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.

CUSTOM® tile installation sets standard of care at San Diego hospital

Critical care was taken with the design of Jacobs Medical Center, a 500,000-sq.-ft. specialty hospital in La Jolla, Calif. Construction specifications for this landmark project included a full system of CUSTOM® tile installation and flooring preparation products on all 12 floors. This cutting-edge medical center focuses on innovating complex procedures such as brain surgery and marrow transplants. To support its medical advances, the healing environment is filled with a cheering array of ceramic and glass tile precisely installed in patient bathrooms, public and staff areas, the kitchen and a welcoming cafeteria.

Tile installation 

Floors were leveled using a CustomTech™ system including premium quality TechLevel™ 150 Self-Leveling Underlayment.

The tile installation at Jacobs Medical Center began with surface preparation in accordance with industry standards. Wet areas, such as patient bathrooms and showers, were treated with liquid-applied RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane, which meets the requirements of ANSI A118.10 and A118.12. RedGard is a ready-to-use elastomeric membrane that creates an effective, continuous waterproofing barrier with outstanding adhesion to drain assemblies. A single coat of RedGard was also applied on floors in dry tiled areas to provide crack isolation up to 1/8”.

A perfectly flat floor reflects the summer sky immediately following application of CustomTech™ TechLevel™ 150, a premium quality self-leveling underlayment.

Two polymer-modified, cementitious mortars from CUSTOM’s established VersaBond family were used. VersaBond®-LFT Professional Large Format Tile Mortar was selected to install large format tile throughout the project. This includes 12” x 24” porcelain in patient bathrooms on all floors, plus 9” x 36” and 6” x 36” wood-look planks in the hospital cafeteria. VersaBond-LFT is a non-slumping mortar that can be applied as thick as 3/4” on horizontal applications to help prevent lippage issues common with large format tile. Kitchen quarry tile and 2” tile on shower floors were set with VersaBond® Flex Professional Thin-Set Mortar. VersaBond Flex is formulated for high bond strength and extended open time to allow for tile adjustment.

All wet areas were treated with liquid-applied RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane. RedGard exceeds ANSI A118.10, A118.12, IAPMO shower pan liner and TCNA low perm barrier standards.

Patient bathrooms and nursing stations on each floor received one of three different color schemes with 3/4” x 3/4” glass mosaic wall tile in shades of green, blue and peach. Public restrooms were tiled in a dramatic black-and-white pattern with 1/2” by 1/2” ceramic mosaics. Specifications designated wall tile installation throughout the project with ProLite® Premium Large Format Tile Mortar. ProLite offers non-sag performance on walls along with excellent handling characteristics, making it an installer favorite. This versatile mortar also exceeds ANSI A118.4TE, A118.15TE and A118.11 standards for demanding installations. ProLite is formulated with lightweight, recycled aggregate, so it weighs 40% less than other mortars. This makes ProLite easier to carry, mix and apply than other mortars while also making projects eligible for LEED points.

VersaBond®-LFT Professional Large Format Tile Mortar was selected to install large format tile throughout the project. VersaBond-LFT is a non-slumping mortar that can be applied as thick as 3/4″ on horizontal applications to help prevent lippage issues common with large-format tile.

“Out of all the mortars we have used over the years, our installers like CUSTOM’s ProLite the best,” said Gary Rodocker, superintendant at Inland Pacific Tile.

CEG-Lite™ 100% Solids Commercial Epoxy Grout was specified on all floors and walls for chemical and stain resistance in a clinical environment.

For chemical and stain resistance in a clinical environment, CEG-Lite™ 100% Solids Commercial Epoxy Grout was specified for use on all floor and wall tile. CEG-Lite is easier to spread than typical epoxy grouts, cleans up with only water and contributes towards LEED certification. This grout exceeds the performance requirements of ANSI A118.3 and is suitable for vertical grout joints without an additive. Movement joints were treated with CUSTOM’s Commercial 100% Silicone Sealant to remain flexible and protect the assembly in accordance with TCNA Handbook detail EJ 171.

CUSTOM manufactures all of its grouts and sealants in an array of 40 designer-inspired colors and many of the shades were used to match the nuanced tile palette at Jacobs Medical Center. The extensive ceramic, glass and large format porcelain tile set throughout the hospital was supplied by Daltile.

