Schlüter specification insight: minimising build-up in the manor

Schlüter-Systems used its specialist technical knowledge and a number of key product solutions to minimise floor build-up and guarantee complete waterproofing provision in the refurbishment of one of Ireland’s most magnificent country houses.


Set in 840 acres of grounds, Adare Manor has been the subject of an 18-month-long renovation – its most extensive in 25 years. 40 new bedrooms have been added to this 19th-century Neo-Gothic masterpiece as well as a host of new facilities; including a swimming pool, boardroom, cinema, spa and 350-capacity ballroom.

Company involvement

Stone was extensively specified as part of the project. Schlüter-Systems was initially engaged to provide a waterproofing solution for Adare Manor but was eventually able to assist on a greater scale.


Area: bedrooms and bathrooms (floors)

Action: minimising height for uncoupling, underfloor heating and waterproofing.

Through the use of multi-functional products, Schlüter was able to put forward a single-source solution that reduced build-up from 10 layers to six and saved 19mm of height, as well as eliminating the need for a smoothing compound. The floor build-up was approved by lead architect, ReardonSmith, and main contractor, John Paul Construction.

Underfloor heating, uncoupling and waterproofing – four layers to one

Underfloor heating, uncoupling and waterproofing provision was simplified from four layers to one, using the electric underfloor heating system, Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT-E.

Company at a glance:

Product areas:

Bathrooms, washrooms and wetrooms; balconies and terraces; staircases, heated floors; industrial floors; swimming pools; offices; kitchens and living spaces


All market sectors including architectural, retail, leisure and domestic

Website –

Phone –

01530 813396

Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT matting is only 5.5mm thick and was laid onto a 1mm bed of flexible adhesive, giving build-up of just 6.5mm. As opposed to needing a layer of encapsulation above it, the system features studded matting and the cable clips securely within it, avoiding the need for tape or adhesive and enabling even spacing.

Acoustic matting – a slimline variant

Schlüter assisted by exchanging the proposed matting of 10mm thickness for Schlüter-DITRA-SOUND matting of only 3.5mm thickness, saving 65% of build-up for acoustic reduction measures. This matting offered the same dB rating and could be installed using a standard polymer modified adhesive.

Area: bathrooms/golf clubhouse, including the spa (walls)

Action: providing guaranteed waterproofing.

For areas of high moisture, waterproofing is an essential consideration, and it takes on an even greater significance when it comes to preserving historic buildings – Adare Manor has stood for 185 years, and the intent of the restoration is to see it through at least the same again.

A secure waterproofing system

Schlüter’s complete waterproofing system for these areas consisted of Schlüter-KERDI-200 waterproofing membrane, KERDI-KEBA sealing band and KERDI-COLL-L adhesive. These products work together to form a CE-Marked waterproof solution that will stand the test of time.

As well as the above solutions, Schlüter-Systems also provided its original uncoupling mat, Schlüter-DITRA 25, for use under the flooring of Adare Manor’s new ballroom and its golf clubhouse and spa. The company is proud to have been specified on such a scale for this prestigious project.

An artistic uncoupling of tile at Tate Britain

1300m² of Schlüter-DITRA 25 uncoupling membrane helped to ensure a crack-free finish for the tile within 2016 Turner Prize nominee Anthea Hamilton’s recent commission for the prestigious Duveen Galleries.

One British artist a year is invited to produce a new work for the signature space, which constitutes the heart of one of the UK’s most famous art galleries. Hamilton’s response, entitled ‘The Squash’, combined performance and sculpture in an immersive experience.

The installation involved tiling the length of the Duveen Galleries. Contacted by curator Linsey Young, Schlüter donated its market-leading uncoupling membrane for use beneath the white tiles laid above the galleries’ terrazzo floor. The Schlüter-DITRA 25 was installed and tiled over the days and weeks in the run-up to the exhibition opening on 22nd March. Creating a striking contrast with Tate Britain’s Neo-Classical architecture, the commissioned work remained in situ until 8th October, following a six-month run.

