Feature Story – LATICRETE International – March 2018

Texas Motor Speedway boasts
first-of-its-kind concrete coatings

LATICRETE SPARTACOTE™ brings a professional
polish to NASCAR® track

The Texas Motor Speedway, located in Fort Worth, Texas, is home to several popular NASCAR®events each year. With the ability to fit four Dallas Cowboys’ football stadiums inside the track, the Speedway can fit over 190,000 screaming fans and holds the largest outdoor high-definition digital display board in the country, amongst other features.

In the fall of 2016, Texas Motor Speedway management partnered with LATICRETE to bring high-performance SPARTACOTE™ concrete coating systems to the legendary raceway’s massive garages – a first at any NASCAR track. Texas-based Intertech Flooring was awarded the project as the installer due to its excellent reputation in flooring solutions and experience in specialty, high-profile projects.

“This was a big project with a lot of planning involved,” said Richard Garcia, Director of Concrete Operations from Intertech Flooring. “My team and I really enjoy working with the SPARTACOTE product and appreciate the support LATICRETE brings to the table. We look forward to doing another coatings project like this soon.”

The garages at Texas Motor Speedway

Design professionals initiated the garage floor concept, which included custom colors, textures, logos and specified a moisture-mitigation primer coat spanning the concrete surface to minimize any excess moisture found within the existing concrete slab.

This type of project is increasing in popularity with tile contractors, due to the ease of install and variety that resinous flooring offers to customers as an alternative to large-format or more traditional tile or stone floors.

The challenges 

High-Profile Customization: The owners were not looking for just any old epoxy coatings as a replacement for the existing thin-film epoxy floor surface that was failing and had exceeded its service life. They demanded a professional, unique concrete coating system, which only SPARTACOTE offers.

Timely Preparation: Floor preparation is often the most time-consuming part of a professional SPARTACOTE coatings project, but this is a necessary step to achieve the desired results.

The Intertech Flooring crew mixing LATICRETE NXT Vapor Reduction Coating before application.

A LATICRETE solution

The Intertech crew began surface preparation procedures by shot blasting and grinding the existing concrete to CSP 3 for proper adhesion. After grinding, the floor was repaired using SPARTACOTE FAST FIX™ to treat the joints and areas of the concrete that scaled and spalled.

The crew then began to mix and apply NXT Vapor Reduction Coating, a single-coat, low-odor, epoxy coating specifically designed for controlling the moisture vapor emission rate from new or existing concrete slabs. This particular moisture mitigator is unique in that Intertech Flooring was able to pigment the resin a grey color for it to act as the base-colored primer, saving the installer a step in the SPARTACOTE coatings process. The crew rolled out

Intertech Flooring pigmented the resin of this moisture mitigator a grey color so it could act as the base-colored primer, saving the installer a step in the SPARTACOTE coatings process.

the pigmentedcolor across all 22,000 sq. ft. (2,044 m2) of prepared concrete at 12 mils thickness and allowed it to cure for 12 hours.

Applying the logo at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Upon full cure, the crew buffed the surface using a swing machine with 100 grit screens and began mixing and rolling out a solid black base coat and cherry-red Metallic mid-coats of SPARTACOTE material that served as the outline for the rectangle leading to the massive, 90 ft. (27.4 m) Texas Motor Speedway logo in the middle of the garage. In phase two of the garage installation, a cobalt blue SPARTACOTE Metallic color was used instead. The mid-coats had SPARTACOTE Grip added to the coating for additional foot traction.

Adding the clear SPARTACOTE topcoat to the TMS logos.

The monstrous-sized Texas Motor Speedway logo was applied over the Metallic coatings using a stencil to ensure exact placement. Once the team applied, tamped-down, and carefully removed the backing adhesive, they applied a final clear SPARTACOTE topcoat over all 22,000 sq. ft. (2,044 m2) of garage space to lock in all colors, textures and logos, and to ensure a seamless, durable finish.