Wall tile throughout the project was installed with ProLite® Premium Large Format Tile Mortar. ProLite offers superior handling and non-sag, thixotropic performance. It’s ideal for hard-to-bond tile like glass.

“We are very satisfied with the performance of the products and the support of the staff at CUSTOM,” said Dann Salinas, senior estimator and project manager at Premier Tile & Marble. “The Technical Services team was very responsive and attentive to our needs during all phases of the project.”

Flooring preparation

Prior to installation of floor coverings, substrates at Jacobs Medical Center were prepared with a CustomTech™ underlayment system. The Rouse Company addressed floor flatness on 330,000 sq. ft. of concrete slabs including corridors, laboratories and patient care areas.

TechPrime™ A Advanced Acrylic Primer was used to seal the surface and improve the bond of the calcium aluminate-based underlayment. After just an hour of dry time for the primer, the installation team poured TechLevel™ 150 Self-Leveling Underlayment up to 1-1/2” deep. Premium quality TechLevel 150 achieves greater than 4,300 psi compressive strength to resist point load, which is important given the weight of hospital equipment.

Many of the patient room showers feature curbless access, highlighting the importance of using RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane, a liquid barrier offering seamless, monolithic coverage.

“TechLevel 150 is my go-to leveler if I have a choice,” said Josh Reed, concrete division manager at the Rouse Company. “We definitely prefer it over any other product and use it on all of our jobs. The entire CustomTech flooring prep system is easy to use and works great. We love it!”

CUSTOM tile installation and flooring preparation systems were selected on the basis of rigorous product standards, unparalleled technical support and quality backed by an extended warranty. The high-use, high-traffic tile assemblies at Jacobs Medical Center qualified for a 15-year installation system warranty. Two lightweight Emerald Systems™ formulas included in the installation, ProLite and CEG-Lite, can also earn carbon offset credits for any project where they are installed.

1/2” mosaics in various black and white patterns give a dramatic yet timeless look to the public restrooms. Tile throughout the hospital was supplied by Daltile.

A project of this scope and scale called for a team with extensive expertise in hospital construction, led by architects Cannon Design and executed by general contractor Kitchell Contractors. Commercial flooring specialist, The Rouse Company applied a CustomTech™ flooring-preparation system. Tile contractors on the job included Premier Tile & Marble, who set the tile on floors B1, lower level and 1-3, and Inland Pacific Tile, installers for floors 4-10. Architectural and technical representatives from CUSTOM assisted the designers and contractors during each phase of the construction.

Kitchen quarry tile was set with VersaBond® Flex Professional Thin-Set Mortar, which is formulated for high bond strength and extended adjustment time.

“Jacobs Medical Center is a showcase facility that joins the rapidly-growing ranks of impressive projects specifying Custom Building Products,” said John Diaz, commercial architectural coordinator with CUSTOM. Jacobs Medical Center is owned and operated by UC San Diego Health in La Jolla, Calif.

9″ x 36″ and 6″ x 36″ porcelain wood-look planks were set in the hospital cafeteria and dining room using non-slumping VersaBond®-LFT Professional Large Format Tile Mortar.

The infamous Watergate hotel gets a high-profile facelift

The newly-renovated spa area provides a year-round oasis to hotel guests and members of The Watergate Hotel.Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Watergate Hotel

The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., is best known as the site of one of the biggest political scandals in American history, thanks to a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters housed in the hotel’s adjoining office complex, which eventually led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

After countless renovations and an ownership battle as tricky as the Watergate investigation itself, the hotel recently reopened after being shuttered for nearly a decade. The $200-million renovation, which capitalized on the hotel’s vintage aesthetic, restored many of the hotel’s original features, including its grand staircase and mosaic-tiled 50-foot (15 meter) saltwater indoor pool that’s located below the lobby in the 12,500-sq.-ft. (975 meter) spa – Argentta. Named after the Italian word for silver due to the genuine silver flecks in the tile, the Argentta design pays homage to the hotel’s original architect, Luigi Moretti.

