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Location: Magnolia, AR
Challenges Overcome: On this project for Southern Arkansas University Terry, Paula and Hunter Wentz of Wentz Custom Rug Company used material from both Fabrica And Masland carpet to fabricate this 43’ long by 10’ wide custom carpet. After which they installed it in a recessed space surrounded by tile on all sides. The care required due to the size and weight of this custom carpet and the need for precise dimensions to fit the space represent the primary installation challenges.
Unique Features: Fitting a such a large custom fabricated rug within such a recessed space is a very rare challenge to face.
Location: Tomball, TX
Challenges Overcome: Over the last 15 years, the school has been using summer breaks to make updates and improvements and worked regularly with us (Flaherty’s Flooring America) to replace anywhere between 30 to 50 damaged carpet tiles in that time and we were looking for a long-term solution to mitigate that. When we were able to move them to Karndean luxury vinyl, we worked closely with Karndean to create a unique install design. The overall layout was a challenge with the different borders and logos. The border material was slightly thicker than the field tile, so it was a challenge to account for that. We used 275 bags of self-leveler to get the floor to a place where we could install.
Unique Features: We worked closely with the Karndean Designflooring Services team to coordinate takeoffs and drawings for us to take to the Concordia school board for approval, as well as to design a custom layout and two custom die-cut logos.
We went through some samples and talked about how it doesn’t have to be a plain floor with gray tiles everywhere. We can do logos with school colors or tie the looks of the athletic wing hallways into the cafeteria, kitchen and entryway.
The layout in the cafeteria utilized Corris LM22 in herringbone pattern with Canberra LM06 randomly sprinkled throughout and framed with Texo SP718. The adjacent hallway and kitchen used Corris and Canberra in a brick pattern to lead the eye and instinctually guide foot traffic through those spaces.
Challenges Overcome: The challenges met on the project have been the timeframe in which to get the work done. After removing the flooring there were multiple different heights as well as old adhesives left that we had to scrape. Then in order to get the best outcome, an Uzin self leveler system was used. 414 then 280 primer went down and NC 170 was used to bring the floor up about 1/4". We were then tasked with getting the pattern/radius in place and cutting all of that in to get it adhered to weld and base the next day so they could open up rooms for patients. This ongoing project is being done in phases that keep moving around based on hospital capacity so it makes it so we have to be resilient in how we schedule the manpower on site.
Unique Features: The radius insets on the project are a great feature to lead patients to and away from areas. The mitering in the hallway L intersections was a great unique feature that you don't see everyday and makes it look different than everyone is used to seeing.
Location: De Pere, WI
Challenges Overcome: The West De Pere School District has been experiencing rapid growth in the last decade and found that a new Intermediate School was needed for 5th and 6th grades to address projected capacity needs. The new 123,400-square-foot building is a colorful, vibrant, innovative learning center for the Green Bay, WI suburb.
The design featured a number of intricate shapes and patterns within the flooring. In addition, there is a large logo "W" for "West DePere" that was laid into the floor. Part of the challenge was to keep the joints lined up, because it looked like a tile with the joints lined up and the unique angles that came together.
In the main hallways, there were a few different colors and shapes used and it was a challenge to keep the seams lined up to achieve a cohesive look in the end.
Unique Features: Designed with a “main street” concept, including large corridors and spaces for gathering, blocks of lockers and connected learning spaces, the students and teachers are able to experience more of a “neighborhood” feeling while in the facility.
Location: San Antonio, TX
Challenges Overcome: In the heat of downtown San Antonio, in the mid-summer, J&R Tile had a renovation project that included removal of an old flagstone patio, and installation of 3/4" new stone at 1/16" grout joints.
The project included many challenges, working downtown in the city center of San Antonio, the 8th largest city in the country was coordination in materials & tools in the space of work.
J&R had to install over 8,000 SF of a mortar bed prior to installation, and salt finished concrete radiuses meant that the stone installation would have to be cut at many radiuses.
Due to an exterior renovation, special attention was needed for exterior movement joints every 8-12 feet to TCNA standards for exterior stone.
Two Ramps for entering and existing the courtyard also needed a slip resistant treatment to make the area safe for the #1 city in Texas for tourists. We partnered with Stonecare of Texas for this treatment to create a solution.
Unique Features: Surrounding the courtyard are custom 6"x12" engraved slate stone tiles that were installed after patrons of the Catholic Archdiocese purchased them.
These included family names, business names, etc.
Mortar beds had to be floated for each individual bay as more purchasers lined up. Custom fabricated Mexican Cantera stone surrounded the 6"x12" slate.
Multiple trips were made for these custom installations for multiple bays and a layout was presented and approved.
