How to Install a Schluter Strip

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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How to Install a Schluter Strip
Schluter strips are used to protect the edges of tile. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Schluter strips are among a group of products sold by Schluter Systems. Technically, the company doesn't sell a product called a strip -- it has several products that installers have nicknamed as strips. In general, the strip is one of several edge-finishing materials. The products are similar in that they're made of aluminium and designed to protect the edge of tile from impact or transition while providing a finished appearance. All of the products install in a similar way -- simply select the one that works with your particular application.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Rotary tool
  • Sandpaper or metal file
  • Notched trowel
  • Thinset

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  1. 1

    Measure the length of tile edge you wish to protect. In most cases the last row of tile is installed over the bottom of the strip material so that it touches the integrated joint spacer, which is a small metal piece positioned 1/32-inch from the strip's inside edge. The spacer forces the tile away from the edging strip.

  2. 2

    Cut the aluminium strip using a rotary cutter with an appropriate cutting blade; the strip cuts easily. Lightly sand the edges with sandpaper or a metal file to remove any burrs.

  3. 3

    Apply thinset to the area where the profile will be placed using a notched trowel. Thinset, an adhesive mortar made of cement, sand and ingredients that retain moisture, is used to attach tile to substrate materials. Press the anchoring leg of the profile into the thinset with the strip upright. Trowel additional thinset over the top of the anchoring leg to cover it completely and provide a good base for the tile.

  4. 4

    Install the tile so that it's 1/32-inch above the top edge of the Schluter strip. The side of the tile should rest against the integrated joint spacer. Clean the face of the strip immediately so that no mortar is left on the surface. The space between the tile and joint spacer can be filled with grout during the grouting phase.

Tips and warnings

  • This type of strip has been used in commercial tile installations for a long time. They are also available to transition between tile and stone or hardwood floors, and for stair edge treatments. Select the correct strip height for your installation.

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