Profast Commercial Flooring used Glass Tile Adhesive, a bright white water-mixed single component adhesive mortar, to install the pool’s silver-flecked mosaic tile. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Profast Commercial Flooring

“The Watergate Hotel was a playground for powerful people for more than 50 years, so it was exciting to be a part of such a high-profile renovation,” said Kevin Killian, president of Profast Commercial Flooring, the NTCA Five-Star Contractor chosen for the project. “Because of our previous success using LATICRETE® on large pool projects, our company chose to use a range of LATICRETE products to ensure long-lasting, quality installations.”

The challenge: 

High profile meets high traffic: Linked to iconic Hollywood stars such as Clark Gable and Greta Garbo in addition to the Richard Nixon scandal, The Watergate Hotel’s reputation precedes it. Knowing that the spa would double as a leisure area and point of exploration for curious travelers visiting the historic site, the space would need to “wow” visitors while withstanding heavy everyday use.

Preservation of history: Instead of demolishing The Watergate Hotel pool and starting from scratch, the developer, Euro Capital Properties, in collaboration with architects BBGM and Ron Arad Architects, decided to keep the original look and feel, which included using the existing concrete shell of the pool. This required Profast Commercial Flooring to be careful when removing the original tile without damaging the pool shell, and using care while installing the new tile.

Named after the Italian word for silver due to the genuine silver flecks in the tile, the Argentta design pays homage to the hotel’s original architect, Luigi Moretti. Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Watergate Hotel

A LATICRETE solution: 

Profast Commercial Flooring captured an image of the completed Watergate Hotel Pool renovation. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Profast Commercial Flooring

After sitting unused for more than 10 years, the pool had developed a large crack that spanned its entire width. Before Profast Commercial Flooring could begin removing any of the original tile work in the preserved concrete shell and pool area, a pool contractor was required to mend the rift by crack chasing and injecting the opening with epoxy to close it.

HYDRO BAN®, a thin waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane that combines optimum performance and unmatched productivity, was then applied in two separate coats to offer anti-fracture protection of up to 1/8” (3 mm) over shrinkage and other non-structural cracks. To test for watertightness after the application of the waterproofing membrane, an independent testing agency was hired to monitor the water level along with the humidity in the pool area, accounting for evaporation. If the waterproofing installation did not pass the flood test, moisture issues could cause costly damages. Thanks to HYDRO BAN and its proven reliability, this was not an issue.

Profast Commercial Flooring installed the tile in the 12,500-sq. ft. (975 meter) spa –Argentta, using the original pool shell. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Profast Commercial Flooring

Once Profast Commercial Flooring received the green light from the testing agency, the crew began thinsetting the glass tile in the pool and surrounding wall space, with Glass Tile Adhesive, a non-sag, polymer-fortified adhesive mortar that is specifically formulated for use in glass tile applications. Designed with efficiency and cost savings in mind, Glass Tile Adhesive is a bright white water-mixed single component adhesive mortar that made the installation of the project’s silver-flecked mosaic tile easy to execute.

The Profast Commercial Flooring crew thinsetting the glass tile in the spa’s wall space with Glass Tile Adhesive. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Profast Commercial Flooring

3701 Fortified Mortar has been a trusted thick bed mortar used in demanding wet area installations on many prestigious projects around the world for over a decade. For this reason, 3701 Fortified Mortar was chosen as the mortar bed used to screed and slope the Watergate Hotel pool deck to the various area drains throughout the Argentta. Made up of a polymer-fortified blend of carefully selected polymers, portland cement and graded aggregates, 3701 Fortified Mortar does not require the use of latex admix or jobsite blending. Its pre-mixed packaging is versatile and economical, and helped save the contractor both time and money by allowing a fast installation.

SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout was chosen by Profast Commercial Flooring because of the previous success the company had using the product to re-grout other swimming pool and wet area projects. The patented, high-performance epoxy grout is crack and chemical resistant and offers excellent color uniformity, durability and stain protection.

The Watergate Hotel’s mosaic-tiled 50-foot (15 meter) saltwater indoor pool, revitalized by Profast Commercial Flooring and LATICRETE setting materials. Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Watergate Hotel.

Outcome: 

The newly renovated spa area plays up the retro luxury that embodied the swank hotel pre-scandal, while providing a year-round oasis to hotel guests and members of The Watergate Hotel.

“Our many years of experience and craftsmanship, paired with the excellent field support and technical knowledge of the LATICRETE team, ensured a newsworthy transformation,” added Killian. “With the help of high-quality LATICRETE products and their industry leading warranties, The Watergate Hotel pool will remain a standout feature of the hotel for many years to come.”

