What type of mortar for preformed shower base?

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Old 03-04-15, 08:35 PM
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What type of mortar for preformed shower base?

I'm preparing to install a 48"x42" TileRedi brand preformed shower pan. Mosaic marble tile will be laid directly on the pan.

The paper instructions that came with the base say to use a waterproofing membrane over a plywood substrate and then usie a Portland cement/sand mix to set the base in. The instructional video on their website, however, makes no mention of a waterproofing membrane and they say to use a dry set mortar.

I'm not too familiar with mortars in general, so I want to use something that I know will do the job. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should use?
 
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Old 03-05-15, 07:16 AM
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Watching the installation video, the type of mortar used was what you would look for in the big orange store as bedding mortar or mud bed mortar. You mix it relatively dry so that it just holds together when you pick some up and squeeze it in your fist. The cheapest way to waterproof the floor prior to the bed mortar is to lay out 15# felt paper and staple it to the wood. Easy quick and cheap. No need to spend a bunch of money on Redgard or Hydroban unless you are using them on the walls anyway and already have on site.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 03:08 PM
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Z, I think he is talking about setting a preformed pan on a floor. From what I gather the reason for the vapor barrier is to keep the wood from sucking up the moisture in the bedding. I generally just use thinset as a bed for preformed pans. You want total support all across it. Bedding mortar could be used, but it must be mixed a little wetter than what you would actually build a bed with. I could stand to be corrected, but that is what I gathered.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 03:28 PM
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Larry, just going on the installation video from the reditile website, it is clearly not thinset mortar that they are using. They easily scrape away the excess from around the outside of the pan with no residual sticking to the floor. Come within a micron of touching thinset and it is all over the place. Later in the video, you clearly see them setting tile with a much loose thinset. Skip to the 2 minute mark in the video and tell me that is thinset.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIQTRy96kjk
 
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Old 03-05-15, 04:36 PM
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Good video, thanks. I guess we do the same thing by squishing the pan flat on the thinset to the floor and scrape the excess. Theirs is a little stiffer. Besides, who can afford redi base pans? Here they are $650 for a simple 3x3 pan. Customers opt for us to build the pan from scratch and are willing to pay the labor, especially when most of ours are walk ins, considerably larger than 3x3.
 
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Old 03-06-15, 08:38 PM
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Thanks for the help, guys.

I did two coats of waterproofing membrane today, but I'm still confused as to what product to use. I went to Lowes today and didn't see anything that was labeled as a "Portland cement/sand mix", "bedding mortar", or a "dry-set mortar". The employees there are also clueless.

In reading the paper directions that came with the pan, it says it should be the consistency of peanut butter. The stuff in their video does not look to be that thin. I may just have to ask the company directly, but of course it's now the weekend. I don't want to overthink this too much, as I'd like to just get it done. Can either of you guys recommend a specific product brand and name available at Home Depot or Lowes?
 
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Old 03-07-15, 04:44 AM
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You are overthinking this, and sorry if I confused you. I was just going based on the video, and it is a very thick mixture that they use. Dryset and thinset are basically the same if you look up the definition of the word. All thinsets are portland and sand, some have additives, some do not. But to satisfy your need to see the word - Dryset on a package - here is one available at Lowes.

Shop MAPEI 50-lbs Gray Powder Dry-Thinset Mortar at Lowes.com
 
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