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My Blog: Why we Cannot advise using Schluter Products.

Have a comment ? Email me;Hugh Scott's Blog Response's.
By Hugh Scott Owner of Indiana Floors LLC.com

We started to allow the sales of Schluter back on our site after claiming Victory in our fight against them.
Thier prices are still higher than our ProVa Line but you will have the option to decide what suits your project the best.
After consulting with several other tile suppliers we found that Schluter had relented on its forced pricing and stop holding orders on large volume dealers.
We still do not accept thier install advice and think it is prop to keep them from honoring warranties, but if you insist on purchasing Schluters componets we can offer them to you at the lowest price in the nation.
We still advise the use of modified thinset with any tile install regardless of the underlayment you are using.
Read on if you want to know what prompt our primary action we took to remove their line for 10 months.

Dec 2009
Greetings. If you are on this page you are trying to understand why a company that was the leading internet supplier of Schluter System has removed the line for 8 months.

As you all know we sold Schluter for many years. We single handed brought the price of Ditra and Kerdi down to a level that "everybody" Could afford it.
Before we came to the scene you all were paying an outragous price for Schluters products, this was kept in check by Schluter with agreement called MAP(Manufacture Advised Price).
This in nothing more than a legal shield to keep the term "Price Fixing" from coming into play.That is because price fixing is illegal.

We have fought Schluter for every inch of ground we gained, they insisted we keep the price high and we said NO!
Before us, Ditra and Kerdi was only available in full rolls, we brought Sq Foot Pricing to the market.
The shower kits had over 100% Markups!!

We had removed Schluter for engaging in what we consider to be price fixing and offering substandard install advice concerning the use of unmodified Thinset They are only concerned with getting top dollar for thier products.We could not be a party to this.
Schluter imposed a price increase in a market that is over taxed and in recovery.

The orders for our newest product is growing. The Provaflex is a superior product in all ways. The over laying mesh offers a stablity that ditra or the others will never have. The best part is you can use modified thinset. This makes it worthwhile.So many times I have had to advise my clients that modified thinset would void the Schluter warranty and it will.
The Provamat and the Provaflex both can be done with modified thinset, no more tile falling off the wall, no more negative hype, no more holes in your shower pans. You see I know, it has happened to me.
The Provamat Shower Kits are really moving,they ony come in 48"x48" for now, but we have included a tray extensions for 32x60- 32"x72"-48"x60"-48"x72"-48"x100"-72"x72" as well as 100x100. The drain system is much easier to work with than Schluter's and has drain cover insert that is adjustable instead of floating.
The more I look at the Provamat Kit I realize that Schluter has forgotton to update thier products to meet the needs of the up and coming tile-setters and the many Do-It-Yourselfer's that are on the scene.
It is important to stay abreast of the publics needs.
It is more important to keep prices at a level that everybody can afford.
The Provamat and ProvaFlex is the best choice. Use modified thinset.

Got an email from another guy with problems on his Ditra job, Schluter said he used outdated thinset...."Outdated Thinset"
That is a new one! Guess what Schluter told him....."Installer Error"
I wish I could blame all my problems on the installer.... Oh! I am the installer!
It is always "Installer Error" it seems, with Schluter Systems.
I got another call from a guy up north.
He had a Kerdi job falling off the wall on him, when he went to Schluter about guess what they said? you guessed it! "Installer Error".
This is getting predictable!.
It is "Installer Error" or "Error by the Installer" these seem to be Schluters choices when a warranty issue will arise. No wonder they can have so few claims, it is never the product or install advice...... ever......

Talked to another guy, he said he called Schluter to find why he could not find it anywere at a fair price. They directly told him they are encourging price increases from the few suppliers left with it.

The ProVa Systems sales are showing there is a cheaper alternative, and it will not fall off the wall!

A flooring retailer In Rhode Island, Dennis Desjardins,he said he thinks Schluter has the right to price gouge and he thinks whoever had failures because they followed Schluters instructions are dummies that cannot read.
I emailed him back explaining the modified Vs unmodified, he replied he only read two lines of my reply.
Who are the dummies... the ones that cannot read or the ones that refuse to read?
You decide.

Let me ask you two things.
1) Is Thinset is either modified or unmodified, not "slightly" ?
2) If Schluters thin set is "slightly" why is it outrageously more than "Full Modified"???
It would seem to me that it would be less than full modified thinset since is "slightly modified" and unmodified thinset is only $6-7.00 per bag. You know the amazing thing is they are still trying to tell us that drywall and concrete board is impervious..... maybe a lesson in physics is in order.
Modified Thinset
It does take longer to cure about 12-24 hours total. But after spending 28 years in the trade that is much faster than the three days it took mudset shower pans to set. When we would install a mudbed it took 24 hours from start to finish, then we let it set for 48 hours, we then came back and poured a 5 gallon bucket of water through to find any low spots, if their were low spots we did the prep and then waited another 24 hours before we started the tile. You have many things at work when you are dealing with a concrete base product.
1. Curing, concrete does not dry it cures, do you realize that in the Hoover Dam there is concrete that has not cured yet and it was finished in 1935. What is our hurry? Must we compromise speed for quality.
I am safe in saying there was no umodified concrete in Hoover Dam, the concrete was modified with Fly Ash.
2. Latex additives: Latex Modified concretes are use in high strength flexible applications, like bridges,buildings.roads etc, It gives concrete strength but takes away the brittle component.
The LMC is proven to be superior in its corrosion resistance compared to conventional concrete.
At our last Schluter seminar before we dropped the line, the question was posed: “Your product is so expensive how do we justify the cost to our clients?” The answer given: “Tell them to use unmodified thinset.It is cheaper”
So now your are being told by Schluter to use an inferior concrete application just to show a lower cost because their price is so high. We cannot agree with type of business marketing, it is much easier to be truthful.