Since opening, The Watergate Hotel has been voted as one of the ten best new hotels in the nation by USA Today in its 2017 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards.

The Watergate Hotel’s mosaic-tiled 50-foot (15 meter) saltwater indoor pool. Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Watergate Hotel.

Robert (Bob) Roberson celebrates 60 years

When David Allen Company planned it’s new national headquarters in the center of Raleigh, North Carolina, the proud owner wanted to put a spotlight on a building that would come to inspire the design community for years to come. The result is a building space far different in scale than the one used by the company’s founder, David G. Allen in 1920. When Robert (Bob) Roberson joined the company in October 1957, he would have no idea that he would be buying the company ten years later from Mr. Allen. As its new owner, Bob would begin implementing his own management style while retaining Mr. Allen’s core values, work ethic and keen focus on craftsmanship that had made such an impression upon him. Under Bob’s leadership and guidance, that legacy has remained intact throughout the next sixty (60) years.

Bob’s reputation steadily progressed as a leader in the growing industry of terrazzo, stone, tile and high-end floor finishes over those 60 years. He has become recognized as a mentor to the next generation of leaders that will be needed to meet the ever-escalating demands upon skill levels and the seemingly exponential expansion of product knowledge that will be required for those following that path in their own leadership roles. Bob brought master craftsmen from Italy to train local craftsmen, expanding the style and flair of their culture here as well. The company reflects upon 97 years of history as Bob celebrates 60 years with the company. Under his guidance, the company has been featured in many publications and enjoyed many awards. David Allen Company’s 2015 Associated Building Contractor’s (ABC) Contractor of the Year award capped Bob’s ascendance, in many respects, as a leader for the ages.

Since it’s founding, David Allen Company has influenced and encouraged the design community to exceed accepted standards and inspired by David Allen Company’s emphasis on quality of materials, superior craftsmanship and attention to details, accept that challenge. Like those durable materials and finishes so proficiently delivered time and again by his company, Bob Roberson himself has stood the test of time. As the company approaches a century of continuous business, Bob’s legacy continues as well. As Bob is happy to remind observers, as in his mission statement, Where there is no vision, the people will perish (Proverbs 29:18).

Passion and ability – not gender – make a stellar tile contractor

(l. to r.) Chanel Carrizosa; Angie Halford

By Lesley Goddin

Tile contracting has expanded over the years to include more and more women who are able to infuse their sense of artistry, organization, precision, creativity, experience, style, color, fashion, passion, and hard work into a time-honored trade. To be sure, there are women present in all levels of our industry, but those who are getting in the trenches with their male counterparts and getting their hands dirty making beautiful floor and wall coverings are a special breed.

Angie Halford of Unique Mosaics, LLC, West Valley City Utah (www.facebook.com/uniquemosaicsbyangie), and Chanel Carrizosa of Icon Tile & Design, Kirkland, Wash. (www.icontileanddesign.com), are two of this special breed. Let’s learn more about how they came to pursue tile installation as a career.

Angie Halford

Halford moved from her home state of North Carolina to Utah this year to begin her business of creating custom sheet mosaics “that are simpler to install without having to fuss or cuss at the material,” she said. Her custom sheets mean fewer adjustments and less of a chance of sheet lines.

“Everything I make is custom (unique) for my clients, each job being completely different from the last,” Halford said. “In a nutshell, I take an AutoCAD design, a designer/ architect drawing, or my own design and make sheet mosaics or inlays to the specified size. Being creative in my work is one of the things I love about my job, and each job poses its own exciting challenges.”

She credits her grandmother (Maw-Maw) with igniting a love of pattern that translated into a career in tile and mosaic, when she brought home small felt circles from the hosiery mill where she worked for little Angie to play with. “I remember placing them in certain patterns and making pictures with them,” Halford said. This led to an obsession with jigsaw puzzles and making art out of hundreds of tiny pieces, taking art classes from elementary through high school and entering “every art contest I found out about,” she said. She graduated college with a degree in advertising and graphic design, which evolved into a creative job in the tile industry, spurred by a homeschool art project she worked on with her daughter. “After completing the project, I completely fell in love with mosaics and tile,” she said.

