For a retired engineer you do love to support Schluter. Do they pay for your flight and hotel or just the hotel when you visit them. As for Kerdi workshops I have been to only two - one here in Vancouver when they launched Kerdi Board, and one two day workshop some twelve years ago. I told my Schluter Rep my concerns over the product during his demo. If I remeber correctly he said something like "Your killing me here" after I continued with the tough questions.
Most people I think do not trust the Kerdi non-modifed thin-set approach. I have never trusted it on any job. I have always used a liquid as back up. But since Schluter does not allow this and because I heard inspectors are failing inspections for installers that do this I needed to find a new approach. Ardex 8+9 is the answer.
I don't build cheap showers Jim. I build high end. Clients paying $1,000-$ 20,000 on plumbing fixtures alone can afford an extra $70.00 for piece of mind and a better system.
If I had say Eight people built a Kerdi Test Box and Four used non-modifed thin-set and four used Ardex 8+9 in lue of Kerdi Coll how many do you think would hold up to a three day flood test? I would guess six - all four of the Ardex ones and half of the non-modified ones.
If you wanted to fast track a Kerdi Flood Test - again Ardex 8+9 is the answer.
Have you not ever asked yourself why they do not use non-modifed thin-set over in Germany. Is Kerdi not the same there as it is here?
Why does Noble Company not use Non-Modifed thin-set with there membranes? Noble has been making these membrane longer than Schluter. Have you ever taken a Noble training class Jim? I have.
Have you taken a Mapei training class? I have.
What about an Ardex training class Jim? I have.
You are so blinded by printed instructions or so thrilled with your celebrity status with Schluter you can not see the forest through the trees.
When I say it's the only way - I mean it's the only way I will do it. Because it is better. Stronger.
If I was not allowed to do this approach I'm sure I would have gotten a letter from Schluter (Dale) saying there is no equivelent to Kerdi Coll in North America. One of the Ardex reps told me that many of the commercial projects they work on with Schluter include the Ardex 8+9 spec.
I'm chatting with a builder state side who flood tested a hot tub that was done with Aqua Defence. The flood test failed and the Aqua Defence blistered like crazy. You know who recommended to him to flood test it? His Schluter rep I'm told. I'm told that when asked how to build his hot tub with Kerdi he was told to use a 50 percent overlap. I was also told that these hot tubs are all spec'd on a job by job basis. Now why would you need a 50% overlap with a hot tub install? I thought 2" was more than needed. Hmmm - fishy....
Makes you think - doesn't it?
So you can blindly follow the instructions that come with Kerdi or you can dig deeper - talk with Ardex. Get the whole story.
Anyone who is confused should email Ardex. Ask for Harrison - he is a top tech there. Harrison.Gardner@ArdexAmericas.comp
Not all companies make great products for the entire product line up.
For Ardex their dog is their AF207 Ditra Adhesive - the product is Shit. Total Crap.
For Schluter it is Kerdi Board - and their spec about non-modifed thin-sets.
I have been installing Kerdi for almost 13 years now. I know what I'm doing. With Ardex 8+9 I will use Kerdi and Kerdi DS. No Ardex - No Kerdi. If I want an even thicker membrane I will use Noble's NobleSeal TS.
You keep preaching how great the instructions are Jim - Keep telling people your story. I will keep telling mine. The difference between you and me is that I work with these products weekly - you just talk about them hourly. I show my work. People can look me up and see I am a builder. You are a Big Red Shoe on a screen - buddies with the John Bridge Crew. John Bridge sells Kerdi EBooks. Some people might think you get a cut or are paid by Schluter - I know I do.
In 13 years I have gotten one gift from Schluter - it was a Kerdi Board Tee-Shirt. Can you say the same? I signed up for it. I paid for my training class on Kerdi years ago - I think $250.00 - they gave me a couple free lunches at the training sessions. When I take the other classes from the other companies lunch is always included and most times there are ball caps, pens and tee-shirts.
Look past the Orange Tree Jim - take in the forest. I get you love Kerdi and the engineer in you can not let you miss follow the rules. I bet you make your bed before you go make coffee and stir your cream the same way, most likey the same amount of spins. In this business of building high end bathrooms you need to get creative - you need freedom, using Ardex 8+9 with Kerdi and Kerdi fix does give me this freedom.
I bet Kerdi Coll is sold in Canada within one year of today - I've asked them to bring it in for me. Lets see if I get my way. How long do you think Schluter will let Ardex take market share from them until they change the spec sheet. You can use Ardex 8+9 over drywall if you want to be crazy. Ardex 8+9 is half the price of Kerdi. I think Kerdi Coll is on it's way over - once you try it you will see why I love it.