I am in the midst of a custom shower project. I am building a shower pan using the "traditional method" which is a concrete pre-slope, then a PVC membrane, then a top mortar bed, and finally tile.
The top mortar bed on my shower pan dried today. Turns out I really am not good at smoothing concrete. I can't lay tile on this. The slope is fine, but there are some dips and humps and a few divots in the pan. The curb is OK but there are a few uneven spots that I need to deal with.
I've been relying on Floor Elf's website and e-book. The author does a good job describing the right way to do the job. However he is an experienced tile man and I think has glossed over some details that I think I need.
How can I smooth this out?
If I have to redo the top bed I will, but I would like to avoid that entirely. I hesitate to use more bedding mortar as I found that difficult to work with the first time. I feel like I need a 'wetter' mortar. Can I use floor levelling compound? Can I use thinset to fill the low spots in then more thinset to stick the tile?
My technique sucks. How can I improve and get a smooth finish?
How can I maintain the multi-direction slope from the four walls to the offset drain? Sloping along one plane isn't too hard but maintaining a slope along two planes has proven tricky.
How can I lay out a smooth frame or reference line for mortar work?