She dove into education hard, learning from professionals in online tile and mosaic forums, devouring books on the subjects and continuing to make mosaics. After a stint as a flooring helper at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, she became an installer of all types of flooring for two years. Over time her business evolved to full-time designing, building custom mosaic sheets and inserts for clients and partners.

Chanel Carrizosa

For Chanel Carrizosa (see more about her business, with her husband Jamen, in the August 2017 TileLetter), a passion for fashion eventually became a thriving career in the tile business although she initially planned to work in makeup and fashion. At 17, “Nordstrom’s told me I needed theatrical makeup experience and would pay half of what I earned with my dad,” she said. She chose the family tile business, Alexander Marble & Tile in Port Orchard, Wash., learning from her dad, her mom – who also installed tile – and her uncle. When she was 18, she started installing tile on a big custom job, and “can do it all” now.

“I’m an industrious, artistic type of person – I have a natural eye for design,” sh
e said, adding that having a “woman’s eye” gives her an advantage in discerning the best “finish” in the house and the things you will be seeing the most. I feel my projects come to life, and feel it is fashion that you get to live in.”

Though in the ’90s, her family did not attend shows or pursue educational opportunities, for the last three years her husband Jamen has jumped into the educational component with both feet, bringing new methods to their business and taking their company to a whole new level. “We thought we were doing it right,” Carrizosa said. “We’ve learned some things in last three to five years, and it opened our eyes; we have taken to new methods and apply them to new jobs. We do it right to make things last.” This includes many manufacturer certification classes. “This year, I hope to take the CTI.”

In addition, her aptitude in organization translates into staying organized and keeping the jobsite clean and neat. “When I install I am very precise – perfectly, clean, level… When we work on remodel jobs – we end with customers loving us for that cleanliness.”

Challenges along the way

Both Halford and Carrizosa have been well received by peers in the industry, though both have run into situations where they’ve been challenged to “prove themselves,” their knowledge and their skills “to earn respect,” Halford said, adding, “I expect men in the industry have to prove themselves as well.

“That said, I have had situations of being placed under more of a microscope and also have experienced double standards,” she added. “If sexist or degrading comments are said – whether intentional or not – I have learned to speak up and handle it. Sometimes it takes one person’s perspective to show another what theirs looks like.

“I am not a woman on a mission to set tile with a point to prove,” she added. “I do it because I love it and it helps to support my family… I don’t look at men or women installers and say ‘Wow, I can’t believe he/she knows how to use a wet saw!’ But I have experienced this sort of attention. It’s not something you need special anatomy to do, so what’s the big deal really?”

Carrizosa added, “Once [men] see what I can do – my skill set, and once I start talking the lingo with some of the guys on the jobsite – they are ready to work with me.”

In fact, the industry has provided a lot of support, allowing for the development of friendships and partnerships. Halford credits Facebook groups like Tile Geeks, Global Tile Posse, Tile Love 2.0, and mosaic groups with providing education and support, as well as NTCA and its workshops, Coverings – and family and friends too.

Carrizosa said longstanding relationships with builders and working with their subs and superintendents have provided stability. She has met and worked with Bart Bettiga and Jim Olson of NTCA and both have been supportive and helpful. Friendships made through NTCA also have bolstered Carrizosa’s career – including Erin Albrecht of J&R Tile in San Antonio, who reached out to her – as well as the support of Angie Halford herself.

“It’s amazing meeting other women who do what I do,” she said – “meeting them in person and seeing them at the show. I didn’t know that there were many other women who did what I did.

“There’s a lot of support out there,” she said. “We’ve only been on Tile Geeks for three years – women could use that to get into the mix of it all. People are very friendly. When I was first starting out, this kind of thing didn’t exist, but [online groups] allow you to ask questions and get support. For instance, William White at ARDEX – I can call him and it’s like talking to a friend.”

She also credits her husband Jamen with his support and encouragement for her to challenge her shyness and put herself more in the public eye. It’s worked! She was named one of the Coverings Rock Stars this past spring at the show – a celebration of up-and-coming young leaders in the industry. “I was totally shocked that I was nominated but it was amazing, “she said.

Women encouraging women

Both contractors recommend the profession for other women. Carrizosa said she’d like to see more women in the field and encourages those who might be reticent to jump in, to focus on the support and not perceived obstacles.

