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Old 01-09-2019, 08:53 AM   #1
waynewat
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Sloping a laundry floor

A few months back we had a small flood from the laundry that went into an adjoining bedroom. Everything has been rectified and Iím now looking to correct the problem that resulted in the flood in the first place. The house is 35 y/o, the slab is in good condition but it wasnít sloped toward the floor drain in the center of that room, itís dead level. The actual floor drain fitting was just placed on top of the tile, it was above the height of the tile, so the water drained out the door. I ripped out all the large clay tiles and took the floor back to the slab, no cracks and in good condition, the height to the floor outside is 7/8Ē above the slab, the room itself is 83 sqft. That doesnít give me much height in which to slope the floor, although any slope would be better than no slope.

I have 2Ē x 2Ē ceramic tiles in 1í x 2í sheets and found a product called Speed Slope that is designed to create sloping floors. Given the size of the floor and the working time for this product, Iíd have to do a bag at a time working by myself (total approx 3 bags). From the door opening the total drop to the drain would only be approx 1/2Ē. That not quite 1/4Ē per foot but without doing some major work that is what it is.

Has anyone used Speed Slope before, is it difficult to work with in the more plastic consistency (4qrts water to 50lbs of mix) ?

As a guide to the required slope I was thinking of driving in a few flathead tapcons which would work as a screeding guide.


Thanks,
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:28 PM   #2
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Hi Wayne welcome. I have never used speed slope so I wouldn't know how it would work. What type of drain is in the floor now?
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:30 PM   #3
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I'd probably make a mud screed all the way around the room and let it set. Then use the mud screed to ride the straight edge on. You would need to keep one end of the straight edge pointed towards the drain while you pull the mud around the drain. You would need a bonder coat of thinset to bond the mud to the slab. They are calling that a scrub coat. You could do the same thing with dry pack, sand and Portland cement mixed 5 to 1. That would give you more time to work it.

If you don't want to mess with a mud screed, you can cut sticks 1/2 inch thick and lay them around the perimeter of the room and mud to the sticks. A little hot glue will hold them down but will allow the sticks to pull up after you're finished. Then you would fill in the voids with more mud.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:08 PM   #4
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Hi Mike and Davy,

Thanks for the welcome, and this terrific resource.

Currently, there is just a black 3” ID pipe level with the cleaned slab. I purchased one of those floor drain assemblies with the square top plate which is adjustable in height to meet the tiles. I’m going to have to chisel out the concrete around that pipe to cement that floor drain assembly in.

Davy, Thanks for that explanation. I’m not sure what ‘mud’ is, I’ve seen videos of tilers doing that with a ‘dry pack’ but was under the impression that the minimum depth was about 1 1/4”. I would be screening from 5/8” down to zero at the drain. If I can use a dry pack that would be much easier.

When you say ‘scrub coat’ is that the same as a scratch coat? I saw a cheap bag of scratch coat at Home Depot. The guy at HD said I might want to brush a primer on the cement slab to help the mortar bond to the slab, I guess that is the same idea as a scratch coat..

Appreciate your suggestions, I much rather not use that Speed Slope if there is an alternative.

Best, Wayne
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:42 PM   #5
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He's a link. https://www.custombuildingproducts.com/TDS/TDS-311.pdf

You can't just slap new mud down on your slab and expect it to bond to it. You need a bond coat. We use thinset as that bond coat. I assume they are calling it a scrub coat. I've never heard it called that.