Designed to withstand aircraft hydraulic grade oils, such as Skydrol®, SPARTACOTE coatings are resistant to other common garage chemicals and three times more abrasion resistant than traditional epoxy.


“With these floors, Texas Motor Speedway has once again raised the bar for NASCAR race tracks,” said Mat Stolley, Vice President of Operations for Texas Motor Speedway. “Not only do they convey our image as a first-class facility for our professional racing, they also provide a safe, high-traction floor for the race teams and NASCAR inspectors. With more than 40 high-performance cars being worked on at any given time on race days, our garage floors need to be able to withstand hot tires, hazardous fluids and the regular use of heavy equipment – and LATICRETE delivered exactly that.”

The Intertech team completed and turned over Phase 1 of the Texas Motor Speedway north commercial garage project in October 2016 in time for the Texas 500 NASCAR event in November. Phase two in the south race car garages was completed in February 2017.

Metallic cobalt blue TMS logo completed.

Completed cherry-red metallic logo at TMS.

Phase 1 of the 22,000-sq.-ft. project is complete, along with custom logo.

Construction Wages: skilled workers command higher pay

 Contributors: Sasha David, BuildZoom; and Bart Bettiga and Lesley Goddin, NTCAIn a recent study published on BuildZoom (buildzoom.com), author Sasha David analyzed wage data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to determine which construction jobs pay the most – and the least. (The full BuildZoom story can be found at http://bit.ly/2osxF8B.)

The study looks at the diversity of jobs that exist in construction, and also identifies broad patterns that identify higher-paid workers as well as “certain cities that offer better pay across the board for all construction jobs,” David said.


It’s important to note that cement, concrete and terrazzo workers in this study are shown to make $35,000/year and brickmasons, block masons and stone masons as well as carpet, floor and tile installers and finishers make $30,000/year – a far cry from elevator installers and repairers at $80,000 annually, or construction and building inspectors at $55, 000.

David’s analysis indicates that higher wages are often commanded by supervisors, engineers and inspectors, but skilled “blue collar” positions also can bring in more robust salaries.

“People tend to associate white-collar or office jobs with higher salaries compared to blue-collar or manual labor, but the rankings show that this is not necessarily the case,” she said. “Working with elevators or boilers requires physical work, but these are among the highest paid jobs in the industry.”


Skilled labor = higher wages

An important factor in this wage analysis, David said, is level of skill required. “Occupations that require more training or technical expertise consistently pay higher than those with lower barriers to entry,” says BuildZoom’s Chief Economist, Dr. Issi Romem.

David added, “The highest-paying occupations often require specialized apprenticeships, licenses or certifications that demonstrate an understanding of the trade and command a premium in the market, such as a grounding in mechanics for elevator technicians, circuitry for electricians, or water systems for boilermakers. Of course, licensing can also serve as a means for controlling the number of people practicing and by reducing the supply of those tradesmen, increase their wages.

“Towards the bottom of the list are trades that generally have lower barriers to entry. Floor installers, construction laborers, drywall installers, painters and roofers are listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics as having ‘no formal education credentials’ required, while professions with average pay including pipelayers, sheet metal workers, glaziers, insulation workers, and carpenters typically require ‘a high school diploma or equivalent.’

“There are people in our industry and outside of our trade who contest that tile installation costs are already too high,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director. “But I believe that the overall cost of installation will come down if we have more highly skilled people installing tile and stone.  These products are not meant to be put in by an untrained workforce.  Tile and stone are most often selected because they are considered to be a permanent finish.  For this to be the case, we need to have a highly trained and a highly compensated workforce.”

This finding that correlates higher wages with a skilled workforce is of particular interest to NTCA, which has its core mission to educate and train installers and raise their skill level.

“For the past several years, the NTCA has been developing its online apprenticeship curriculum,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director.  “We have worked with several of our members to help them use this educational tool to recruit new people into the trade and to train their current staff.  It is our hope that this program can be integrated with supervised and field-related training.