She advises building up as much knowledge as possible. “If you have the knowledge and stand up for yourself if needed, [others] would totally respect you and see you know what you are doing and you belong here and can do this,” she said. “Women can do what men can do in the tile world as well or even better sometimes. This can be a growing community for women.”

She also wouldn’t mind seeing a line of tools that are fun for women. “Pink ear protection, random stuff in the tool world….pink tools,” she mused.

For Halford, “The novelty of being a woman installer wears off after a while,” she said. “When all the compliments, jokes, comments are spoken, when all the grout dust settles, one of the most important things that matters is if you are good at your job and can do the work. Constantly learn and stay up to date with new techniques, tools, and education in the field. Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Live life and make room for non-tile related activities!”

One of the things Halford has valued is working on fantastic projects with those she admires: Rod Katwyk in Utah; partnering with J&R Tile in San Antonio for a 5,500-sq.-ft. mural for that city’s Riverwalk, and historic houses and the Capitol Building in Austin.

“I am thankful to God, and for all the events, the struggles, the education, my parents, my family and friends – and the little felt circles my Maw-Maw let me play with when I was a child,” she said. “All of it matters, and I am humbled to be in this industry among such amazing people, and learning every day.”

Highlights from Last Week’s Cersaie Meetings in Italy

Labor groups from around the globe are working to create a new forum for sharing issues and solutions. The NTCA and Assoposa, the Italian tile labor association, convened leaders from installer associations (countries) throughout Europe at Cersaie today. The meeting was a first in the industry and allowed for the groups to introduce common challenges and concerns. NTCA’s Bart Bettiga, Martin Howard and James Woelfel each presented information on the association, standards and methods.

 

 

 

Jerome L. Greene Neuroscience Center: building for scientific progress

MAPEI products used in award-winning project

The Jerome L. Green Neuroscience Center at the Manhattanville campus of Columbia University in New York City was built to take us into new frontiers of medicine. According to the University, “At the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, hundreds of the world’s leading researchers will tackle the most exciting scientific challenge of our time: understanding how the brain works and gives rise to mind and behavior.”

Housed within the Greene Science Center, the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute brings together nearly 1,000 scientists from across many departments at Columbia University who will collaborate on research, teaching and public programming. Their goal is a deeper understanding of the brain that promises to transform human health and society.

Floors covered with Mapeguard 2.

From effective treatments for disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to depression and autism, the potential impact for humanity is enormous. “Just as science was transformed in the 20th century by the decoding of DNA, science in the 21st century will be transformed by decoding the human brain,” said Eric Kandel, MD, co-director of the Zuckerman Institute.

The Greene Science Center is the first of several buildings to be completed on the Manhattanville campus. The University press office reported, “The nine-story, 450,000-sq.-ft. [41,806 m2]

Unique tile-to-metal stair installation.

structure is the largest that Columbia has ever built and the biggest academic science building in New York City.” Designed by the world-renowned Renzo Piano Building Workshop, in association with Davis Brody, LLP, and Body Lawson Associates of New York, the science center has led us to expect great things of its construction. In fact, the center won the Ceramics of Italy 2017 Tile Design Competition in the Institutional category.

MAPEI at work on the jobsite

Jantile, Inc., of Armonk, N.Y., won the bid to install the ceramic tile throughout the project. As always, coordination with other trades played a role in the installation, but thanks to general contractor Lend-Lease, with whom Jantile frequently works, all went smoothly.

Tiles set with Ultraflex LFT and grouted with Ultracolor Plus.

The main challenge dealt with accurate transitions from space to space. Because the Jantile crew was working with such large tiles over vast expanses of open space, and because the glass facades shed so much light on the space, the installers had to be exceptionally careful lining up tiles with each other and other surfaces on each of the eight levels.

Lots of light meant exacting transitions.

The first and largest component of the project for Jantile was the preparation of the space prior to setting tile. The core structure of the building is steel with a glass facade for the shell. Because the subsurface was steel, each of the eight upper floors had to be prepared with a mud bed measuring 2.5” (6,3 cm) in thickness. First, the crews put down a slip sheet and covered it with mud and wire reinforcement. The installation crews then combined MAPEI’s Planicrete® AC, a liquid latex admixture, with the mud bed mix to enhance its performance.

