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I had a plumber come out and put in a new drain along with pvc liner\curb. I put up hardie board on the walls taped off joints and used mortar to finish joints. I now want to float the floor using dry pack or something else not really sure what? Anyone have any advice? One thing I know is to put something around the weep holes of the drain so it won't get filled in by the concrete. How should I achieve the gradual slope required? What about mixing this stuff? The directions on the packing for dry pack say to mix it in a wheel barrow outside however i live on the third story of a condo so that's not very practical. Could I just mix it in several 5 gallon buckets and pour them all in the shower pan? How fast does this stuff dry? I will have to mix alot of it by hand, I have a corded dewalt drill and mud mixer attachment but I think this stuff is gona be too much of it and too thick and don't want to burn out my drill.
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I figure its my time to share something that i know after all i have learned from this community. So..
First thing is the using the proper materials. Make sure pan liner goes up behind the hardi backer a foot or 2 and up to the front of the top of the curb, and all properly sealed in with the drain. You are going to want to use quickcrete sand mix, i think its a red label on the yellow bag. Available at home depot and lowes, menarards carries some other shit that isnt so hot imo. Mixing is done with a troff (idk the spelling) and a hoe. I would have somebody mix it for you while you put it in the pan. Mix a bag or 2 and work it as you go. I draw a level line around the walls of the pan at the top of my level, holding the level only an 1/8th or a 1/4 niche above the floor. Adjust the drain so the pitch from the line on your wall that you drew to the edge of the drain is about half a bubble. Remember this thing needs to pitched right or your water is not going to drain right. Setting a mud base pan does take some experience. and the sand mix does start to set up pretty quick. it takes me about 30 min to do a 3x5 pan and i got a guy to mix the shit for me. After an hour the sand mix may be getting hard to work with. Also the more water you mix the weaker the mix gets. you have to mix to the right consistency. Also make sure that there is at least an inch and a half of mix at the drain. anything less and i would worry it would crack out.
Quote: Electro said: You are going to want to use quickcrete sand mix
not always, I'm partial to the ardex or laticrete products because it's a portland cement based bedding mix engineered to adhere to any substrate, it's non shrinking and within 24hrs you have a 5000psi burst strength, in 28 days it's around 20,000psi, you can get away with a half inch bed at the drain but I still recommend 1.5inch
when floating out, work the material up your grade, you want to maintain about a 1/2" of fall over a 18" distance, that way tiles are easier to set and it doesnt feel awkward under your feet while it'll still have enough fall to drain well, if you're not satisfied with the finish of the bed, you can use something like Ardex 8+9, something I recommend if you're using the sand mix anyway, I also suggest carrying it up the backer board on the walls and filling any cracks with it
look into the products from Henry/Ardex, Laticrete and Mapei
-------------------- there are 923 words in the english language that do not follow the "I before E"
rule, there are 44 words in the english language that follow the rule. this is
the shit our education funding is paying for and these liberals want more money
for education to keep making students stupid
Every time I ever saw somebody do it they mixed it very dry. Very dry. Shoveled it in, spread it, and pounded on a 2 by to pack it down. The strength is pretty much irrelevant as the support comes from below, you just want to avoid shrinkage, hence the dryness of the mix.
And never forget that no matter what the pitch of the mud job is it is absolutely essential to maintain the integrity of the liner, be it lead or PVC or whatever. All concrete is porous.
yeah im unfamiliar with using other products as im only 4th year and ive always used sand mix. Im always down for the new better ways and materials. i believe they sell these kits that have plastic parts and you put them in the pan and they help you get everything pitched right. Ive seen something like that at a tile shop before. It may be a good idea to look into if its your first mud base.
At least your doin it the right way. no sense in throwing in one of those plasticy fiberglass pans when you got the will to do something nicee.
Thanks to all who responded. You guy's did answer my questions and I found it helpful. I will post some before and after pics of the bathroom through its progress. I really got a big lesson in diy this summer. I renovated this entire condo that my dad was kind enough to let me inherit ahead of time. I'm talking about completely gutting the place. I scraped the popcorn from the ceilings and did knockdown, tore out all the carpeting and put down laminate flooring all new fixtures everywhere. Removed soffet from kitchen ceiling and made it 8 feet all around with all new cabinets/granite counter tops and crown molding. All in all I put about 10 grand into the place and the bathroom I've been saving for last because I already have a bathroom in the master bedroom I have been using and its just my girl friend and I.
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