“The reason this is so important is that we believe that tile installation is a highly skilled craft that takes several years to master,” Bettiga added. “Why is this important?  Because we have a big job to do, and it is perfectly illustrated in this paper.  We must raise the wages of our trained tile installers if we are going to recruit talented young people into our trade.  We cannot continue to be grouped with other flooring trades that quite frankly are not as complex, nor do they take as long to master.  Tile installers should be making wages like other trades that are considered to be highly skilled.”

6_trades_in_10_largest_citiesLocation impacts wages

David’s analysis also shows “ordering of occupations from highest-paid to lowest-paid at the national level,” and “within individual metro areas. Within any given city, supervisors are paid the most and painters the least, with an overall downward slope.”

Some cities are more generous with construction wages. For instance, carpet and flooring workers earn more than the national average in both the San Jose/San Francisco/Oakland region and the New York/Newark /Pennsylvania/Connecticut regions than Dallas/Fort Worth or Miami/Fort Lauderdale.


Cities with Higher Wages in Construction Occupations: San Jose, San Francisco , Oakland, Calif.

Cities with Higher Wages in Construction Occupations – New York-Newark, NJ, NY, CT, PA











“The higher incomes in San Jose and New York suggest they may be related to how expensive it is to live in those cities,” David said. “The Cost of Living Index measures the difference in the price levels of goods, services, and rent across the US, where 100 is set as the average national cost of living. San Jose and New York have Cost of Living Indexes of 124 and 121, which are respectively the second and fifth most expensive cities in the US.”

“Wages are consistently higher across all construction occupations in certain cities, in line with the cost of living,” summarized Romem.

On the other hand, cost of living is lower in Dallas and Miami, with indices of 100 and 106 respectively, David pointed out. These lower costs of living  give“people greater purchasing power than expensive cities like San Francisco or New York,” she said.

<Cities with lower wages charts – 2>

Cities with lower wages in construction- Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, FL

Cities with lower wages in construction – Dallas, Ft. Worth, Texas; Oklahoma











So how do construction occupations rank in your city? Use the dropdown at http://bit.ly/2osxF8B  to display the rankings for your city.

The above rankings and spider charts for large cities are available for download in the links below.

See the BuildZoom story at http://bit.ly/2osxF8B for notes and methodology and downloads for Occupation Rankings by Metro Area and Metro Area Comparisons to National Median.



Raised in Tokyo and Honolulu, Sasha has implemented international marketing campaigns on five continents. She is fascinated by the intersection of technology and socioeconomic development, and is a street food enthusiast.


70-year old Flamingo hits the jackpot with Bostik – Feature Story – February 2018

ForrestPerkins’ renovations keep true to the property’s character and charisma

The third gambling establishment to open on the soon-to-become famous Las Vegas Strip, today The Flamingo is the Strip’s oldest resort. In the mid-‘40s, businessman extraordinaire William “Billy” Wilkerson envisioned a grand hotel/resort with an energized casino, pool, spas and golf course drawing gamblers and celebrities from across the globe. At that time, almost all casinos already in Las Vegas were extremely rustic and followed a Western theme.

That was about to change – enter architect George Vernon Russell, who brought his vision of a European-styled hotel/casino to reality. Clearly, The Flamingo was eons ahead of its time and via its luxury, major glitz and non-stop publicity campaign, created a bona fide blueprint for future resort/casinos in Las Vegas.

The Flamingo recently celebrated its 70th birthday, continuing to give visitors an authentic Vegas experience. The resort offers more than 3,500 guest rooms and suites, and features a sprawling 15-acre pool and wildlife habitat complete with waterfalls, island-like vegetation and tropical wildlife.

In 2016, and as part of an extensive renovation plan from its owner Caesars Entertainment Corporation, a major $90 million complete guestroom renovation project was launched. Led by design firm ForrestPerkins, the process began in late August. Some rooms were opened to guests in November; final completion is expected for the second quarter of 2018. Long-time aficionados of the hotel needn’t worry, as the newly renovated rooms continue using the property’s well-known pink theme.

