A base for a shower stall is typically made of waterproof cement to withstand the constant, wet environment in a shower and to protect your floors. The most important factor in determining which type of cement to use is not simply water resistance, however. Other factors, such as the consistency of the material, is very important, and that is where Quikrete comes in.
Water Damage Prevention
A shower base needs to have a consistent slope toward a single drain hole and be water-resistant to make sure no water finds its way to the floor boards. While grout and tile cover most shower floors, cracks are bound to form in the grout, leaving just enough space for water to run to the shower base. Even though most shower bases include a waterproof, plastic barrier, it is still possible for water to leak through, especially if the barrier becomes damaged. Quikrete provides additional protection against water, which is why it is used to make many shower bases.
Troweling a Pre-Bed Slope
A shower base has three layers: the first pre-slope is troweled on over the home's subfloor, then the shower liner and finally the last mortar layer applied over the shower liner. In order to trowel in a consistent slope in the pre-bed, a grainy, wet sand consistency of mortar is required because it stands up better than a soupy mixture of concrete, which often levels out as it dries. Quikrete has a mixture of cement and sand, so it is granular and therefore easier to form into a good, consistent slope..
Quikrete also dries fairly fast, so it is ideal when installing a shower base. If you want to get the project done within a reasonable amount of time, say over the weekend, your cement has to dry within 24 hours. The typical Quikrete mixture dries fast enough to walk on the next day. This is very important to contractors and amateurs alike because often time is a very real constraint when completing an installation project.
The common name for the mortar used to create a shower base is sand mix, which simply refers to a certain type of mortar consisting of sand and cement. Many professionals will mix their own "sand mix" by adding sand to Portland cement until they get a grainy, easily formable mixture. Quikrete is pre-mixed, so it forms a similar type of cement as any custom mixture. However, if the Quikrete mixture is too difficult for you to trowel, you can add sand, as needed, to give it more sticking power.