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Old 04-15-2017, 09:13 AM   #1
Loui
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Mud bed basics

Hey everybody,

New project.

Removing old 1 1/4" mud bed from 2' x 8' bathroom subfloor and replacing with new. I have a few questions for you guys?

1. Since this is a bathroom floor. I was thinking sand mix with a bit of sand 4:1 ratio. Is that ideal for a floor? Should I even bother with the sand?

2. I would like to split the floor up since I am alone and possibly do half one day, the other half the following day. Will this weaken the mud bed in anyway. Is this a dumb idea. If not what is the best way to bond the new bed with the old. Also worried if that joint will weaken the floor in anyway?

3. Planning ahead I know I will have some low/high spots. I understand the high spots can be shaved down. How do I take care of any low spots/areas? Would cement patch or SLC work for those areas?

4. How long do I have to wait for the mudbed to cure before I can make repairs and lay down tile.

5. Is 4 mil plastic and Home depot metal lath with galvanized staples an acceptable method for preparing the substrate?

6. I would like to calculate how many bags of sand mix I need. Can anyone help with that?

Well thanks again for your time everyone. Great group of people.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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1. Yes, sand mix is fine and I would bother with the sand. Just make sure you get the right amount. Are your bags 60lb or 80lb?

2. Bad idea. You want to do it all at once. Don't leave a cold joint if you don't have to.

3. Cement patch will work. I have also used thinset if it's less than 1/4 inch thick.

4. I've worked on wet mud more than once but it might be best to wait a day or two. Even longer if you think it needs a membrane.

5. That works fine. The last I looked, the lath at HD is 2.5. They use to sell 1.75 which is a little on the flimsy side. 2.5 is what you want or welded wire with 1 1/2 to 2 inch holes work even better.

6. 60 or 80 lb bags?

I would try to find some help. Use straight edges to pull the mud. I put down mud screeds around the perimeter that are level and rod the middle section to the screeds. If you get your heights first by driving nails near the corners, that will help speed things up. Tack the nails so the heads are right at the correct height, that way you can mud the floor to the top of the nails. There might be pictures of this in the mud thread.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:50 AM   #3
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Great info.

Sorry, 60 lb bags.

Ok, I will definitely do the job all at once. Maybe I was just being lazy. Its not worth sacrificing floor integrity. I will use a 4:1 ratio.

If I finish the mudbed and don't get around to tiling for a month or so. How would I address that issue?

Do you screw the wood screeds into the floor to make them a certain height and so they wont move or do you imbed/pack them into the mud to create the level you want and then fill in the rest of the area. Not sure? Still confused on the screed part. Thanks again!
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:16 AM   #4
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I have seen guys use wood screeds or lay pipes in the mud in the mud to rod off of. I make screeds out of mud and be careful not to dig into them as I do the middle section. If using wood screeds, I would lay them in the mud and tap them into place using a level and/or straight edge. Lay the edge on the stick and tap it down embedding it into the mud where it needs to be. But it needs to be a wood stick that will lay flat.

Once my screeds are set in place, I start on the far end and back out. Once you pull the mud back a few feet, reach over and slick it down with a steel trowel. This will help give the mud a slick, smooth surface on top. If you have the correct enough water in the mix, the steel trowel will bring just a little moisture to the surface ,helping to make a hard crust on top. That doesn't mean it's hard enough to drive on, just keeps it from eroding on the surface so fast. If you plan on tiling it later, I would cover the floor with something to protect the surface. I have even skim coated floors with thinset to protect the surface if I knew I wouldn't be tiling any time soon.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:28 AM   #5
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Makes sense.

I'm thinking maybe some conduit might work well as opposed to steel pipe. Otherwise is there a specific type of wood you would use for the screeds themselves?

Do you mean a 1/16 in coat of thinset slurry to preserve the mud bed.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:43 AM   #6
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Now that you mention it, I believe it was conduit that they used. I would probably use it before trying to get wood strips to lay flat. Most mud men like Redwood strips although they can be hard to find. Many times I have cut screed sticks on my table saw out of a Redwood 2x4. That's for my walls. I've never used sticks on deck mud floors but I've heard of others doing it. Not sure how well it works, the conduit sounds like a better idea.

If you have any pieces of plywood laying around, say 12 inch x 12 inch or a little bigger, you can lay them on the wet mud and walk on the floor. After mudding the floor, I would want to pull those pipes up and fill the voids with mud.

Yes, or even thinner. Just a skim coat of thinset with a steel trowel after the mud sets.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:46 AM   #7
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If you see that the mud wants to erode after a week or so, it might be a good idea to lay down some Ram Board over it and tape it down. HD has it.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:05 PM   #8
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Excellent. Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:42 PM   #9
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For a beginner is a 5:1 ratio for a deck mud floor much easier to work with than a 4:1 ratio.

Just wondering because i was reading the article in the library.
It states 5:1 but not sure if thats just for showers as opposed to floors.

Also wondering how to deal with the joint were the deck mud meats the tub. Would I leave a gap if so how?
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:13 PM   #10
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The 5:1 will certainly be easier to work with than the 3:1 straight outa that bag.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:46 PM   #11
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Since its a floor will the 5:1 ratio make for a weaker floor.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:24 PM   #12
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Yes, it will be weaker but it doesn't need to be all that strong. Like CX said, it gets hard to work with and wants to cling together too much. It won't want to pull and cut easily with the straight edge. That said, a lot of guys use it straight out of the bag. I would at least add some sand, maybe get it to about 4 or 4 1/2 to 1. It'll still get plenty hard.
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:54 PM   #13
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Great. Thanks for clearing that up guys.

What do you recommend for the tub joint that meets the mudbed at the floor?
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:16 AM   #14
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Also wondering about an expansion joint around the perimeter of the room.
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:49 AM   #15
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You always want a movement accommodation joint between your tile installation and whatever is the perimeter of your installation, Lou.

If you're asking about the mud bed instead, yes, you should have one there, too, but with the small size of your installation it's not gonna be a big problem. What you've got is more like a shower floor, but put some sill sealing foam around your perimeter before placing your mud just to be on the safe side, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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