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Unread 03-04-2019, 10:10 AM   #32
otrex
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 53
Just wanted to update this thread now that I have completed the dry pack mortar bed.

In the end, I did use the Laticrete 209 Floor Mud mix. It was about 25% more expensive than mixing it myself would have been, but for my first time doing a shower bed, I am okay with that.

I found the 209 mix to be relatively easy to work with. Given the cold weather outside I was mixing in 5G pails inside, and so I found the best way to get a good and complete mix was to use my gloved hands and pour from one bucket into another and back again. I had been using a large mixer on my hammer drill, but this mix is thick enough that it threatened to burn my drill out completely so I halted it before that could occur.

To help with getting the 1/4" drop correct, I made an MDF "blank" of the Kerdi Line drain and then temporarily screwed it down to the floor. On the other side, in order to account for the thickness of the Ditra which is going outside of the shower, I stapled down thin wooden strips. That way when I dragged the level across, I could simply push down on both of these items in order to set the correct level "automatically". I also purchased a hard rubber float and rubber mallet so that I could compact the mixture in place before dragging the level across and then finishing with a metal trowel.

(This is not a new technique, just including it in case someone else reading this is going to try a shower bed for their first time too).

In any case, 14 hours later and the mixture is setting up very well. Minimal loose bits on top and very flat surface (which is to say, consistently sloped at the desired 1/4" per foot).

In retrospect, this was just as easy as my alternative shower floor, proposed at the start of this thread, would have been. So if you're a bit intimidated by this work, you shouldn't be. As long as you closely follow the traditional method instructions, and watch the water mix carefully, it's pretty simple.

I am glad I had a second person for help with mixing - because the job is a bit tiring.

Finally, I should note that it appears the Laticrete 209 mixture is a 4:1 mix.
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Last edited by otrex; 03-04-2019 at 04:16 PM.
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