What You Learn From a Schluter Innovation Workshop

What You Learn From a Schluter Innovation Workshop

Posted by TOA's Blog Team on May 8th 2024

You may be wondering what a Schluter Innovation Workshop has to do with Tile Outlets of America. Well, plenty.

We regularly host product knowledge sessions at all three Tile Outlets of America locations on a regular basis for contractor customers, and also for store associates.

>> See Learn About Tile FAQs

Sometimes, though, a product knowledge session isn't enough. That's when deep immersion in the form of a two-day workshop comes into play. Why? So we can ensure that customers have access to tile installation experts at each store who can answer questions and guide product decisions.

In this case, we are talking about the Schluter Systems two-day Innovation Workshop program that Gary Tuhro from the Sarasota store participated in.

What is the Schluter Innovation Workshop?

From the Schluter®-Systems perspective, the Innovation Workshop Part 1 is a first step in understanding the company and its products, starting with the fundamental Schluter principles of waterproofing and uncoupling.

>> Build a Waterproof Shower Enclosure with Schluter Products

>> How to Manage Moisture in Tile Showers: Schluter Training Session

It's a two-day workshop held locally (in this case at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater, Florida) that combines classroom training and “hands-on” training using Schluter products and tools for installation under the watchful eyes of a highly trained group of Schluter professionals.

Which Schluter products do you learn about in an Innovation Workshop?

The Innovation Workshop focuses on the main Schluter main product lines:

  • DITRA uncoupling membrane
  • DITRA-HEAT electric floor warming
  • KERDI-BOARD building panels
  • Schluter® Shower System
  • Schluter® Profiles

What is Ditra?

Ditra can be used on both new or existing concrete as well as plywood flooring. It allows the tile to move independently within the substrate, providing four key functions: Uncoupling, Waterproofing, Load Distribution, and Vapor Management.

What is Kerdi?

Kerdi & Kerdi Board have seven main characteristics: Vapor Tight, Waterproof, Inorganic, Uniform Thickness, Has printed guidelines, can be applied over damp substrates, and meets ANSI (American National Standards Institute) 118:10.

Hands-on Product Demonstrations

Perhaps most valuable is the opportunity to apply the classroom training in the demo-area where you install these products first-hand.

Participants get to collaborate with fellow attendees to install assemblies such as the Schluter® Shower System, DITRA membrane, and even build a waterproof KERDI-BOARD wall installation.


Tile Outlets' Gary Tuhro applying his knowledge in the demo area.

Who attends these workshops?

If you're wondering who attends these workshops, you can reach out to your Schluter representatives. Schluter Systems sends an open invitation to independent contractors, designers, retail representatives all over the surrounding areas for these events.

Gary Tuhro from Tile Outlets of America (Sarasota) attended this workshop. Jeremy Sisson from the Fort Myers store has participated.

Schluter Innovation Workshop Itinerary

As you might imagine, Schluter Systems had an itinerary for the entire two-day workshop.

Day one began at 7-7:30 to meet for breakfast and then classroom training at 8 am. Each participant has the opportunity to stand up, introduce him- or herself and explain why each is attending the workshop.

After lunch, the group moved to the demo space where eight different shower models were set up. Forming teams of four, each picked out the shower model to work on.

The teams spent the remainder of the time working with their hands under the watchful eye of the Schluter Systems Team of Representatives who was there to answer questions every step of the way.


Gary Tuhro learning how to install Ditra-Heat.

Major Tile Installation Lessons Learned

The workshop covers a broad range of materials related to waterproofing showers and floors. After all, 75% of shower stalls fail due to the following:

  • Improper installation of products.
  • Incorrect use of materials.
  • Lack of waterproofing the area.

This, in turn, leads to moisture penetration through the walls and/or the shower does not drain properly. The end result is an unhealthy environment for those using the shower due to mold, mildew forming through to through the walls and/or under the tile surface in the shower.


The Schluter Innovation Workshop demo area

Valuable Tile Installation Reference Materials

Schluter equipped each with the following reference materials:

  • The National Tile Contractors Association Reference Manual which covers the following: Cause, Cure, and Prevent. It's a valuable resource that can help answer difficult questions that a customer or contractor may have about a particular job.

>> See NTCA Reference Manual: An Invaluable Tool for the Tile Industry

From Schluter,

  • The Ditra Installation Handbook.
  • Schluter Shower System Installation Handbook.
  • The Schluter Ditra Heat Installation Handbook
  • A Schluter Illustrated Price List.

What Were the Biggest Surprises from the Schluter Innovation Workshop?

We asked Gary Tuhro what he considered to be the biggest surprises from this workshop (Note: Gary is far from being a tile installation newbie. He said,

"I was impressed with our instructors. They were extremely professional and knowledgeable of the tile industry. It was nice to be in a classroom again. Personally and professionally I love to learn new things."

He also stated,

"I was especially surprised at how strong and durable these lightweight products are. Here's a picture of me and the Schluter rep standing on top of the Kerdi Board countertop on day #2."


Here's a picture of Gary Tuhro and the Schluter rep standing on top of the Kerdi Board countertop on day #2

Finally, he enjoyed the opportunity to meet the fellow participants,

"We had a Luau on the beach after the first day of training. It was the first time I have been to one. The food and fellowship with the Schluter Representatives, and those in my class was a lot of fun!"

How Does a Schluter Innovation Workshop Help Tile Outlets customers?

The answer to this question has two parts because Tile Outlets' product experts pride themselves on truly understanding the products carried. In Gary's case, he explains

"I would definitely use the Schluter Shower System on my next shower remodel. These products are engineered to be lightweight and waterproof. With the proper use of all the materials and assembly, Schluter Systems will provide a lifetime warranty."

Furthermore, he can now pass along what he has learned from the workshop to his entire team in the Sarasota store. Together they can now educate customers on what these products can do to provide a beautiful long lasting installation.


Gary Tuhro gets to know Schluter Innovation Workshop participants better at the Luau.

Special thanks to Schluter Systems for inviting Tile Outlets of America to participate in this first-class learning event.

Do You Have Questions About Schluter Products?

When you shop at Tile Outlets of America, you will find all of the tile installation tools and products you need to complete an installation as well as helpful guidance from product experts like Gary Tuhro who is ready to share with you what he learned about Schluter products.

We look forward to seeing you and helping you with your questions.