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Old 10-05-2018, 05:14 PM   #16
jadnashua
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FWIW, when using that technique, Schluter calls for plain thinset or KerdiFix. Thinset would be by far the less expensive option.

For a mud guy, mudding the walls should work fine, but take a lot longer. It also takes a lot more skill, so the more expensive materials, when being paid market, can often end up less expensive for the customer...but, less hourly income to the installer. It would depend on how quickly you want to finish this up.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:32 PM   #17
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I'm planning on floating the walls tomorrow morning, but may have to push it back a day for my peace of mind.

So I'm going to try and summarize my methods so far, and make sure I understand all the different layers and techniques:

Studwall, stapled roofing felt, metal lathe screwed with rock-on screws is acceptable. Screwed every 6-8", slightly longer horizontal spans between studs (spaced around 12" or so). A backing material, 1/2" green/purple drywall is common, is not required. May help to make the wall a bit more stiff, and keep the metal lathe from sagging between studs. I found it was possible to flatting the diamond mesh somewhat by either pushing or pulling it. Overlapped ~4" most places, 2" above valve (I got lazy, and bled too many times by then). IIRC 4" is good, 2" is not quite code?

Source for direct to studwall: https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin.../t-113999.html

I used a scratch coat only in the areas that needed it the most. I'm not sure I did this right at all. I used regular quickrete mortar mix, mixed fairly stiff at first, than a tad wet for the second 1/4 bag or so... 1/2 bag total. I think i should have used a stucco mix that has more cement in it? Also not sure If i built it up too much/not enough... I'm thinking I should have scratched the whole walls. Not too sure if it is the same as a stucco scratch coat, but I dragged an 1/8" notch trowel over it. See pics.

In the meantime, I'm going to read up more on scratch coats. I don't think I did it right, and having areas scratched and not scratched is probably not a great idea.

My valve is currently out about 1 1/8" or so. Maybe more like 1 1/4"

My studwalls are close to dead flat. that is what I'm more experienced at doing as a remodeler/carpenter.

Thanks so much guys. This site is great, and I find myself researching specific questions and getting caught up reading about other situations/methods. I wanted to try and summarize what I've learned... I need to buy the books, but just didn't have time/foresight...
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:01 AM   #18
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You really need to use some type of stucco mix or plaster type mud. It's possible to add a little lime to mortar mix but I'd have to guess at how much to add. Rather than mortar mix, I'd get some all purpose sand, Portland and lime and mix your own mud. 4 sand, 1 Portland and 1 lime would be a good recipe to start with. If it acts too sticky, cut the lime down to 3/4.

I'd have a few lattice strips handy to embed in the mud. You want them flat and plumb. Then you'll need some type of straight edge to cut the mud with.
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:48 AM   #19
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Davy,

Thanks so much man... You've really helped me a ton with this so far.

1. So should I try my best to remove this coat? Its a day old now.

And yea, there is a ton of information here and elsewhere (tho some of the best elsewhere is guys from here on youtube... specifically, the skinny fella from California... Jack H) about the latice/set stick, plumbed and flat, followed by a metal screed. I'm planning on using 1"x2" angle aluminum, as that is about the best I can find.

2. Is my scratch coat technique adequate? A bit past the lathe in most places, scratched with something? (1/8" notch trowel here)

3. Can you only scratch a portion of it?

4. Is the 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" valve distance including a 1/2" of drywall?

5. Your recommended mix is for the scratch coat, 2 coat total method? second coat just mortar mix?

Again, thanks Davy. Kinda wana send you a few handmade pens or a cutting board or something (woodworker guy here)
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:22 AM   #20
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The valve positioning depends very much on the actual valve you have...one stock position does not work with all of them. The plaster guard and instructions that come with the valve will have a min/max set on it...those MUST be within the min/max lines for the FINISHED wall, or it won't work out well. As an aside, the manufacturer's min/max is what will allow the trim to fit...you, personally, may not like it aesthetically, so it's best to mock it up with the finished trim to decide where you want it first. Don't get too close to either the min or max...there's no help if it sticks out too far, and not every valve trim has an extender kit, and then, it may stick out more than you want when using the extension kit.

The walls would be done, and you'd have half of the tile up if you used Kerdiboard...
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:48 AM   #21
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Jim, and he'd have half the shower. Some folks are willing to take a little more time to have the best. And, as you know there's a learning curve to all installation methods.

