When building a tub, shower, or kitchen, you will need a lot of materials such as tiles, cement boards, and faucets. One of the most important things people forget is waterproofing membranes.
Anywhere there is a risk of water exposure, there must be a waterproofing material to prevent moisture from damaging other materials and leading to mold growth.
Kerdi and RedGard are some of the most popular waterproofing products in the construction industry. So, if you are stuck choosing between the two, here is a head-to-head comparison.
What is Kerdi?
Most people think Kerdi is only a waterproofing sheet fitted on walls to prevent moisture damage. But it’s mostly a kit used for shower installations.
Made by Schluter, the Kerdi shower installation kit comprises essential components needed to fully waterproof a shower system. For instance, in this kit, you will get a shower tray, curb, and the popular Kerdi waterproofing membrane.
Depending on your preference, you may decide to use only the membrane and a shower pan from another brand. But to avoid incompatibility issues, I would advise you to stick to only one brand, such as Schluter.
In the Kerdi shower installation kit, you will get a drain fitted with PVC plastic around the flange. That guarantees longevity.
It’s also made of stainless steel, which adds overall beauty to the system. There is also a tray and shower curb which come in very handy when using the shower.
To top it all up, the Kerdi shower installation kit has a bonded vapor barrier membrane that covers the shower and any surrounding areas exposed to moisture.
Out of all the items that come with the kit, the waterproofing membrane is the most popular product because it can be used in other areas, not just showers.
The Kerdi membrane is waterproof and adheres exceptionally well to tiles. It’s mold-resistant, and thanks to the anchoring fleece on each side, it can adhere firmly to walls when you use thin-set mortar.
Kerdi waterproof membrane can be used on walls and floors. With a thickness of 8 mils, you are guaranteed a uniform finish when installing tiles.
The Kerdi shower installation kit has many benefits. First, it provides you with all the materials you may need for a modern shower installation job.
It can be customized to suit your preferences. It’s durable, versatile, and waterproof. Though effective, installing the Kerdi membrane is hectic because you have to lay thinset mortar, cut the pliable sheets into ideal sizes and then fit them on the walls.
As you will see with its counterpart, laying a Kerdi membrane on a substrate is tiresome. But if you confirm with the experts, this is one of the best waterproofing solutions on the market.
What is RedGard?
RedGard, on the other hand, is a liquid waterproofing membrane made by Custom Building Products. This liquid waterproofing solution does more than keep water away, it also promotes tile adhesion and prevents cracking.
RedGard can be used on a wide range of interior and exterior surfaces. You can apply it on PVC, metal, slabs, walls, and floors.
One of the reasons people love RedGard is because of its ease of use. Being a liquid waterproofing product, all you have to do is to apply it using a roller.
The manufacturer also recommends ideal for use as a shower pan. Because of its strength and durability, RedGard can be used even in steam showers.
You can find RedGard in almost all home improvement stores near you. It’s also sold online. Besides showers, RedGard can be used in outdoor pools and anywhere you want to keep water away.
A gallon of RedGard is expected to cover around fifty square feet. RedGard adheres well to tiles. So, you can apply it on a tile backer board before tiling your shower or kitchen.
As mentioned earlier, the application of RedGard is pretty straightforward. All you need is a roller brush or a sprayer. The contents of RedGard aren’t safe to inhale, so make sure you wear a mask.
It’s important to note that RedGard can be used to fill holes in walls. And it should dry within an hour or two. But it should be left to cure for more than 12 hours.
You should know when RedGard dries because it will turn from pink to red. You should apply at least three coats to get the best waterproofing features of RedGard.
How Are They Similar?
Whether you choose Kerdi or RedGard, you are assured of excellent waterproofing capabilities. Even though one is a liquid membrane and the other is a flexible sheet, your shower or kitchen walls will be waterproofed. Therefore, moisture won’t penetrate past the installed layer.
• Mold Resistant
Mold growth is a problem many homeowners face. And it’s mainly exposed by long-term exposure to moisture.
Since these two are excellent waterproofing materials, they will ensure no moisture passes through. With Kerdi or RedGard on your walls, you never have to worry about mold.
• Made By Recognized Brands
Schluter and Custom-Building Products are well-recognized brands in the construction industry. That means that both products come from reliable manufacturers known for making quality products.
• Equally Popular
Kerdi and RedGard are equally as popular amongst tilers and construction professionals. Most tilers have a preference between the two which is attributed to the experiences they have had in the past.
As long as both options are correctly installed, you don’t have to worry about leaks soon. RedGard and Kerdi are powerful waterproofing materials that can withstand continuous exposure to moisture.
You can confidently install either option and be guaranteed lasting protection against water damage.
• Can Be Tiled Over
The other similarity is that both are ideal tiling substrates. Whether you Kerdi or RedGard your walls, you can easily tile over each, as long as the waterproofing material has fully cured. If you tile too soon, the weight of the tiles can be too heavy for RedGard or Kerdi membrane to handle.
How Are They Different?
• RedGard is a Liquid, and Kerdi is a Pliable Sheet
The formulas used to make Kerdi and RedGard are different. One is in liquid form, and the other is a pliable sheet. This is the most notable difference between the two.
• RedGard is Easier to Apply
Since RedGard is in liquid form, it’s very easy to install on a surface. You just have to use a roller or a pressure sprayer. With Kerdi, it’s a little bit different. The sheets must be cut to suitable sizes and fitted on the walls using thinset mortar.
• Kerdi Provides You with a Full Shower Kit, RedGard is Just a Waterproofing Membrane
With Kerdi, you get a complete shower installation kit from a tray, curb, and membrane. With RedGard, you will only be getting a liquid waterproofing product. There is no tray or curb.
That means if you are installing a shower, you will have to source a tray separately. Even though Kerdi membrane sheets are more tiresome to install, having a kit makes the overall installation much easier.
• The Kerdi Kit Costs More than RedGard
Another difference between these two is related to the cost. When you compare the prices, Kerdi costs more. For a homeowner interested in saving a few bucks on such a project, you may gravitate towards RedGard.
But before you make a decision, you need to understand that Kerdi is a kit that comes with a tray and other components. It may cost more, but the kit allows you to waterproof the entire shower.
The initial costs of RedGard may be low, but you will need additional items, which will cost money later on.
What’s Better About Kerdi?
There are a couple of reasons that make Kerdi stand out. First, it’s sold as a waterproofing kit for showers. This means you get a tray, kit, and membrane.
This is almost everything you would need to waterproof a shower making it a suitable option for DIY projects. Besides that, the pliable sheets perform well at locking moisture out and are pretty durable.
What’s Better About RedGard?
On the other hand, the main thing that gives RedGard a competitive edge is its ease of use. Since it’s in the form of a liquid, to install RedGard on a surface, you have to spray or roll it using a brush. This makes the application pretty simple and quick.
Unlike Kerdi sheets, which may have to be attached using a screw for added support. You don’t need to perforate RedGard to make it stick.
Who Should Use Kerdi and Why?
Kerdi is mostly suitable for professional tilers. Even though DIY bathroom builders can also use Kerdi, this kit requires some knowledge and experience, which experts only possess.
For the membrane to stick, you must lay thinset mortar and may be forced to screw it in place.
Who Should Use RedGard and Why?
RedGard was built for tilers interested in a quick and easy-to-apply waterproofing solution. It’s very effective at waterproofing a surface and will serve you for an extremely long duration. Also, Redgard is quite affordable.