Coba Cocina Restaurant in Lexington, KY contains more than 60,000 square feet of glass, porcelain and ceramic interior and exterior tile, all installed with TEC Power Grout and IsoLight mortar.
The design of Coba Cocina was inspired by cenotes, a natural wonder found most often in the Yucatan Peninsula, where land has eroded over centuries to create a mystical underwater world. The focal point of the restaurant is an aquarium that is home to the largest private collection of moon jellyfish in the world.
The project team decided that the best material to simulate the limestone bedrock and underwater atmosphere would be a variety of tile. To achieve this intricate look, the team immediately turned to TEC products because of their wide variety of options and ultimate performance.
“There was really no other choice when it came to deciding which products to use,” said Todd Ott, AIA, Associate with CMW, Inc., architect for the project. “IsoLight and Power Grout did everything that we needed for all interior and exterior tile applications throughout the project through a single source. The products enabled us to get the look we imagined, with peak performance.”
TEC Power Grout Ultimate Performance Grout was used for all tile applications on Coba Cocina. It provides permanent stain resistance, crack resistance, efflorescence resistance and superior color uniformity. Power Grout is available in 32 color options that match the latest design trends – yet another advantage for the Coba Cocina design and project team.
“The design of the floor and walls at COBA is a work of art,” Said Ott. “The numerous color options of Power Grout allowed us to choose from a broad range of grout colors to fit our creative design.”
By using ceramic and glass tile of various sizes and colors, including iridized blacks, greens, golds, silvers and aqua, on the floors and walls, restaurant patrons can experience a sense of underwater movement.
TEC IsoLight Mortar was used to set all of the tile. IsoLight is a lightweight mortar that protects tile from up to 1/8" substrate cracking from in-plane horizontal substrate movement. It contains recycled materials that enable superior handling and ease of use. Additionally, IsoLight can be applied over many substrates, an extra bonus for the installer of the Coba Cocina project.
“The mortar was applied over various substrate surfaces and used with a variety of tile materials,” said Donnie May, President of May Contracting who served as installer on the project. “Not having to change products during installation saved us time and allowed us to focus on the intricate details of this installation.”
The exterior of the restaurant is covered in solid porcelain tile that gives it a travertine look. The large-format 12”x24” tile is set using the same TEC products as the interior. IsoLight and Power Grout are both ideal for outdoor installations.
“I can always turn to TEC products to achieve the desired outcome of any project,” said Donnie May. “COBA is another example of the aesthetic and functional results that TEC products have to offer.”
Coba Cocina was completed in spring 2013. The project team consists of architect CMW, Inc., Lexington, KY, tile installer May Contracting, Lexington KY, and distributor Louisville Tile, Lexington, KY.
Visit tecspecialty.com to learn more about TEC products.