“Flamingo Las Vegas is an iconic resort filled with 70 years of rich history and unforgettable experiences,” said Bob Morse, President of Hospitality for Caesars Entertainment. “The renovated rooms pay homage to the property’s past, while also giving it a fresh and modern new look.”

This new design program not only updates the guestrooms; it clearly brings the bathrooms up to today’s standards. All fully renovated rooms feature unique, contemporary and retro-chic designs with accents that celebrate The Flamingo’s rich history as a centerpiece of the Las Vegas Strip. ForrestPerkins’ rooms were tasked to “sparkle like glitter and shine like champagne, with vibrant hues of gold and bright pops of flamingo pink, keeping true to the property’s character and charisma.” Without question, the heralded design firm did not disappoint.

Gibson Tile, Daltile + Bostik make bathrooms shine

This renovation included the previously mentioned 3,500 guest rooms, of which about a third were completed at press time. Getting the guest baths up to the designers’ stringent standards and making very, very tight deadlines overall, was a major undertaking for all trades contracted for this project.

Mark A. Dopudja, Vice President of Gibson Tile Company, Las Vegas, Nev., stated, “We were contracted to handle the tile installation. The bathroom design called for a very high-quality, white Dal-Tile 3” x 6” product. We wanted a premium installation system, so we selected three Bostik materials: Hydroment Vivid Grout; D-2001 Ultra-Premium Mastic and Bostik GoldPlus for waterproofing.

“Our reasons for choosing these materials were very basic,” continued Dopudja. “Vivid was chosen for time constraints. It is a rapid curing grout that offers ease of installation; a superior color-consistent grout joint and non-sag properties, which are ideal for wall tile projects. We did not have time to wait for an epoxy product, which takes considerably longer to cure, so Vivid was the ideal selection. The time frame was so tight, once furniture was in place, fixtures installers were right behind them. This was the procedure, floor-by-floor, throughout the entire hotel.

“We needed a quick-cure system, one that allowed for full foot traffic in rooms after just four hours from being installed,” he added. “That’s why we decided upon a total Bostik system. And in particular, we knew their waterproofing system was ideal for the bathrooms,” stated Dopudja. “And frankly, using one full system from one single manufacturer, we believe helps to ensure an even more successful install.”

Bostik Hydroment® Vivid™ is a rapid curing, premium grade, stain resistant cementitious grout for demanding commercial and residential projects. It offers consistent color technology with enhanced stain and efflorescence protection. And Vivid™ is exceptionally ease to clean up. This greatly contributes to the speed at which installers can perform their overall project work.

Bostik D-2001® Ultra-Premium™ Mastic is a high performance adhesive for the interior installation of all types of ceramic and stone tile (except moisture sensitive marble). Ideal for fast and highly professional installations, it provides excellent vertical grab.

Lastly, Bostik GoldPlus™ is a ready-to-use, roller-applied, latex waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane for use beneath thinset ceramic tile installations on both vertical and horizontal surfaces.

“A few years ago,” concluded Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, “Bostik made a focused commitment to become a major source for tile and stone installation systems to high-end Las Vegas hospitality establishments. Our recent work at The Flamingo represents another cornerstone to that pledge. As the need for high-quality, easy-to-use and high-performance tile and stone installation systems increases, Bostik will continue to have the products, the experience and the wherewithal to more than meet this demand.” 

Educational Feature – Teamwork and collaboration with associations and government programs address manpower issues

By Steve Coates, COO of Welch Tile and Marble

Leveraging association benefits, networking, and being able to anticipate the future business outlook is more important than I’ve ever imagined.

As a matter of confession, the earlier years of career #2 were spent with my nose down to the grindstone, working long hours as if enslaved to budgets and schedules.

Transitioning from project management to a division director, becoming part of the larger community and interacting with others has proven invaluable.

Working with organizations and associations

At the local level, we are members of several organizations – ASAM (American Subcontractors Association), CWDA (Construction Workforce Development Alliance), ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) and CFMA (Construction Financial Management Association). Across the board, each association is talking about the lack of human capital/manpower. Many business owners and individuals are wondering if there will ever be positive traction on this crucial topic. We are all talking about it; when will we see results?

Here in Michigan, we are starting to see strategic efforts on several fronts, working to the same end, though not yet in unison. Associations such as CWDA, community foundations, manpower temp agencies, individual companies and governmental departments have continued to push the topic forward to various degrees. While the water is still muddy, let’s see if we can bring some clarity to the topic.

While individual groups are competing for manpower, we are starting to see some trends emerge and movements in this arena. CWDA (founded by ABC, ASAM and The Home Builders Association – HBA) is one of the key leading groups supporting this effort.

CWDA has been in existence for four years, with a goal of bringing awareness to construction job opportunities and training the next generation for the growth of our businesses.

Recently I had the privilege of sharing CWDA success stories at a monthly ASAM meeting. Because of the following CWDA team efforts, we have seen the needle move on the part of high school students, teachers, and counselors related to construction manpower:

  • Long-term strategies include MiCareer Quest, whose construction exhibit booths show off construction trades to over 9,000 kids in our region.
  • Short-term strategies include high school outreach – we share career paths for all trades.
  • Teachers are now open to integrating curriculum with construction story problems or scenarios for practical learning.
  • Providing jumpstarts into construction program and construction summer camps, where students are hired after completion. Tuition is funded by CWDA.
  • Marketing efforts are re-branding construction as a viable profession rather than a dirty, second-rate job.
  • High school counselors are challenged to realistically guide kids into the right career path, rather than 100% into college, because we know the dropout rate is over 50%.
  • Gearing up to team with state-led initiatives to get folks back to work, with Michigan Works Association (MiWorks) as our government partner.
  • Our local community college is partnered with us to supplement trades without apprenticeship programs or help jump start their skills.

Exciting news from the state level has pushed manpower and training to the forefront. Our business- minded governor instructed our state education leaders and business economic leaders to outline specific strategies to get kids better positioned for the real jobs.

The draft directives on this list open the doors and mandate that schools in the future will need to advance kids’ exposure to careers and prepare them for the real world.

In addition to transforming school agendas, the state has tagged 29 million grant dollars to be utilized in the training of new hires and advancement of existing employees. With the help of MiWorks, Welch Tile was successfully awarded $20,000 in training pending completion by each individual.

Recruiting at Welch Tile

On the company level, Welch Tile’s culture transition journey has already proven successful in terms of recruiting. Internal staff members are starting to recommend friends to the business because they feel we care about people, train people, and provide career advancement.

Defying the stats, while the national growth rate is around 3%, and West Michigan’s average growth rate is 5.8%, in the last three months our crew grew by over 15%.

What can you do about the manpower shortage? Team with key associations to collectively push the needle, band together and influence governmental policy and budgets, and create a company that is considered the employer of choice.

January 2018 Feature Story – MAPEI

Anaha® (which means “reflection of light” in Hawaiian) is a magnificent new condominium complex on the island of Oahu. Made of concrete, glass and steel, it is part of the Ward Village master-planned community near Kewalo Harbor in Honolulu. This new luxury high-rise was planned by Howard Hughes Corporation and designed by architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz of Chicago and Ben Woo Architects of Honolulu. The interiors were designed by global design leader Woods Bagot Interiors.

The complex is composed of the Anaha Tower, housing eight residences per floor plus penthouses on Levels 36-38, as well as the Podium townhouses and flats, which occupy the first six floors and extend from the tower. The roof of the Podium (adjacent to the seventh floor of the tower) hosts an amazing selection of indoor and outdoor activity areas, including a cantilevered pool that extends 13 feet beyond the building’s edge and features a glass bottom.

The LEED Platinum building was designed with the environment in mind – harmonizing with sea, sky and mountains. The exterior of the entrance area sports a “living wall” of plants and water elements framed with lava stone veneer that surround tile walkways forming the signature “W” for Ward Village. The interior of Anaha is just as awe-inspiring, with floor-to-ceiling windows that open every residence to views of the Pacific Ocean or the Honolulu skyline. Some expanses even look out toward the historic Diamond Head landmark.

