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Old 07-11-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
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time to put down the mud on my floors


Hey guys. I finished the radiant heating (almost, need to put in floor sensor). Each room has less then 200 ft loop, 9 inch's apart and 1/2 oxygen barrier. I am going to do a 1.5 inch mud and then tile it. I hammered down all the nails and screwed down the 3/4 tg boards. I have installed 15 lb felt paper and the wire mesh. I will pressurize the system during install. It is 700 sq ft total so I am going to have the sand delivered. Questions:

How many yards of sand?
what kind of sand do i ask for?
What kind of cement bags do I buy?

what is the ratio for the mix?? I was thinking 4:1, I know it should be a dry mix, very little water. All you recommendations, comments will be appreciated. No I cant afford a pro , I can barely afford the tile

thanks!!!
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
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Hi,

You'll need 3.25 cubic yards of sand. One yard does 216 sq. ft @ 1.5"

The kind of sand varies to the locality. We use medium sharp sand here, other places use a fine sand. Ask what is used where you are, be sure it's washed though, no dirt.

Get regular Portland cement, it's sometimes labelled type 1.

No need for 4:1, that's what is recommended for shower floors. I recommend 5:1 although some mix it even leaner. I've seen anywhere from 3:1 to 7:1 with good results. It's more difficult to screed when it's rich and I think the 7:1 guys don't care about good quality, just easier to work with. 5:1 is what you want.

Those are the basics. Have you ever placed cement indoors, any one to help you?

Jaz

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Old 07-11-2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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Jaz, you kick ass, thanks I have not done cement indoors yet. A mason is going to help me, he has about 30 years of doing outside work and floors. I just want to make sure everything goes smooth, I will be working with him. Matter of fact I will be the mixer. So your saying 5 shovels of sand to 1 cement is the right combo? I know this mix is suppose to be damp, correct? meaning if I pick up a chuck with my hand I can make a ball out of it and my hand will be a tad tad wet? How many bags of cement you think I should get at HD?

thanks!! BTW. how does the room layout look?
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:26 PM   #4
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Absolutely right, 5 shovels of damp sand to 1 shovel of cement. Some people will tell you to mix according to weight..............wrong. Always by volume.

The deck mud has to be very dry as you described. Your hand should just be damp, not wet when you make a ball.

A cubic yard is 27 cubic ft.

One bag of cement is one cubic ft.

To get a 5:1 you divide 27 by 5 and get 5.4 bags to a cubic yd.

I figure a 1/4 yd of sand is 40 shovels of damp sand, so 160 to a yd.

So for every 160 shovels you want to use 5.4 bags, for a 5:1. To find how many shovels to a bag divide 160 by 5.4 and you get 30. So, 30 shovels of sand then drop a bag over it and dry mix with a mason's hoe then add water and mix until color is uniform. The formula is flexible so anything close to that is fine. Use a hoe if you're using a mortar box, or a shovel if mixed on the floor.

You need 18 bags of Portland. (5.4 x 3.25 = 17.55).

Many places that sell sand also sell cement and deliver it. 18 bags is almost 1,700 lbs.

Jaz
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:31 PM   #5
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Thanks again, May i ask you what you mean by damp sand?? Do i literally dampen the sand and then add the cement and mix? no water after dampening sand?? Also, to make sure the floor is exactly 1.5 inch thick and leveled I was thinking of using 2x4's on each end of the room as guides and run along them, what ya think?

thanks!!
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:39 AM   #6
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Generally sand is stored outside and will be damp to some degree depending where you are. If it's dry you will not get a full shovel's worth since it'll fall off the edges. This is where experience comes in. Cement will stick to damp sand so it'll blend evenly. If you're not sure, you can mix a batch, 30 shovels of sand, noting the amount of sand per shovel, then also gauge the cement the same way.

After blending the "dry" ingredients add water and mix to the right consistency.

Using something 1 1/2" thick works fine as long as the floor starts out level. Screed it, then remove and fill the voids. Most tile guys do not use spacers in this way, but it'll work.

Jaz
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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Well Jaz, I got my but kicked today. This stuff is not easy. 2 rooms were done today, they are leveled and smoothed out as well. Now for the mixing. I did a 5:1 ratio and was worried about having to much sand, its was bothering me. So I went with a 4:1 ratio and used enough water to make it "damp" (I did the hand test). alot of mixing today, ALOT!. I used 4 buckets of sand to 1 bucket of portland. I am attaching some pics. let me know what you think.

thanks!
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:50 PM   #8
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time to put down the mud on my floors


That looks like a lot of weight on a wood subfloor.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:33 PM   #9
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rusty, 2x8 joists, 16 inchs o.c , 10 ftspan. 3/4 subfloor
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:16 PM   #10
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The consistency looks good. I also look at the color, but not knowing the original color of the sand.......... 4:1 makes it nice n rich and harder to work with. Yea it's a lot of work,take a beer break.

Yea, it's a lot of weight, probably around #18 per ft. at 1.5 " plus tile and setting materials. It should be fine since concrete is somewhat self supporting once it dries. I've got 2 rooms that have almost that thickness and the span is just under 12 ft.

Jaz
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:50 PM   #11
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thanks man. I went with the bucket because I was more comfy with the accuracy. I tell you one thing, it is so different from what people are used to seeing/doing. I bet there are alot of mistakes like to much water. tiles are another battle after this one. I want to go with the wood tile look with no grout lines. $5 a sq ft . my legs, ass, arms and shoulder are killing me!

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