Kerdi vs. Redguard

cruisedirectorMay 2, 2010

Having never heard of either of these two months ago, I now am suddenly obsessed with which is better for my new shower.

Thank you everyone for the terrific learning opportunities here!

My contractor uses Redguard and has not used Kerdi, but knows what it is. In fact, I've been to 3 different tile supply stores this weekend and none were very familiar with it. One had at least heard of it.

I live in the Phoenix area so mold and moisture aren't really a problem we usually have, but a leaky shower is a leaky shower, right?

I have confidence in my contractor and tile guy, but just want to be sure that Redguard will be an acceptable solution.

We will have 16" travertine walls and 2x2 marble floor.

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Yes these two are just two of many shower membranes. They all work. Redgard is great and always has been.

You never heard of either until two months ago. If you research a lot on the internet, you might find out about a number of products. Some are written about with fulsome praise in tones of awe. Some are just used by guys in the industry who don't spend time writing things on web sites.

If you web search a lot you you might ask why you are can read so much about Kerdi and see it praised or respected everywhere on the web. I'll guess, based on my observations. The company behind this orange sheet membrane and another one too, is good at guerilla marketing which means getting it into the hands of professionals and getting it to be "respected" too. A massive amount of marketing pressure is made to get the orange membrane to be talked about highly. There are many ways of creating buzz and pressure to make it appear to be the best thing to use. They give free courses, and free material. It is given away behind the scenes as free product to the oldtimers at one famous and friendly tilesetting advice forum, but only if the oldtimers behave just right. Then, there are many ways to make you the firsttime public fear "trying" any other way. Misinformation is one way. So the more you read the more it can appear that Kerdi is the one and only thing. The alternatives (liquid-applied membranes and foam boards faced with fiberglas mesh and gray concrete) are real amateurs in terms of modern guerilla warfare. Kerdi is successfully marketed; so successful that it seems to be a standard when actually it is the experimental product that hasn't even gotten to the stage of being permitted in certain places. So, I hope this helps in understanding that everyone will always write about Kerdi with tones of awe in their writings, except for someone like me. I got tons of free product already, from sources linked to the guerilla marketing channels. What I really wanted was clear information. What really wanted was for them not to spread misinformation, fear and doubt about the other alternatives. That is what I respect most. A little less bribing and A little more restraint and honesty.

Redgard is good. It always has been. Where you live, it is the best thing to use because the installers probably already know whatever they need to know, to use it to install a shower membrane properly. Learning another method is just a lot of effort for no gain. Redgard works. The other one works too.

To be thorough, read Redgard's instructions, call the manufacturer's technical support people, and post again if you have questions.

hope this helps

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 9:14AM
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Each has their own pros and cons.

We build upscale bathrooms every month here in Vancouver and I have used Red Guard, Kerdi and Mapei with great success.

Kerdi has the benifit of blocking steam and is a great option for steam showers - I have never received free material from Schulter and have paid for my Schulter training through our local Stone and Tile Association.

As we speak I have a ton of product from Laticrete - this product was given to me to try and only because I asked for it. Of the top posters I follow online many use Hydroban (Like Redguard but made from Laticrete). If the top guys are using this liquid membrane for day by day and using Kerdi in their steamers seams to me that these are good options.

I look forward to using my Hydroban and am so confident in it's design will test it first in my own home's shop and then in my daughter's bathroom.

Kerdi is great - but a little hard to install. If steam is not a factor the liquid approach is safer.

As for Ditra - this is the golden product and I have installed all over Vancouver on every job we do...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 12:35PM
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Whew, thank you for your info. I feel much better.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 1:27PM
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Very few people I've seen, either in person or on line, don't have the aptitude to install Kerdi. As far as I've seen, it's about as fool proof as it gets. That said, I agree with John in that unless you're doing a steam shower, the other membranes will work just as well for you.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 2:39PM
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We used Laticrete's Hydroban in our guest bathroom shower and DH plans to use it in both upstairs bathrooms' tub areas.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 6:53PM
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Redgard is fine. Just avoid pinholes and get the proper mil thickness. If your tiler likes it and is practiced in its use, then all will be well.

Kerdi is fine too.

Both perfectly appropriate.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 12:07AM
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Yeah. What He said.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 5:38PM
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I look forward to using my Hydroban and am so confident in it's design will test it first in my own home's shop and then in my daughter's bathroom.

John, you won't be disappointed. It's a good product with a company standing behind it that WILL stand behind their warranty. Of all the roll ons, the Hydroban would be my choice.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 7:48PM
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