1. The scratch coat has at least two jobs. 1. It stiffens the walls for the final coat and 2. it helps you build out a wall thicker than usual to get it plumb and square. Sometimes I might leave the scratch coat off an area where the studs are fairly close and the lath is tight. Especially if I'm trying to keep the mud as thin as I can. Other jobs might need extra mud at the top of the walls just because they are out of plumb so bad. But usually, the scratch needs to be built out past the lath a little to be able to get it scratched. My dad liked using a notched trowel for scratching, about a 3/8 notch. I use a rake made just for that. The scratch needs to be rough enough for the next layer of mud to grab hold. A small piece of lath about 5 inches square also works.

2. The scratch may be rough enough, it's hard to tell by your pics.

3. See number 1

4. No, but you might be okay since your scratch coat seems to be thinner than usual.

5.No, second coat is the same mix.
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:05 AM   #22
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Jim,
Thanks for your help. I'll double check the valve. As far as the kerdi board goes, I don't think the Mason walls are flat/square enough anyway. 1/4 over 4 ft isn't so bad, but the corner it is more like 1" over 8". I've installed about a half dozen onyx showers, and I wouldn't feel comfortable putting onyx in this bathroom... I'd imagine the kerdi has a similar stiffness.

Davy,
Thanks so much. I guess it isn't really possible to remove it now, and my scratch is nowhere near 3/8 square notch...

so should I even try to remove it or just use a proper scratch mix on top?

edit: I thought I read somewhere that Mason mix is something like 4:1:1/2 sand cement line, so it's not too far off... gonna try and figure out the ratio, I don't understand at all why it isn't available from quickrete, looked for about 30 mins last night.
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:26 AM   #23
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according to the below link type n mortar is 1:1:6 Portland, lime, sand.

guess I'll mix my own.

http://www.jeffersonmatters.org/wp-c...rtar-mixes.pdf
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:45 AM   #24
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Qwikrete has what they call a base coat. It also says "scratch and brown" on the bags. The finish coat is sometimes called the brown coat. Anyway, I've used many pallets of it and it works well. The problem is finding it. Out of all the Home Depots in the Dallas area, only 1 keeps it in stock although any of them can order it for you. Might take a week to get.

Like that link says, you may have to fine tune the 4 to 1 to 1. The sand I get may not act the same as what you get. I've also noticed that different brands of Portland and lime will act different than other brands.

I usually have to add a little water to the scratch coat before slapping the next layer on the walls. a garden sprayer works well, just don't saturate it.
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:07 PM   #25
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I don't think they have the premix at my stores, but I'll check. would be nice to not have to mix it myself...

i thought I wait a day between scratch and final/brown/second coat?


you spraying it with water makes me think it may be more of a "2 hr lunch" and back at it. either is fine... cold joints are not ideal is all I know
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Old 10-07-2018, 03:12 PM   #26
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Either way you'll have to mix it, it won't mix itself. Get a few buckets and measure it out, not a big deal. You would much rather measure it out yourself than to hang mud that's going to work you to death. Having good mud makes a big difference.

You can also use masonry cement along with sand. Masonry cement has the Portland and lime already mixed together and then you add your sand to it. I haven't used masonry sand in a while so I can't remember the exact recipe. Sometimes we would have to add a little Portland with the masonry. I do remember using type S masonry cement. It might say on the bag how much sand to add.

The all purpose sand in my area HD stores seems to have the proper grit to make good wall mud. You don't want it too fine. About 1/8 size sand pebbles and smaller is what I like.

Once you start a wall, stick with it till you're done. As long as you don't wet the scratch too much, the top layer of mud will set for you. The scratch will pull moisture out of the top layer. Start at the top of the wall and do a section, then cut it with the straight edge. Then work your way down.

Looking back at your pic in post 17, I only see the corner scratched. If your lath is nailed right to the studs, you'll need to scratch the rest of the walls.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:10 PM   #27
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I think im going to use Stucco base coat from quickrete, my stores have it after all. I'll scratch one day and top coat the next day, and ill be sure to wet it some.

Thanks so much! I'll keep the thread updated with progress.
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:39 PM   #28
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I've found with the Qwikrete products you need to let the mud slake 10 min or so, then remix. Also, unlike thinset and grout, I find that you may have to add a little water as you work with it. Mix one bag at a time until you get the hang of it.
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Old 10-08-2018, 02:03 PM   #29
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well my hands got some blisters. not so sure I made it thick enough, and pretty sure I have some pucker at the bottom. good news is my valve trim kit has a ton of slop/ adjustment to it...

pics below, feedback more than welcomed.

and thanks thanks x1000
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:43 PM   #30
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That's much better. Are you going to mud the walls out even with the boards you have framing the shower? If so, how thick will it be past the sheetrock?
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