I would be more concerned with the mud thickness and strength if I'm working over a wood floor. On a slab, as long as you have the layer of wet thinset under the mud, you can take it down to about 1/4 inch thick. It's not by the book but it can be done. The last 1/4 inch to nothing can be thinset.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:28 PM   #6
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If you're going to the trouble of sloping the entire floor (which I think is absolutely the right approach), you might consider waterproofing it as well. Given the nature of washer leaks, there could be spray, there could be water often in proximity to the wall adjacent to the washer itself. You might consider waterproofing around the perimeter as well to create a hidden mini basin so to speak to protect water from seeping into the walls. I did this in a bathroom that has had toilet flooding issues before by using Ditra and then running a band of Kerdiband around the room, giving the room a three inch high waterproof perimeter. I then installed baseboard on top to cover the Kerdiband.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
I would be more concerned with the mud thickness and strength if I'm working over a wood floor. On a slab, as long as you have the layer of wet thinset under the mud, you can take it down to about 1/4 inch thick. It's not by the book but it can be done. The last 1/4 inch to nothing can be thinset.
Davy: Thatís good to know, Iíll do it that way.


Wolfgang: I donít have a lot of height to make the slope so Ditra is not really an option. Is there some other thinner membrane you could suggest. The flood in this case was caused from a faulty faucet, I assume that is quite rare but it shows that itís worth making the effort to get the drainage and water proofing right. Having some type of membrane up the walls even a few inches would have saved the lower part of the drywall.

Thanks again,
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:56 AM   #8
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Is there some other thinner membrane you could suggest
Laticrete Hydroban. Or CBP Redgard.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:06 PM   #9
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Thanks Lou, Iíve ordered 1 gallon of the Laticrete Hydro Barrier liquid and 1 roll of the fabric.

For those interested the photos show the new drain assembly dry test fit. Iíve also decided to raise the tile height at the door by 1/8Ē just to give me a little more room to make the slope. I have to redo the floors outside at a later date so Iíll raise the height near the laundry to meet the laundry floor height.


Q. What is the absolute minimum amount of thinset that can be used?
Around the area close to the drain about a radius of 1 foot, I would like to go down to a 1/16Ē if possible.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:10 PM   #10
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Per tile industry standards, the minimum thickness of thinset mortar under the set tiles must be 3/32nds of an inch, Wayne.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:52 PM   #11
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Perfect, thanks Wayne.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:02 PM   #12
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That's a divot drain set up. You can use the Hydroban and fabric over the whole floor and down into the drain. Then bolt the ring down that holds the top grate. Then fill in the divot with dry pack mud.

I doubt 1 gallon will be enough.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:04 PM   #13
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Instead of trying to slope the floor to guard against a potential flood, I'd rather get a plastic tray for the washer and dryer to sit in.

Setting your washer on a sloped floor is an invitation for it to "walk across the floor during the spin cycle, which would cause stress on the supply lines, and possibly cause the catastrophe you're trying to avoid.

You could go one stop beyond the plastic tray and build the floor up a few inches and add a curb, then waterproof it with a drain to the outside, or to an existing drain somewhere in the house.

As a side note, if you haven't already done so, change your supply lines to the steel braided lines, and replace them every seven years. Also, a valve with a single shutoff vs. the individual valves that you have to turn several times to open/close is a much better option. If you leave town for more than a day, you can simply flip the lever and not have to worry about a flood while you're out.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:18 PM   #14
waynewat
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Davy:
Quote:
You can use the Hydroban and fabric over the whole floor
My intention was to just do around the perimeter of the room. I wasnít sure whether there is anything to gain by doing around the drain, but Iíd have enough to do that isf you think itís worthwhile.


Kman:
Quote:
Iíd rather get a plastic tray for the washer and dryer to sit in
In this situation that would not have prevented the flood. The faucet that failed was attached to a relatively new cabinet sink combo unit, it was one of those single lever type with the big spring.

My intention is to build cabinets in that room and house the washer/dryer inside their own housing, with a shallow floor slope it should be okay.


I did think about a curb but itís unsightly and would be difficult to work into the cabinet design and cover both the washer and the sink.

Thanks for the other suggestions. Wayne
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:41 AM   #15
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However you want to do it. It's not as critical as a shower floor. The mud will need to be nice and uniform, those 2 inch tiles won't bridge over any valleys. But dry pack is pretty easy to shape and form. When you get the mud shaped like you want, reach over and slick it down with a flat steel trowel as you back your way out.
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