A. Sean Gerolimatos, technical services manager for Schluter Systems, responds: To answer your question, the technical services department at Schluter recently did some simple testing. First, we installed porcelain tiles on a loose sheet of Kerdi with unmodified thinset mortar and filled the joints with two different epoxy grouts. Once the mortar and grout had cured, we placed the assembly on a sheet of cement backerboard. Then we applied heat per the grout manufacturer’s recommendations and removed the grout with various tools, including a grout remover, a utility knife, and a screwdriver. Since the Kerdi wasn’t bonded, we could inspect the back of the membrane for evidence of damage.
We found that gradual heat application softened the grout enough for removal without damage to the Kerdi. However, if we applied concentrated heat by holding the gun steady instead of waving it back and forth, the membrane “bubbled” off the back of the assembly after about 90 seconds of exposure. While this effect would likely vary with...
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