mixing the mud

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by dedalus, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. dedalus

    dedalus New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NSW
    Before I get cracking on my shower install I need some advice on mixing the mud. I was planning to use Laticrete 3701.

    My floor is 900 x 900 mm = 0.81 sq m.

    Laticrete 3701 specs say you get 0.3 m2 at 50 mm depth per bag. And since my depth at the drain lip will be 38mm, I'm figuring on an average depth of about 45 mm, give or take. That implies a maximum of 3 bags.

    I've mixed heaps of concrete but never any of this stuff. So 3 questions:

    1) Do I mix it all in one big batch? Or 3 seperate batches.

    2) How long do I have before the stuff goes too gooey to work. Laticrete say "pot time" is two hours. Does this mean I have to RUSH? No coffee break half way through, right?

    3) Can I mix it by hand? Or must I use a paddle gizmo on the end of my drill. How long would it take to mix 3 bags?

    Thanks.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    Deck mud is mixed with a minimum of water. It should not flow, it's much closer to wet beach sand than any concrete or mortar you may have mixed. The goal is to get it so if you grab a handful of properly mixed stuff, when you squeeze it, it holds together but does NOT drip excess water. You can mix it by hand, and they make a special hoe for this - it has holes in it so it tends to mix things more than just moving them around like a solid hoe would.

    The stuff is cheap enough, that you could make yourself a trial pan. As with most things the second time is much easier and faster. I wouldn't get part done one day then try to finish the next, but if you need to mix some more, if what's there is still wet, you should be okay. You want to avoid cold joints which can happen if things have cured too much.
  3. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Eat kitty

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    LV,NV/ Nowhere,UT
    It'll look damp/dark, but won't feel really wet. You won't think it has enough water, but it probably will.

    Like Jim said, its cheap. Make a small batch to get the feel of it. I've seen guys on the job leave a mixed wheelbarrow full for a couple hours. Use a hand tool to mix it(shovel or hoe).
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,231
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    And, John, you've followed me around my whole life and know for certain that I've never mixed deckmud? You're the fool.

    Lots of people mix their deckmud with different cement/sand ratios. Especially for a conventional shower, you do NOT want it 'rich' or have very much cement in it. It needs to be porous. Most of the pros I've talked with say around 5:1 sand/cement is a good ratio for you mud. There may be times when you want it denser, but for a shower pan, that's good. The more water you use, the more likely any cement based install can shrink and crack. You need more water to pump it, and that's not a great consistency for a shower pan. If you were doing something like a mudbed for a tiled floor, you have more leeway.

    If you really have doubts, go read it from the source - you'll find it conforms to what I've posted. More of John being the jerk he is...personally, I'd not put up with it if I were one of his customers. Hope he treats them as adults and has some manners.
  6. dedalus

    dedalus New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    NSW
    My question was specifically about Laticrete 3701. If anyone has mixed it I'd like to know if I can mix it by hand in a bucket, or do I need a paddle.

    Ordinary sand/cement mix I could obviously mix it any way which. I need to know if 3701 is HARDER to mix.

    Thanks guys.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    I would not use that for a mudbed in a shower. There is no reason why you need a modified mudbed there, and it will likely be less porous. A modifier can make it sticker, and somewhat harder to shape. Plus, it costs more than a simple deck mud of just cement and sand.

    Because it is modified, to fully activate the dry polymers, you may need a paddle to adequately mix the stuff. Call their tech service line for advice.
  8. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Eat kitty

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    LV,NV/ Nowhere,UT
    Daedalus, are you building a conventional shower pan with preslope/liner/mud bed, or will you cover it with something like Kerdi?
  9. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,231
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Jim - that would bore me. You live in your office pretending to be a builder. That is sad.

    Mixing mud in you sales class is not the same thing.

    Dedalus - did you email Arthur? He is one of the top techs at Laticrete. Super nice guy. Ask the man directly. God forbid you used anything other than sand and cement. Why would you? Jim says it's a waste of money....

    LOL

    Key Info from the post above....


    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Engineer / Triple Schluter Workshop Graduate



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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    And, how would you know, John...invasion of privacy is a crime, and assuming things is, well you know the saying, but it does describe you well.
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