Can I pull shower pan and reinstall mortar?

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GettingFeisty

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First time to install shower pan (SlimLine pan) with mortar base and we panicked a bit when it was sitting too high and rushed in fixing it. We thought we had it set properly but when I tested it after it dried it has a slight rock. Can we pull it back up and remove the mortar and reset it in a new batch of mortar?

Thank you in advance.
 

Jadnashua

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If you flood test it to verify that you did not damage things, I don't see why not. You must be careful demolishing things to prevent putting holes in things, though.

But, maybe a bit of backup is called for...what is your subflooring? Do you have a preslope? Did you put blocking around the walls to support the liner? Do you have dam corners for around the curb? If some or all of this doesn't make sense, you need to do some more study on how to build a shower. I suggest www.johnbridge.com . Deck mud isn't super strong...great in compression, but not in tensile strength. It should come up, especially if it isn't too old. Properly mixed deck mud is more like wet beach sand...it doesn't flow, you place it where you want it and pack it into a dense enough block to enable the cement to hold it together. It's a far cry from concrete that can flow some and is MUCH denser. YOu need it to be porous to work.
 

GettingFeisty

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I was able to remove it all without problem - thank you. This time, the mortar will be put down like I would put it down for tile. Also no panic attacks as now I know how long it takes to set.
 

Jadnashua

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That does NOT sound like a proper plan!

A conventional shower pan is made up of three layers before the tile goes on:
- a presloped mudbed
- a liner on the preslope (flood tested to verify it doesn't leak!)
- a setting bed of mortar that you add your tile to.

Deck mud is mad up of a lean sand:cement mix of around 4-5:1, mixed with enough water to hydrate the cement and allow it to bond - wet beach sand is a good analogy for its consistency. When it cures, it will still be a bit grainy on the surface, but be porous, and fine in compression (porosity is needed to allow the moisture to migrate through it to the weep holes of the drain that you've kept clear!).

There are some alternatives, in fact the TCNA guidelines contain lots of them, but it sounds like you're trying to do a conventional one, and it does NOT sound right. Trying to reinvent the wheel isn't a good idea until you've got lots of experience and can afford failures, which few DIY'ers can afford.

There are good reasons why things are done in a particular way, and it would be unusual for an individual to figure it out on their own. Lots of what if situations.
 
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