Schluter Shower Part 1: Drywall and Wide Roll Kerdi Membrane

Today is going to be an absolute beautiful
day in Pittsburg, and we don’t want to spend the entire time putting in a shower. So we’re
going to show you how to do a Schluter shower installation. This is going to be part 1,
so this video will be part 1. And we’ll share with you how to install the purple board
inside the shower and put this on the stud walls and then waterproof it using the KERDI
membrane. This is an approved method by Schluter. It’s super rock solid. Then in part 2, we’ll
show you how to put the shower pan in. But let’s go inside, we’ll show you how to
put the purple board on the walls and waterproof it using KERDI.
So before we go ahead and start putting up our drywall for our substrate for the Schluter
shower, one of the most important things you can do to make your life easier is to make
sure that all these studs are in a line and nothing is out of whack.
Like probably here we got a sixteenth. I’m not going to be concerned about that. That’s
not that big of a deal. That’s not going to create too much of an issue when I thinset.
It’s when you get to about three sixteenths to a quarter inch, that’s when you’re
going to want to try to fur this out, shim it, or plain it down, or cistern new studs
on it. A lot of times sistering new studs on it is a little bit easier to make up that
difference. But always check your wall to see how flat it really is because that’s
what’s going to make your tile work and everything else a lot easier.
The other thing you want to pay attention to is to make sure that all your studs are
sixteen inches or less. So all these are about sixteen inches. You can tell this is smaller
than sixteen. You got sixteen center there. And you could obviously see right here that
we don’t… this is twenty-four inches away. So we need to have another stud in this area.
And that’s just basically for support of the backer board. So we’ll measure this
stud. So we can put some wood blocking in for a
grab bar. That’s typically going to be between 36” and 42” for a grab bar. Keep in mind
that we’re going to have a shower floor, so we’ll be probably coming up about another
1 ¼”, 1 ½” thick. So we’ll just put this I’d say around 39”. And this will
allow us, when we put a grab bar in there, to actually grab into something decent. Any
time you put in a grab bar in, you should really try to get some blocking for it.
Two 3-inch deck screws were on each side of these 2x4s for a rock solid installation.
Now, you could also use a 2×6, 2×8, or a 2×10. Because we know the exact height and we’re
recording this, we used 2x4s. We’re going to put a ½” drywall. Forty-eight inches.
All three of these walls are interior walls, so they don’t require any type of insulation
or vapor barrier because the KERDI membrane will serve as a vapor barrier.
So when you’re doing the drywall on the floor, you could give yourself a little bit
of room because you got the shower pan that you’ll be installing after the walls. So
tight now I’m reading 33 ½”. If I just made that 33 ¼” I’ll make sure I’ll
be able to fit this in and not have to fight it. So give yourself a little bit of room.
It doesn’t have to be completely tight to the floor, just be able to… even if you
kept it up a half inch off the floor, it’d keep you from having to fight it.
A flat bar kind of helps you hold that up when you’re installing drywall.
The Milwaukee screw gun was used to speed up portions of this drywall installation.
All the screws were placed such that they were 12” along the 16” on-center studs.
So screws were spaced every 12 inches, and that’s important.
Okay, so we’ll just measure this one. So we got 15 5/8”. And we’re going to come
down 1 3/8”. And then we’ll just use our little spade bit.
You obviously cut this out beforehand if you wanted to measure this and cut a circle, or
you can use a RotoZip, which is what I’m going to use. And we’ll just go 39” over
15 ½”. This first piece of drywall on the plumbing
wall was hung using two drywall screws. We had to put it in place so that we could cut
a hole for the Hansgrohe rough in valve. Okay, so 39 ½” to the center of that valve.
Fifteen and a half… we just use our RotoZip here.
We simply plunged the Dremel RotoZip blade into the center of that Hansgrohe iBox and
then turned it counter-clockwise. This will help you make a perfect circle around the
Hansgrohe iBox. Now, it’s really, really important to set the depth of that blade such
that it’s only about a half inch to three quarters of an inch inside that Hansgrohe
iBox. Then we continued to set the rest of the drywall. We just needed to get two measurements:
one at the top, one at the bottom here to make sure that the drywall piece was nice
and tight with our trim. You can also use an impact driver with a dimple
bit to make sure that all the drywall screws are flush or subflush.
One of the things you want to pay attention to kind of a preliminary thing with framing
is that you want to make sure that you have framing behind where your glass doors are
going to be. If you’re going to do a hinged door that’s going to swing open, it’s
almost imperative that you have another stud within the wall in the middle of your curb.
Right now, basically we have two studs here that span out about three inches. And we’re
going to be doing a sliding door. So we’re not too overly concerned about having wood
blocking behind the sliding door. But this is something that you want to think about
when you’re putting up this drywall to make sure that you have blocking behind the shower
doors so that when you screw in your channel that you have something to actually screw
into. We’re fine here because we got about three
inches. Our curb is going to be tip from the edge of this to about 4 ½”, so we have
plenty of room to anchor our screws into this stud. But it’s something to think about
in case you had a scenario where you didn’t have any blocking.
Okay, so we’re going to set the membrane on the walls here. We’re going to use the
Schluter ALL-SET. The most important thing is to pay attention to the water ratio they
have on the bag. They have two different settings here: one for setting membranes, and one for
setting tile. So for setting the membrane, you’re going to add a lot more water. So
we have basically 7.5 to 8.5 quarts of water, and then the tile is going to be a lot less:
5.5 to 6.5 quarts of water for the membrane. So always pour your water in first. We’re
only going to use half a bag, so we’re going to have 4.25 quarts of water.
Schluter ALL-SET was mixed at 300 rpms for 5 minutes per the directions. It was allowed
to slake for 10 minutes; so it just sat there in the bucket for 10 minutes. And then we
mixed it again for another 3 minutes. It’s really important to follow the directions
for ALL-SET or any thinset mortar for that matter.
So I’m pretty excited to show you this big roll of Schluter that we’re going to be
putting in here. It makes things a lot easier. It’s a 79” roll, and the idea of this
is to be able to just do one continuous piece of KERDI all the way around the shower. So
there’s no seams. There’s not going to be any additional taping in the corners. It’s
just like basically hanging one big piece of wallpaper all the way around the shower
and making it waterproof. So really, really nice. Makes it a lot faster and easier. This
is a 79” roll. So Schluter basically recommends in a shower
area to have your waterproofing to up to about 80” high. And then the rest of it, they’re
not really concerned with. Typically, that’s above… like this is your showerhead right
here. Typically, that’s 80” right there. So typically you don’t really need waterproofing
above the showerhead because there’s really not going to be any water saturation above
the shower area. But when we took out this fiberglass shower system, it was about 6 ft
tall. So we wanted to put a new shower port in, so we cut up above it and put this drywall.
So what we’ll end up doing is, after we get the sheeting up there, we’re going to
use the KERDI Band just to cover over that seam and make sure that this is a nice transition
for your tile. And it’s also going to help waterproof right up against the shower port.
So keep in mind this was a fiberglass shower that we tore out. We ended up extending the
cut of the drywall out to be able to change the shower arm. And so we’re actually going
to be waterproofing a little bit above what Schluter recommends. Schluter recommends 80”.
We’ll probably just cover up the seam with the band.
So one of the things this corner bead typically ends up getting built out because of the amount
of drywall mud it takes to create the corner. We’re trying to keep this corner so I don’t
have to do any additional work on the outside. But as you can see, I have basically like
1/8” divot from the outside of the corner here. Like if you were to drywall this, you
would fill this all in and smooth that out. What we’ll end up doing is when we do the
tile work, we’ll just be using additional thinset to make the wall straight here. So
it’s going to take a little bit more work to do that. The waterproofing’s going to
help build this out a little bit. But just keep in mind, when you have a corner bead,
it’s not always going to be completely straight, flat with the edge of the corner. You’re
going to have to do a little bit of additional thinset building when you set the tile. And
we’re going to be using bullnose for the edging. So actually having a seam that will
go all the way straight down will make this transition a little bit easier. But when we
get into the tile work, we’ll address that issue with a little bit additional thinset.
Okay, so we’re going to start from one side and work our way all the way around. I put
my laser up here just for reference of height. It’ll help make sure I keep this straight.
Because if you start to angle—this is an exaggeration—but if you start to angle your
KERDI, you’re going to end up having a big problem on this other side. So it’s kind
of like hanging wallpaper. You kind of want to have some kind of a level mark to go off
of to make sure this sits straight. Now keep in mind, at the bottom, you’re going to
have your base that will come up about 1 ½”. So we got plenty of room to keep this off
of the ground. And I would recommend keeping this at least a half inch off the ground just
in case something isn’t 100% level and that you have a little extra room so you don’t
have to cut this. So we’ll go ahead and get started, basically applying thinset on
one wall at a time. You don’t want to spread the thinset everywhere because you wouldn’t
have enough time, or this will end up drying on you. So just do one wall section at a time.
First thing is just to take a damp sponge. Wipe down the drywall. And this will keep
the thinset from drying out immediately, and it helps you glide that thinset over the substrate.
Also, it gets some of the dust and things off as well.
So as you could see, the thinset is pretty soupy. That’s what you need to adhere the
KERDI to the board. So you want to make sure this isn’t too thick. If it’s too thick,
it ends up having a hard time bonding. So this is a fairly soupy consistency. I want
to break them out using the flat side of the trowel to embed the thinset. And then trowel
it afterwards. ALL-SET was applied to this first wall with
the flat side of the trowel first. So a good layer of ALL-SET mortar with the flat side
of the trowel first on the entire wall. Then we used the notched side of that same trowel
to apply more ALL-SET. You want a really good layer of thinset on top of the drywall. And
by the way, the KERDI trowel was used for this installation.
All right, then apply down a layer and do directional troweling, just making sure that
all your ridges are full to make sure you get the right amount of coverage.
Okay, so we’ll pay attention to our levelness. Make sure that it stays right and straight.
And you kind of just want to push this into the corner
and keep one side kind of open. And this is basically to keep any air bubbles from developing.
So just work your way. So I’m just using a 6-inch putty knife to
make sure that this is nice and flat and to get any air bubbles out from underneath of
the KERDI membrane. The nice thing with the KERDI wide roll is
there are no seams that you have to fill. So there’s no seams on this shower wall
that we have to go back and waterproof. It’s super quick to install.
Okay. And then if you want to check some coverage, just make sure that that looks… when you
start seeing these kinds of markings on the drywall where you could see how it’s kind
of attached to the fleece, that means you got pretty good coverage. If you see any bald
