Mortar Cement for Fiberglass (Sterling Accord) Tub

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by FenceLake, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. FenceLake

    FenceLake New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Going to set tub on mortar bed. Looked around on board and decided to use the Quickrete Sand/Topping Mix as suggested. Will use the pile method.

    The question I have is how much should I mix up for a 60" x 30" tub? Can I mix in a 5 gal bucket by hand? I've only ever mixed cement in a wheelbarrow, and don't really want to drag that into the bathroom :)

    Thanks for the help?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Using a five gallon bucket works fine. If you have a 1/2" drill, you can buy a paddle mixer for it.

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    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  3. FenceLake

    FenceLake New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks for the quick response!

    Is a 5 gal bucket full enough? Or do you think I will need multiple 5 gal batches? Just trying to get a feel for how big the piles should be to make sure that I am using enough..
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You're just using a few piles. One is plenty.

    If you place too much mortar below the tub, it will never set down far enough.

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    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I used about a gallon bedding a 60" Sterling Accord shower base.
  6. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    You wont be able to mix it by hand in a 5 gallon pail.

    You can mix it with a 1/2" drill and paddle in a bucket, add the water first, then add dry mix in portions.

    It's hard to say how much you will use, it depends on the design of the tub.

    I'm assuming Terry doesn't shoot for full coverage under the tub, just a few solid piles under it. Personally I use enough to support every inch that I can.
  7. blove1344

    blove1344 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Cumberland,PA
    I have a question about the mortar bed also. I am going to install a sterling tub and surround and it is recommended to use a mortar bed even though
    the floor is level. My question is: Is it ok to have the legs embedded in the mortar? This seems to possibly throw off the level. Am I over thinking this?
    Thanks
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The purpose of the mortar is to provide support for the floor of the tub. It does not have to cover every square inch, in fact, it will be a problem if you use too much as the excess would tend to raise the tub. You do not have to embed the legs, they should rest on the floor. Yeah, you're probably over thinking this, but that's normal when doing something for the first time when there is no redoing possible.
  9. blove1344

    blove1344 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Cumberland,PA
    Thanks Gary,
    There are a lot of legs under this tub and I can't for the life of me figure out how I would spread mortar and not have at least some legs imbedded
    and end up with a lopsided tub. This setup came with a pad to be placed under the tub. Everyone says to use mortar instead.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,154
    Location:
    New England
    Depending on the cement/sand ratio, a sand mix can be like wet beach sand, or somewhat squishy. You can't mix in too much cement or it will shrink (true if you use too much water, too), and maybe even flow, but a moderately rich mix should still squish rather than just compact. While the floor may be level, the tub itself may not be perfect. Embedding it in mortar allows you to ensure the top flange is perfectly level. Fiberglass will fatigue and eventually crack if it isn't supported. Plus, when supported, it feels MUCH more substantial.
  11. blove1344

    blove1344 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Cumberland,PA
    Thanks Jim. That's the way I'll do it.
  12. John Bridge

    John Bridge Mudmeister

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    The best mud for this: Brick mortar that is slightly stiffer than bricklayers use. Make five or six mounds on the floor about six inches in diameter and four or five inches high. Arrange them so they will add support to the entire floor. Stay away from the drain. Immediately set the tub or shower receptor in over the mounds and push it down all the way to the floor. You can weight it down or place nails or screws around the top flange to hold it in place. Let the mud set overnight. You CAN mix it by hand if make only a little at one time, and you only need a little -- maybe half a bucket. :)
  13. blove1344

    blove1344 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    New Cumberland,PA
    Thanks John, Sounds good. Does that mean that some of the legs will be embedded in the mortar?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
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