Kerdi Board Shower Niches - Review of Schluter System's new shower ready made niches
I went out to purchase a small lot of uncoupling membrane for a new series of test yesterday and stumbled upon Schluter System's new shower niche's on display. The shower niches are made from Kerdi Board and what looks like a type of silicone. I was surprised to see that Schluter did not think to design a slope into the niche. I think this is a huge oversight but something that can easily be fixed.
Just in case I was mistaken I used my wife's Air Miles Card to check to see if the niche had a slope.
This is a view of the back side. Total square to the Air Miles Card.
Inside of the niche. Again no slope here.
I do not like building any shower niche without a slope to the bottom. If I where to install one (No real chance of that happening since I do not work with foam based backer boards, curbs or shower pans) I would first make a little grade for the bottom. Most likely with some Ardex X32.
The instructions show just banding the face of the shower niche - the Kerdi Board Niche but I would wrap the face and bring it into the niche. I would not trust soley the silicone (if that is what it is) by itself at the face miter edge.
All in all they are a nice shape and size and will for sure save loads of time.
However I think this type of niche is a much better design and the same price.
This is a Private Label Niche. The sides and bottom are sloped so they can be installed any direction and have a sloped bottom. This is much smarter and a much better design. My camera died so I never finished getting some pictures. I'll snap a few next time I'm out in Burnaby.
Sizes sold for the kerdi Board prefabricated shower niche
This is the 12"x20" model shown here with optional Ardex 8+9 waterproofing installed. A play by play of how these went in is shown later in this thread (pages 2 and 3)....
Here is a list of the four sizes available in the Kerdi Board Shower niche.
- 12" x 6" (305 mm x 152 mm)
- 12" x 12" (305 mm x 305 mm)
- 12" x 20" (305 mm x 508 mm)
- 12" x 28" (305 mm x 711 mm)
Kerdi Board - Opinions on this new backer board
One thing for people to remember when considering using Kerdi Board (or Kerdi Board Niche's) is that Kerdi Board in fact has no "Kerdi" on it. The product is coloured to look like Kerdi but the orange material on Kerdi Board is not in fact Kerdi.
The best Kerdi Board Niche's would be custom made. The backer would be cement board and Kerdi DS would be used. This is a winning team and would be acceptable even in a commercial or high use steam shower anywhere in Canada.
To protect the foam from water and to tie the waterproofing of my shower walls into the Niche I used two of these Kerdi Outside Corners installed backwards... More on pages 2 and 3
We have debated the value of Kerdi Board in length here on Terry's site. The wicking of water through the "Special Reinforcing Material" is the most alarming and why I think the mitered edges need further protection.
Kerdi Board Review
Kerdi Board Niche or Cement Board with Kerdi (one sucks and one is rock solid)
We have built tons of Showers and used the Kerdi System. Everyone is perfect to this day.
A kerdi system would be an improvement to a traditional design in my opinion but in lue of using one of this Kerdi Board Niches I would use the exact same design you are planning but then add Kerdi Over top. Shower niches in a traditonal shower build with hardi board are more prone to failure than say one with a topical membrane. These Kerdi Board niches should have a slope on the bottom. Not sure why they skipped this step.
Will you be using any recessed niches in your design?
Will the contractor be using Poly or Buiding Paper behind the concrete board?
Will your contractor be adding the required blocking and using the proper screws?
Make sure you tell him that you want the TCNA specifications followed for your shower build. Make sure you have a flood test done - don't settle for a 15 minutes soak. Ask him to leave it for three days. Check yourself often and set up an evaporation control box.
When the flood test is done and the plug pulled all water should drain away. There should be no puddles.
If your contractor understands all these steps and delivers your in good hands. Ask him and see what his plans are.
The good ones already do this - if the contractor tells you that there is no need for a pre-slope and flood test. He skips the blocking. Just nails on the backer board - Ask yourself if he has ever built a proper shower.
Food for thought.
Kerdi Board Niches have no slope - Huge Design Flaw.
They lied. There is none. I fixed this one with Ardex X32.
Originally Posted by jadnashua
Notice the Airmiles Card Jim (below or the square above). I flipped it. Last time I checked every single Credit card I have and this air miles card has 90 degree corners. I think the folks at the Factory are smoking crack if they think there is a slope on these niches.
How does a Retired Defense Engineer get to chat & or tour the Schluter Factory? The Kerdi Board Niche in the pictures above is product on display and for sale here in Vancouver. Notice this competitor niche.
Same Air Miles card. See the void at the front edge. This niche has a slope to it. The Kerdi Board Niche has none.
One picture is worth a thousand words Jim. Pretty black and white. Unless of course they only ship the ones with no slope to us Canadians. :) I think you made a wrong turn and where talking to someone in "Marketing" at Schluter and not to a Factory Worker. Why not post a picture of a Kerdi Board niche for us. Use your gas card, a business card, a credit card, a square or maybe an envelope - any one will do to check if it has a slope.
A quick fix would be to use a cut tile and set it upside down with a slight slope. Kerdi Fix the tile to the four edges. Good to go.
You could skim a Kerdi Board Niche with thin-set and then add Kerdi or use 8+9
There are many ways to do it.
The niche in this picture has a slope - so should the Kerdi Board Niche.
Not to pick on Schluter but the Laticrete and Noble Niches are built the same. FTR I don't like those either! JW
Kerdi Board Niche - Call Backs
So are they calling back all the old ones? What happens to all the showers built with the ones poorly designed? Will Schluter be paying to replace them? What's the word Jim.
Originally Posted by jadnashua
It does amaze me my friend that you are retired and know more about Schluter's products than me. And I work in the business.
Originally Posted by jadnashua
Why didn't you just say the first ones sucked and that now they have to remake them???
I even spoke with my Schluter rep a couple days ago. You'd think he would have mentioned a call back on the Kerdi Board Niche.
Even with a slope I bet they are still using some kind of glue or silicone to fix them together.
Kerdi Board Niches get a - "FAIL" in design. The fact that they even released the flat ones is alarming. I bet me and ever other educated installer took one look at them and said "Ah NO!"
Like Kerdi Board - these new niches suck. Even the new new niches....
Do all the stores carrying the old stock get to exchange them for new ones? How does that work Jim?
How to make a Kerdi Niche with Cement Board. Step by step
Jim it appears people just need to see how easy it is to make a Kerdi Niche with cement board. Lets teach them OK.
it's so easy.
First you use Cement Board. This is board made with cement. It is much better than Kerdi Board because instead of foam and cardboard it uses cement. We drive our cars on cement. Our foundation walls are made of cement. Not much foam in foundations - unless of course it covers cement.
Then you install Kerdi over top. Kerdi DS if it's a steam shower. Now you have a Kerdi "Cement Board" Niche. This approach is ideal.
Now if you have a Kerdi Board Niche and it has no slope - I would demand your money back. Why? because it is a poor design and does not allow water to drain away from the bottom. Such a bad design in fact that they have changed how they make or so Jim says. I have yet to see a Kerdi Board Niche with a slope. I have only seen four to date and they where all in Vancouver.
Cherck out this Kerdi Niche I just built Jim. I used Kerdi. Some cement board. Kerdi Fix. LED Lighting. Ardex 8+9, Kerdi Corners and Kerdi Band.
Lots of Kerdi in this niche. I did however use no cardboard. No glue. No foam. And no orange cloth that looks like Kerdi but is not actually Kerdi.
Jim did the the Kerdi Factory workers tell you why there is no Kerdi in Kerdi Board or in the Kerdi Board niches? I always wonder about that.
Here is my version of a "kerdi board niche"
I like my version better.