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Unread 12-17-2018, 02:22 PM   #1
clax66
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mud bed too thick?

Hi guys...first post

I am researching how to lay the mud bed over a concrete basement floor in a 5 foot long shower with a Laticrete linear drain. Laticrete says it has to have a minimum of 1.5" of mud under the flange of the drain. If I use .25" per foot slope over 5 feet I would end up with roughly 2.75" inches of mud at the far end of the shower.

Is this too deep or do I just need to pack extra well?
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Unread 12-17-2018, 02:53 PM   #2
Davy
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You may have to remove some concrete to get the drain lower. The high end of the shower floor doesn't need to be higher than the bath floor. But, to answer your question, no, 2 3/4 mud is not too thick.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 03:32 PM   #3
Lazarus
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I normally use 3/4" to 1" of mud at the drain....then 1/4" inch of slope, minimum (a little more is better) out to he farthest corner......
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Unread 12-17-2018, 03:51 PM   #4
speed51133
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what is the concern?? you can have it 2.75 FEET thick if you want. you would just have a big curb.

As to packing the mud, it doesn't really matter. your packing should be the same be it .5in thick or 5in thick.

if laticrete wants 1.5in under the drain, I would do it. if that means your perimeter is 2.75 thick, so what?

davy, i assume you think he is doing a barrier free shower?? I don't get why the pan being higher than the floor matters?? It always is, thats why you have a curb.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 05:07 PM   #5
makethatkerdistick
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I installed the Kerdi linear drain bonding flange with 1 in spacing from the concrete floor. I am surprised Laticrete wants 1.5 in. I would call them and see if you can get by with less on a concrete slab.
Not sure if you're looking for curbless or not. Mine has a curb, and the lower you can start at the drain, the lower you end up at your highest spot. I love the idea of a curb but even so, I wanted to minimize its height as best as reasonably possible. Every inch counts, i think. But as has been pointed out, if curb height is no concern, then mud beds can be really thick without problem. Another benefit of lower mud bed is, of course, less material to mix up and haul into your shower.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 05:18 PM   #6
workhurts
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Aren't you going to have to chip out the concrete anyway to get the drain in? So you can make the bed under the drain whatever you want.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 05:37 PM   #7
jadnashua
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There's a difference between a bonded and unbonded mudbed. A bonded mudbed over a slab can be thinner than an unbonded one, typically over plywood. But, deck mud is great in compression and porosity (so it can drain), but not really strong in bending. To help offset that, it needs to be thicker to help it hold itself together.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 05:47 PM   #8
makethatkerdistick
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It's also possible (although in most cases unnecessary) to slightly increase the cement content of your mud bed for a surface-bonded membrane. In a traditional application, the mud bed needs to be porous enough to let the water through into the pan. This feature is not needed with a surface membrane. Thus, for peace of mind (say, if Laticrete gives you the ok to go ahead with less at the drain), you could make your mud mix richer for increased strength. As Jim pointed out, the mud bed must be bonded to the concrete with an agent, most commonly a fresh thin layer of thinset mortar. You also need to ensure that the concrete hasn't been sealed before. If that's the case, you'll have to scarify it with a cup wheel otherwise you will compromise the bond.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 06:03 PM   #9
Davy
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Yep, I had a curbless shower in mind, not sure why.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 06:59 PM   #10
jadnashua
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I think there is a 'too thick' shower pan, but it's not from a structural thing, it's a safety thing. When your feet are wet, if the pan is really thick, stepping down to the outside can be slippery. One reason why I prefer to do a surface applied membrane, you only need one layer, therefore, the buildup isn't as high. Was in a small hotel in London one time that had a really high shower floor (probably to accommodate the drain as it was a ground floor room), and it was down-right dangerous!
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Unread 12-17-2018, 07:01 PM   #11
clax66
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thanks guys.

I should have been more clear. I will be using a curb. When the floor was poured I had them leave a 1' x 1' square box under the drain area so I could get the trap in. I should have maybe just had them leave the whole shower area unpoured ,that would have left me more options.

One of the reason I am asking about thickness is because of the premixed products. the one I was looking at recommended not going thicker than 1.5" with their product. This got me worried where maybe I should not have.

QUIKRETE® Deck Mud (No. 154-50, 154-76) is a Portland cement based underlayment mortar for leveling floors and countertops. Use with Acrylic Fortifier (No. 8610) for applications from 1/2" to 1 1/2" (12-38 mm).

I know I could mix my own but was trying to save myself a little bit of work.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 07:11 PM   #12
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Good point on the step down Jim, have never factored that into a shower build but I can imagine the hazard of it.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 07:18 PM   #13
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Get some Quikrete sand topping mix in a 60 pound bag and some bagged sand in 50 pound bags. Add about one half bag of sand to one bag of sand mix. This will get you somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:1 or 5:1 ratio.

You can decrease the sand for a stronger mix if needed, but I've always had good luck without needing to adjust. Make sure to mix everything dry before adding water and mixing again.

It's a good mix that way and you have to buy only two products. Our deck mud calculator in the Liberry will even tell you how much of each one to buy.
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Unread 12-18-2018, 08:46 AM   #14
clax66
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I spoke to Laticrete. They say the body of the drain is 1" deep and i need and additional 1/2" - 3/4" to set the flange.

I don't have the drain in hand but when I get it it may make sense
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Unread 12-18-2018, 10:09 AM   #15
makethatkerdistick
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Andrew, if you want that extra 1/2 in and can still return your Laticrete stuff, you could go with the Kerdi system. I suppose they're both equally expensive.
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