spots of the drywall when you pull that back, that means that there’s not enough coverage.
But since it’s kind of all equally covered, I would say that’s good coverage.
We’ll go ahead and cut the excess up against this trim.
And then we’ll go ahead and work on the back wall here.
It’s really important to apply the damp sponge to the surface of the drywall. That
way, the moisture from the thinset mortar won’t be wicked out of the mortar prematurely,
and that will prevent the mortar from setting up or curing too fast. So again, we applied
the thinset using the flat side of this KERDI trowel. And then more thinset was applied
using the notched side of the trowel. So in this case, the KERDI trowel is a 1/8
x 1/8 inch square notch trowel. And you want all the trowel ridges to face the same direction,
also known as directional troweling. And the reason for that directional troweling is so
that when the KERDI membrane goes over top of the thinset mortar and it’s compressed,
it’s easier for the air to escape from the trowel ridges. So again, use directional troweling.
So it’s going to be important that you get this tight into the corner using your putty
knife because you don’t want this bellowing out and cause any problems with your tile
work. So try to get that as tight as you can. And then roll it out, paying attention to
your level line. Make sure everything’s still rolling properly. And once you get that
corner established, just pull this out and just kind of feather it out like a blanket.
Make sure you have a minimal amount of air underneath of this. And then you can just
use your putty knife to squeeze out any additional thinset and air pockets.
You could feel these air pockets pretty easily. So just make sure that it feels a little nice
and flat I’m going to fill in this void here in the
corner bead in the drywall here since there’s really nothing there.
All right. So again, just make sure that that corner’s nice and tight before you roll
it out. Just use your putty knife to push that into the corner. Cut around your valve.
You don’t have to be too accurate with this because you’ll be able to seal against this
with the KERDI Fix, but try to make it as tight as you can.
Cut this off the corner here. You just want to make sure that this KERDI bonds to this
outside corner but also doesn’t stick outside of that corner because you’re going to be
grouting that tile against this. Okay, and we’ll just do a roll of KERDI Band across
the top here just to kind of filling out between the two areas and make it a little stronger.
KERDI Band application begins by applying thinset mortar to both the KERDI membrane
and the drywall first using the flat side of the KERDI trowel then the notched side
of the KERDI trowel again using directional troweling—so having all the trowel ridges
face the same direction. And the reason for that is when you go to apply the KERDI Band
over top of all this thinset, the air will be able to escape out between the KERDI Band
membrane and the drywall and the thinset. So again, we’re just applying with the flat
side first, and then we’re using directional troweling second, and then applying one continual
piece of KERDI Band over all three sections of this drywall and the KERDI membrane. That’s
the way to install it. Again, make sure this corner’s nice and
tight when you wrap it around. Using a 6-inch putty knife really makes this
process very easy and straightforward. And again, you want to make sure that the two
corners here are nice and flat because if they’re not flat, that will interfere with
the tiling process later on. So make sure that all of the thinset mortar is compressed
as flat as possible between the KERDI Band and the drywall. And then here, we’re just
cutting a slit into the KERDI Band so it can fit over top of the shower arm that will be
in the shower area. You don’t have to be 100% accurate on this
because there a little pipe flange that we’re going to be putting around this. So even if
it’s wildly inaccurate, it’s not a big deal.
As you can see, we’re really paying attention that the flatness of this KERDI Band over
top of both the KERDI membrane and the existing drywall and using a sponge to knock down any
of the existing thinset and clean off the existing thinset that’s on top of both the
KERDI membrane and the drywall that’s above it. It’s really important to do that. And
here, we’re just tucking in our corners even more and cleaning off any of the excess
thinset that is over top of the shower pan area.
Okay, in the Schluter kit, it comes with a shower valve, basically
a shower valve cover on here. But obviously, as you could see, that’s not going to fit
on this type of shower valve. Not a big deal because since we used the Hansgrohe iBox,
we’re just going to seal around the edge of this with the KERDI Fix. So we can already
make a nice, tight seal. But this is something that’ll be great for different valves that
don’t have this type of waterproof feature. So this will come with the drain kit. It also
will come with a pipe flange, which will allow me to have it for the shower port. So we’ll
go ahead and set this on there. It doesn’t really matter which way this goes, but this
is a nice shower seal around your valve cover. This is the Schluter KERDI trowel. It’s
a 1/8” x 1/8” square notch trowel. This is what we used to apply the KERDI membrane
to the drywall. Then we used the KERDI Fix between the Hansgrohe iBox and the KERDI membrane.
KERDI Fix will provide a water-tight and waterproof seal between the KERDI membrane and this plastic
portion and the iBox. We used our finger to tool that joint. And it’s really important
to make this joint as flat as possible against the iBox and the KERDI membrane so that it
doesn’t interfere with the setting of the tile later on. But this is a really great
option for waterproofing. As you saw, it’s super quick to install
the purple board and to waterproof it using the KERDI membrane. The next step is to install
the Schluter shower pan. And we’re going to show you how to do that step-by-step. But
if you’re doing a custom bathroom installation or a custom shower, make sure you check out That’s where we have over 200 videos in our library and walk
you step-by-step through many different types of installations, including the tile work.
So make sure you visit All right. Thanks for watching, and we’ll
see you in the next video.