There are also custom bronze statues throughout the courtyard paying homage to the history of San Antonio.
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Challenges Overcome: In early 2020, Texas commercial real estate developer Jackson Shaw wanted a show stopping sculpture and surrounding mosaic flooring to greet guests as they arrived at the up-and-coming Antonio Catalan (AC) Marriott Hotel in Fort Worth. As one of many swanky collaborations between AC Hotels President Antonio Catalan and Marriott International, this development would be the first for the city. Owner of Julie Richey Mosaics was tasked to design and create what would be one’s first impression before entering the hotel, an elaborate mosaic entryway featuring a column sculpture and surrounding mosaic flooring that would exude ‘contemporary design with a Western flair,’ which would also complement the ambiance of the hotel’s interior and the legacy the city is known for.
Exterior Conditions: With the boot stitch mosaic flooring sitting at the exterior entry and near the valet stand, materials had to be weather-resistant and suitable for heavy pedestrian traffic, as well as pulled luggage. Since the column also had to be weatherproof, it needed to be constructed of fiberglass around a steel armature before mosaic tile could be installed.
Compatibility Issues: The mosaic glass for the column was traditional smalti from Mosaicos Venecianos de México in Cuernavaca, so traditional thin-set mortar wouldn’t be compatible with a fiberglass substrate. Plus, the undulating surface of the substrate meant the designs could not be fabricated in one continuous piece but in separate elements.
Working Amidst a Pandemic: COVID-19 lockdown occurred just as Richey was chosen for the project, so most of the meetings and presentations had to take place virtually, with the exception of site visits to determine the scale and placement of the elements. Lockdowns further slowed construction on-site, but the hotel’s opening weekend was time-sensitive, so the installation of the mosaic flooring had to be completed by early Fall.
Unique Features: Julie Richey, owner of Julie Richey Mosaics, designed what would be one’s first impression before entering the hotel, an elaborate mosaic entryway featuring a column sculpture and surrounding mosaic flooring. The developer’s main request was that the artistic feature would exude a ‘contemporary design with a Western flair,’ which would also complement the ambiance of the hotel’s interior. Inspired by local boot maker, M.L. Leddy, located in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, Richey planned to incorporate the company’s custom design aesthetic into an 11-by-10-foot [3 by 3.4-meters] mosaic flooring situated in the exterior entry. Plans for a 77.8 square-foot [7.23 square meter] Pamplona Rose Column, inspired by Spanish-rose themed leatherwork and sunburst stitch seen on custom boots, would also greet guests before they check-in.
The project would be commissioned in two phases: the mosaic flooring, which is a boot stitch pattern outlining solid, waterjet-cut slabs of Neolith porcelain, and the column, an 8-foot-tall [2.4 meters] fiberglass form clad in mosaic tiles. In total, the project would encompass more than 200 pounds [90.7 kilograms] of glass mosaics in 35 different colors.
For the column, the installers had to reconstruct Richey’s prefabricated maquette into reality for the smalti-clad, 8-foot-tall [2.4 meters] design that would pay homage to the Spanish origins of the hotel brand. In total, the team ended up spending 600 hours over seven weeks applying the mosaic to the sculpture.
After long anticipation and hype surrounding the unveiling of the Pamplona Rose sculpture, it officially made its debut in April 2021. Since the opening of the AC Hotel Fort Worth, it has been praised as an upscale and inventive hotel where guests are able to immerse themselves in the authenticity and culture upon which the city was built.
Location: San Diego, CA
Challenges Overcome: With the goal to create a landmark destination on downtown San Diego’s bayfront, Portside Pier would be a $25-million, 43,000-square-foot (3,995 m2) project, becoming an iconic location in the forefront of the San Diego skyline. Including the restoration of the docks below, the two-story dining complex will encompass multiple restaurant choices built over the water atop a platform supported by four dozen pilings.
Additionally, approximately 90% of the entire floor of the project had to be tiled. The complex design of Portside Pier called for the use of many unique tiles that all needed to be completely level with one another, therefore every floor tile was installed over a thin-set adhesive. To provide durability and weather resistance against the penetrating conditions of the saltwater sea air and the heavy foot traffic of staff and diners, a quality waterproofing membrane and premium epoxy grout were needed to protect the floor for many years.
Difficult Environmental Conditions - With the project situated on a pier and 100% over water, the iconic seafront location couldn’t be in a more demanding area and would need building products that can withstand the harshest conditions while offering easy maintenance.
Constrained Work Space - With the majority of the entire floor requiring tile, access issues for the other trades and a more complicated installation process would be expected. In addition, with various elevation changes and curves in the design, installers would have to provide a flawless transition among the numerous tile types without impeding the work of other professionals.
