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Unread 09-28-2020, 10:11 AM   #16
Davy
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Keep in mind when planning your mud height, Ditra is about 1/8 thick. I don't see a need for it in your situation but it certainly wouldn't hurt anything.
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Unread 10-03-2020, 11:20 AM   #17
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1. Bonded Deck Mud- Bonding Deck mud with thinset. I think I understand that issue. Option is slurry of portland cement. How much water, how much cement? It might seem simple to those that understand, but I'd hate to do that work and bond it incorrectly. The slurry is "burned in"? Instead of assuming, how is it "burned in"?

2. Thinset for the porcelain tile- any suggestions? I'll be looking at Home Depot or Lowes for Thinset. Since the tiles are 18 x 18 inches. What size notched trowel?

Thanks in advance.
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Unread 10-04-2020, 07:18 AM   #18
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You can bond the mud bed with thinset mortar, Mike, using off the shelf bagged products. Since Depot appears convenient to you Custom's Versabond will be fine, and will also be fine for setting those 18X18's. Burning in is simply using the flat side of your trowel, or any other rigid flat tool, to forcibly press the mortar onto/into the substrate, followed by adding mortar on top as required.

Trowel size; if your mud bed is flat, and it probably will be, and your tiles are also close to flat, but there's a chance they won't be, then a 3/8" slant notched trowel would be great. Not likely you'll find one of those at Depot, though, so next up will be a 1/2" square notch - which will be fine, but might result in more mortar squeezing into the grout joints.

Check your tiles for flat by placing one face up on the kitchen counter, probably out of eye sight of Mrs. Mike, and then place another face down on the first. See how much they "rock". Repeat with several from different boxes. Remove all evidence from test area.
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Unread 10-04-2020, 07:27 AM   #19
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1. I would use thinset to bond the mud although for years we used portland cement and water. Portland is cheaper but thinset will bond better. For bonding with thinset, just spread the thinset (do not wet the slab)in the area you intend to cover just before placing the mud down. I usually use a 1/4 inch notched trowel for this. When bonding with portland and water, wet the area with water and sprinkle portland on the floor using a shovel or other tool and then sweep it in making a slurry. The portland will be more messy. Remember, whichever material you use, it's important that the thinset or portland slurry is still set when you place the mud on it.

2. I like Prolite (from HD) the best but The LFT Versabond (also from HD) is also good. The Prolite is more expensive. I'd probably use a 1/2 inch notch.

Here's the same pic of the patio that we leveled up so they could build a metal sunroom over it. You can see that I spread thinset down as I backed out, covering it with mud as I go.
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Unread 10-19-2020, 06:57 AM   #20
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The slab will be poured at the end of the week. 2 Questions for now.

1. Do I need to let the concrete cure before applying the deck mud?

2. How fast does deck mud setup? I'll be putting in about 1 1/8 inch of deck mud on 180 square feet. While my son will be helping me, I'm slow.
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Unread 10-24-2020, 11:32 AM   #21
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Bump.
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Unread 10-24-2020, 01:56 PM   #22
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Concrete(at least a slab) needs a minimum of 30 days to cure adequately.

Deck mud will set up in a couple of days, depending on the thickness, temperature and humidity.
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Unread 10-24-2020, 02:46 PM   #23
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1. The tile industry guidelines (TCNA) call for the concrete to be "well cured" and dimensionally stable. Not sure exactly what they consider "well cured," but a lot of the shrinkage will depend upon the amount of water in the initial mix, whether or not your concrete was reinforced, whether it was wet-cured, etc, etc. Were it mine I'd consider it dimensionally stable after about 7 days.

Not sure where Laz is getting his data (perhaps he'll tell us), but concrete is usually considered fully cured after 28 days. It might actually continue to gain strength for a hundred years or so, but who's counting, eh?

