Kerdi vs Hydroban?

lkgarn00June 24, 2012

We are remodeling our guest bath and using either one of these products on the walls around the alcove tub. Neither one of us has used these products before.

My husband wants to use the Kerdi, but I am thinking for novice DIY'ers - the hydroban might be easier with no thinset and seams.

Any thoughts from those with experience?

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Our tile experts will surely respond, but I can pass along the novice's, semi-DIY perspective. DH did the demo, and installed all the Hardibacker in our bathrooms (I just responded on the niche thread--he built all the niches, too). He applied Hydroban in all three bathrooms. He used thinset (vs joint compound) on the seams, and then brushed/rolled three coats of Hydroban over the entire surface. It was very easy to do (and dried to a lovely shade of pea soup green! LOL).

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Do you have any idea how much Hydroban you used for the bathrooms? Only one place in town carries it - and they are only open 8-5 M-F. I wont be able to get there easily - so I would want to make sure we have enough.

The Hydroban (in my mind) seems so much easier.

My understanding is that it can be applied over either the Hardibacker cement board or plain drywall? Does this sound correct?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 10:49AM
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If you go to a site on line that sells Hydroban I think you might find the square foot coverage you can expect per gallon.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 11:57AM
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For a tub alcove, both are fine. Both can go over drywall, though I'm a cement board guy.

Being "paint on", you need to be careful with your film thicknesses with HB, especially in the corners. You do need to watch out for air bubbles or pinholes. With Kerdi, obviously when it's on, it's on, the membrane itself guarantees the thickness.

I buy Kerdi in large rolls, at about $1.20 a foot. For a small 50sqft roll to do a tub alcove, you might be looking at about $100, or about $2 a sqft.

A gallon of HB and a roll of reinforcing fabric will run you around $100. HB coverage is about 50sqft per gallon. So again, you're looking at about $2 a sqft.

For a tub surround (versus a steam shower), the perm rating is not an issue.

So it's really an either/or type of thing. Both are fine membranes. But HB might be easier to DIY install than Kerdi.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:27PM
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I can ask DH when he gets home, but I think mongoct might have already given you the info you need. :-)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Thanks for the great info - that was very helpful!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Below, I've posted a link to a place that sells Hydroban cheaper than I can get it any place else. In fact, I was just made aware of this place last week-- just after I'd spent 507.00 for a 5 gallon pail (from Daltile's warehouse, where the prices are supposed to be wholesale), and this place has it for 270.00.

As for Hydroban vs Kerdi, It's no contest, as far as I'm concerned. Hydroban goes on a whole lot easier, and there's no build up of layers. Also no seams. The only time I use Kerdi any more (like right now) is when I'm doing a steam shower, because Hydroban, although waterproof (to the point that it's used as a membrane for tiled pools), it's NOT vapor proof, and as such, requires an additional vapor barrier, in for a steam shower, kerdi's your best bet. For anything else, though, Ut's Hydroban. Especially when you consdier that Laticrete has a spec that if followed, will offer you a 25 year manufacturer's warranty.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydroban online

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Thanks Bill for the link.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 7:09AM
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Bill, I've saved that link too! Thanks!
Now, can I ask one more question that has stumped me everytime I get to it?

"Hydroban is NOT vapor proof" and needs a vapor barrier in a steam shower.

If not installing a steam shower, can I just ignore that statement? Or, for a shower installation with someone in the family who likes steamy showers (but not a steam shower), do I need to have a vapor barrier installed? (And, if so, what?)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 11:36AM
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If not installing a steam shower, can I just ignore that statement?I do, so I guess the answer is yes. :-)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 9:24PM
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When using Hydroban your putting microns of protection, any movement as houses shift, can cause a crack, kerdi type products. take up to an 1/8" movement without showing any stress I would rather go with a kerdi type product. the one I've used in the past is made by Dural a German manufacturer their product is called Durabase WP. Hope this helps good luck on your project.

Here is a link that might be useful: Durabase WP

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 1:54PM
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my spidersense is tingling and telling me that Hydroban or other similar products can handle the stretchiness required if your house cracks, which is a rare thing in the first place. Hydroban and other similar products are rubbery. Kerdi isn't.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 2:37PM
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That durabase is a kerdi knockoff. 9 times out of 10, if you have problems, "knockoff" companies won't stand behind their product. I don't know that for sure with this company, but I'm reminded of a company that tried to clone Ditra when it really took off, but failed to dovetail their "circular waffles", and as a result, every installation done with that garbage failed.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 5:48PM
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I'm a DIY'er who has installed Kerdi in two alcove tub/shower surrounds with niches.

I liked the fact that I could use Kerdifix to attach the tail of the Kerdi to the tub flange - seems like a solid, waterproof seal. For me, the toughest part of installing Kerdi was getting the thinset on the wall.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw Kerdi at my local Home Depot store. It was in an end-cap display and included rolls of Kerdi, shower pan kits, corners, etc. I bought my Kerdi on ebay from a seller who offers it by the square foot.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:22PM
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HydroBan is soooooo easy.

Here's my experience with it....

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Thanks for all of the info guys - and the links too. This is very helpful. I am all for simple/easy and fool proof. I really would like to do the hydroban because it looks like even I can do it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 11:14AM
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