Once the mud bed cured, it was covered with MAPEI SM Primer™ and Mapeguard™ 2, a thin, lightweight crack-isolation and sound-reduction sheet membrane. Mapelastic™ 400 was also used for waterproofing in the restrooms.

Wide open expanses of tile.

Casalgrande Padana tile was installed over 78,000 sq. ft. (7,246 m2) of space on the upper eight levels of the nine-story building. In the corridors and open expanses, MAPEI’s Ultraflex™ LFT™ mortar and Ultracolor® Plus grout were used to install 40,000 sq. ft. (3,716 m2) of Pietre etrusche capalbio tiles from Casalgrande Padana’s Pietra Native Series measuring 24” x 48” (61 x 122 cm) and 18” x 36” (46 x 91 cm). An additional 38,000 sq. ft. (3,530 m2) of 12” x 24” (30 x 61 cm) floor tiles and 12” x 12” (30 x 30 cm) wall tiles from the Pietra Native series were set in public restrooms in the building. Once again, the setting materials were Ultraflex LFT and Ultracolor Plus. A custom mix of mosaic tiles from Vitra were used as a decorative feature in the restrooms, also set with the MAPEI products. All tiles and installation products were provided by MAPEI distributor ProSpec, LLC.

The installers worked from shop drawings that had been approved by the architects. The work in the restrooms took one to two months, and was done intermittently as each floor became ready. The large, open expanses were completed over a continuous six-month period. When restrooms and floor expanses were ready at the same time, eight to 12 Jantile installers worked the site.

One particularly interesting and unique challenge was met with a series of MAPEI products. The metal stairways connecting each floor were designed to be covered with the large-format Casalgrande Padana tiles. To get the ultimate bond between the ceramic tiles and metal stairs, the installers began by coating the metal surface with Primer E 100%-solids epoxy primer to enhance the bond with Mapecem Premix cement-based mortar for subfloor preparation work, which was layered on top of it. The tiles were then set into the Mapecem® Premix using Ultraflex LFT.

Project manager Don Durnell summed up this fascinating but challenging installation: “Coordination by experienced people throughout the entire process is what allowed us to accomplish this feat. We depended on the experience and expertise of our long-time employees to get the job done right.”

MAPEI is proud to have been a part of the job.

ON THE COVER: LATICRETE International – August 2017 GREEN Feature

Waiea Tower represents a new level of architectural sophistication

 

HYDRO BAN was used to support the heaviest materials, including Jade Green Onyx, seen here in the 36th floor penthouse shower. Photo credit – BMK Construction.

From the top of the mountains, all the way out into the ocean, every aspect of life in the Kingdom of Hawaii aims to be synergistic and sustainable, including its residential communities. With the goal of becoming the largest LEED for Neighborhood Development Platinum (LEED-NP) certified community in the country, building owner Howard Hughes Corporation hired James K.M. Cheng in collaboration with Rob Iopa and WCIT Architecture to design Waiea Tower, the flagship building of what is to be Honolulu’s most distinguished neighborhood, Ward Village.

The 60-acre coastal master planned community allows for up to 9.3 million square feet (approximately 863,998 m2) of mixed-use development and offers numerous outdoor gathering spaces that embrace Hawaiian culture, the perfect mix of urban and eco-friendly living. At completion, the community will include more than 4,000 residences and over one million square feet (92,903 m2) of retail shopping. To complete the construction of the 36-story tower, BMK Construction was enlisted to handle the tile and flooring installations for all of Waiea’s units and public spaces including the pool deck, level one lobby, porte cochere and four levels of penthouses.

“The Waiea Tower represents a level of architectural sophistication never before available in Hawaii, so it was exciting to be a part of history,” said BMK Construction project manager Kent Amshoff. “With the design team utilizing only the highest luxury elements, BMK Construction chose to use a range of LATICRETE® products to ensure long-lasting, quality installations that were also good for the environment.”

For centuries, water has been one of the most treasured resources of the Hawaiian people. As is typical of the entire community’s tie to Hawaiian culture and history, Waiea’s design pays homage to the Hawaiian term for “water of life” that links the structure to the importance of water in Hawaii’s coastal landscape.

