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Unread 09-25-2008, 04:57 PM   #1
mikef
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please help... problems with dry pack

Hello everyone. I have attempted my first dry pack mortar bed with horrible results. I have read JB's Tile Your World and his Kerdi book and decided to give it a shot. I made two seperate batches using sand topping mix and extra sand per the recommendations here. I will say that I eyeballed the amount of sand shooting for a 2:1 ratio of sand topping mix to sand. Everything seemed to go OK until I went into the bathroom the next morning. The first batch was hard but as I swept it with a hand broom it kept eroding away leaving divets in the floor. It had a lot of dry particles on top that hadn't been embedded. The second batch was a lot lighter in color (maybe too much sand) and wasn't hard at all. I could literally push my fingers right into it and my shoes left imprints as I walked on it. I have pulled it all up and am ready to start over but I was looking for some information on what went wrong. The only thing I can think of is that I used too little water but I tried to follow John's directions on only adding enough water so that it holds together when clumped in the hand. Anyone have any suggestions?

TIA - Mike
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Unread 09-25-2008, 05:06 PM   #2
ceramictec
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it isn't a wear surface so sweeping or scratching the top will result in some loose sand. if you didn't pack it good and smooth it out with a flat trowel and left it rough it would be easier to disturb the surface.

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The second batch was a lot lighter in color (maybe too much sand) and wasn't hard at all. I could literally push my fingers right into it and my shoes left imprints as I walked on it.
how long did you let it dry ?
sounds like you didn't pack it good again.
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Unread 09-25-2008, 06:35 PM   #3
Tile Bob 82
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Why take a chance on mix your own, buy a pre-mixed mud like laticrete 209 or 226. Just mix it the same with water or get the latex add mix and you will never have those problems.

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Unread 09-26-2008, 03:57 PM   #4
mikef
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Guys - thanks for the replies. Assuming my problem is that I wasn't packing it good enough, can you tell me how it's supposed to be done? I basically packed it into place with a combination of a steel trowel and a float smacking it down as I built the slope.

Thanks - Mike
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Unread 09-26-2008, 04:03 PM   #5
ceramictec
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that should have been good enough.
you might just need to vacuum up some of the loose stuff and skim some thinset over the top to hold it in place.

can you post a picture ?

I reality your supposed to mud the floor, then once dry tile the surface.
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Unread 09-26-2008, 06:12 PM   #6
tilelayer
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i never used the sand topping mix from hd so i know nothing about it but i prefer to use type 1 cement from a local masonry shop comes in a 94 lb bag and i then get the sand in bags usually a shower takes 3 bags of sand and half that 94 lb bag of cement. And i mix it thouroughly, I bet you didnt add enough water to your mix.
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Unread 09-26-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
butterblood
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I use the laticrete 209 all the time. I love that stuff.
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