porcelain tile over kerdi membrane

Porcelain Tile Over Kerdi Membrane

When it comes to bathroom tile problems, Kerdi membrane has proven to be a popular solution. However, people are often confused if porcelain tile can be used over the Kerdi membrane. 

So, can you use porcelain tile over kerdi membrane?

Yes, porcelain tiles can be installed over the kerdi membrane,but it’s not recommended. Installing porcelain tiles on Kerdi membrane can be used to stop water damage and mold development. It’s a popular choice due to its water resistance and general cleanliness. Showers, baths, and kitchens are common places to find porcelain tiles over the kerdi membrane.

There is much more to learn about this topic. This article comes with all the information you need along with step-by-step installation guidelines.

Can Porcelain Tile be Installed Over Kerdi Membrane?

Can you put porcelain tile over kerdi membrane? Yes, you most definitely can!

In order to prevent water damage and mold growth, Kerdi membrane for porcelain tile shower is a smart move. Typically because of its resistance to water and general cleanliness. 

Porcelain tile over Kerdi membrane in wet areas is very common these days. Porcelain tiles can also withstand drills if you want to maybe install a bathroom fan.

A coating of thinset mortar among SET™ , ALL-SET™ or FAST-SET™ is applied over the membrane after it has been put over a sturdy and level substrate like cement board or plasterboard. 

The tiles are then laid on the membrane using a thinset mortar. High-quality grout, designed to withstand moisture and mold development, is used to fill the spaces between the tiles. An attractive, multipurpose, and low-maintenance surface is the end product.

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How to Install Porcelain Tile Over Kerdi Membrane

Follow this simple step-by-step guideline!

Required Tools:

  • Schluter Kerdi Membrane
  • Thinset mortar
  • Tile spacers
  • Laser level
  • Wet saw
  • Grout
  • rubber float
  • Silicone
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk line
  • Utility knife
  • Safety glasses

Step 1: Prepare the surface

Before tiling, prepare the surface. Clean the surface to eliminate dirt, dust, and oil. A scrub brush and light detergent or tile cleanser will clean the surface. Wash and dry the area. 

Check for surface fractures and unevenness. Fix and level the surface first. Measure and chalk the tiled area after cleaning and drying. 

Step 2: Install the Kerdi membrane 

The Kerdi membrane waterproofs the structure. Cut the Kerdi membrane to size, leaving overlaps and seams. Use a notched trowel to evenly apply thinset mortar to the wall. You can use a Bon 12-144 U or a Marshalltown 16×4 notched trowel to apply the mortar. Now press the Kerdi membrane onto the mortar from the bottom downwards. 

Remove air pockets and wrinkles by embedding the membrane into the mortar with a wood or grout float. Waterproof the seams and corners by overlapping them. Trim off any excess membrane with a utility knife

Step 3: Apply thinset mortar 

Cement-based thinset mortar secures tiles to the surface. Now, mix thinset mortar. To get the right consistency, mix dry mortar powder with water. To avoid lumps, use a drill with a mixing attachment or a mixing paddle. 

Apply mortar to walls using a notched trowel after mixing. The trowel’s notches create ridges as you distribute mortar at a 45-degree slant. This strengthens the tile-surface connection. To avoid mortar drying before tile installation, work in tiny parts.

After applying thinnest mortar, comb notches and install tiles. This creates regular mortar ridges for tile adherence. Tile type and size determine the notch size. Press each tile into the mortar.

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Apply thinset mortar
Source: matrixgc.com

For better understanding, watch this video: 

Step 4: Use tile spacers for regular tile spacing

Tile spacers are little plastic crosses or T-shaped objects that maintain constant spaces between tiles. The spacers’ size depends on the tile spacing, which might vary by tile design or personal taste. 

To put tiles straight, use a laser level. To level and align tiles, place the laser level at a reference point and modify them. 

Step 5: Cut tiles

Cut tiles
Source: istockphoto.com

You will need tiles that are cut for edge. Tiles must be trimmed to fit these spaces. Wet saws use water and a diamond-coated blade to cut tiles. Wear protective eyewear while cutting tiles to avoid flying debris.

Mark the tile area with a pencil or marker to cut it. Align the tile’s designated line with the wet saw’s blade. Gently press the tile towards the blade to let the saw cut it. Make sure to cut steadily.Measure and cut tiles individually since each cut may differ. To avoid errors and waste, measure twice before cutting. This process also works for transforming wall tiles to baseboard.

Step 6: Allow thinset mortar to dry

After installing tiles, thinset mortar must dry and cure. Drying periods differ depending on humidity and temperature.

How long before tile over kerdi membrane? Before continuing, wait 24–48 hours. To guarantee a firm binding, avoid pressing on the tiles or interrupting the installation. 

Step 7: Apply grout

Grout seals tile gaps and strengthens the installation. For this step, mix the grout. Mixing dry grout powder with water creates a paste-like consistency.

Apply grout to tile joints using a rubber float. Spread grout diagonally over tiles and push it into gaps with the float at 45 degrees. Work in modest chunks. After applying grout, hold the float at a 90-degree angle. 

Then scrape excess grout off the tile surface without removing grout from the seams.

Step 8: Clean the tiles

Allow the grout to cure for the manufacturer-recommended time after the first application and washing. Usually 10–15 minutes. After, carefully wash away any leftover grout haze with a moist sponge or grout float. 

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Rinse the sponge or float often to avoid grout residue on tiles. Finally, let the grout cure for a few days. Avoid moistening the tiled surface during this period. After drying, seal the grout to prevent stains and water penetration.

Your shower will look stunning with this even if the bathtub is too long

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How thick is Kerdi membrane and tile?

The thickness of the membrane varies depending on the size of the roll. However, it is generally around 8-mil thick. Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, can range in thickness from 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch for ceramic tiles and 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch for stone tiles like marble

Can you paint over Kerdi membrane?

Yes, you can paint over the Kerdi membrane.But it is not a good idea since it can affect its effectiveness. The membrane is meant to be used as a sealing layer for tiling. If you paint over it, it can weaken the sealing.

What is the price range for porcelain tile and Kerdi membrane?

The range of prices for the KERDI membrane depends on its size and the seller. For example, a 108-square-foot roll costs about $300 on Amazon. The range of prices for porcelain tile depends on its size and quality. Porcelain tile costs between $3 and $10 per square foot on average..

End Note

That’s all we have for you today. Hopefully all your confusions regarding whether you can use porcelain tile over kerdi membrane or not are cleared now.

We’ll be back soon. Till then, goodbye!

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