Mud, also now called the conventional mortar bed installation, is the old style tile installation that existed for hundreds if not thousands of years before cement boards.

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Floors                                                                Walls

On the walls, it involves the attachment of expanded metal wire lath to the studs over which a ‘scratch coat’ of mortar is applied. When the scratch coat is sufficiently dry, a second thickness of mortar, aka ‘mud’, is floated over the wall taking steps to insure the plumbness of the mud wall. Immediately after completing the ‘mud coat’, the tile is adhered to it with a a cementitious bond coat. Approximate thickness of finish wall is 1.5”

Wall installation pictures

On the floor, a layer of tarpaper is unrolled on the subfloor over which an expanded metal wire lath is lain. A ‘dry pack’ or ‘screed’ of sand, cement and water is spread and packed over the floor with a minimum thickness of 1”. A level is mostly used to gauge the screed to insure the levelness of the finish floor regardless of the subfloor. Immediately after screeding, the tile is adhered with a cementitious bond coat and beaten into the damp screed to insure full bond and flatness.

Floor installation pictures

 Benefits include:

  • Plumb walls regardless of framing

  • level floors regardless of framing

  • Thicker, more solid walls and floors

  • No joints or seams as in boards

  • 100% bond of tile

  • Flat floors and walls