Can ceramic tile, including porcelain tile, be set on Schluter™-KERDI with latex-modified thin-set mortar?

In general, we DON’T recommend it.

Here’s why:

Latex-modified mortars must dry for the polymers to coalesce and form a hard film in order to gain strength. When sandwiched between two impervious materials such as KERDI and ceramic tile, including porcelain tile, drying takes place very slowly through the open joints in the tile covering. [According to the Tile Council of North America's Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation, this drying period can fluctuate from 14 days to over 60 days, depending on the geographic location, the climatic conditions, and whether the installation is interior or exterior]. Therefore, extended cure times could be required before grouting if using modified thin-set mortars between KERDI and ceramic tile, including porcelain tile. If extended cure times were not observed, the results could be unpredictable. This is even more important to consider in wet areas such as showers, as there is the additional concern of latex leaching.

Schluter Systems’ modified thin-set mortars have been specifically formulated to set and gain strength in a timeframe that fits typical installation practice, even when sandwiched between Schluter™ membranes or boards and porcelain tile. The proportions of cement, waterretention agents, polymers, and other components in the mixtures were balanced to ensure that extended dry times are not required.