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Unread 01-19-2022, 11:31 AM   #1
kentezarmahdi
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Type S spec mix over hot mop

Hi. I am a homeowner in Southern California and remodeling my master bathroom which I intend to use dolomite marble for the shower walls and floor. I had the shower pan hot-mopped, and my tile setter used Type S Spec Mix on top of the hot mop to build the mortar bed for the tile to sit on. After reading many posts, I realize that Spec Mix Type S is not the right material and it should have been deck mud instead to promote better drainage.

My question is how bad is it? Should I rip out the Spec Mix Type S (potentially damaging the hot mop) and rebuild it using deck mud? Or am I okay with the spec mix Type S that was used and properly sloped?
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Unread 01-19-2022, 03:07 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Kaivan.

No, I think you should have your "tile setter" remove the Type S mortar and replace it with the industry required minimum of 1 1/2" of a more appropriate sand/cement mix, while being absolutely sure the weep holes in the drain remain unobstructed and protected.

Shouldn't hurt the hot mop, but if it does, same guy should see that it's properly repaired.

And that all presumes that the hot mop is properly sloped to the drain.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-19-2022, 04:06 PM   #3
kentezarmahdi
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Thanks, CX. My tile setter is an hourly guy, so the demo and redo will all be at my expense. Here is a photo of the hot mop after we drained the water test, it looks like there is an area where water stands. Is this of concern? Do I need to get the hot mop guy back out too?
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Unread 01-19-2022, 04:39 PM   #4
jadnashua
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IMHO, the type-S mortar is not per industry standards, so the job was not done properly. You should not have to pay to have it done wrong, and the labor and materials should be provided by the workman doing the job now. A contract, even an implied one, assumes the work is done to at least the minimum industry standards.
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Unread 01-19-2022, 05:37 PM   #5
kentezarmahdi
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Thanks Jim. Assuming I would pay to re-do the work (even if I'm not legally required to), would using the Type S cause catastrophic failure, or is it just not the ideal material?
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Unread 01-19-2022, 06:11 PM   #6
jadnashua
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The liner is the waterproofing. It is assumed, and in reality shows up, that the tile and grout are not waterproof, and some (maybe incrementally small, but it adds up over time) water will get beneath the tile. Using deck mud means that that moisture can migrate through it (it's quite porous) down to the weep holes of the drain, and down the drain.

The type-S mortar is denser, so the moisture won't quickly migrate down to the drain. This can cause the grout lines, and maybe the tile, depending on the type, to become saturated. Wetness there constantly often leads to the growth of mold and potentially the resulting smells.
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Unread 01-19-2022, 06:14 PM   #7
Davy
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The hot mop should have pitch towards the drain like Cx said. If you have areas of standing water then sloping under the pan didn't happen like it should have.

Was there any lath or chicken wire over the curb before the mud went on? That lath would only need to be nailed on the outside of the curb, the bathroom side.

The type S is fine for the curb if lath was installed first.

Deck mud is porous so water easily flows through it Type S is a harder type cement and is dense so water won't flow thru it as fast as it should. Plus, like was mentioned, the weep holes are probably full of cement so even if your pan did have the correct pitch, the water wouldn't be able to run into the weep holes. It would just pool there and become stagnant.

If this guy doesn't know the basics about building a shower, what else doesn't he know?

I've tore out showers built similar to this that were saturated from 12-18 inches up the walls and down into the floor. So saturated that water was wicking up and over the curb (capillary action) and into the carpet.

Can you post a couple more pics a little closer showing the shower floor and curb?
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Unread 01-21-2022, 11:35 PM   #8
kentezarmahdi
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Thanks Davy. I listened to everyone's comments and had the type s concrete chipped out and removed. I had the hot mopper come back and redo it such that there is no low spots, and I'm going to have the pan rebuilt using deck mud instead of type s.
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Unread 01-22-2022, 09:26 AM   #9
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Good. It doesn't sound like the tile guy has much experience or either he's been doing it wrong for years. Looks like you may have to baby sit them from here on out, get ready for that.
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Unread 01-22-2022, 10:14 AM   #10
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Kaivan, I'm also curious about that pony wall on the east side of the photo. You reckon they intend to leave that brace on the end of it permanently, or do they have some sort of plan to stiffen the wall? Looks like it could be a bit flimsy from here. Actually, looks like it could be a lot flimsy, truth be known.
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Unread 01-22-2022, 10:45 AM   #11
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Also, there seem to be electrical connections in that pony wall. You might want to watch over how they water-proof it. For stuff like that, I really prefer when the GFI device is integrated in the breaker for the whole branch and thus located in the main load center, rather than a single device in the outlet box. That way, the entire branch is protected if something untoward should ever happen with that shower. A bit more expensive, but well worth it in my view.
And yes, that pony wall looks like it could be a bit shaky. Stiffening it from below with a long metal rod/bolt is probably a good option.

And am I assuming correctly that the space east of the pony wall is not going to house a tub? If it were, though, you could comfortably plug in your electric shaver while taking a bath.
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Unread 01-22-2022, 07:58 PM   #12
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I have seen carpenters remove some plywood and fasten the pony wall studs to the floor joists below. This adds a lot of stiffness to the pony wall.

Looks like they may plan to float the walls, care must be taken when fastening the paper and lath. May need more bracing while they beat on the wall.
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Unread 01-22-2022, 08:39 PM   #13
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I do some part-time work at a metal fab shop, we make "low-wall posts" all the time for just such an application, mostly for metal stud construction of walls that don't attach to the ceiling.

2" X 2" X 1/8" wall square tube with a 3-1/2" X 2" base plate, two fastener holes on the 3/4" tabs. Secure to a floor joist with lags. and to a stud in the wall with self-drilling/tapping screws. Bulletproof.
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