Friday, March 21, 2014

Creating a Solid Foundation


With the plumbing installed, my first order of business is to prepare the floor for tiling. Because the floor has been abused by me and previous owners, I need to get a good base down before tiling so that all my work won't crack when I walk upon it. To do that, I put down a layer of thinset mortar, placed upon that a sheet of cement board and then punched it full of special cement board screws to sandwich it down to the subfloor nice and tight. The purpose of the mortar isn't to adhere the cement board to the subfloor but rather to fill in all the voids and air pockets so that when it cures, I should have a very stable surface on which to lay my tile. But before that I need to apply some more mortar to grade a slight slope to the drain. I have something pretty slick which should make that job easy but I'll show more about that in a future post.

While mixing up the thinset, I nearly burnt up a brand new drill that I bought last fall specifically for this type of project. I have a steel mixing rod for mixing drywall mud, mortar and such but it requires a half inch drill to turn it. I don't have a half inch drill and have always had to borrow one from my father. Well I found a new Bosch one on sale last fall and got it so that I didn't have to borrow one anymore. When mixing up my first batch of thinset, I nearly burnt the thing up. I got hot enough that some smoke whisps came out the side of it. After letting it cool down, it still works fine but I didn't want to damage it any futher so I ended up buying another mixing paddle but this time for a 3/8 drill. It was a little bit lighter and didn't have as much surface area to provide resistance my other mixer. Rather than risk burning up my good drill, I chucked it up in my cheapo Black and Decker 3/8 drill that someone gave me some years back. It only has two speeds, stop and warp speed and has nearly broken my wrist a time or two when I have gotten it bound up which is why I rarely use it these days. Well it held up just fine and mixed up the thinset for the rest of the floor with no problems. Now I am wondering if Bosch has gone cheap or I just have a reject drill.


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