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Old 02-19-2018, 12:59 PM   #1
worldknown
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Did i mess up my pre-slope? Is there enough pitch here?

Hey guys,
So i just did my first pre-slope for my DIY shower install and i know for sure one of the sides has enough pitch down to the drain. The other side which is farthest from the drain appears to have enough pitch at the farthest edges but the closer it gets to the drain the less of a slope it appears to have. Note: I am specifically talking about my preslope, as my next step is the pan liner. Do i need to worry or did i do alright?

I have attached 4 pictures, 3 of them are what it appears to slope and look like to the left of the drain, and the other is right of the drain.
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:00 PM   #2
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I dont know why its not letting you click on the image and zoom in.

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Old 02-19-2018, 01:49 PM   #3
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Looks like you have a little pitch but not really enough. Divide the floor into 4 sections and work on one section at a time, starting with the back sections. Spread thinset over the mud and immediately dump a half bucket of dry pack (deck mud, same thing) and get it spread around before the thinset drys on top. Have the thinset and mud mixed before starting. The thinset will bond the new mud to the dried mud. Then, using a straight edge like your level or straight board, start cutting and raking the mud down to the top of the drain on the one end and flush with the top of the bottom plate on the other end. That looks like it will give you another 1/4 inch of pitch. As you are carving the mud, keep one end of your straight edge pointed at the drain at all times as you carve around making a funnel shaped floor. This will also be good practice for when you do the top mud bed.
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:28 PM   #4
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Hey Davy,
Were you able to zoom into my photos? If you cant clearly see the level it might be hard to tell.

And are you recommending that i just add more deck mud on top? I was using the Mapei 4 to 1 mix before. Can i just use that again? I am a little confused reading your recommendation to "spread thinset over the mud and immediately dump a half bucket of deck mud".
Is there any way for me to post a bigger photo or a link to a bigger photo hosted elsewhere? I would prefer if you could see it clearly to make sure i am not creating more work for myself. Thank you sir!
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:34 PM   #5
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Welcome, Mike.

A bigger photo is not gonna help. Seeing the bubble on the level is of no value unless you've got it centered and then you can measure the gap under the low end of your mud and calculate your fall. You need a minimum of 1/4" of fall per horizontal foot. A little more on a pre-slope is better.

Yes, Davy is suggesting you add more deck mud to what you've got. If you used a pre-bagged equivalent, you can add more of that, but you still want the thinset mortar over the old mud to bond to the new.

I would actually recommend you remove what you've got, call it practice, and make a new mud bed from scratch. And this time be sure you have enough fall at the farthest corner before you start and make the mud flat as Davy is recommending.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:04 PM   #6
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https://ibb.co/ghBxLn
https://ibb.co/eRZv6S
https://ibb.co/j6yoRS
https://ibb.co/jWRa6S

Those are the pictures. I do have a 1/4" of fall at the farthest point, like i said all corners are sloped and measured appropriately. It just so happens that the drain is so far away on the left hand side that it seems to flatten out a TINY bit.

If i was to take it up, what would you recommend? Just hammer the damn thing out?

Doing all 4 of the corners and edging of the box was easy, the hardest part was floating it to the drain and filling in around the center piece. Are there any tricks for this? To create that slope effect? Thanks for your guys help.

edit: and i would hate to rip it up if its really not necessary, only if it really does appear to be wrong!
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:35 PM   #7
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You need 1/4" PER FOOT. The bubble on the level doesn't really tell the story. Remember the longest distance you have is from the corners. If you need to take it out, it should take much less than a jackhammer.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:42 PM   #8
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I agree, it's probably easier to bust it out and start over rather than add a small amount to what you have. But, it's just the preslope, it doesn't have to be pretty, as long as it's in tact with the right pitch, it will work. Screeding off the top of the plate will give you a nice flat surface to work to. You might check to make sure that will give you enough pitch doing it that way.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:52 PM   #9
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update: it took me all up about 5 minutes to take it out.

I did go ahead and buy the goof proof pre-pitch aid. Have you guys used this before?
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:05 PM   #10
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IMHO, you're better off not using those.

Draw a level line around the perimeter of your pan at the needed height of the outer edge.

You might want to add your between stud blocking now verses later.

Take some deck mud and pile it up along the outer edge. Using you level, pack it down at the needed height and ensure it is also level. Pack some down around the drain making a ring so that is flush with the edge. Fill in the middle and use a long screed stick that can set on the outer rim you packed and the top edge of the drain and use it to shape the deckmud so you have a nice flat slope, packing it down then filling in and small areas until it is nice and flat and evenly packed. You may need different length screed sticks if the shower isn't square.

Some like to take a magnesium float at the end and bring a little cement up to the surface.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:19 PM   #11
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Jad,

I had the edges around the perimeter all level and at proper height, where i was struggling was to fill in everything from the drain to the outer edge and getting that perfect slope. Is it because i was using just a small trowel, with my stroke going from edge to drain, rather than side by side.

If i am understanding you correctly, you are saying instead of going up and down with my trowel, i should be going side by side, using a trowel that is made from a 2x4 that is the exact length from the drain to the farthest edge? I wish there were better videos on filling in the middle part of the mud deck.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:29 AM   #12
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Someone else will properly correct me, as I've never actually worked with deck mud, but from what I've read, the basic approach is: dump, pack, carve, smooth.

For carving you need a long straightedge that will go from your perimeter at its fixed height to the drain, and you move it in a circle around the drain. There's a bit of a contradiction there, as you need a straightedge that gets shorter as you go from the corners to the middle of the walls. Not 100% sure how people handle that in practice.

Cheers, Wayne
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:10 AM   #13
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You can use various sizes of sticks to accomplish the screeding. Once screeded, then slick it off with a magnetic float or steel trowel.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:25 AM   #14
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What Kevin said. Use several sticks that vary in length. A 2x4 is too big, use a 1x4 or smaller.
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:39 PM   #15
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You get things packed down, then, using your screed, essentially scrape off the high spots, and if you find any, fill in the low spots. Let it rest on the packed outer edge, and the other on the drain body...then, you'll have a straight line.
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