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Unread 11-21-2010, 02:14 PM   #1
tcusta00
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Tom's Shower Project

Okay, I'm resurrecting this thread instead of starting a new one because this one's not so old and I'm having the same exact issue.

Same construction method here with deck mud, pvc liner, top coat of deck mud. I think I may have mixed it too dry because it's quite loose on top. It feels pretty solid and when I vacuumed it off it seemed to help, but there's still some loose material on top. I can walk on it, flat footed, and not leave any marks, but if I press my heel in it will indent.

So, here's what I did... don't crucify me, please!

I had some floor leveling compound that I had to put down on top of a concrete floor patch in another part of the bathroom so I used the rest of that and skimmed over the deck mud. Problem there is that it took up some small chunks of the mud. It did end up going down okay and I was able to skim the entire thing but I'm nervous that this was the wrong thing to do, and here I am (just found this thread after I did all that).

Should I skim it again with thinset? Should I chip up the whole thing (running the risk of puncturing the PVC in the process? Should I throw some kerdi over the whole thing?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Edit: I see I've been given my own thread. Sorry! Here's the thread I piggybacked off of originally: johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=84391
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Unread 11-21-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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Welcome, Tom.

Removed your post from the other visitor's thread to prevent confusion.

Are you talking about the pre-slope under your liner or the final mud bed atop the liner?
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Unread 11-21-2010, 02:28 PM   #3
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CX: This is the final mud bed that I will ultimately put my river rock shower floor onto.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #4
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Time for a re-do Tom.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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I was afraid of that being the answer but was holding out hope based on the thread I linked in the first post having some answers like "skim it with thinset."

So, if indeed I end up digging this thing out - what's the best way to do this without damaging the PVC? If I have to replace the PVC that also means I have to chisel out the concrete block bench I built on top of it and take down the wall panels which have already been taped and coated with thinset as well.

I'm not looking for a shortcut because I want this thing done right, just want to make sure all my possible avenues of repair have been exhausted before tearing it out and risking a TON more work.

Thanks for your reply.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 04:49 PM   #6
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You can probably dig it out in loose chunks if you can score the top without going too deep. It should break up after scoring.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 04:53 PM   #7
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Ok thank you. I will attempt that in a few weeks and report back. Kerdi on top of this wouldn't be advisable?
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Unread 11-21-2010, 04:56 PM   #8
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The purpose of a mud base is to be strong enough to take the point load of walking on a tiled shower floor, as well as be removable sometime in the future. You made yours a little too soft to meet the first criteria, by going too far into the second criteria.

Kerdi won't make a difference I don't think. If I did this in a customers shower, I'd be taking it out. No sense in starting a perfect shower one step backwards. I'm just picky that way.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
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Gotcha, thanks for the explanation. It's coming out. Just after I digest the turkey.

For the mud pack (And so I don't make the same mistake again) I've read it should "just" stay together when you grab a fistful of it. But when I did that it was too dry, obviously. So it should be a bit wetter than that. There's a lot stages of moisture in a mix in between a runny slurry and a dry pack like I had. Any tips?
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Unread 11-21-2010, 05:08 PM   #10
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All I can say is practice. This is a learn as you go thing, and while these interweb tubes are good for a lot of things, showing you how wet sand is, isn't one of them. I do know when you kneel in properly dampened sand, your pants get wet pretty darn quick.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 05:12 PM   #11
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Ok, so it was waaaayyy too dry then. I need to find a video I guess that shows it a bit better or maybe make a small practice batch and see how that turns out.

When it's dry, will there be any loose material on the surface at all or will it be like regular dry concrete?
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Unread 11-21-2010, 05:16 PM   #12
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When dry it will be quite firm on the top, depending on how much you trowel it. More troweling will bring the fine portland to the top and make a tighter surface. Less troweling will leave it sandier by comparison, but it will still hold together. A shop vac will have no effect on a finished mud bed, except maybe a fine layer of sand on the tippy top.
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Unread 11-21-2010, 06:37 PM   #13
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I'm second guessing myself now. Maybe I did it right after all (and then screwed it up by putting that skim coat of leveler on it?).

I made a quick video clip of it. If you (or anyone else for that matter) wouldn't mind taking a quick look and giving me an opinion based on the video? Then I'll stop beating this dead horse, promise. I'm just making myself crazy over it and want to eliminate all doubt before tearing it out.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20dVgpD8bro
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Unread 11-21-2010, 07:13 PM   #14
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Tom, I can't tell a thing from that video. Couldn't get me to testify that you had a mud bed there.

If in doubt, take it out. Mud's cheap. Labor's cheap. Call the first one education and do another.

In that kind of shower pan the composition of the top layer of mud is important. It's actually difficult to do it wrong if you'll just follow the recipe you'll find in the Shower Construction section of our whirl-famous Liberry.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-22-2010, 06:04 AM   #15
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The quality of the video can be changed in the lower right corner of the player, not sure if that helps. I recorded it in HD so you could see it fairly detailed.
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