One performer per day took to the tiles from 10am to 6pm, clad in their choice of one of seven costumes designed by Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director of luxury clothing and accessory brand, Loewe. All were inspired by different types of squash and pumpkins, taking their lead from Hamilton’s initial source of inspiration for the commission: a 1960 photograph that she discovered several years ago, capturing a scene from a dance by American Choreographer, Erick Hawkins.

The project marked Schlüter-Systems’ second involvement with Tate Britain; in 2011, the company was engaged as part of a £45m renovation of the Grade II Listed Millbank building, led by architecture firm Caruso St John. The renovation involved the creation of new education and events rooms, including the art gallery’s Djanogly cafe and opened in November 2013.

DITRA 25 was again utilised, on this occasion for uncoupling provision beneath agglomerate stone or unglazed porcelain floor tiles, dependent on the rooms and areas in question. Cement-free tile backer board, Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD, can be found supporting wall tiling in the WCs and kitchens; Schlüter-DILEX movement joints, in a number of variants, can be seen within the floors and walls of these areas, helping to maintain crack-free coverings.

Whether supporting a renowned artist through sponsorship or providing solutions for permanent features, Schlüter-Systems is delighted to play a role in the endeavours of Tate Britain.

Product in focus: Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM

Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM is a lightweight, low-height wet underfloor heating system suitable for a wide variety of projects, including renovations.

The Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM can be specified with heights starting from as low as 20mm before floorcoverings. Other benefits of this innovative system include:

Material and weight savings

The BEKOTEC-THERM system is considerably lighter than conventional heated screeds. A reduction of 37mm in screed thickness saves 3.7m³ of screed mortar (equivalent to a 7.4 tonne saving over an area of 100m²).

The small screed mass and proximity of the heating pipes to the surface means that the system is quick to respond and, therefore, more energy-efficient.

Low tension screed construction and crack-free finish

The system is based on the Schlüter-BEKOTEC family of lightweight modular screed systems. The studded pattern of the panels prevents buckling of the screed; this, in turn, avoids the build-up of tension. As a result, no screed joints are required in a floor assembly using the BEKOTEC system. Paired with the Schlüter-DITRA 25 uncoupling membrane, the system prevents stresses from transferring to the covering. The overall result is a long-term crack-free finish.

Short construction periods

The four weeks that a traditional screed takes to dry and cure are reduced to just one to two days when using BEKOTEC. The DITRA 25 uncoupling membrane can be installed as soon as the screed is ready to bear weight, followed by the tile or stone covering. These factors result in quicker progression and less disruption to the project as a whole.

When it comes to putting the BEKOTEC-THERM system into operation, warm-up heating can be started at 25°C and increased by 5°C per day until the desired system temperature is reached.

Compatible with renewable energy sources

Reduced screed mass means that the system can run at lower temperatures of around 30°C (versus up to 50°C with systems that use traditional screeds). The lower supply temperatures mean that the system is a great match for renewable energy sources, such as ground and air source heat pumps.

Wet underfloor heating design service

Using existing floorplans and project heat calculations, Schlüter-Systems can provide a design for your project and make sure that the desired room temperatures can be achieved.

System specification options

A wet underfloor heating system with dry screed (heights from 52mm)

Utilising system panel Schlüter-BEKOTEC-EN/P

For use in new-build projects where low screed height qualities are a primary concern. Polystyrene panel is easily cut to length with a utility knife, making for rapid construction. Includes 20mm integrated insulation as part of overall height build-up.

A wet underfloor heating system with flowing screed (heights from 52mm)

Utilising system panel Schlüter-BEKOTEC-EN/PF

For use in new-build projects where achieving a level screed with minimal labour is an important factor. Polystyrene panel features a foil coating to prevent absorption of the self-levelling screed, and is easily cut to length with a utility knife for rapid construction. Includes 20mm insulation as part of overall height build-up.

