Schluter Systems offers easy-to-install systems for tiles.
By Kat Zeman
When it comes to installation systems for ceramic and natural stone tile, Schluter Systems works hard to make it easy. A world leader in the development of innovative tile installation systems, the Plattsburgh, N.Y.-based company prides itself on durability, quality and simplicity.
“We aim to make the life of the tile setter easier,” President and CEO Marco Ludwig says. “Our customers know that if they have a shower with a Schluter system behind it, they won’t get mold, it will be waterproof and much more durable and easier to install.”
The company, which continues growing in double digits, offers a comprehensive portfolio of products. Its product line features more than 4,000 items that include a variety of tile trims, uncoupling membranes, waterproof building panels, shower systems and thin-set mortar.
Famous for the invention of what the industry has come to call “the Schluter strip,” which prevents tile edges from chipping, Schluter Systems is recognized for its state-of-the-art technology and highly functional systems. But making installation smooth and uncomplicated is a top priority.
“Our products can be installed more cost-effectively because it won’t take as much time to install,” Ludwig says. “For builders, that means they can do more houses in a shorter period of time and they won’t have to come back with issues because the system is so reliable. If not done right, they could otherwise be facing a lot of call-backs due to mold and water damage.”
Some of the company’s most popular and easy-to-install products come from its Ditra line. Ditra membranes provide uncoupling through free space, which allows for in-plane movement that effectively neutralizes the differential movement stresses between the substrate and the tile. This eliminates the major cause of cracking and delaminating of the tiled surface.
“Not only does it make sure that the tile will not crack, it offers additional features like waterproofing and heat,” Ludwig says. “You can put cable inside a version of the membrane to warm the tile. It’s a unique and revolutionary system for getting warm floors. It’s all about the combination of the material and how those membranes are constructed.”
Contrary to popular belief, tiles and grout joints are not inherently waterproof. They must be installed in conjunction with a waterproofing system that effectively manages moisture and prevents mold growth. The Schluter Shower System is an integrated family of products that forms a fully bonded, watertight assembly for tiled showers. It eliminates the risk of failures due to water and vapor penetration.
Schluter Systems works closely with dealers, distributors, tile contractors, architects, specifiers and others in the building and construction industry. Its products can also be found at major flooring and tile retailers and home improvement box stores.
In 2017, the company won four CLEARselect awards for its products from Clear Seas Research, a marketing research supplier. The awards are presented to companies that achieve an outstanding level of brand preference among industry professionals.
Winners were selected based on survey responses from targeted industry professionals that participate in research studies. Winners must dominate a category from a statistical perspective in order to receive an award.
Schluter Systems snagged Most Preferred Brand of Waterproofing Membranes, Most Preferred Brand of Crack Isolation Products, Most Preferred Brand of Linear Drains and Most Preferred Brand of Preformed Shower Structures.
“Once again, installers have given us a big vote of confidence by recognizing Schluter in four different categories this year,” Ludwig says. “We will continue to develop category-leading systems and support them with quality educational programs to provide the best overall experience possible for installers.”