Can I Use Quikrete For My Shower Pan?

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

If there’s one thing that most people don’t want to do, it’s making a massive mistake by using the wrong underlayment while they’re trying to put together a shower. A bad underlayment can ruin the shower pan you bought. Those things are not cheap, and they can easily cost an arm and a leg. If you want to use Quikrete on a shower pan, you’re probably a little hesitant to do so.

You can use Quikrete Floor Mud and Sand Mix for your shower pan. It is great to use Quikrete for your shower pan because it does not sag and has a quick cure time. The only Quikrete sand mix that you cannot use for a shower pan is Quikrete Deck Mud.

Using the wrong type of Quikrete can easily turn your DIY remodeling project upside-down. Before you go shopping for mortar, make sure that you understand what you’re getting. In this article, we’ll talk about Quikrete and exactly how you can use it for your shower pan.

Can I Use Quikrete For My Shower Pan?

Yes, but in many cases, it’s not the mortar that’s recommended for shower pans. Most shower pan manufacturers make a point of adding instructions and recommended products for their pans as a part of their kits. However, those are recommendations and not a mandatory staple of your project.

Pretty much any type of “sand mix” focused on flooring can be used to help even out a shower pan installation. This is technically true, even if you’re using a Tile Redi pan. That, of course, means that you can expect to have good results with Quikrete’s Floor Mud mix.

What Is A Sand Mix?

A sand mix is a specific type of mortar that’s made of Portland cement and (yep, you guessed it!) sand. The overall texture of this mixture is supposed to be thick and grainy, without it being overly bumpy. This makes it easier to work with and easier to form into the shapes you need it to be in.

Do All Sand Mixes Work For Shower Pan Installations?

It’s important to realize that there are different sand mixes for different purposes. This means that you have to make sure that the mortar you select is actually designed with your purpose in mind. Otherwise, you will ruin your project.

For example, Quikrete’s Sand Topping would not work for shower pan installations, primarily because it’s designed to fix cracks in cement or for making thick beds for ceramic floor tiling. In order to get good results, you have to choose the right sand mix for your purpose.

Why Choose Quikcrete’s Floor Mud?

If you want to use Quikrete brand products to prep your shower pan, your options are going to be limited. The only sand mix that’s actually designed to be used on shower pans from this brand is Floor Mud. So, you have to use that if you want to use a Quikcrete product.

Though your options are limited, Floor Mud is actually remarkably high quality. Here’s why people like it:

  • Floor Mud doesn’t sag. Floor Mud is known for being a “low-sag” type of sand mix. This means it’ll withstand heavy weights on it without harming your pan. This means that it can handle both heavier tiling as well as the weight of a person standing on it once it’s cured.
  • It’s strong. Once it cures, Quikrete’s Floor Mud will not break. It meets the standard for “high strength mortars,” which means that you can also use this stuff on special tiling projects too.
  • All you need to do is add water to mix it. Some other brands may ask you to use additives alongside their product. Quikrete isn’t one of those brands. Floor Mud performs best when combined without any additives.
  • It’s also quick to cure compared to other brands. Floor Mud can cure in as little as five days in warm weather. If you’re in a cold area, you may have to wait an additional two days.
  • Quikrete Floor Mud is also cheap. Granted, this can be said about all dry mortar mixes, considering how much you get for a couple of bucks. A large bag will only set you back $7 at most.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Quikrete Floor Mud?

No sand mix is perfect, which is why it’s good to be aware of the issues that can arise from using the product of your choice. If you are going to use Quikrete, please keep these essential things in mind:

  • You will need to tamp down the mud and slope it towards your drain. This is not rocket science. It’s just good practice. This is part of any shower pan install, but it can take more time with Quikrete.
  • Floor Mud is NOT waterproof. Like most other mixes meant to be used in shower installs, Floor Mud isn’t waterproof. In order to make sure that your shower pan install goes on without a hitch, you need to have a waterproof membrane installed before you add floor mud. On a similar note, you should never use floor mud on a wet shower pan. You should also have installed your drain before you add floor mud to your pan.
  • Floor Mud needs some moisture in the air to cure. Uncured Quikcrete is fairly moisture-sensitive, and while it’s never wise to install it on a wet surface, your Quikcrete still needs some moisture in the air to cure well. A very dry atmosphere during curing can cause cracking and brittleness in an otherwise well-cured pan install.
  • Like with most other mortars, you’ll have to mix Floor Mud yourself. This can be a bit taxing, but there’s some good news here. This is one type of mortar that can be mixed by hand or by a barrel-style mixer. Just make sure that you choose a mixer that’s appropriate for the amount of concrete you want to make.
  • Using Quikrete instead of your recommended mortar may void the shower pan’s warranty. This is something that you should keep in mind if you want to go against the shower pan manufacturer’s recommendations. Should your pan fail or your project goes awry, that warranty is the only thing that protects you.

Can You Use Quikrete Deck Mud Instead?

If your local hardware store doesn’t have Floor Mud, do not get Deck Mud as a replacement. It’s not the same thing, despite having “Mud” in the name. Deck Mud is not meant for shower pan use and will harm your shower pan. It also needs to be used with acrylic fortified for most projects, so even if it didn’t harm your pan, you’d still have to pay more to use it.

Mixing Concrete For Shower Floors

Ideally, you get the real deal when it comes to your shower pan. Therefore, while you technically can use Quikcrete, it doesn’t mean that’s ideal. So, instead, you should mix your own concrete to ensure a job is done well.

How To Mix The Concrete

  • Get the right concrete mix. First things first, you want the right mix. You can combine the sand and Portland cement or purchase a mix that is ready to make. Just know that most premade mixes will need additional sand so that you can have the correct ratio for this project.
  • Ensure you have the right sand. Your sand should be sharp and made from crushed stone. It is also called concrete sand. However, you can use masonry sand, but ideally, you want sharp sand.
  • Prepare the ratios. If you’re using Portland cement, then your ratios will be 1:1 to 4:1 parts sand to cement. For flooring, you’ll want 3 parts sand to 1 part cement. You don’t want too much cement, or it’ll cause clumping.
  • Mix the ingredients. Put 3 parts dry sand to 1 part cement before you add the water. You will want protective eyewear and a mask when you’re messing with dry cement. Mix this all in a bucket or on some plywood. Make sure that the sand is well mixed. The finished product should have a gray color all around.
  • Add the water slowly. The water should be added gradually as you mix it all. When your finished, you can form a ball. The ball should not crumble, but it shouldn’t be sticky either. It’s a good idea to set aside some of the dry mixture just in case you put too much water.

Our Final Take

If you are looking for a good mortar for shower pan installation, it’s often best to go with the recommended mortar as explained by your shower pan’s manufacturer. In lieu of a recommended mortar, it is possible to use Quikrete’s Floor Mud as a substitute and still get great results.

Quikrete is a great brand that offers high-quality mortars, and that includes Floor Mud. However, shower pan installations aren’t an easy thing. If you decide to use Quikrete, follow the instructions on the data sheet, and be extra careful. After all, using a non-recommended brand can void your shower pan’s warranty.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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