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Unread 09-28-2019, 11:15 AM   #31
Davy
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Yep, what Cx said. I'd wet the edge of the concrete down so it'll have a little moisture in it. That will keep the Portland slurry dry slower.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 04:27 PM   #32
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Okay gentlemen, I managed to get to it this weekend. I formed deck mud from the guide/calculator, 5:1 ratio. It took some work but I got it dumped into the stall and started spreading and leveling as best I could. I went with a solid perimeter of 1.25" sloping to the 0.25" drain height.

I felt with my hands to try and note any divots, used the tools and I think it's done right.

The water mixture was difficult. The sand was already a little damp so I ended up using very little water compared to what I expected to use.

I'm scared that the mixture was off or wrong. I don't see how this stuff will solidify into anything useful. But I followed the guide so I guess I just need to wait and see.

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Unread 10-12-2019, 04:28 PM   #33
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Forgot the pictures

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Unread 10-12-2019, 06:26 PM   #34
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Did you pack the mix very firmly before you carved it to shape, John?

I'd recommend you cover the floor with polyethylene sheeting or similar while you allow it to cure.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 07:42 PM   #35
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I always slick it down with a flat steel trowel after carving it. Doing that will keep it from eroding so easily.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 08:51 PM   #36
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I put my weight on it and packed it as much as I could before it started to give and shift, then I smoothed it. I guess I'll see how it dries. What should I look for?

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Unread 10-12-2019, 09:24 PM   #37
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John, it might be a little grainy on the surface. You may even have to vacuum it (I usually do). But shouldn't come up in chunks, and it should be strong enough to stand on. That's all the strength it needs.
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Unread 10-12-2019, 09:37 PM   #38
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Okay, just checked it and lightly touched it because I'm paranoid. It's been about 4 hours now, the surface is sandy/grainy. I'm sure it's still curing/drying, but how long shall I wait?

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Unread 10-12-2019, 11:23 PM   #39
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A day.

I second the recommendation to cover it with plastic as it cures to slow down the premature moisture loss.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 12:27 AM   #40
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I suggest going to bed and forgetting about it. A watched pot never boils.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 09:54 AM   #41
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"A watched pot never boils. " I'll have to remember that for my grand kids.
Like Kevin said, vacuum it and you may even have to skim coat it with thinset. That will give it a harder surface to work over.

There's no certain time to wait. In the old days most showers were fairly small. We would mud the floor and immediately spread thinset and tile it. We had to be easy on it but we could reach over without walking on it. Then mix grout and get it grouted. That's why the floor was done last. Once the floor was grouted, we were out of there. That's hard to do in the big showers we install today.
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Unread 10-13-2019, 10:21 AM   #42
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I'm gonna wait to really touch it until it dries tonight, thanks for the advice. At the moment, the surface looks like it has some small waves or divots, despite my best attempts to even it out.

Will I need to smooth those out somehow?

If I read right, the next step is the liner, correct?

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Unread 10-13-2019, 02:35 PM   #43
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Yes, the liner is next and you'll end up with another mud bed over the liner. After vacuuming, you can fill any divots with thinset. I would use just a little more water in the next mud bed and slick it down with the trowel afterwards.

Did you happen to find more weepholes in the drain?
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Unread 10-26-2019, 10:18 AM   #44
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This project moves at a snails pace. So I was about to vacuum the surface and I felt the deck mud again. It's basically just thick sand. There's no rigidity or solid feeling to it. I can out my hand flat on it and brush sand one way or the other.

I don't think it's what it's supposed to be. It's been dry for two weeks and I haven't had time to move on to the liner.

As for the weep holes, I changed over to a proper 3 part drain with clear weep holes.

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Unread 10-26-2019, 05:44 PM   #45
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John, if you can scoop up the mud with your hands then you might need to start over but if it stays down after vacuuming it then a skim coat of thinset might do the trick. This batch may have needed a little more cement or water or both. It also needed to be slicked down with a steel trowel.
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