CGC Durock Shower System - Review
I opened up my email today and found yet another shower system available for sale. When will these companies stop making foam showers?
If you have not heard the sound tile makes when set over foam it's awful. Sounds hollow. Sounds weird.
I have never installed a shower with a foam base and most likely never will. This includes all the bases from Schluter, Noble Company, Laticrete and now sadly from Durock.
Tile should be set in stone. Not on foam.
More info on this crappy new system can be found here: http://www.cgcinc.com/content/usgcom...er-system.html When I say crappy I say this with no first hand experience - the fact that the product uses foam is enough info for me.
CGC Shower Video - Notes on the Video
It starts out asking for a level substrate. The video goes on to recommend un-modifed thin-set and a Durock membrane which looks like it was made by Wedi. I love how the backer board is not screwed off right in the video...
The video shows pipe seals and thermastatic control valve seals like the Schluter ones. I wonder if Schluter is making this membrane for Durock???
Un-Modified thin-set to the plywood subfloor - are you F___king kidding me. Do these people have no clue? Wow, such horrible advice in this video. BUt hey Jim they said it so it must be true. I have heard stories from my suppliers of kerdi showers coming un-bonded when un-modifed thin-set was used to set the foam base. Here I would use a self curing thin-set like Grani Rapid from Mapei for this step...... But what do I know, I only build showers for a living...
No reinforcing around the drain cut out - they might be worried about point loads hey Jim! LOL I was kidding folks. All shower drains should be supported for added strength. It's not hard to slide in a couple 2"x4" 's from the top side and screw them in place. The video never showed the installer checking the subfloor. Checking for expansion. Didn't mention about keeping the tongue an groove clean when doing the shower base install. These companies need some serious training. It's almost like the marketing people make the video - WEIRD.....
Wow - looks like Schluter is making this membrane for Durock. Who wants to bet that the Durock IAPMO is listed under Schluter's number?
Hoping non-modified thin-set will bond the the drain base! Aaahh not. Here again I would scratch up the bottom of the drain base a bit with my pocket knife and then use Grani Rapid for this step. I would fear the drain base un-bonds as the thin-set cures and this is a huge weak point in the shower's design. Easy fixes. with only an O-Ring for water tightness I would hope all flood test use an inflatable test plug pushed in down past this connection point.
Looks like the curb is massive and has no slope to it! Wow - must be a Kerdi Board Niche Engineer who designed this flaw.
At least they recommend a flood test. But they show the wrong test plug. The one in the video will not check that O-Ring connection point to the drain.
The floor tile should go in first and then the wall tile - the video has this ass backwards.
The drain top should not be flush with the tile - it should be slightly recessed. OMG is that a lot of thin-set at the drain connection. Imagine how nasty that looks in three months. And the thin-set is non-modified - I would guess that the shower's grout looks grey in six months time.
No expansion between the floor and the curb prep = Mistake.
This shower system is a good lesson on why companies should not branch out from what they do best. Crappy design. Crappy install video. Crappy Shower.
Is Schluter Systems Supplying the materials for CGC Durock Shower System? the Secret
I posted to Schluter's Facebook site this morning a link to the CGC Video and asked if they where supplying the materials for Durock's new shower system. When I went back today after being at work all day the post of mine was gone. Weird.
So did I think I posted it and did not - OR - did the folks at Schluter Cyber Patrol remove my video link and question. I know I posted it because I first post the link and then added a comment. But just to be sure I will try again.
Lets see if they answer my question or if they delete it?
Honest question. Looking at the system (other than the drain) it looks the same same.
And Jim before you chime in here (please do - or have you not had time to retype the instruction onto your hard drive) please share any photo's of your work. This makes request number five to see anything you have built.
This time I'll screen shot the question. I do not think Durock could pull off the seal gaskets with out landing them in some kind of court case - Later tonight after soccer practice I'll check the IAPMO website for Durock's ANSI 118.10 approval - I bet I find it listed under Schulter Systems account. A long shot would be Wedi since the colour looks the same.
Maybe it's the new system from Proline I heard rumours about - no Josef would not be so silly to use non-modified thin-set. He is a High Lander....
