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Old 09-14-2018, 06:22 PM   #1
princecharles
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Charles' Shower Project

had the same kind of "cold joint" separation between the perimeter and the rest of the floor. I put the pre slope down on an 83 degree day. I know I mixed the dry pack properly. I am trying to figure out what I did wrong. I think maybe I spent too much time getting the perimeter level.

How much time do you have to work with dry pack before It starts setting up?
How much more time do you get when the weather is colder?

Can the Pan liner be damaged If the pre slope is not perfectly smooth?

If I fill in the pocked areas should I use all thin set or should I use the thinset to bond new dry pack mortar.

can the liner be damaged if the pre slope is not perfectly smooth?
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:55 PM   #2
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Hi Charles, you have about an hour. Maybe 1 1/2 hours or so on a cool day. Other things can make a difference too. Having your sand mix bags out in the sun can cause it to set faster. Or using hot water. We usually make sure to run the hot water out of the hose before adding it to our dry mix.

Another thing you can do is to mix the whole batch of mud up dry. Then remove some of the mix and add water to half the batch at a time. Then once the perimeter is done, you can add water to the rest of the batch.

If there's a sharp rock sticking up out of the mud, it can poke a hole in the liner. I found one once in a shower that had a lot of workers in the bathroom before I got there. Doesn't happen very often though. A pebble of sand shouldn't hurt the liner. Slick down your preslope with a steel trowel after you get it the way you want and it'll be smooth. If you didn't do that and you think it's too rough, then rub it lightly with a rub stone, vacuum it and put a skim coat of thinset over the preslope.

You can use thinset if it's 1/4 inch deep or less. Deeper areas can be done with more mud, using thinset as a bonder.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:05 PM   #3
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Pre slope dry pack

Is there a minimum amount of time that dry pack has to be mixed?
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:24 PM   #4
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Pre slope dry pack

Thanks for your reply Dave!
Here are some pictures for you to look at. Should I do it over on a cold day or do you think it can be fixed. Your advice would be appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:49 PM   #5
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I'd give it the vacuum test. If it'll stay down while vacuuming it, then you can probably leave it and thinset the divots.

The third pic concerns me. When you get to this stage, there's no time to wash up the tools and take pictures. I'd be getting some more mud made and get it finished. The mud could have been a little wetter.

Also, looking at the third pic. The bottom tile on the jamb needs to be taken off on each side to make room for the pan corner.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:17 PM   #6
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I vacuumed it and some of the grains od sand can still be scraped up. will wetting it possibly harden it?

Everybody was telling me That I would have plenty of time to put down the floor but nobody told me how long was plenty of time. I figured maybe 2 hours.

Thinking about what you said about keeping things cool. I premixed the dry sharp sand and Portland cement 4 to 1 couple of weeks before hand so I could save time and use it like a pre mix the day I put down the floor . I stored it in my boiler room which is very hot in order to keep it dry. do you think that may have caused to the fast set up?

I had been so careful to get an exact level line marked all around the wall by using a 2 X 4 and wedges to extend the line up to make it easier to see.

it if the repair doesn't work I guess ill wait till the weather is cooler and redo it
Pictures attached.

he tile has been removed it just doesn't show.

sorry if I have so many questions but I can't tell how very grateful I am for your advice.
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Old 09-15-2018, 03:23 AM   #7
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This may have been mentioned already, but it's important to have all your tools there at the shower and ready to go before you start mixing anything. You don't want anything to take your attention away from your work til it's finished.

If you premix the sand and portland beforehand, just set it inside the shower for a day or two before you start to cool it down of necessary. You can also put some ice in your water to slow down the drying process.

Make sure the mix is thoroughly hydrated before putting it on the floor. That doesn't mean over-watering it, but just don't have any dry spots in it. That'll also cause what you're seeing with those rough spots.

Use a wood float to pack the mud down before you start shaping it. Then finish with a steel trowel.

You did put plastic over the plywood, correct? If not, it'll draw the moisture out of the mud prematurely.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:46 AM   #8
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Pre slope dry pack

You comment about hydration is significant.i mixed the dry components very well with a hoe but I used and auger in a bucket when I mixed mixed in the water. I mixed 2 quarts of water to 55lbs of dry mix. perhaps I should have mixed it for a longer time.

