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Unread 06-19-2004, 09:47 PM   #12
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,332
Why you should only use water to mix your mud

originally posted by Scooter from Souther California

Leme give you the wisdom of my direct experience. I am not a full time tile guy, just a dumb remudler, so take this with a grain of salt.

About 5-6 years ago, I read Michael Byrne's book and noticed that he recommend using Acrylic Ad Mix to make the mud stronger and harder. Wow, OK, having a 3600 psi mud floor made sense to me. I posted something here and John chimes in and says that his mix is sandy and he doubted that any of his floors are much above 1800 psi. OK, I thought, he's some hick from Texas what does he know. I've read MB's book, and well, I know better.

OK, so I fire my tile subs and try my first floor. I make the mix rich like you wanna do, and to boot, throw in some Ad-Mix. This baby is going to be 4800 psi and we can drive a car across it, OK? I am feeling really good here, OK?

I float the floor and the first thing I notice is that the mud is sticky, and clings to the strike off (straight edge), so I switch to aluminum and it still clings. No big deal, I say. I also notice that because it is sticky I am getting some humps and dips that just won't strike off. The mud clings together and it is like trying to sculpt with Jello, OK? Thats OK I say, I am still a tile stud.

Well, the floor dries and what a mess. The humps are rock hard. Yep, 4800 psi. You couldn't shave them off without a frigging jack hammer. So I have to chisel out the humps and fill in the dips, and spend a solid day fixing up the floor, and it still wasn't very flat, so Level Quick and Quick Fix was the ticket. Ugh. I felt really stupid, and was.

So what you want is very counter intuitive--a sandy loose floor that is fairly soft. It will be flatter because the mud won't cling like Jello. If, God forbid, there are humps, you can shave them off the next day with a flat trowel, not a frigging jack hammer. Dips are easily taken care of with some thinset or QuickFix.

Well I'm on the program now. I threw away the Ad-Mix and now am on the 5-1 program. More sand, less porland. Less is more. Actually the pre-bagged stuff at the masonry store or DalTile is great. Probably 5 or 6 to one, because sand is cheaper than Portland.

I am now a recovering Ad-Mix Portland holic.

End quote

Admix = lumpy floor.

Last edited by davem; 09-17-2005 at 08:04 PM.
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