Mudding in a tub

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by TedL, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    Well, I think my shower drain leak on one bath is fixed, now on to the second floor bath that was in worse condition when we moved in...a two piece fiberglass unit that we cut up and removed. (It was worn out, but was also leaking onto the ceiling below from one of the screw holes where the two parts were joined.)

    Anyway, after seeing the problems that were caused by that bit of engineering idiocy, and seeing it repeated in most of the units on the market, I settled on a 4 piece Vikrell unit (#7122). Sterling's installation instructions make no mention of setting it in mudas an option, but I understand the reasons why this can make for a better result.

    Can someone give, or give a link to, instructions for installing in mud? Questions that come to mind:
    What product to use?
    If product not specific to this application, how much water to mix with?
    Am I trying to cover just a portion of the floor (the oval that's the lowest part of the tub) or the whole opening, with a dam around the floor cutout?
    How thick?

    I've not opened the tub box yet, so I don't know what the bottom looks like, specifically how much contact area there is to provide support without mud.

    I've seen the home improvement shows where they just seem to throw a couple 5 lb pails of whatever thay mixed up under the center of the tub, but also know that what a pro can do casually in his sleep often requires a lot of thought, planning and research (learning!) for me.

    Any tips for this installation, especially for the specific Sterling unit, will be appreciated.

    TIA..... Ted.
  2. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    Check out John Bridge's forum. They'll teach you all you ever wanted to know about mud/mortar/cement/thinset.
  3. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    I looked there before posting...

    searching for "mud" and "tub". Everything I saw dealt with building a shower pan, not putting mud under a tub. Perhaps I'm missing/overlooking it. If there's a thread that addresses my questions, please give a link or other way to find it.
  4. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I suggest you sign up (free) and ask the question there.

    I can't help with advice, except to say that make sure that your product has the right proportions of sand/cement to be stable and won't crack for the thickness you need.

    Forgive my ignorance, but are you trying to make a base/deck/bed, or an adhesive?
  5. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
    As I said above, I'm looking to put mud underneath a Sterling Vikrell bath tub.
  6. The manufacturer will tell you what they recommend. Any firm support is good to have, and they are not going to nix it. Mortar mix, sand mix, foam, whatever. If a cement product, the more sand in it the better, for this application since it is just a flat support. 5:1 ratio of sand to cement (Portland) is what shower guys use to build up a slope before tiling over it.

    david
  7. Frank Dalessio

    Frank Dalessio New Member

    Messages:
    13
    I've had good success using Structolite (?) which you can get at HD. Mix it somewhat stiff and lay down two lines about 5" wide under the "bowl" from the back of the tub where it meets the bottom to near the drain. The mud should be slightly higher (2" ?) than the gap from the bottom of the tub to the rough floor. This isn't precise work; the mud will flatten out. With helpers, try to drop in the tub and let it settle into the Structolite. After it's settled you can level & secure it to the wall/hangers, if appropriate, to hold it in place. I did this with two acrylic whirlpool tubs and they feel as solid as cast iron. Of course, you need to make sure you won't encounter any obstructions in your "mud path" but most tubs I've seen have adequate clearance to create the two support lines of mud. I think that's all you need and, from my personal experience, it works like a charm. PS Once the tub is settled in, don't push down on or step into the tub for 24 hours or you'll create a gap. Good luck.
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