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Unread 02-18-2009, 06:03 PM   #1
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Mud Pack Question

Just finished another tile shower with a tile floor. After putting in my final deck mud, when I went to install my tile the deck mud was more like just hard sand. Had to be gentle with the thinset or would pull up the deck mud. My though is that I got my mud to dry. Oh by the way, I used 6 parts sand to 1 part portland cement. Mixed it to where it would hold into a ball in your hand. I thought maybe since that the home owner keeps it very warm in the house and with a closed off bathroom at night maybe it dried out the deck mud or something. After finishing off the deck mud would it be best to lay a piece of poly down on it? Haven't had this problem in the past. Got 4 more showers coming up and just wanted to check on this. Thanks a bunch.
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Unread 02-18-2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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6 to 1 sand to Portland cement is a little lean for deck mud. 4 or 5 to 1 is more typical. Not much cement holding all them little sand grains together, so some of them will let go. Usually, there's more than enough water to hydrate the cement. Covering with plastic does help, but in this case, it's probably the lean mixture that's at fault.
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Unread 02-18-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
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Hey Bob -if a bit lean causes it to crumble then what effect would having the mud too rich have? - 3 to 1 maybe?
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Unread 02-18-2009, 08:11 PM   #4
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too pasty and it would stick to your wood float or flat trowel.

wet beach sand will clump to a meatball too.
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Unread 02-18-2009, 08:48 PM   #5
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as for the poly i still cover my mud but thats me.....usually i leave a inch or 2 short for the water to leave but it helps slow it down 4to 5to1 but no to 6to1 unless that 1 is a big ol heaping shovel and the 6 is a little lean
i usually mix my mud with 3701 to but lots here advocate straight water
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Unread 02-18-2009, 10:12 PM   #6
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6 to 1 is a little lean but will probably still work for a shower floor. You could skim coat it with thinset to give it a hard crust on top.

3 to 1 is harder to work with, wants to stick to the tools like Brian said.

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Unread 02-18-2009, 11:05 PM   #7
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5:1 here and always error on the side of a bit richer.. I have used admix like Jason mentioned...even diluted makes a big difference in the final strength of the mud. I would agree your too lean on the mix and I would skim coat it as others have said.

I had a job that I thought was too sandy and soft once. I may have mixed too dry and not activated all the cement. The guy I was working with at the time poured it full of admix..just squeeged it all over the floor and let it soak in and cure a couple of days. That foor was very hard after that.. I was totally amazed at how much it changed..It even "sounded" denser.
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Unread 02-18-2009, 11:09 PM   #8
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Randy, did you use that Brixment stuff again?

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Unread 02-19-2009, 11:03 AM   #9
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Yea I did. Was going to use just normal p/cement but with a small shower floor and all they had was a 90lb bag I just picked up the brixment. Just need to pick up a big bag and keep what I don't need for the next job. Thanks for all the replys.
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