Quikcrete Sand/Topping Mix--should I add more sand?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jolycu, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. jolycu

    jolycu New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    I've been doing a lot of reading concerning setting the shower pan in mortar for support and leveling. From what I've read, it seems most recommend a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio of sand:cement. I'm going to use Quikcrete Sand/Topping mix which I understand is approximately 3:1. Should I plan on adding sand to bring this to a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio, or can I use it straight from the bag?

    This is the shower pan we are installing: http://mobilehomepartsstore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=120504&Category_Code=SPN. This is in an 18-year-old mobile home and will replace an existing bathtub. It is 54" x 28", so will one 60# bag of the Quikcrete be enough? We are going to use the "pile method" I've read about on this forum. My husband is a pretty big guy so I want this to be solid and sturdy.

    Thanks for your recommendations.
    Joyce
  2. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    You can add sand if you wish, but it will do the job.

    No need to complicate this.
  3. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    For setting shower bases I use sandtopping mix straight out of the bag and mix it creamy.
  4. jolycu

    jolycu New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    Thanks guys for your answers, I appreciate it. They guys at Lowe's were totally clueless when I told them what I wanted to do. I was looking at the sand/topping mix and they said "Oh, no, you definitely don't want that." They called a guy in the flooring dept and he claimed to have just what I needed. So I went back there and he tried to sell me thinset! I had to explain all over what I was doing and he agreed that thinset wouldn't work and sent me back to the building materials section. I knew I had read on here that someone had used the sand/topping mix, so I just grabbed a bag and got out of there.

    Now, will a 60# bag be enough? Is there a rule of thumb regarding how much to use?

    Thanks again for your help.
    Joyce
  5. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I think your going to need 2-3 bags....but it depends on your shower and it should never be more than 2" thick,I believe the bag says its good up to 2" thick. Thats about what I use on the ones I do that are a tad bigger then yours.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,301
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    According to their technical drawing the bottom of the pan sits on the floor so there may NOT be any "open space" under it for cement, without "lifting it up" and preventing the base from setting solid. All the installation instructions specify that the "foam base" must sit solidly on the floor.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  7. jolycu

    jolycu New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    Thanks hj, I noticed the foam base after I posted about the sand mix. But we are also replacing a shower in the other bathroom that doesn't have a foam base, so the information will still be relevant.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,301
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF the base has a "flat bottom" anything put under it will raise it off the floor. If the base has a void under it, which is a base I would never use, then it does need support.
  9. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Sterling Vikrell bases can be installed with or without mortar.

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