BMK Construction used 255 MULTIMAX as a large-and-heavy-tile adhesive mortar to install the Kenyan Black Onyx backsplash. Photo credit – BMK Construction

Challenges: 

For waterproofing bathrooms, HYDRO BAN  was used as a thin, load-bearing waterproofing/crack-isolation membrane. Photo credit – BMK Construction

Logistical Procurement: High-end design materials from around the world were brought in from countries such as Italy, Portugal, China, Kenya, Turkey and the U.S. mainland. This proved challenging to assure proper quantities and specifications of each product would be delivered in time for installation.

Quality Control: Maintaining stringent levels of quality was a major concern during construction as multiple delays occurred due to massive rain storms in the summer of 2016. This mostly affected the installation of the pool deck, as contractors were not able to perform duties outside. Additionally, due to the high-end design elements, such as custom marble walls in the penthouse bathrooms, all plumbing work and leveling work needed to be performed with precision, as there would not be a second chance to get the installation right.

A LATICRETE solution: 

PERMACOLOR Grout was used for its high-performance properties, which provide a grout joint that is dense, hard and will resist cracking. Photo credit – BMK Construction

To meet the goal of acquiring LEED certification, all LATICRETE products chosen for the construction of Waiea Tower were those that have received multiple certifications and declarations including Health Product Declarations (HPD), Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and UL GREENGUARD Gold Certifications for low chemical emissions.

“LATICRETE is currently the only company with a full product-specific EPD for its cement self-leveling underlayments, cement grouts and cement mortars that includes both 255 MULTIMAX and PERMACOLOR® Grout,” said Amshoff. “These certifications gave Howard Hughes Corporation the peace of mind that LATICRETE is on the leading edge of sustainable innovation by providing transparency about the life-cycle impacts of their products.”

3701 Fortified Mortar thick-bed mortar was used to slope the pool deck to the area drains. Photo credit – BMK Construction

LATICRETE HYDRO BAN was carefully applied to make sure the shower updates are long-lasting. Photo credit – BMK Construction

To set all tile, BMK Construction used 255 MULTIMAX as a large-and-heavy-tile adhesive mortar. The patented, versatile polymer-modified thin-set was chosen due to its exceptional non-sag performance on walls, build up of 3/4” (18 mm) without shrinkage for floors, and maximum coverage due to its lightweight, creamy and smooth consistency. In addition, 255 MULTIMAX is reinforced with Kevlar® to provide maximum strength and durability, and now contains less than 10% post-consumer recycled content.

For waterproofing bathrooms throughout the entire building, including the 500 square feet (46 m2) of penthouse master bathrooms’ showers and toiletry areas, BMK Construction used HYDRO BAN® as a thin, load-bearing waterproofing/crack-isolation membrane. Thanks to its “Extra Heavy Service” rating per TCNA performance levels (RE: ASTM C627 Robinson Floor Test), HYDRO BAN was able to support even the heaviest materials, including Jade Green Onyx, which is seen in the 36th floor penthouse shower.

3701 Fortified Mortar thick-bed mortar was used to slope the showers, baths and pool deck to the area drains. Additionally, 3701 Fortified Mortar was used on the drive line where granite paver stones were present and applied on top of HYDRO BAN for the installation of structural concrete slabs. Chosen for its ease of use, 3701 Fortified Mortar is a polymer-fortified blend of carefully selected polymers, Portland cement and graded aggregates that does not require the use of latex admix. Water is the only element needed to produce thick-bed mortar with exceptional strength.

To grout, PERMACOLOR Grout was used for its high-performance properties, which provide a grout joint that is dense, hard and will resist cracking. Additional benefits include consistent color, fast setting and improved stain resistance for a cement-based grout.

255 MULTIMAX, the patented, versatile polymer-modified thinset, was chosen due to its exceptional non-sag performance. Photo credit – BMK Construction

Outcome

“With the help of LATICRETE, Ward Village is now the largest LEED-ND Platinum certified development in the country,” said Amshoff. “This building is at the forefront of sustainable development and solidifies the LATICRETE commitment to environmental responsibility.”  Waiea, the first completed residential tower, welcomed its first residents and anchor tenant Nobu in late 2016. Three high-rise residential buildings are currently under construction – Anaha, Ae‘o and Ke Kilhoana – and will be home to internationally acclaimed brands such as Merriman’s Restaurant and a flagship Whole Foods Market®.

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