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Old 07-08-2018, 02:11 PM   #1
kerklein2
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Help with adding thickness to slab

I have a converted carport that has a 1.75" step up along the back 40" of it. I'm remodeling this room and it'd be great to level that all off. It's about 350sf. That bulk of the room will receive a stranded bamboo flooring, while about 60sf is undecided but I'm pushing for tile (it's the laundry room). The foundation also won't be perfectly level due to it being a carport originally. We'll see how close the foundation repair company gets it.

What's the best strategy to level this all out when considering materials cost and effort?
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:17 PM   #2
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Bonded mud job would be the most cost effective and practical way.
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:32 PM   #3
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I agree on bonded mud. Pea-gravel concrete is also an option. You'll have a joint where it meets the 40 in. section either way. I'm a mud man so I would choose deck mud.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:02 PM   #4
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What is meant by bonded mud? A slab preparation process (mechanical scarifying?) that ensures the mud bonds well to the slab?

Does the mud need steel reinforcing at that thickness? Is it a suitable substrate for wood flooring (assuming standard underlayments).

Gonna be a lot of mud...any tips for buying, transporting, and mixing that much?
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:56 PM   #5
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The best tool for this job is a telephone. You'll need a seasoned crew of a few strong men to make this job happen.
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:43 PM   #6
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Was afraid of that. You do any work in Austin?
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:46 PM   #7
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Assuming the carport doesn't have oil stains and other crud on it (that's probably NOT the case), you'd bond the mudbed to it with either a slurry of Portland cement, or a coat of thinset which then must be covered by the deckmud before it dries or cures to create the bond.

If the concrete is not clean, you may need to scarcify it first. Do NOT use chemicals to clean the surface of contaminants. Water sprinkled on the surface MUST get absorbed and not bead up if it's going to work.

Since you don't want it to be super thick, you wouldn't want to do an unbonded mudbed which would require reinforcement and more thickness.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun
Is it a suitable substrate for wood flooring (assuming standard underlayments).
We'd need to know what type of flooring you plan to install, Shaun, as in floating, nail-down, glue-down, other.

And I'm afraid I don't know what you might mean by "standard underlayments" in that application.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:22 PM   #9
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Don't have the flooring picked out yet. Just trying to find out if leveling with the step is feasible.

Definitely not nail down

Probably floating as I've got current issues with my glued down floor and moisture migration but I suppose that's mitigated with proper install.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:06 PM   #10
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Deck mud would be a suitable substrate for a floating floor, but I expect the flooring manufacturer will want a month's worth of curing/drying before installation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:27 PM   #11
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A month? Ouch. Safe to walk and such on it in that time?

Any other options?
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:51 PM   #12
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You can walk on it the next day. Normal ceement has a 28 day curing period
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:16 PM   #13
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If you plan to do any walking on the mud I'd recommend you cover the walking area with plywood for the duration.

Check with the flooring manufacturer on the drying time requirement, but you'll want it well cured and very dry before putting down the wood.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:32 PM   #14
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There is an excess of moisture in a typical mortar mix that is not needed to be incorporated into the cement crystalline structure and will continue to evaporate. This can definitely affect a wood substrate installed above it. One of the few finishes that can be used over green cement based products is Ditra, which you could use in the areas you want to tile (I suppose, you could use it everywhere, but it seems like it would be somewhat of a waste). The raised grid structure of Ditra allows the slab to breath and dry out.

Most any floating, engineered wood floor will require a slip sheet. Some of them might provide a sufficient vapor barrier to allow installing the floor earlier, but keep in mind, the mud will take time to reach full strength even if you can walk on it, that doesn't mean you should do much over it. One I used for mine was a couple of plastic sheets with foam beads in between that you sealed the seams with to create a vapor barrier.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:08 AM   #15
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Thanks for the replies guys. One quick follow up...Why deck mud instead of just plain old concrete?
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