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Schlüter-Systems Q&A

We spoke to Schlüter-Systems about the company’s offering for installers and what visitors can expect to see at InstallerSHOW this June.

Schlüter’s portfolio spans a number of product areas. How can this wide selection benefit installers?
Schlüter-Systems has developed more than 10,000 products for the long-lasting installation of tiles and natural stone; they include a comprehensive range of trims, waterproofing, underfloor heating and shower drainage systems. Worldwide, the products and systems have created the very best in bathroom design; in both style and durability. Schlüter’s products and systems are developed and tested to work together; there is one point of contact for the installer and peace of mind is ensured as the combinations are proven.

How important is the installer for Schlüter?
The key to the company’s success has always been the installer; be they independent or employed by merchants or bathroom showrooms. The way the products are installed is crucial to them performing as intended. The Schlüter approach is a holistic one for a room, which is challenging when not designed and fitted correctly; the company sells solutions, not just products, to the installer.

What are Schlüter’s main USPs?
One of the main USPs is the vast range of products; there are plenty of companies that offer ranges of products; but none does all. A key benefit is that all products are designed to be used together to create a complete CE-marked system. The level of service is high; from practical training days to ongoing support from the sales and technical teams. The training days consistently receive 100% positive feedback; once an installer sees how easy the products are to install, they often become Schlüter advocates. There is ongoing support with area sales managers who build good working relationships with customers and the internal teams have sound technical knowledge. Other resources include datasheets and technical documentation, along with the new website and useful installation videos on the YouTube channel.

What are the key advantages of fitting products such as KERDI-BOARD on a bathroom project?
Helpfully, Schluter-KERDI-BOARD, which is BBA-certified and NHBC-compliant, is designed for both retrofit and new-build installations; the different thicknesses of the extruded polystyrene (XPS) panel provide a stable and waterproof substrate for natural stone and ceramic tiling. The panels are available in thicknesses of 5, 9, 12.5, 19, 28, 38 and 50mm and are easily installed across existing masonry, concrete, timber stud frames or lightweight metal framing, with panels featuring parallel grooves also available for creating rounded surfaces, such as for seating or curved walls. With all thicknesses available in 1.25 m or 2.6 m lengths, both by 62.5 cm wide, KERDI-BOARD is used to create work-surfaces, breakfast bars, islands and vanities. A guide can be downloaded from the website to help choose the right panel for the job. As an example, 12.5 mm is the minimum thickness where a stud frame is constructed to 400 mm centres. The largest three thicknesses should be considered for construction purposes, while there are also special L-shaped and U-shaped panels for use as pipe boxing, and prefabricated niches in different sizes, with or without lighting, to create storage within walls. Both sides of the KERDI-BOARD panels have a waterproof, cement-free reinforcement layer; ideal for tile adhesive, either fully embedded or using the dot and dab method. Printed lines help with accurate cutting using a utility knife or power tools, while the product is lightweight and dust-free.

How is Schlüter committed to improving efficiency and sustainability?
In short, by employing Schlüter’s systems, the installer improves efficiency in terms of installation; it’s all about making the project quicker and simpler. The company is grounded in practical roots as the owner, Werner Schlüter, invented products that helped him to solve problems he encountered on site as a master tiler.

An example of the continuous, efficiency-focused product development programme is the production of DITRA, which is now on the third version. The latest version includes EasyCut gridlines that make the mat even easier and faster to cut. The EasyFill design features integrated air release vents for better air circulation which, in turn, make the tile adhesive quicker to spread and help it lock with the modified undercuttings of the mat.

Schlüter-Systems is well known as an expert when it comes to creating long-lasting bathrooms. Past shortcomings in the design of both new-build properties and retrofits have shown the importance of protecting the fabric of the bathrooms with reliable waterproofing. This is a point underlined by the NHBC’s forthcoming (July 2024) technical guidance that will effectively rule out the use of gypsum plasterboard or magnesium oxide boards as the substrate for tiling in a wet room or where a power shower is fitted.

The changes require the use of substrate boards which are fully resistant to water and, ideally, will mitigate against the creation of condensation within the wall build-up. Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD features an XPS foam core and is faced on both sides with a reinforcement layer and fleece webbing that offers an ideal key for tile adhesive.

What does Schlüter offer in terms of training?
A range of courses is held at Schlüter’s HQ in Leicestershire, a facility which is undergoing a development programme due for completion this summer. The courses cover undertile heating, waterproofing, drainage and substrate preparation. Each course is tailored to provide the perfect balance of presentation, demonstration and hands-on time. Hundreds of installers and contractors are trained every year, with 100% of the attendees in 2023 saying they would recommend the Module One course. Of course, training extends beyond the classroom, and the team also holds trade days across the country, providing product demonstrations and advice.

What can visitors to InstallerSHOW 2024 expect to see on the Schlüter stand?
Among the products on display will be:

In addition, the team will be performing product demonstrations to highlight the best practices in waterproofing, featuring the NHBC-compliant KERDI-BOARD, a tileable, waterproof backerboard. Visitors will be able to find out more about the company’s established, market-leading training days, while also exploring how to become a Schlüter-approved Installer.

Installers can also enter a daily “Quickest installation” competition to see who can fit the DITRA-HEAT Peel & Stick underfloor heating system in the quickest time possible!

Find out more at www.schluter.co.uk or head to stand 4D22 at InstallerSHOW.
Register for your free ticket here.

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