A wet underfloor heating system with dry or flowing screed (heights from 31mm)

Utilising system panel Schlüter-BEKOTEC-EN F

A crossover system suitable for use in new-build and select renovation projects, in combination with either dry or flowing screed. Installed in partnership with an insulation layer of your own choosing.

A wet underfloor heating system with integrated sound reduction (heights from 31mm)

Utilising system panel Schlüter-BEKOTEC-EN FTS

Sound reduction properties make this system ideal for first- and second-floor use, as well as over subfloor constructions of timber. Sound reduction capabilities of up to 25 dB.

A wet underfloor heating system for renovation projects (heights from 20mm)

Utilising system panel Schlüter-BEKOTEC-EN FK

For use in small-scale renovation projects and extensions, as well as new-build projects where a particularly low height build-up is required.

Prepare, protect and finish: RIBA-approved CPD seminars

As one of the leading authorities in the tile and stone industry, Schlüter-Systems has been offering RIBA-approved CPDs for over 20 years.

Architects can currently select from a choice of four seminars:

  • Waterproofing and Wetrooms – discusses how you can achieve a watertight foundation that will not only protect an installation, but also the wider project as a whole
  • Underfloor Heating – focuses on the modern advances made in this popular arena, discussing hydronic and electric technologies and their capabilities
  • Movement Joints and Uncoupling – covers the recommendations and essential considerations in specifying problem-free coverings that last
  • Balconies and Terraces – explores how to counteract the stresses of the environment and achieve functional assemblies.

For more information, or to book a CPD with Schlüter-Systems Ltd, please call 01530 813396 or email

Short, sharp and sweet: Lunch and Learn sessions

A brand-new avenue for Schlüter-Systems: highly focused, bitesize learning sessions in a relaxed setting. Aimed at giving interior designers and other specifiers the latest information on Schlüter’s solutions for tile and stone, Schlüter-Systems’ Lunch and Learn sessions have been carefully formulated to fit neatly into a half-hour time slot.

Short, sharp and sweet, the sessions cover the key products, new releases and innovative applications that have the most impact from an aesthetic point of view – from profiles that protect and complement the edges of an installation, through movement joints incorporated to prevent the build-up of tension, to drain grates with an assortment of designs to match the theme of a wetroom. Each session focuses on a particular product range and explores its professional uses and implications.

To capture the latest talking points, the Lunch and Learn sessions available are revised on a frequent basis, and new subjects added. For a list of the sessions currently offered by Schlüter-Systems Ltd, or to book, please call 01530 813396 or email

Smart thermostat enhances award-winning underfloor heating system

Schlüter-Systems is delighted to announce the arrival of a brand-new smart thermostat, a highly anticipated enhancement to its electric underfloor heating system, Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT-E.

Based on Schlüter’s existing 2" thermostat, the new Wi-Fi-enabled introduction allows for more closely customised operation of the award-winning system. The discreet thermostat offers minimal visual impact within a room and connects directly to a chosen wireless network. In addition, an easy set-up wizard and capacity to schedule up to six events per day results in ultimate flexibility for end-users.

Alongside the new thermostat is a dedicated app; Schlüter-HEAT-CONTROL is free for both Android and Apple iOS devices and boasts an intuitive interface for easy control of the system.

In conjunction with the unique Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT-DUO matting, with its fast reacting heating and acoustic reduction fleece, this new announcement installs Schlüter’s electric underfloor heating solution as an unrivalled system. The smart thermostat brings the controls for the system in-line with users’ expectations and allows it to function even more effectively in tandem with a busy life.

Share this article

Login to post comments

About us

Future Constructor & Architect is a specification platform for architects and building contractors, which focuses on top-end domestic and commercial developments.

As well as timely industry comment and legislation updates, the magazine covers recent projects and reviews the latest sustainable building products on the market. Subscribe here.

Privacy policy

Latest updates


Sign up below to receive our weekly building product updates e-newsletter and our monthly digital magazine editions from FC&A via email: