Situated on a high desert plain in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, Boise is the capital of Idaho and a major business hub in the Northwest, including headquarters for several major corporations such as Albertsons and Micron. Though its population is just over 200,000 people, Boise offers cultural arts, fine dining, entertainment and shopping more typical of sophisticated, urban communities.
A community anchor for more than 20 years, Boise Towne Center is Boise’s premier shopping destination, attracting locals, leisure tourists and business travelers. Its collection of more than 200 shops and restaurants features fashionable retailers from Banana Republic and Ann Taylor to Pottery Barn and Sephora. Last year, the owners of the property, General Growth Partners (GGP), decided it was time to update the interior of the mall. Their goal was to give this Northwest shopping paradise an elegant, modern look with high-quality surfaces that would give the center a clean, upscale aesthetic.
With approximately 4 acres of old, 2-inch tile to remove, surface to prepare and new tile to lay, GGP took very careful consideration in choosing the right contractor, the right materials and the right tile and stone for the project. Their architectural firm, MBH Architects, selected large format porcelain tile from Daltile, and a system of premium installation products from Custom Building Products. The entire installation would be backed by a Daltile National Account Systems Warranty. CAMCO Construction would manage the project, with a team headed by Project Manager David Scarlet.
Initially, GGP’s stringent standards for the installation materials mandated that a sample floor and tile mock-up be installed inside the shopping center, serving as a rendering that could be completely inspected for quality before final decisions on products or materials were approved. This temporary tile set example was so well bonded to the floor that the removal machine had difficulty removing the tiles. In fact, CAMCO’s David Scarlet cites that part of the project as the only difficulty during the entire installation.
“We had to increase our man-hours in order to demo the mock-up area,” he said. “This is a tremendous compliment to the quality and potential longevity of the installation materials.”
Retrofitting an existing mall can be a gamble due to unknown subfloor conditions, and this renovation definitely presented several challenges. Some of the existing subfloor areas required extensive remedial prep work, and the existing floor had to be leveled and smoothed before tile installation could begin. Specialty concrete expert ABW Technologies was called in to pump LevelQuik® Rapid Set Self-Leveling Underlayment to achieve an even, smooth underlayment.
With several large scale building projects in Boise to their credit, Mesa Tile & Stone of Boise was tapped to install all tile and stone for the Boise Towne Center renovation. Due to the quality of prep and setting materials, CAMCO and Mesa Tile & Stone were able to complete the tile work three weeks ahead of schedule.
“The materials and support from Custom was exceptional and is reflected in the quality of the finish by the tile installer,” said Scarlet.
Another crucial aspect of the tile installation system was setting times. Most work was done overnight to avoid interrupting mall operations, and therefore the installation materials had to set quickly. Crack Buster® Pro Crack Prevention Membrane along with MegaLite® Rapid Set Crack Prevention Mortar provided the ideal solutions. During the renovation, the installers were able to set sections of several thousand square feet of tile and also complete grouting for each section.
Prism® SureColor® Grout was the final step. Both its legendary color consistency and its contribution to LEED certification proved invaluable to the project. Because different sections of tile were set at different times throughout the mall, the color shading could have been an issue with other grout. Instead, Prism was an exact match every time, and the end result was absolute perfection.
From Custom’s product recommendations, to on-site support and project management meetings, Custom maintained an advisory role for the entire duration of the project.
“Camco is extremely proud of the quality of the work completed on this project, which is a direct reflection of the quality of materials supplied and the support provided to the installer by Custom,” said Scarlet. Brandon Dedmon of MBH Architects adds, “the support provided by Custom exceeded our expectations for a material supplier. Custom assisted in the development of the project from reviewing of project specification to providing technical support throughout the construction. Since the majority of this project involved replacement of the existing floor tile the support provided by Custom on the technical aspects helped us to focus on the design of the project. The end result was a great project and a happy client.”
About Custom Building Products
Custom Building Products has 16 manufacturing and distribution sites with product distribution in more than 30 countries worldwide. Custom supports professional product performance along with unsurpassed innovation, a highly educated and experienced technical staff and unparalleled customer support. Custom is proud to bring to customers innovative solutions to any tile or stone installation project, including products that contribute to “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED®) certification. Representatives are available for planning, specification writing, product application, testing, and installation information, to ensure each project goes smoothly with outstanding results.