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Unread 10-15-2019, 12:51 AM   #3136
dgbldr
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I'm looking to improve my knowledge and understanding of mud, so I have a few questios for the experts here. The questions are for horizontal (floor) applications over rough and uneven concrete.
1. The Quikrete data sheet for the Sand topping mix, which we use, says to use acrylic fortifier for up to 1" thick mud for improved bonding. Not clear if that is bonding of the mix or bonding to the substrate. Then in a different paragraph it says for 1" to 2" thick use concrete bonding adhesive. So far so good. But then it says you cannot use both. Why? What is the reasoning there?
2. What do you do if your substrate is uneven and your mud bed needs to be <1" in some parts and >1" in others? Which rule applies?
3. The data sheet mentions thick setting beds for tile, but it appears to be mainly directed at concrete overlays. Do the instructions for acrylic and bonding adhesive apply to both uses? Obviously the setting bed is mixed drier.
4. The data sheet says for use up to 2" thick. What happens if you try to use it 2.5" or 3" thick?
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Unread 10-15-2019, 08:24 AM   #3137
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That is a mix for making a fine aggregate concrete, DG, not for making deck mud. I'm not sure that "Product Use" category of "• Thick setting beds for ceramic floor tile" was even in there before Quikrete bought Custom Building Products, but clearly they don't have a good handle on what constitutes good deck mud.

At any rate, I think they clear up your questions under the Mixing section:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quikrete
MIXING
NOTE:
• For applications 1" - 2" (25.4 - 51 mm) thick, use specified bonding agent
• For applications less than 1" (25.4 mm) thick, use specified admixture
Apparently they don't think a bonding agent is necessary if the product is mixed with their admixture.

For making deck mud using that product, though, we (TYW) still recommend mixing it with sand to create something closer to a 5:1 sand/cement mix. You can find the formula in our Liberry's Shower Construction thread.
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Unread 10-15-2019, 07:23 PM   #3138
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Thanks CX, I understand all that but I still have the same questions.

So forget Quikrete, let's say you mix your own 5:1. The substrate is clean but rough and uneven concrete. The mud bed will vary in thickness from almost zero to over 2". What do you do? Bonding adhesive or not? Acrylic admix or not? And why or why not?
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Unread 10-15-2019, 08:01 PM   #3139
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If you're going to get into project specific uses, DG, let's move the discussion to your project thread. The one you have for Concrete mud bed will do if you'll then tell us what you plan to do with this mud bed.
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Unread 10-15-2019, 09:33 PM   #3140
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We've bonded deck mud to slabs using all kinds of products. A slurry of thinset, a Portland cement slurry, acrylic admix and years ago Elmers glue. These mud beds varied from 3/8 thick to 7 inches. They all seem to work regardless of the mud thickness.
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Unread 10-16-2019, 10:45 AM   #3141
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Thanks Davy. CX, I don't have a specific project here, I'm trying to better understand mud and specifically mud over concrete slabs.

So if I understand you, the purpose of all of those methods/materials is to bond the mud to the slab and the mud itself can be any thickness, does not need admix for its own strength or crack resistance. Correct?
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Unread 10-16-2019, 12:12 PM   #3142
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Bonded mud bed is one way to do deck mud beds for a thinset application of ceramic tile, DG.

Generally the 5:1 mix is used without any additive, although the ANSI standards call for a 4:1 mix for shower floors. The minimum thickness is 3/4-inch and the maximum without specific specification is 2 inches. Many people exceed that thickness without any hesitation at all and I know our friend Davy has done bonded mud beds two and three times that thick.

Over concrete substrate the mix must be bonded to the substrate with a slurry of thinset mortar or Portland cement.

Again, if you wanna get into specific applications, other requirements or recommendations may apply.
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Unread 10-16-2019, 05:32 PM   #3143
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Adding admix to deck mud will make it stronger but it also makes it harder to work with.

A few years ago I helped a friend and his crew mud and tile a large courtyard. We didn't really go by the book on this job, I wasn't in charge so I went along with the boss. The thickest areas were 7 inches and all of it was bonded with Portland cement and water. We made some large batches of mud.
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Unread 10-16-2019, 06:11 PM   #3144
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Thanks. Very good points. I'm learning.

Now a related question, same scenario, uneven concrete, clean, rough. Why is it beneficial to bond the mud bed to the slab? Why not paint the slab with Redguard and lay the bed on top of that? A little extra cost, but I'm thinking protect the mud bed from any future cracks in the slab.
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Unread 10-16-2019, 07:01 PM   #3145
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If you actually want crack isolation, DG, in your proposed scenario, you put down a cleavage membrane (your RedGard might arguably suffice if you just gotta use some, but unnecessarily expensive and not as effective) and an un-bonded, reinforced mud bed of a minimum 1 1/4" thickness with welded wire mesh in the vertical center. Probably the very best possible treatment if you have any questions about your slab. It's also the mud bed of choice where the size of the tile installation area exceeds 100 square feet, the technical size limit for bonded mud beds.

If you want to do the thinner bonded mud bed, though, you gotta bond it. You could, I suppose, add your RedGard to the top of the mud bed as a crack isolation membrane if you want.

As for your slab being "uneven," the technical requirement for either type of mud bed is that the concrete substrate be flat withing 1/4" in ten feet. That requirement is also disregarded on a regular basis.

Floor mud beds have been used for many decades in many variations over many and varied substrates in many and varied conditions and shapes. The currently accepted methods are published in the TCNA Handbook - F111 and F112 being the two pertinent to your SOG installation - and you can refer to those and then deviate to your heart's content. But if you want to have industry backing in the event of a problem, those are the methods you probably want to follow.
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Unread 10-17-2019, 12:22 PM   #3146
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Thank you CX. We've done mud beds forever, but it's always on a wood subfloor as we don't have many SOG houses around here. The basements we tile are always good flat slabs so we put the tile on the slab directly.

So I'm interested in learning the theory and technique when you have a rough uneven slab. It's bound to come up at some point, likely on the commercial side.
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