craft people. Of course, this is remodeler show, that’s been a huge segment of users of our product – remodelers for various reasons.
James: So for people listening who may not be familiar with Kirti board Kirti Fix talk a little bit about what it is, how it is different, and why it’s a viable alternative to what folks may be using traditionally.
Andrew: What we’ve done at Schluter systems is introduce a whole different way to approach moisture management. That’s the term we use. Because it’s much beyond just waterproofing say a shower pan. If you want to tile shower. Moisture management also includes vapor. We build our houses so tied for energy efficiency, we have to be concerned about how much vapor is driving into the wall cavities, maintaining a space in there, becoming a moisture issue, and so forth. So what we have is a fully sealed system, which means no water gets into the assembly to begin with. The older showers that have been around for over 100 years were designed to allow water to get into the assembly.
Morris: They really were.
Andrew: And we captured and confined water by, say, a bladder.
James: What you haven’t said yet is that your product goes behind primarily tile.
Andrew: Tile. That’s right.
James: This is in lieu of floated mortar, traditional mortar, but cementitious board. Other types of tile backer right. We’re not using that. We’re using your product smarter.
Morris: Mortar is not waterproof. Mortarboard is not waterproof. They’re very porous. You look at those under a microscope and it looks like Swiss cheese.
Andrew: That is correct.
Morris: Kerdi Board is impervious to water and is a whole different animal.
James: Now I’m going to tell you what you didn’t say. What you didn’t say is that mixing mortar is dirty and creates quite a mess. And when you’re doing a bathroom remodel and it’s upstairs on the other side of a home, there’s a lot of material to carry. And a lot of mess to make. All. Right. Fine. Two, if it is backer board it is heavy. When you cut it, you typically make a lot of dust or a mess, especially if you have to cut penetrations in it for valves or showerheads or what have you. The Kerdi board is feather light, it cuts easily with the utility knife.
Morris: feather light.
James: There’s no dust. If you need to cut the holes out, there’s no dust. That’s the value to me.
Morris: Also if you make a mistake, you don’t lose the board right. Just make a little patch. It is so simple.
James: Now we know that the product is not only good for above tub walls and showers and shower pans, which have the fall built into them, but the drain systems, the linear drains, the round drains where water drains, the built in niches for soap and shampoo. So this truly is a water proof system. I have a feeling I could just take a piece this Kerdi board and I could sink it in the Monterey Bay and leave it there for 20 years and it be in the same shape.
Andrew: Same board.
Morris: Andrew you started to explain the old shower pan. And I want you to just quickly go through it again. We had the or on the wall.
Morris: which was Swiss cheese.
Andrew: That’s right
Morris: Water went into the water right and drain down into the pan. And what happened.
Andrew: Well there was secondary drainage called weep holes in those old drain assemblies.
Andrew: So you were counting on the water getting confined by that pan liner and then getting back out through secondary drainage. The weep holes.
Andrew: But mortar as you said is very porous. It would hold a tremendous amount of water for ever without any release, so now you had a constant water source available for mold and mildew growth. So the new systems are dry. There’s no water behind the assembly. The tile is simply a decorative ware surface.
James: That’s right.
Morris: The whole – I’m gonna tell I’m going to say what I said off off mic – and that is some day every shower will be issued a Schluter shower. Every single one.
James: Andrew Acker at Schluter. And our audience may go where for more information?
James: Thanks for joining us from the Remodeling Show/Deck Expo.
Andrew acker: Thanks so much!
James: Don’t touch that dial. There’s more On The House from the Remodeling Show/Deck Expo after this.