High-Profile Design - Portside Pier would be on the forefront of the downtown San Diego skyline and would require impeccable quality and architectural sophistication with materials that are aesthetically beautiful, allow for high traffic movement and contribute to the operational flow of the business.
Unique Features: With the project situated on a pier and 100% over water, the owners wanted the design of the restaurant to pay tribute to San Diego’s rich history as a fishing port and the different cultures that formed the city’s waterfront. This theme is seen throughout the building, featuring a fishing net-style steel roof with a curved barrel-shaped cover, two stick-framed glass structures resembling fishing baskets measuring more than 25 feet tall (7.6 m) and a massive 3,000-pound (1,361 kg) wall-mounted octopus sculpture. In addition, an abundance of glass and open deck space gives diners a continuous waterfront experience with expansive views overlooking the bay.
After five years in the making, Portside Pier opened in July 2020 and offers a variety of dining options at different price points to please everyone’s palate. Guests can enjoy fresh seafood at Brigantine on the Bay, authentic Mexican flavors at Miguel’s Cocina, pub fare at Ketch Grill & Taps and walk-up service at Portside Coffee & Gelato. Portside Pier holds 1,000 seats across its eateries and public areas, with more than half of those being various outdoor seating patios and lounges. Additionally, the public can enjoy panoramic views of San Diego Bay with free access to a second-level perimeter walkway and a viewing deck that has tables and seating for up to 108 visitors. There is also a dock and dine to accommodate up to four vessels.
Since the opening of Portside Pier, it has been praised for its architectural beauty, noteworthy views, delicious food, public access along the iconic Embarcadero and, most importantly, for helping spark the city's economic recovery amid the 2020 global pandemic.
Location: Bulverde, TX
Challenges Overcome: In collaboration with DSA Architects, J&R Tile works closely in preconstruction to plan a fire station like no other. The intention was to provide a safe, functional and welcoming environment for the firefighters that would eliminate risks to the everyday exposures in the environments that they are subjected to. To demonstrate how gauged porcelain could be used for countertops, one of J&R’s Certified Tile Installers and Advanced Certified Installers, Adam Arellano, went to the architects office with the owner Erin Albrecht to have a “hands on” day with materials. Dekton sent a slab to J&R Tile, and the slab and fabrication tools and tables were taken to the architects office for the architects to learn the materials. The architects were guided by Adam and actually fabricated and installed material with him onsite in their own office the same day.
A small coffee bar with full backsplash was made in their office to test durability and see the finished product with a foam substrate, and full stainless steel profile edge from Schluter Systems.
The architects had planned on specifying laminate countertops, until they could recognize this new technology was a more permanent and sanitary solution that would be completed expeditiously.
They were also ecstatic the cost was about the same as commercial laminate countertops!
One of many challenges included templating all 10' walls and countertops, fabricating and labeling offsite, to be mobilized to the jobsite later in an organized fashion for maximum efficiency and less traffic with other trades onsite.
J&R Tile had to work closely as a team to not damage or break the panels during the installation process.
One of the challenges was to install the shower floors with a “European Pan” style, or “Envelope Cut” to the drain in lieu of a mosaic tile.
Unique Features: J&R installed Shower Systems substrates with new technologies. These newer shower systems included integrated bonding flange drains throughout the facility in all showers with a mortar bed application, topical waterproofing systems over the mortar bed, and TCNA approved backer board extruded polystyrene cementitious coated foam backer board and full foam curbs from Dural.
Understanding that the all Dekton materials would prevent bacterial growth was important to the architects. It is a material that fulfills requirements for quality, durability, and hygiene: a minimal number of grout joints (because of the large format sizing), anti-bacterial protection, and low porosity. For the flooring wear resistance was also key, with the traffic of many fire fighters everyday using the spaces. Dekton is specially designed for application in exterior, interior and wet spaces. This worked for all surfaces at this fire station.
The J&R team also fabricated all shower walls from Full Dekton “Opera”4mm and and countertops from Full Dekton “Opera”4mm Dekton “Odin” 126”x56” porcelain slabs with both Bostik Bostiset and Bostik BAM adhesives with the mandatory coverages.
All Dekton “Strato” flooring was installed in 28”x28” format, on the bathroom floors and curbs on a 1/16” grout joint. It is the new “GRIP” finish, with a DCOF of above .60 so added slip resistance was throughout all showers and bathroom flooring.
