3 Considerations When Using Tile
Our office had the opportunity to travel to Montreal, Quebec to learn more about the wide range of Schluter System products, their various applications, and how they are made. Offering a variety of accessories and tile systems, Schluter has positioned themselves as leaders in the tile industry. The Montreal headquarters, located on the west side of the island, was our home base for 2 days of classes and workshops. In commercial and residential design, there are many considerations when using tile. Below are a just a few highlights of products and applications we think are pretty great:
Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant floor heating is quickly becoming a very popular method to heat a space, both for commercial and residential applications. It’s quiet, efficient, and practically invisible. Schluter manufacturers a kit that makes installing these types of floor quick and accurate. The radiant concept is pretty simple; hot water lines (shown in the picture below) are installed below the tile in a pre-gridded mat and spaced a set distance apart. The “warmth” radiates and heats up objects in the room, including people. In contrast, a conventional forced-air system blows hot air into a space which stratifies the air and can provide inconsistent temperature.
Profiles Protect Tile AND Create a Modern, Clean Edge
Schluter is best known for tile edge profiles. These profiles can be used in many different applications like tile to carpet transitions, top of tile edge protection, or cove bases. Whenever an edge of a tile is exposed, it is prone to chipping and breaking. If you use a profile (like an L-shaped metal extrusion), the exposed end is covered and is not susceptible to damage. As architects, we love this type of product because it both protects the tile and offers a modern clean finish.
Waterproofing Never Seemed So Slick
The most impressive product may actually be a series of products. Schluter has made installing a tiled shower about as straight-forward as possible. The quote from the tile installer doing the demo for the kit, “If you can’t take a shower without the tile installed, your system is no good.” Below is a video from the Schluter website showing a typical shower kit install. By the end of the video the shower is fully waterproofed and technically could be used as a shower!
No matter what products or systems are used, all professionals in the tile industry agree that proper installation is critical to the success of a tile application. We think it’s best when installation considerations can actually align with user experience. Whether it’s temperature control (radiant floor system), movement separation from a concrete slab (decoupling), or a clean aesthetic & tile protection (profiles), we really appreciate the quality that these products bring to the building and design industry.