What happens if the mix is too wet, I mean there is a range of wetness.?

I did use a cleavage membrane before putting down the wire lath and the dry pack
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:07 AM   #9
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I see now, the lower jamb pieces are removed so that's good.

I have tried to save dry mix till the next day and it might be possible to do with bagged sand or all purpose sand, if we mix it out of our sand pile, there's just enough moisture in the sand to cause it to be lumpy the next day. So we avoid that. But, you could mix the batch dry an separate some of it to mix an hour or two later and it'll be fine.

Another thing you can do for the preslope is to make a small level screed around the walls. Maybe one that sticks out only 2 inches. Let it set over night and then tie onto it with more mud the next day. You can use thinset to bond the new mud to the screed. Having a hard screed will help you out when you mud the rest of the floor. Dry pack mud will still carve when it's a little too wet. Good sand castle mud is about right. When you slick it down with your steel trowel, if water puddles on top, it's a little too wet. But, I'd leave it. It's the preslope, it doesn't have to be perfect. Call it practice for the real deal later.

In an old mud shower like that, I would have notched my studs and set my blocking back even with the notch. That would give you more room. Are you going to mud the walls at the bottom? How much is the mud sticking out past the blocking now?
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Old 09-15-2018, 03:44 PM   #10
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The wall studs are only 2x3s so I didn't notch them; the blocking is flush or a bit set back from the studs.

After I get an acceptable pre slope and put the liner in and test it . I am going to tie in the wire lath all around, including a curb constructed with wire lath, about 1 inch above the floor of the liner and only nail it above the liner. Then I will scratch coat the wire lathe and put down the dry pack floor to lock in the walls.

as you can see in the photos The wall tile has about an inch of mortar behind each tile. When I put up the wall tile I'll do it the same it was done originally, tapping each of them flush with the existing wall. The plumb coat mortar has more lime in it that the scratch coat so it sticks to the tile better. Its sort of like laying thin bricks.

by the way here is a heads up for any one repairing a old shower. It took me a long time to find a company the sells all of the historic tile colors and accessories like 2 inch mud caps, and 3/4" radius tile; here are links to companies that sell the tile
https://www.bwtile.com/catalog.php. and
http://claysquared.com/index.php/cer...egory/historic

I believe Clay squared tile gets the tile from B&W so you may save by going directly to B&W. Clay squared will send you color samples. I can tell you that the peach tile i ordered is not even a fraction of a shade off the original color. However the brown tile is not exact. The stuff is not cheep but it beats the price of doing a whole bathroom and everything matches. Thanks again for you helpful advice.
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:35 PM   #11
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Welcome, Charles.

I've separated your project from the other visitor's years old thread to avoid confusion on both.

How do you intend to tie the waterproofing you'll use behind your new repair with the existing wall waterproofing, if any?
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:34 PM   #12
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I think Cx may have meant to ask how you were going to tie in the waterproofing, not tile. But, we will ask him about that.

Charles, you are making it sound like you plan to beat in the new tiles into the wet wall mud, is that right?
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:48 PM   #13
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The existing wall really has no water proofing as commonly thought of today. the pan liner will go up about 10 inches to meet the bottom of the scratch coated wire lath shown in the picture. Then, in lieu of Dura rock I will place 9 inch pieces of wire lath and nail them at the junction where it meets the old wire lath . then a scratch coat will be applied to the wire to make a continuous surface to bond the new tile.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:51 PM   #14
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Charles, in post 9 I was asking how much does your old mud stick out past the wood blocking and studs as it is now?

In other words, your new mud will need to be flush with the old mud. I'm wondering since you didn't notch the studs, how much space do you have for the liner, scratch coat and finish coat of mud?

What about beating the tiles into the mud, did I misunderstand that?
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:56 PM   #15
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Yes Dave. This is another area where the moisture content of the mortar is critical to bond. If it is too dry you get a poor bond if it is to wet it is hard to set the tile. The best thing to do is to soak the tile as you would if you were laying brick or skim the back to the tile with thinset.
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