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Old 06-17-2005, 04:53 PM   #1
vdocad
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Deck mud working time

Hello All:

I just spent several days surfing your forums and what a treasure of information! I am a homeowner/diy'er with construction and tile setting experience. Read Micheal Byrne's book many times, and read most threads in the Mud Box, but I still do not know the answer to my questions.
We have a 14'X19' 30 year old slanted slab (1/2" per 4'), wood trowel finished, that has some hairline cracks in it as well as settling in 2 areas. The idea is the level it and/or at the very least make it flat so we can tile it. The slab is now indoors, enclosed by one of those prefab patios. I have read a lot about SLCs here and other places, but my problem is that I work alone (the wife used to help, now she takes care of our 14month old). With SLC's you need a "conveyor type" operation with a very short window between mixes and pours. I cannot find any cement companies that deliver and poor SLCs in my area. I thought about doing 2 ft. wide runs of deck mud across the entire thing. My questions are:

Once I start the project do I have to finish it the same day? Will I end up with cold joints where yesterdays batch meets today's?

Given an outside temp. of 80 deg. F and very little humidity, what is the working time of Deck mud?

If I use acrylic instead of water to avoid the 28-day cure, do I substitute all the water for acrylic or just some?

Thanks in advance for your time and comments.
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Old 06-17-2005, 05:01 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. We gotta have a first name from ya.

Working time with deck mud is about an hour, and for a job that size I think you need a helper. Yes, you will have cold joints if you stop and start back up the next day. You should try to do it all at once. Again, you need a helper.

I don't put admix in my mud, and not very many others do, either. You've read too much Michael Byrne.
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Old 06-17-2005, 05:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for your prompt reply! Sorry, I wasn't trying to go incognito! My name is Rodrigo. I was fearing you would say that, that it must be done all at once. It makes sense.
If you do not use admix but plain water instead, fine watering the bed's surface once a day is that enough? How much is too much?
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:59 PM   #4
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Hi Rodrigo, even tho the mud box seems like the logical place to ask a question about mud, I think you'll do better in the advice forum. John will follow you if he doesn't get lost.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:03 PM   #5
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It's impossible to get SLC delivered the stuff would set up in the truck.
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Old 06-20-2005, 12:44 PM   #6
vdocad
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Thanks! The more exposure the better.

I never thought about that "minor" issue... I guess then SLC is out of the question.

My wife, who sometimes comes up with some incredible ideas out of the blue, asked me why couldn't we level the floor with anything, sand, regular cement,... and then fasten plywood to the slab so we would have a nice and flat surface to lay our tile on. Even though I am pretty sure this slab is done settling, any minor movement below the plywood should not affect the tile directly that much wouldn't you think?

Again, any comments are greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-20-2005, 01:59 PM   #7
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There is some discussion of this topic in this thread...

http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=22566
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Old 06-20-2005, 05:05 PM   #8
vdocad
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Sorry, I could not find the similarities with your job. I guess since now I am no longer contemplating a mud job, I should probably start a new thread.

Thanks anyway.
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Old 06-20-2005, 05:27 PM   #9
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Welcome, Rodrigo.

Might be you should still consider a mud job, but you should consider a helper, too. Or maybe two.

But first, how much height can you comfortably add at the highest part of your existing slab?


In any event, just keep all your questions on this thread. We can change the title later if we need to.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 06-20-2005, 05:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice.
Height is not an issue. The slab is 14' wide and slanted for drainage back when it was outside and exposed to the elements. It sits now 2 steps below the house(raised foundation).
When I was thinking about pouring something, I calculated 1.5 cu. ft. of concrete would give me a 2" rise at the lowest point and come up to be almost flush at the highest point. If I decide to go with new regular concrete on top of the old one, are there any secrets to keep in mind?

At this point I haven't completely ruled anything out yet.
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Old 06-20-2005, 06:01 PM   #11
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If you're going to pour concrete, and if I understand what you're doing, you want fiber added and with concrete don't go thinner than about three or four inches at the (now) high point.
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