Durock - Schluter Partnership ??? Question Asked - Answer Pending
So I reposted this question again tonight. Lets see what they have to say.
Just to be safe I screen shotted my question. If they delete this with out answering it I think my hunch will be proven.
MAybe the systems is made by Fin Pan or what ever that other foam company is. I have to find this out.
Last hunch I had like this was that Laticrete's new drains where made by Infinity. And I was right about that one.
Maybe it is the fact that all I do is showers and waterproofing. I love these games - it's like being a CSI agent.... LOL
Is Schluter making the products for Durock - the answer revealed
So I check my messages this morning and did find out that Schluter did remove my first post. After posting the link a second time I got the answer I was looking for but not expecting. Schluter is not (I'm told by their Facebook person) making the products for Durock.
I was told they did not like my link that promotes another system and this I can totally understand so I deleted the second link myself.
Time to call Durock. Last nights look into the systems IAPMO reports showed the drains and pans have an approval but I see none for the Durock Topical waterproofing membrane. Maybe a call to their technical support line will clear this up....
CGC Durock Shower System - Technical Suport Line 1-800-387-2690
CGI Durock's Technical Support Line is listed below.
I never got a chance to call yesterday and speak with them about who is making the membrane and if the ANSI 118.10 approval is in place. I have not seen any markings on the membrane as yet.
CGC Durock Shower System
1-800-387-2690, Monday – Friday
What sets the Durock System Apart From the Rest?
Reading through the data sheet on the Durock Shower System it says that the drain assembly can be installed to a three inch drain pipe. That's pretty interesting. Not sure if I would go that route for most builds but on occasion a three inch drain line is specified.
My favourite three inch drains are made by California Faucets out of L.A.
Zack in Tech Support - CGC Durock Shower Support Re: ANSI 118.10 for Durock Shower
I called CGC today asking for the ANSI 118.10 Approval Listing for the membrane used and spoke with fellow named Zack. Zack did not have this information handy and is looking it up now. Zack searched his company's documentation for any reference to ANSI 118.10 and found none.
He was super professional and helpful - took my name and email and promised to dig it up for me.
I asked him if Schluter was making the systems for him andwas told no - that in a company training he took it was an exclusive to CGC item.
I think the ANSI document will tell if in fact CGC is the maker or perhaps it's a third party. Maybe the people that make the membrane for Quick Drain USA or Wedi. Hmmm.
I'll report back what I find out.
It's important to see a ANSI 118.10 stamping on a waterproofing material. With out one you can get delayed at inspection time.
Not sure why this Kerdi Board does not show it?
Kerdi labels it right on the fabric...
Many products do not have a ANSI 118.10 marking. For example Ardex 8+9, Mapei's Aquuadefence and Laticrete's Hydro Ban are all brush or roller applied. When flood testing your showers you should have the ANSI 118.10 approval printed off.
I have failed a number of inspections years back since the plumbing inspectors where unfamiliar with the products I was using. No big deal since you need only print them for them but better to be prepare and have them ready for when they ask.
I make it a habit now to have them pinned to the wall.
Oakville Customer Service - Durock Shower System
Below in Red is an Email I received from Zach at Durock. Later in the day a rep from back East called me but our call got cut off. I'm waiting for an email with the approval but am told they have it or it's coming soon. I was told they could sent me a letter saying it is and I requested the official approval. The fellow from back East also told me when asked this is not a relabelled product but something Durock has developed themselves.
As per Jeff Glancie, our manager of the Durock Shower Sytem product, it does meet the ANSI118.10 standard. There will be written info to come. I can notify you when we release it If you’d like.
Zach Haeussler - Oakville Customer Service
"Meeting the requirements of ANSI 118.10"
So I emailed Jeff and found out the manager for this shower system is the "Marketing Manager" - as shown by his signature line in an email from him to me. I emailed Jeff directly using Zach's email address as a guide and format for Jeff's (above you can see how CGC formats their company emails) and this morning received a letter from
Jeff W Glancie
Industrial Products and Specialty Substrates
The letter with the info was from
Claire Yu, PH.D.
