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Old 10-13-2009, 08:25 PM   #1
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


I just attempted to put down a mortar bed for a shower pan and made a HUGE mess of it. The mortar dried way too fast and didn't mix well. Screeding was near impossible and now half the mortar is rock hard and the rest is a sandy pebbly mess. Even my mixing tub is now solid. Can I salvage the situation? I was able to clear away enough of the hardening mortar so that hopefully I won't have to chip any away to complete the bed. Can I put more mortar on top of what I just did? Any advice to improve my horrible performance from round one? Thanks so much. Ugh.

--Chris

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Old 10-13-2009, 11:48 PM   #2
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


Start over or hire a tile setter.

Since this was your first attempt, I'll assume you were doing the pre-slope so you could install the membrane over it, is that right? The pre-slope does not have to look pretty and doesn't have to be super solid either.

Tell us more on how you're planning to built this shower, and with what specific materials.

Jaz

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Old 10-14-2009, 06:16 AM   #3
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


I've already done the preslope, which I did with a sand mix. That worked great. I had no problems there. I've put the liner in, and for the mortar bed I'm using a "mortar mix." I found the mortar mix much harder to use.

How do I start over? Do I chip out everything that's already there? I'd say I've got about 80% of it down, it's just messy and incomplete.

What do you think? Thanks!

--Chris
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:25 PM   #4
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


I think I may have figured out my problem. I was using Rapid Set Mortar Mix and it started to set WAY too fast for me to complete the job right. Now I have a half-done mess. Can I put more mortar on top of this to fix it, or do I have to chip out the first attempt and start over? Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:54 PM   #5
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


Remove the top layer down to the membrane, be careful.

Why did you use mortar mix for the deck mud? You're supposed to use sand mix at about a 1:4-5 ratio.

The only time you use mortar mix is to build the curb if you do it that way.

How are you building the curb? How are you doing the walls? Board, what kind? Waterproofing?

Jaz
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:48 PM   #6
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


I was hoping I wouldn't have to remove what I've done, but it that's the only way, I'll get on it! I was using a Quick Pitch kit to get the slope right. I may have to get a new one.

I used mortar mix because that's what the Home Depot 123 book told me to do. Guess I should have used a better source. I'll use a sand mix for round 2.

The curb is 3 2x4s covered with hardieboard. That's also a Home Depot idea.

The walls are all hardieboard. I don't have waterproofing other than the shower pan liner. Is that a mistake?

--Chris
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:17 PM   #7
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


Sand mix, nor any regular concrete material will bond well to itself. You need a solid monolithic slab of concrete.

You were supposed to apply a vapor barrier on the studs then the CBU. But, no problem, you can apply a surface waterproofing liquid membrane over the Hardie. You had to use a liquid membrane anyway since your sheet membrane now has dozens of holes in it at the curb area at least. Apply 3-4 coats to get the proper mil thickness.

Burying the Hardie in the deck mud is not a good idea, but hopefully you left a gap between the board and the membrane, and silicone it. I think that book is the one we tile guys laugh at? You haven't yet learned that you shouldn't expect to get good advice from those stores since they will rarely hire anyone that knows much about tile and especially how to build a shower. Shop there at your own risk!

Next time consider a Kerdi Shower, much better and both the walls and floor will be waterproof, watertight, and mold-free.

Jaz
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:13 PM   #8
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


Jazman has you back on track-

Here's a link to a tile site. Look for DECK MUD.Shower Construction Info (a collection of posts) - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:59 PM   #9
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Help! Mortar bed problem!


Thanks for the help!

--Chris

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