ON THE COVER – Merkrete Systems – July 2017 Feature
Merkrete System ensures style and longevity in the lap of luxury
In a project where luxurious sophistication is the name of the game, each and every detail, no matter how large or small, makes all the difference in the final presentation. The Sagamore Pendry Baltimore – of premier hospitality brand Pendry Hotels – is the newest hot spot for luxury travel and indulgence in Baltimore’s historic yet newly renovated Fell’s Point neighborhood. Developed in collaboration between Montage International and Sagamore Development Company, the hotel boasts 128 luxury guestrooms and suites and several glamorous restaurants, lounges and bars. From the American Industrial Age-themed murals and décor, to the Grand Ballroom with sky-high ceilings, to the visionary choice and placement of stone tiles throughout the building, each unique detail of the Pendry Baltimore denotes and delivers a story and vision.
Flair and functionality come together
The impressive interior style combines sophisticated, inspired design reminiscent of the city’s rich industrial heritage with a modern, edgy perspective; juxtaposing rich, warm wood with eye-catching, cool stone furnishings throughout and complemented by unique American accent pieces. Designed by architect and Baltimore’s own Patrick Sutton, the Pendry Baltimore sets the standard for the melding of both new and vintage styles. The stone installations throughout the building perfectly match this high-class, world traveler aesthetic, as each piece was masterfully chosen and strategically placed for an extra touch of glamour and ensured functionality.
When NTCA Five Star Contractor Profast Commercial Flooring was approached by Whiting-Turner General Contractors to supply the cost-efficient, high-performing materials they wanted from around the world, Profast president Kevin Killian knew they’d need a trusted and top-quality waterproofing system to ensure a job well done. Upon reviewing the scope of the project, all answers pointed definitively to Merkrete, the leader in waterproofing, crack-isolation and underlayment technology. The expertly chosen stone tiles grace the hotel’s grand lobby floors, every guest bathroom on the shower walls, shower floors, shower curbs, stone base, stone flooring and stone backsplash, along with the restaurant and bar floors, interior and exterior fireplaces and public bathrooms. To prevent any potential moisture issues in such highly utilized areas, Merkrete’s trusted system won them the contract.
A versatile solution seals the deal
When it comes to the critical waterproofing under tile in the stone-clad bathrooms, guest and public, Merkrete’s BFP waterproofing membrane system was the only solution. Durable and long lasting, this membrane system is designed for heavy-duty applications, promising zero leaks or cracks, even with severe exposure and high amounts of traffic.
Because of the size of the showers in the guest bathrooms, Killian needed a versatile product that could address several specific needs at the same time: a pre-mixed product that could be used to form the shower pans while also repairing imperfections in the floors. Merkrete’s sales representative on the job, Chris Zampella, said, “I immediately knew that Merkrete’s Underlay C was the perfect product for these requirements. Its versatility allows you to build up to 3” and spread to almost a feather edge (1/8”). You don’t usually get that in a single product.”
Merkrete proved the perfect match for a specific challenge, again considering the strength of the mortar it called for. “We used very large stone panels, which require a mortar with a super high bondability that can handle the weight of the panels,” said Killian. Merkrete 855 XXL is a one-step, polymer-modified setting adhesive for installing extra-large-format porcelain, ceramic tile and natural stone for both floors and walls, and can be used as thin- or medium-bed setting adhesive for stone. Merkrete proved it could hold its weight.
In addition to the waterproofing membrane system the hotel required, Merkrete was the trusted source yet again in providing high-performance, sustainable grout in the lobby and bar floors. “Merkrete’s ProGrout is a fast-setting, polymer-modified, color-consistent and efflorescence-free high performance grout that exceeds ANSI A118.7 for all types of ceramic and dimensional stone tiles on walls and floors,” said Zampella. “It works for grout joint widths of 1/16” up to 1/2” wide, eliminating the need for different grout products and allowing Kevin the versatility he required.”
Part of the challenge in this project involved the fast-track timeline. Installation began in June 2016 and was completed by November 2016. It was critical that Killian chose a company that would be able to get the products delivered and the job completed on time. Merkrete is a member of ParexGroup, one of the largest companies and a worldwide leader in tile setting materials, façade finishes and technical mortars, established in 22 countries with 68 manufacturing plants and over 4,100 employees. “Merkrete was perfect for this project’s requirements, because we have plants and distribution centers all over the country, so our turnaround time and ability to get our products there quickly were no problem,” says Zampella.
With the Pendry Baltimore having just recently celebrated its grand opening, the guests have flooded in to experience the fine culinary offerings while embracing the idyllic harbor setting and incredible architecture. In the years to come, more renovations may take place, but thanks to Merkrete, you can be sure the stone tiles will be standing strong.
Photos courtesy of Bill Caldwell of Caldwell Images. www.caldwellimages.com