Design Resources

A Beginners Guide to Schluter Systems for Interior Designers

Have you ever started a bathroom remodel, and when the demo was done, you discovered mold rotting through the studs?

We all know mold is a health hazard (surface or systemic). And systemic mold in bathrooms is typically caused by improper moisture management.

Here’s why a complete waterproofing system is essential to ensuring the lasting beauty of a new bathroom space (while protecting your design and your client’s investment).

It is also crucial to waterproof tile and grout since they are not impervious by nature. Waterproofing prevents moisture from penetrating and collecting into wall cavities or floor structures (the primary cause of leaks and mold).

This is where Schluter Systems excels with its innovative shower systems, drains, and heated floors.

Ahead, we share seven top things to know about Schluter Systems as a design professional (and how it can help you and your clients with your next bathroom redesign).

Inventors of Schluter Profiles 

Werner Schlüter invented a metal finishing profile called the Schluter®-SCHIENE. He came up with this idea after failing to find a neat way to finish and protect a decorative Florentine tile. Schlüter was a young master tiler, starting his company of Schlüter-Systems in 1966.

Today, Schluter profiles are valuable tools for designers because they provide a wide range of functions. For example, their floor profiles protect tile edges and create clean transitions between adjacent flooring materials. 

These profiles also act as a decorative accent within each tile covering. Lastly, Schluter also supplies wall and countertop profiles for stone and ceramic tiles that need edge protection at outside corners. 

Designer benefit: For times when you’ve picked a ceramic or porcelain tile, but its matching edge is not readily available (pencil, bullnose, etc.), you can try Schluter profiles instead. Schluter also has cove-shaped profiles that provide curved surfaces at perpendicular transitions (hygienic and easy to clean). 

Waterproof Bathroom Installations 

The traditional method for installing tile can be time and labor-intensive, leading to a finished project that is still not waterproof. In the traditional way, water can still infiltrate the mortar bed. 

And with regular use of the shower – this mortar bed can remain saturated (especially if the pre-slope installation is ignored or the weep holes become clogged) – all factors that increase the potential for mold growth. 

Designer benefit: The Schluter shower system creates a completely sealed system. With a KERDI-DRAIN and a KERDI waterproofing membrane, the resulting assembly forms a superb type of moisture management (allowing it to dry completely between uses while eliminating leaks and mold growth). 

To learn more about the difference between the Schluter process and a traditional shower installation, visit Schluter’s tiled shower waterproofing systems page here.

Specialists in Heated Bathroom Floors (Ditra-Heat)

DITRA-HEAT is Schluter’s tile warming solution series which includes a mat that prevents cracked tile and grout (as well as waterproofing, vapor management, and load support). The electric floor warmer also has heating zones that can be customized using loose cables and studded mats. 

Best part: these heated floors do not require leveling compounds, clips, or fasteners. 

Designer benefit: Your clients may not be aware of the updated process for installing heated floors in bathrooms. Homeowners can benefit from warm tiled floors for years to come (especially in cold climates) and boost their resale value with this upgrade.

Offer Beautiful Shelves + Niches

Showstopping niches can be a stunning focal point in any bathroom project. Schluter offers solid stainless steel shelves with a brushed finish or color-coated aluminum in six color options.

Each corner and niche shelf also comes in multiple designs, including floral, square, and wave. 

Colors offere: brushed stainless steel, matte white, greige, stone grey, cream, bronze, and matte black. 

Additionally, each shelf has a matching drain to ensure a cohesive design.

Designer benefit:  If clients want an alternative to tiled niches that function well and still provide a beautiful aesthetic, Schluter offers many options.

Specialize in Barrier-Free Bathrooms

There is a growing need for accessibility-compliant bathrooms that are not only institutional in their design but equally eye-catching (thanks to their innovative construction methods). 

Schluter provides a variety of design elements that adhere to accessibility standards but stay away from a utilitarian-only look.

Plus, open-concept bathrooms have a sleek design, and curbless showers are an excellent option for those who wish to age in place. These bathrooms lack a curb or threshold, which opens up the shower area to the rest of the bathroom space.

Designer benefit: Not only can barrier-free bathrooms be easier to clean and maintain for clients, but it does create a spa-like retreat. You can even add built-in seats, benches, inset shelves, and niches, as well as low-profile linear drains. However, there can be cons to installing a barrier-free bathroom, like lack of water containment. To read the full pros and cons of curbless showers, visit Schluter’s article here.

Supply Linear Drains

Instead of placing a traditional drain in the center of a shower, Schluter carries a KERDI-LINE linear drain where the floor is sloped on a single plan (allowing installation of large-format tiles). 

Designer benefit: Various sizes are available to accommodate premiere and center drain replacement. This provides an ideal solution for clients seeking a seamless look and uninterrupted continuation of their tile design.

Provide Annual Trainings for Design & Architect Professionals

Schluter offers many continuing education opportunities for the architectural and design community here, accredited by the AIA and IDCEC.

You can also check out their additional workshop, events, and education opportunities here.

For additional resources, check out these related articles:

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Is a Recession Coming? Here’s What to Know as a Design Professional