Program Manager, Performance Substrates Lab
USG Corporation Innovation Ceneter
700 N HWY 45, Libertyville, IL, 60048
With in the letter I read it lists that this new shower system meets all the following approvals.
Fungus and Micro-Organism Resistance
Seam Strength ASTM D751-06
Breaking Strength ASTM D751-06
Dimensional Stability ASTM D1204-08
Waterpoofnesss ASTM C4068-09
7-day dry shear strength ASTM C482-09
7 day water immersion shear strength ASTM C482-09
4 week shear strength ASTM C482-09
12 week shear strength ASTM C482-09
100 day water immersion shear strength ASTM C482-09
A copy of this letter can be obtained from Jeff on request. I still don't like the fact I can not get an IAPMO certification and will hold off even considering an install like this until one of two things happen. Durock allows the use of self curing modified thin-sets to set the shower base over plywood and an OFFICIAL IAPMO LETTER surfaces.
Come inspection time "Meeting the requirements of ANSI 118.10" is not the same thing as having a IAPMO Certification stating so
Installation Photo's of the new CGC Durock Shower System
I was cruising the internet today and came upon a few installation pictures of the new Durock Shower System.
After looking at some install pictures the similarities with the Kerdi system are so close. Except Kerdi has one thing going for it - actually two.
For one you can see your coverage through Kerdi and the Durock system you can not.
And the second is the ability of using Ardex 8+9 with Kerdi and not the Durock system.
The other draw back is more obvious in that in my opinion the Durock backer board is crap compared to say Wonder Board from Custom. He just did a job where the client boarded his shower with Durock and I have to say I have never seen a poorer backer board. I get that's it's popular but this no doubt because it's cheap - not because it's great.
My review of what little I have seen to date is that why by a copy of the original. Especially with the drain design and requirement to use such a shitty backer board.
Photos of the Durock Shower System
One giant box full of foam and waterproofing membranes. This image pulled from the John Bridge Tile Forum - Source.
Now the owner of the John Bridge form is a man by the name of CX I believe and he has installed an entire kit - with backer board. It was in his testing that the thin-set coverage was not visible like the Kerdi membrane. This is true for most other membranes and includes NobleSeal TS, NobleDeck and more.
Here in CX's Pictures you can see some more shots. Now Durock is weak and flexes a lot. This is why you should have blocking in between the sheets. In this photo you can see CX has not used any. Seems silly to show an install so clearly wrong as a "Show Piece" ----- ODD.
Notice the missing blocking between sheets of Durock!
The membrane looks grey in colour and reminds me of the Jaeger membrane that Quick Drain USA and Wedi sell. Not much difference here again between a Durock shower and a Kerdi shower - except with kerdi you can use Ardex 8+9 and you can not with Durock's system.
In this picture we see no clear indication of any factory inside or outside corners being used with the shower's niche. These of course weak points in any shower build. I would imagine a few of these corners are available with the kit. - I wonder how hard it is to order more.
The last picture of interest is the one with the coverage check.
Obviously no proper coverage here. Is a 1/4" square notched trowel required? Find out.
With the similarities to this Durock system you should take some time and check out my Inspection Check List for a Kerdi Shower Build. Lots of the same principles will factor into your build. My gut take on this new shower kit is to leave it a good year. Wait and see how a few of these showers turn out. Lets see if the folks on John Bridge's forum will document a flood test for us. I know it's required - but will they show it.
All Pictures for this post source from this link.
Which is better Kerdi-Board or Durock Foam Board? Trick Question - they both suck
"I've got a shower in progress, waiting for the foam board, which I expect to have forthwith. I will post pics, of course." The mighty shower builder John Bridge wrote this comment yesterday about a new shower he is building. I guess he is working on a new e-book ! Guard your fake Ivy plants everyone.... :)
So it must mean that not only does Durock want to make the crappiest cement backer board - they also want to make foam boards as well. I get that our tile men are getting old. Getting Fat. Getting Lazy. But foam...
Who places the toilet in display in a bathroom renovation? Why use Hydro Ban with Kerdi-Board... Oh right you can do curves with Kerdi by itself.