12 thoughts on “Schluter Shower Part 1: Drywall and Wide Roll Kerdi Membrane

  1. What can I say… Another fantastically done video. Very well done as always…

  2. It's so funny when you said it's a beautiful day in Pittsburgh today I was like no it's not. We got a bunch of storms today. Lol. But you filmed this at a different time. Thanks for sharing .

  3. That 79 inch Kerdi membrane is super cool. Did Schluter just start offering it in that size or have they had it for a while? My local Lowe’s store only had the 3 foot 3 inch sheets when I did my tub surround. Great video as always.

  4. you mentioned that you didn't have to use a vapor barrier because they are all interior walls, thus, you use a vapor barrier when you have exterior walls? i've read that vapor barriers, in most cases, are unnecessary in houses that have a good air seal and can actually lead to excess moisture in the walls. thoughts? some reading material:

  5. I've not seen purple board. Is it the same as green board in the states?

  6. The only drawback of this is that it is only available in 98' long rolls at a cost of around $800. This is only practical if you are a contractor or a flooring store stocking it. I wish Schluter would make it available in smaller size rolls… 🙁

  7. Would only using Kerdi board be an acceptable option? Instead of using the purple drywall and kerdi membrane.

  8. Just found this – I followed your videos from last year and used normal drywall. I haven't put on the membrane yet. Should I remove and use the purple board?

  9. Would there be an issue with using cement board or hardie backer instead of the drywall?

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