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Old 05-21-2016, 08:53 AM   #31
Michael Kehoe
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thickness of scratch coat?

I am preparing to do the scratch coat that Davy described (on the loose hanging lath around the bottom perimeter of the shower) I have never done this and am wondering how thick to apply the scratch coat. Should I still be able to see the diamond pattern in the lath when i am done?

and for the finish coat, it is my understanding that I don't need any thinset or other bonding coat; just put the finish coat right over the scratch, which will mechanically adhere to the scratched surface. correct? thanks!
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:39 AM   #32
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You want the scratch mud fairly thin, just enough so you don't see the lath thru it. They make a special rake to scratch it with or you can use a piece of lath about 5 inches square to drag over the mud, both will work fine.

Yes, let the scratch set, then you may need to dampen the scratch before you apply the next coat of mud. I use a pump up spray bottle like you would use to spray your yard. Or, no more than you have, take a saturated sponge and slap the scratch to wet it down. The mud will grab on it's own, just force it in well.

You want the lath and scratch to hug the wall so lean a few bricks, rocks or anything heavy against the mud till it dries.
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:28 PM   #33
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Thanks again Davy!
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:54 AM   #34
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floated my first shower wall, have questions

I floated my first shower wall this weekend. I used the 4-1-1 sand portland lime mix. My shower has side door jambs, so I followed Davy's advice and used pieces of wood along the jambs and curb as screeds to get a consistent half inch of mud on the wall. See, http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...rb#post1340745 It came out well, seems nice and flat. Thanks, Davy. It is curing and I have been misting it with water several times a day.

Question 1: While I floating the wall and scraping off, I had to fill in low spots a few times, and then continue screeding. There were also times when small sections of wet mud came away from the wall and I just mashed it back in as hard as I could. The whole process took me two or three hours for just one wall. Will the spots that I filled in with new mortar and then screeded off bond well to the mud that was already on the wall? I have this worry that the mud that I added later won't bond and will somehow fall off.

Question 2: I followed the 4-1-1 volume ratios meticulously when mixing. However, the mud on the wall just doesn't look that strong to me. It's definitely setting and hardening. It just seems so sandy. Is this normal?

Question 3: the bag of portland that I used was mostly nice and powdery, but there were many small hard lumps in it. I broke the lumps up as much as possible. Is that normal our should I get another bag of portland?

thanks!
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:35 PM   #35
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Hi John.

1. It's normal to have voids after pulling the straight edge and cutting the mud. Any mud that you add will bond fine as long as it was added within a couple hours. If you waited till the next day to fill the voids, it may not bond very well. After pulling the straight edge over the mud, fill any voids immediately before moving on to another section of the wall. Get the whole wall done before stopping for a break.

A while back, I had a wall that was 6 ft wide and 9 1/2 ft tall. I was sick as a dog and running a fever. I think we ate lunch about two o'clock. I wanted to finish that wall before stopping.

2. It should get hard although I have seen portland go bad, probably too old that didn't get very hard.

3. That's the first sign that it's getting old. If it only has a few small lumps you can run it thru a piece of wire lath to screen the lumps out. Probably a good idea to get a fresh bag if the lumps won't break up during the mixing of the batch.
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Old 06-21-2016, 07:44 AM   #36
Michael Kehoe
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Thanks, Davy! My father in law is a retired bricklayer, and every time I do one of these small projects I have new respect for him and for you tile men. This is tough work.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:37 PM   #37
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Should I tile over this crack in mud shower wall?

Dear Mudmen, Could you please take a look at this crack in my mud shower wall and tell me whether I should tile over it, or whether I need to apply a liquid crack isolation membrane first?

Davy once indicated in this forum that he usually tiles over cracks and has not had a problem. I just want to make sure that this crack isn't too large. As you can see from the attached photo, the crack runs from either side of the opening for the shower valve. Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:57 PM   #38
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Yes, I've tiled over cracks without any known issues but to be safe, you might want to use thinset that has some flex, something like Flexbond.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:05 PM   #39
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Thanks yet again, Davy!
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:45 PM   #40
Michael Kehoe
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Do I need to moisten mud shower walls before tiling?

I finished my mud shower stall almost a year ago, and the project has been on hold since then for various reasons. So the walls are bone dry. However, now I'm getting closer to actually tiling, and I'm wondering if I should dampen or mist the walls with water before I tile? I was thinking that it might help the thinset adhere better, or slow the curing time to add strength. Is this necessary? thanks.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:22 PM   #41
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In post 10 you said you already put up the moisture barrier so you don't want another one over the mud walls. I would wet the walls with a garden sprayer. You can wet one wall at a time a few minutes before tiling. Let the water soak in, you don't want the mud shiny wet when spreading the thinset. Since it's very dry, you may need to wet it a couple times. The moisture will help keep the thinset from drying so fast. It's important that when you set the tiles, the thinset is wet and not skimmed over (dried) on the surface. Sometimes, especially with large tiles, I'll spread the thinset on the tiles instead the walls using the notch trowel. Just make sure you have good thinset coverage and your corners are covered well. Then you can set one at a time.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:20 AM   #42
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Thank you Davy!
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