What type of mortar for Acrylic tub mortar bed

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by WRooney, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. WRooney

    WRooney New Member

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    Hi..I'm new here. My husband and I are remodeling a bathroom and installing an American Standard tub/surround on the second floor of our home. The installation instructions say "THIS BATH MUST BE SUPPORTED ALONG IT'S ENTIRE BOTTOM. We recommend the use of mortar as bedding material (sand is not recommended)." Neither one of us has ever used or bought mortar before and though I've spent 2 hours online researching , I have learned all about how to put the mortar down..but still can't find a specific, clear answer on what type of mortar...especially since mortar contains sand and it says sand is not recommended. I've thought about Structolite, but it is not sold in my area (Central Arkansas).
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Mortar mix

    [​IMG]

    Something like $4 to $6 bucks at a hardware store.
  3. johnfrwhipple

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

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  4. johnfrwhipple

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

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    Other Options in Premium Mortr Products

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  5. WRooney

    WRooney New Member

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    Thank you so much! We may be new to remodeling, but we want to do everything the right way. You guys rock!
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The restriction on not using sand, means, sand only...you need something to keep it together, thus the mortar. Mortar has both sand and concrete in it (and maybe other things), in varying proportions, based on the job it is expected to do.
  7. johnfrwhipple

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

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    Pictures of Mortar under an Acrylic Tub

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  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Just more of John being antisocial. Just trying to explain why sand (alone) is not recommended, which is the basis of their original question...not trying to be antisocial at all. Of course, John knows all...yeah, right.

    One part of superior knowledge is knowing when you don't know the answer, but John Whipple has not gotten there yet...he just thinks he has. Many people get through life never realizing that simple fact. Maybe some day, John Whipple will.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks to both of you for the added information.
    I was going to mention that mortar was sand with added (something), but I was in too big of a hurry and had to get out the door to replace a water heater.
    It does have a bonding agent, or like Jim says, it would just be sand.

    The pictures that John has are nice.
    Like John, we like to put the mortar down in such a way that the tub pushes it down and spreads it.
    If it is solid, it sometimes doesn't conform, or is just too high. Then you have to lift the tub out and start over.
  10. johnfrwhipple

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

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  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    I believe that the manufacturers and the TCNA have a clue on how to do things properly with their products...combined, they have centuries of experience with their contributors. I have and will continue to disagree with you when you blatantly show misuse of those products based on industry standards. That you don't like it, tough! One does not have to do this every day and get paid for it to be able to read and understand the TCNA guidelines or the manufacturer's instructions. When you disregard them, I will continue to point it out. Just like plumbing codes and electrical codes, they are written for those 'what if' situations, things evolve. One difference between those two areas (electrical and plumbing), at least in most of NA, you do NOT need a license and proven capabilities to declare yourself a professional in tiling. Anyone can declare themselves a tiling professional, whether they should be or not, is somewhat irrelevant. There are some good ones, and some real hacks that call themselves pros. While something might work in your situation, things can and often do change...the use pattern changes because of adding children to the home, someone now needs a wheelchair, someone who weighs 500# moves in, you throw a 50th anniversary party, and have a 100 guests...things change. The industry standards understand this, and have tested and approved methods and products that will perform. Failing to follow those is risky. That you choose to sometimes do it your own way, and then offer it up as an example of 'best practices', is just wrong. One does not have to be a pro to see and understand that. You just hate to have that pointed out. One man's experiences is nothing compared to thousands of others and decades of field experience that goes into setting the standards. When you fail to follow, I will try to point it out.

    An example: trying to build a bonded mudbed over a decoupling layer. The whole idea of a decoupling layer is to PREVENT bonding, and when you did it, it cracked. This is a great example of how to do things...I expect someone who professes they are a pro, to know and use the products properly.

    And, consider that being a pro, what is second nature to you, may be totally foreign to a DIY'er...so, what may be obvious, may require some amplifying information to help explain the why...being curious makes me want to understand not only how, but why...you tend to show how, but not why, and even then, your how is wrong.
  12. johnfrwhipple

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

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    Ardex X32 and Mapei 4-1 used for this install

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  13. johnfrwhipple

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

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    Improving on the tub installation with mortar mix

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  14. johnfrwhipple

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

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    TCNA Specifications for a Drop In Tub to receive stone (Under-mount Look)

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  15. johnfrwhipple

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

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    Checking the Date of your Mortar Mix is a Key Step

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  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Since setting a tub is not a tile, TCNA has nothing in it that applies, that I'm aware of, and that makes common sense...after all, it is the Tile Council of NA, not plumbing or whatever. In this case, as is true for most things, it is then the manufacturer's instructions that would apply.

    Setting up the deck to tile it, I'd have to look. ANd, if I were going to install one, I would look first, since I'd like the experience of the industry, not someone's idea of what they individually think. My personal preference would be to build it either as if it were a floor, or use KerdiBoard. That you hate the stuff is somewhat irrelevant to me. I prefer the look of tiling it first, rather than cutting the tile to the edge of the tub, so, you'd either have to leave the tub sitting proud of the decking, or tile it prior to setting the tub in its final position.
  17. johnfrwhipple

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

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    Never use Kerdi Board for a tub deck build. It's foam !!!

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  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Well, I saw drop in, the 'undercount' didn't register...we all make mistakes. TCNA, again, is TILE, so dealing with slabs isn't their thing...so why is this such a surprise?

    And, your point was? This is not a contest, but you seem to think it is. It's about getting the right info to people that will preserve whatever warranty they may have and meet industry standards. That there may not be industry standards for everything, then, if the manufacturer doesn't help with that, one has to rely on some creativity and experience - the better solution may be to use a tub designed for that type of install.
  19. johnfrwhipple

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

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  20. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The answer is pretty simple, even you should be able to figure it out...those materials are available as TILES, and that is what they deal with.
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