2. The tile industry (ANSI A108) requires deck mud to cure for a minimum of 20 hours before bonding tile to it, but indicates that longer cure times of up to 10 days are desirable.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-24-2020, 06:45 PM   #24
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Name:  FloorCuring.jpg
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Size:  90.7 KBThanks for your insights again. Floor was poured yesterday, and is curing under plastic. ( I'll add a photo, but you've seen it before.) I'm more concerned about the deck mud. Unlike the Pro's I've never put down that much deck mud. It will be different than a shower pan.

27 days and counting.

While I'm waiting, I can ask questions about travetine around the firebox insert!
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Unread 10-24-2020, 07:11 PM   #25
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You'll wanna cure your deck mud just like that when you've finished placing it, Mike.

You can certainly wait that 27 days if you like, but I wouldn't. You planning a bonded mud bed or a reinforced mud bed?

Yes, you can ask about the fireplace here if you like or you can call it a different project and start a new thread.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-25-2020, 05:36 PM   #26
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Thanks, CX. I'll be using bonded deck mud.

Curing deck mud? My wife won't wait 28 additional days, unless there is no other option. She is willing to wait for the concrete to cure. Not to mention the new fireplace insert will be installed after the deck mud is placed.

I'm going to include the fireplace in the same thread. It might make it harder for anyone trying to read about fireplaces and tile, but it is easier for a moderator if they are trying to make sense of what is happening with the project.

Since we found some termites in the fireplace chase, we'll spray for termites, replace affected wood (not much wood affected as can be determined.), and wait for the concrete to cure.
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Unread 10-25-2020, 07:14 PM   #27
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The bonded mud bed cares more about the cure of the concrete below than would a reinforced, unbonded, mud bed (which wouldn't care at all) but I would still wait a week for the concrete to cure before placing the bonded mud bed. See my warranty information below.

The mud bed, as I said above, needs cure only a minimum of 20 hours, but it's still a bit delicate to work over at that point. Your toes will make lots of divots and you'll likely need knee boards. Been years since I've done a large mud floor and I don't recall how long it takes before they're solid enough for careful foot traffic. Maybe one of the guys doing them regularly (like Davy above) will weigh in on that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-25-2020, 10:02 PM   #28
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In the industry, all cement products are rated for strength after 28-days...they had to pick a time. In reality, cement can continue to cure for many years. Functionally, it will achieve a fair amount in a couple of days, after a month the slope flattens out significantly but never flattens entirely.

Deck mud by its nature given the high sand:cement ratio never is super strong, but it is fine in compression underneath tile. I'd use a kneeboard, or sheet of plywood over it if I was going to walk or work on it. When getting ready to tile it, vacuum any loose material and then wipe it with a wet sponge just prior to spreading thinset. As long as there's no liquid water on the surface it's fine to add the thinset. Adding some moisture prevents it from sucking a lot of moisture out of your thinset and making it stiff prior to setting the tile and having a chance to cure. Curing is a chemical process that incorporates the water into its chemical structure and the lack or excess can weaken things. Excess moisture evaporates, but has nothing to do with it reaching its final strength as long as it has enough during the curing process which continues long after the stuff seems to be dried out.
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Unread 10-26-2020, 06:11 PM   #29
Davy
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Most jobs don't allow us time to cover the deck mud with plastic although it's good to do. I can't ever remember working over fresh concrete but I'm sure it will still have some moisture in it when you put down the deck mud. That will slow the setting of the deck mud a little. I think a lot has to do with how long the plastic is left down and how warm the house is. On some new construction jobs that doesn't have heat inside, deck mud can take several days to set enough to walk on.

Even if the house is well heated, I'd probably give the deck mud at least 2-3 days to set before trying to tile it. I just remembered you were talking about a membrane over the deck mud. In that case, you would probably have to let it dry out even longer.

One thing I always do is to slick down the deck mud with a flat steel trowel as I back out. That brings a little water to the surface giving it a hard crust on top. You'll have less eroding if you slick it down as you back out.
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