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Old 03-08-2018, 01:27 AM   #1
jkats
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shower pan without mortar bed...

I am putting in a new curbless shower and am in need of advice. The foundation is concrete slab. If the concrete is sloped appropriately, do I still need a mortar bed, or can I just apply a sheet or liquid membrane directly to the concrete? While researching, I came across this article by Noble that seems to indicate that this can be done without a mortar bed:

http://noblecompany.com/news/thin-bed-vs-mortar-bed


Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:21 AM   #2
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As long as it's sloped the minimum 1/4" per foot, then you certainly can. Hopefully they left you enough room to get a drain set without having to break up concrete.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:19 AM   #3
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Yep, if has pitch already, the concrete is usually in pretty rough shape. Too rough to apply a surface membrane to and tile it.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:14 AM   #4
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Hi Jeff,

I'm not sure I'm thinking about the right thing. How will the drain work? We're talking about a shower floor, right?

Maybe a picture or two of what you have to work with?
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:47 PM   #5
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Hi guys - thanks for the replies. Yes, this is for a shower floor. Here's a photo of where we're at. We re-routed the drain to the back wall so we can put in a line drain. The plan is to remove enough concrete at the back to drop the drain level with the concrete, then fill in with concrete and create the slope at the same time.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:35 AM   #6
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To answer your question, yes, you can fill in with concrete and make your pitch at the same time. But remember that your surface membrane is going follow every ripple and hump in the concrete. We usually find it easier to bond a thin layer of dry pack mud over the concrete slab. The dry pack can be carved and shaped to a very smooth finish with just the right pitch. It's much easier to work with than soupy concrete.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:43 AM   #7
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If I do a layer of dry pack mud, how thin can I make it? Can I do a "skim coat" of dry pack mud - i.e. just enough to slope and smooth out the concrete? I'd like to keep this as thin as possible so i can do a wheel-chair accessible curbless shower.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:14 PM   #8
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Nope, no skim coat with dry-pack. Minimum thickness you want is 3/4-iinch, but over concrete some folks have been known to go as thin as 1/2-inch.

If you want a barrier free installation, you'll need to either lower the shower area or raise the rest of the bathroom floor.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:26 PM   #9
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Spread a layer of thinset as a bonder just before putting down the dry pack. Don't let the thinset dry out, you want it to be wet when you drop the dry pack on it. That will bond the dry pack to the concrete.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:46 PM   #10
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Can I do a "skim coat" of dry pack mud - i.e. just enough to slope and smooth out the concrete?
You can use a product like Laticrete’s NXT Skim. Can be feather-finished.
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