Floor and wall coverings received all manner of treatments, including stone and stone veneer in public areas indoors and out; (at the owner’s option) carpet, wood and tile in living spaces; stone and tile in bathrooms of the residences; and resilient floor coverings in service areas.

The Hawaii branch of A-American Custom
Flooring, Inc. (a member of the Tile Contractors Association of Hawaii), was in charge of all aspects of the tile installations for interior and exterior walls, floors and specialty elements with the exception of the interior tile walls of the pool on the amenities deck. Their installers also handled moisture mitigation work and installation of wood, carpet and resilient floor coverings. A-American worked closely with General Contractor A. C. Kobayashi, Inc., to complete all the aspects of the installations on schedule, including the mega-challenge of zero tolerance in transitions between flooring types.

Zero tolerance transitions moisture mitigation and waterproofing

Anaha’s 236-unit residence tower and 81 townhomes and flats were architecturally designed with a zero tolerance scheme for all finishes in the flooring landscape of the building. From interior to exterior, zero tolerance requirements meant that all transitions could hold no change in height from tile to wood to carpet to resilients, to respect accessibility for disabled persons according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This zero tolerance created building and flooring challenges that were met by a wide variety of MAPEI’s concrete repair and flooring installation systems products for construction, surface preparation and floor-covering solutions. The fast-track schedule of the 38-story tower and the six-story podium required coordination and solutions for arising jobsite problems involving moisture mitigation and slab deformation involving post-tension concrete pours.

A-American used MAPEI’s Planiseal VS alkali-resistant, epoxy moisture-reduction barrier for moisture mitigation throughout the complex. Planiseal VS expedites floor-covering installations by eliminating the traditional wait time required for new concrete slabs to reach moisture levels suitable for installations. After the concrete surface was properly profiled, the Planiseal VS was poured to cover each level in the building.

After moisture mitigation, the floors were primed with one of three primers – Primer L, Primer T or ECO Prim Grip – where appropriate. Then the installers selected two MAPEI self-leveling underlayments – Novoplan® 2 Plus and Ultraplan® 1 Plus – to use in appropriate areas in order to produce a smooth, level surface for installing tiles and stone. Both of these products are quick-setting, self-leveling underlayments and repair mixes for interior concrete and engineer-approved floors.

MAPEI’s Mapelastic cementitious membrane was used for waterproofing and protecting exterior horizontal and vertical concrete spaces, while Mapelastic AquaDefense with Reinforcing Fabric, an advanced liquid-rubber, extremely quick-drying waterproofing and crack-isolation membrane, was used on interior surfaces before the tile and stone installations. Mapelastic AquaDefense dries after about 30 to 50 minutes and is then ready to receive any MAPEI polymer or epoxy mortar.

Range of mortars and grouts meet varying project demands

Installation of exterior and interior tile and stone also used a variety of MAPEI’s mortars and grouts. For the ultimate bond, Lava Stone Veneer pavers and curbs surrounding the building were installed with MAPEI’s two-part Kerabond/Keralastic system – a premium dry-set mortar that is combined with a flexible acrylic latex additive.

Where there was a need for speed, the A-American crews used the Granirapid® fast-curing system. Outdoor walls and benches that used Lava Stone Veneer and Cremino Stone Veneer in all sizes from mosaics to large-format tile were also installed with these two systems. All of these installations were grouted with MAPEI’s powerful Ultracolor® Plus FA – an ultra-premium, fine aggregate, fast-setting, polymer-modified, color-consistent, non-shrinking, efflorescence-free grout that can fill joint widths from 1/16” to 3/4”.

