• Robert Hebert

10 Reasons to try Schluter Systems® for Tile and Stone

We live in a home built in 1973 with the original master bath. Decorated in multiple shades of blue, tied together with foil ziz-zag wallcovering. yuck! If it’s time for a change at your home too, here are 10 reasons to try Schluter Systems® for tile and stone.

It’s never convenient to remodel your master bath, is it? Anything that could make it easier or less expensive would be GREAT, right?

First a little background…

I will never understand why “commercial grade” usually means “better”, and who would want anything less in their own residence? As frequent travelers we had been gathering inspiration from fine hotels all over the world – knowing that the day was quickly approaching to completely gut and re-build this “FUGLY” Master Bath in our own home.

Professionally in our architectural design work, building & health code specifications were growing tighter and being more strictly enforced. Using a piece of wall tile as base, in commercial kitchen and toilet room areas had become more and more difficult to get by with, because technically, it does NOT comply. Non compliance is based on the lack of a “coved” shape that must transition from the wall to the floor, per health code, that makes it easily cleanable. No – a sealant joint does not comply.

One day while using a restroom, in a TJMax store in Machesney Park, I noticed a beautiful coved transition piece that had been installed to transition from the floor to the wall. It was brushed aluminum in color and a matching piece of trim terminated the half height wall tile. Finally a solution to the problem! A piece of cove designed to be used with tile – and beautiful as well. Now I just had to figure out what it was….

A simple google search lead me to Schluter Systems® DILEX-AHK, a coved shaped profile designed for inside wall corners. WOW – I was excited! We draw many, many, (otherwise ordinary) toilet rooms, that are associated with the factories, restaurants, & retail stores, that we design. Toilet rooms are not exciting, but mine would now be compliant & beautiful! I began specifying Schluter Systems’ edge trim and transition pieces on all of the commercial toilet rooms that Belles Firm of Architecture, designs.

Okay – so back to my Master Bath…. Naturally – I would want the same quality job in my home that we specify in our commercial design work, right? I mean once you know the difference – nothing less will do.

The “plans” for our new Master Bath included removing the robin’s egg blue, fiberglass tub/shower unit, and replacing it with a large tile, “shower only”. It had taken years to accumulate the various materials – and we had been vacumming around them for months now. Floor tile was in our bedroom, shower tile in the dining room, and cabinets, in need of assembly, were neatly stacked in the family room. But we had not yet worked out all of the details…

Demolition Day – was nearly, the happiest day of my life. Taking the garbage out was never so much fun. We piled our old cabinets, and trash cans full of old master bath debris, for almost the entire width of our driveway. But now that work had begun, I had to stay ahead of my contractor to make sure everything was on hand, and ready, for each of his work days.

I spent a weekend assembling cabinets, and at least a half day finding and ordering wood panels and trim. Things that turned out to be particularly challenging, we offered to do for him – like removing a HUGE mirror that had been glued on to the wall in 1973. Oh gosh – we just made more work for me. We tore up the wall pretty good!

In no time it was apparent that we were pretty close to the shower tile job.  OMG – what do we need for that?  As Architects we like to be fully in charge of material purchases, to make sure that we get the quality of product that we desire.  Our contractor, JP Carlson Construction, is providing labor only.  

The conference room was littered with color samples.

We had purchased a Kohler Shower Pan – and large scale tile for the walls, and floor. I knew that we would want Schluter edge trim. But, in the back of my mind, were those pretty commercial grade, corner transitions. Were they appropriate? Where to get them?…. Do they come in other colors? Are they available in a store? Seemingly, I had more questions than answers. I was used to just noting the specific product on the drawings, and that is where my responsibility ended. But now I needed to know more.

Kohler Shower Pan

I headed off to the neighborhood flooring store to see what questions I could get answers to. It was late afternoon on a Sunday. Of course, that is when Architects can work on their own projects.

The flooring store had a full Schluter Systems Product binder, detailing all of the available profiles, and a sample chain with more colors than I would have guessed. The salesman on duty found out that ordering it could take two weeks – and carry a shipping cost that was higher than the trim itself. I never settle for things that people tell me – so the next morning I contacted Schluter directly.

I called the “Contact us” number at the bottom of their website, and was able to leave a message for our territory’s Architectural Rep, and in five minutes I was speaking with John Novotny on the phone, because he returned my call! It is now Thursday of the following week. My contractor has been trained, and my Schluter Systems® waterproof shower is installed and ready for tile! John was great to work with and is uber-available to answer any questions!

He trained our contractor, Joe Carlson, and Belles Firm of Architecture, on site!

Looking for a local Schluter Trained Installer?  Contact JP Carlson – 779-207-8749

Here are 10 things that I learned about Schluter Systems® :

  1. Make sure your Schluter Systems® Installer has been manufacturer trained.  Schluter offers complimentary training to anyone interested.  An installer who is not properly trained may make an error that voids your warranty from day one.

  2. My shower has a lifetime waterproof, warranty that covers materials and LABOR, because it was properly installed by a factory trained contractor, and an extended warrantee because the whole system of products was used properly together.

  3. Schluter Systems® offers integral systems and products suitable for both residential and commercial tile work.  The product line extends far beyond edge trim!  They have Exterior Systems, Shower Systems, Building Panels, Membranes, Screed Systems, Floor Warming, Setting Materials, Tools, and edge trim for LVT.

  4. Schluter Systems® website contains good quality video education for every system/product offered.  In person, hands on training is available at no cost, to tile installers.

  5. Schluter Systems® pieces and parts are available through Lowe’s.  If ordered through Lowe’s, you can select the “pick up in store” option for free shipping.

  6. Certain items are available on Amazon, some even with “prime shipping”!  We bought beautiful shelves – for the corner of our shower, that arrived the next day.

  7. Schluter Systems® contain all of the tools, materials, and supplies that you need to complete the fully warranted tile job.  Their products are chemically and structurly engineered to work with one another to provide a fully waterproof end result with a lifetime warranty.

  8. Schluter Systems® offers multiple options, for different construction techniques. Whether you are choosing a shower pan, tub, or custom constructed base.  See the Schluter Systems website for more infomation.

  9. Schluter Systems® has several types of designer quality drain covers, that match the metal shelf options for a total and completely coordinated look. 

  10. Schluter Systems® materials cost more, but a destinct savings is realized in reduced labor.  Our contractor carried all of the Schluter KERDI-BOARD (3 – 4′ x 8′ sheets) up the stairs in ONE TRIP, and cut it with a utility knife quickly and easily! NO MESS! A Schluter Systems® waterproof shower system can be installed, and tile ready, by noon at the latest! (they started at 8:30am)

Schluter Systems® Product line is Architect Approved!

Tile Ready – KIRDY-BOARD system installed

Homeowner: How much will you save in labor? How much will a “call-back” cost you? How inconvenient would a leaky shower be? Don’t you want “commercial grade” quality in your home, just like I did? Won’t it feel great to have a waterproof shower that has a material and labor warranty?

Contractor: How many more jobs can you do this year, because of your time savings? How much will a shower leak “call-back” cost you? Do your customers deserve “commercial grade” quality and a warranty?

Contact Belles Firm of Architecture, if you would like us to design your Schluter Systems® commercial project. We are officially trained and knowledgable about what is available and why you want or need it, and can plan your project for the BEST overall outcome.

Follow us on Facebook to see photos of our completed Master Bath Project as soon as they are available!

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