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I mix and pour a lot of concrete, your standard 3-2-1 (agg-sand-portland), and was wondering why a 5-1 deck mud mix (sand-portland) is preferable over a straight up stiff concrete mix, which to me should prove stronger?

I ask because I will have (2) shower bases to pour in the next year or so and my inclination is to simply whip up a batch of stiff concrete and pour that for the sloped shower base, unless there is a compelling reason to use a deck mud mix instead?

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I'm no mason and have only done basic tile jobs (no shower bases), but here are my suggestions:

  • Weight: Dry pack is very porous and wouldn't add the 200 lbs. or more to a floor that concrete would. It's also easier to move and carry for the same reason.

  • Workability: Few have your finishing skills, and dry-pack is more forgiving and easier to shape. A person can plop a level on it to check slope and plane without getting all gooey, too.

  • Permanence: Dry pack, being porous, is fairly brittle. It could be trimmed or shaved or completely redone with much less sweat than concrete.

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