In the residences and townhouses, tile and stone played a dramatic role as field tile and accents on floors and walls. Types and brands included Caesarstone for countertops; Atlas Concorde floor tile in Seastone Greige and floor, wall and door accent tiles in Black for residences and public areas; Marmi porcelain wall tile in “Thassos”; Natural Stone Design’s porcelain floor and wall tile in Dark, Basaltina, plus mosaic tiles of the same material for residences and public spaces; Daltile’s quarry tile in Arid Gray for laundry rooms in residences; “Luce Glass” glass wall tile from North Shore for public restrooms; Ann Sacks’ 2” x 8” “INCA” brushed aluminum tiles for kitchen backsplashes; stone tiles in travertine, basalt, tundra stone and granite; “Nublado Light” and “Walnut Brown” wall base tiles from Stone Source; and many additional tile and stone selections that were optional for residents at time of purchase.

All interior tile and stone was installed with MAPEI’s thixotropic mortar, Ultraflex™ LFT. This mortar has a high content of unique dry polymer, resulting in excellent adhesion to the substrate and tile and is formulated with Easy Glide Technology™ for ease of application. Both wall and floor tiles were grouted with Keracolor® S (sanded) and Keracolor U (unsanded) grouts from MAPEI’s grout color collections. The quarry tiles in laundry rooms and in the kitchen and prep rooms on the Amenities level were grouted with Kerapoxy CQ. This grout uses a proprietary aggregate to achieve its durable color, making it excellent for countertops, high-traffic areas, and areas needing stain and chemical resistance. Easy to maintain, Kerapoxy CQ will clean to the original color and contains BioBlock® technology to help protect against mold and mildew.

High anxiety?

The A-American installers performed exceptionally well with the many different types of installations in many different parts of the project, but they truly excelled on the installation of the tile on the inside and outside of the cantilevered leisure/lap pool extension on the Amenities level. Working on a crane that lifted them seven stories into the air, the crew set sheets of black glass mosaic tiles on the interior and exterior sides of the glass-bottomed portion of the pool that extends 13 feet out from the building. They used MAPEI’s Adesilex P10 bright white, multipurpose thin-set mortar formulated with non-sag properties to set the tiles. The Adesilex P10 was mixed with Keraply for increased performance in a submerged installation. After removing the protective cover sheets, the tiles were grouted with Ultracolor Plus FA.

A total of 40 different products supplied by MAPEI – from substrate preparation to installation of all types of finished flooring – allowed the owners, architects, general contractors and installers, the peace of mind of sourcing all their needs from a single manufacturer to create a true island beauty.

Marazzi USA – Feature Story – December 2017

The Kingston Bay Senior Living Center is designed to promote independence for its residents, ensuring they have safe and comfortable surroundings.

Kingston Bay Senior Living Center uses Marazzi porcelains to create a comfortable, stimulating environment for residents

Located in Fresno, Calif., the Kingston Bay Senior Living Community provides residents with all of the comforts of home, while redefining retirement in a resort-like environment. The community, which opened its doors in July 2016, is designed to promote independence for its residents, while ensuring they have safe and comfortable surroundings.

While the adjacent area houses a large population of young families, the region was lacking a community designated for the older generations. In order to fit into the established neighborhood, it was vital that the center be captivating, while also accommodating the unique needs of its residents.

The Kingston Bay Senior Living Community provides residents with all of the comforts of home.

When construction first kicked off in spring 2015, it was important to find an architectural and design firm that could create a comfortable setting while still meeting the stringent requirements for senior living environments. Jeffrey DeMure + Associates Architects Planners, Inc. was selected for the project, taking the lead on the design, inspired by the relaxing atmosphere found on a cruise.

Cruise ship-inspired design

Marazzi Harmony™ created a vibrant cruise line feel throughout the entry area, café and first floor corridors.

“The inspiration for the design was a cruise ship on land,” said Steven Balliet, director of project development. “It’s all in the fun details of the exterior, from the Bermuda shutters to the coastal-inspired siding. It was designed with the residents in mind and the experience that they could have when they reached this destination.”

