Archive for November 18th, 2022

Annex 89

I know this looks pretty rough, so let me talk you through what you’re looking at.  This is the shower pan, the bottom layer of the shower; it’s made of mortar and will later have a layer of textured waterproof plastic (the same thing truck bedliner is made from) applied on top and up the walls.  So while the cosmetic appearance of the slab isn’t important because it will be coated, the contour is extremely important; the drain (which you can see covered in masking tape in the “before” picture) must be the lowest point and the areas near the walls the highest.  But I’ve never done masonry before, and once the process got underway on October 30th I began to realize that I just don’t have the technical skill to smooth the surface and also incline it at the necessary angle.  So we decided to do it in two stages: on the 30th I just concentrated on getting it level and smooth, then we came back on the 2nd and added another layer to give the desired pitch.  The darker concrete is 3 days younger, and I mixed it with less water so it would hold its shape more easily. It’s not a very thick layer; the original slab contains 9 (80#) sacks of mortar, while the upper layer contains only 3.  While I worked, I used a level to ensure that it sloped down from edges to center; the reason that one zone toward the right doesn’t have any extra is that I managed to get it right on the first pass.  I know it won’t win any awards for beauty, but it’s solid and properly-pitched, and it’ll all be covered up anyway.  Still, I’m glad this part of the job is over (the first part took 7 hours and the second part 4), and I have a new respect for the skill and patience it takes to work with concrete!

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