While creating a lively area was an important aspect of the design, the building also needed to function effectively as a safe area where tenants could engage and interact. The goal was to establish a campus-style environment that broke the stereotypes associated with senior living. “Safety, durability, comfort and fun were all requirements kept in mind when choosing products for the construction,” added Balliet. “We wanted products to tie into the overall theme and encourage visits from friends and family.”

The bold colors and textures of Marazzi tile enabled the design team to achieve their desired aesthetic.

Once the project kicked off, Balliet and his team were faced with a new set of challenges, especially in selection of materials. The project began with an assessment of regulations, mandates and rooms included. Choosing tile that could integrate style with functionality for residents was fundamental to the project. Marazzi readily fulfilled safety needs without sacrificing the intended design. The material-selection process was key for the architecture and design team, who firmly believe in designing charismatic communities as opposed to institutions.

“For our team, it was vital that the environment be one that provided a hospitality-inspired ambiance for residents, with everything at their fingertips,” said Balliet. “When it came to interior design and decorating, Studio Six5 chose materials that complemented the exterior and addressed the different uses of rooms.”

The design incorporated a variety of spaces, including a theatre, fitness room, salon, restaurants, common areas and sunrooms. Each space presented an opportunity to incorporate contemporary products that would still be practical given the requirements of the residents.

Featured in the main lobby, Marazzi Harmony™ was selected for its durability and bold first impression.

Marazzi materials provide style and safety

Known for its commitment to quality, Marazzi Harmony™ Colorbody Porcelain was selected for the main lobby. Since this area would receive a large amount of foot traffic from visitors and residents, it was crucial that the flooring met regulations, possessed durable performance qualities and made a bold first impression.

“We have been working with Marazzi for years,” said Justin Hickey, foreman and tile setter for Visalia Ceramic Tile, in Visalia, Calif., a NTCA Five Star Contractor. “Marazzi tile has always been highly durable, with a unique look. Our shop especially enjoyed working with the chevron pattern for this project.”

Marazzi Harmony, specifically in Chord, was also incorporated into the larger spaces. Fitting into the resort theme, the wood-look tile, in its linear plank design, created a vibrant cruise line feel throughout the lobby, café, and first floor corridors, without sacrificing the hospitality-driven mentality.

Both residents and visitors alike have been captivated by the fashion-forward details of the luxury destination.

“We wanted to get the job done efficiently, but still deliver a superior, quality finish,” added Visalia’s Hickey. “The installation was tricky due to the concrete flooring, and it took quite a bit of grinding and backfilling to get our surface perfectly flat. Once we were finished with our prep, all of the planks were set perfectly, and with ease.”

“The tile was a huge aspect of the design,” said Anna Manahan, Studio Six5 designer. “The subtle pattern sets the tone for large spaces and makes the area more lively. The only area with no tile was in the memory care unit to ensure the residents’ safety.”

Since opening in July 2016, the community has received positive feedback. Both residents and visitors alike have been captivated by the fashion-forward details and how every aspect transports them to a luxury destination. The textures and colors of the Marazzi tile enabled the design team to achieve their desired aesthetic.

The Kingston Bay Senior Living Community raises the bar for senior living. Kingston Bay proves that the feeling of home can be achieved through thoughtful design choices and the drive to provide the best quality of life for all residents.

The Floor Heat before Christmas, a tile-themed holiday poem by Phil Green

Phil Green, inventor of The Back Butter Buddy, and owner of P.G.C. Construction, and Design in Gilberts, Ill., recently penned this poem to celebrate the wonders of “warm toes” due to electric heated floors. Happy Holidays!






It was the month before Christmas and all through the house,
I installed floor heat for one happy spouse
Two bathrooms, the kitchen, and where we do our clothes,
Now in ALL of those places we have “warm toes.”
The comfort of floor heat under our tile
Feels so good, makes everyone smile.
So easy to do and glad it was done,
The warmth of our floors feels just like the sun.
So, if you are thinking of changing your floor,
Check in with your dealer online or in-store,
For specials this season to save you some money,
And get your reward “Thank-you so much Honey.”
For your next job or for your next bid,
Include in it floor heat — you’ll be glad that you did.

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