Finishing work included anti-microbial adhesives and grouting systems, to ensure blood, pathogens, and other dangerous items firefighters come into contact with would be eliminated and not linger anywhere in the showers, bathrooms, or kitchen. The Bostik Trucolor grout is a new rapid cure grout with a quartz aggregate that enabled the J&R team to finish work quickly to stay on the project schedule.
All of these new technologies came together beautifully, and will last a lifetime.
Link to YouTube Video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFR5ZluatnE
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Challenges Overcome: We had a wide range of different and very unique materials (carpet, stone, stone and porcelain mosaic, porcelain tile, ceramic tile, LVT, etc). Each one of these had very long lead times and came from different areas. The availability of these materials fluctuated and lead times changed throughout the duration of the project. We had to get very creative to find materials that would match the ID design intent, the quality of the spec’d materials and the working schedule. Every material was so different and unique from the next one along with varying thickness and finishes. The combination of all of these materials came together to create a beautiful puzzle.
Unique Features: 1- The main grand stairs are the sculpture piece of the project. The stairs made of stone w/ a carpet runner. The project revolved around these stairs, took a big part of our schedule to design, template, fabricate and install.
2- Since every material was different and unique from the next one, thickness and finishes varied throughout the whole project. We couldn’t treat the material isolated from the next one, we had to think our floor and wall assemblies as pieces to a puzzle. I.E.: Carpet was surrounded by a frame of stone tile next to porcelain tile next to mosaic.
Location: Westport, CT
Challenges Overcome: Concrete floors were not flat and damaged as a result of transforming the existing floor plan to an open concept layout. Project objective evolved from an automobile storage facility to a destination; a collection showroom and banquet and event venue. And the facility and business owners wanted an easy to clean, non-staining, rugged floor to support the weight of the cars.
Unique Features: Client wanted a museum-like floor for their automobile collection club showroom and event hall. The 12,000 square foot space acquired by Autostrada underwent extensive reconstruction to create an open concept, with the floor taken down to the structural concrete slabs. The overhead garage door, lighting and floor, were the primary features of the Autostrada facility, as specified by the project owner architect. Several stages of the floor underwent extensive grinding and polishing. This project was the first application of the newly introduced NXT® Level SP White, a high performing self-leveling concrete topping.
Location: Bentonville, AR
Challenges Overcome: Stair-runners always have their challenges, but on this staircase installers Terry and Hunter Wentz of Wentz custom rug company faced the unique problem of applying a pattern with straight connected lines to a 4 step 90° curve. In an effort to keep the lines connected throughout the curve, each riser (vertical section connecting each step) was disconnected from the rest of the carpet and the pattern was altered by seeming additional material between each white line. This allowed us to maintain a connected pattern across the varying angles of the staircase.
Unique Features: The result of having straight pattern lines maintain connection throughout a 90 degree curve is the main focus of this submission.
Location: Frederic, MD
Challenges Overcome: The challenge of this job started of with just measuring, the use of your math skills to make sure you had enough material or not way to much. getting to the location and making sure you had everything you needed. Time frame that needed to be done with other trades.
Unique Features: With the Floating LVP figuring where to start. You had a hall coming in that was coming in at one angle, then a hall going back to the bedrooms going off at a different angle, all this with the rooms being round. Need to layout multiple dry lines to make sure no small cuts were going to be done. All walls, and door frames were coming in at an angle and needed scribe. Halls were all done at angle being scribe. Carpet portion needed to have tackstrip installed in the exact placement, walls were slopping in and if tackstrip was not right it would not have held carpet in, For extra strength seam adhesive need to be placed in gully to hold carpet in. then making sure power stretching was done correctly fanning it out to make the carpet tight. All in all the job could not be rushed. Your math skill, scribing skills and stretching skills all came together to make a great looking job.
Location: Sandwich, MA
Challenges Overcome: I had to cut all the herringbone wood on site myself to the desired size, after figuring out what size would fir the area best. I then had to router grooves back into each piece. I milled the black walnut accent strip, on site, from slabs I bought. Determining working lines for the layout, staying on those working lines during install. This project really challenged me, I loved every second of it!! I've got a whole new respect for herringbone hardwood install!!
Unique Features: I matched the border details of the new entry, to the existing boarder design of the fireplace!!
Location: San Angelo, TX
Challenges Overcome: The designer for this project forgot to ask us to do something “special for the entry” we already had the flooring and was starting the project. I knew I had a good amount of walnut leftovers and scraps so I mocked up a basket weave utilizing the flooring for the project, 4” white oak and utilizing our 4” walnut to make an 8”x8” oak square and a 4”x20” walnut weave. The designer gave us the approval and when we were half way done, I asked the designer what the client thought of the progress and she said the client didn’t know about the pattern and it was a surprise! I was shocked and a little stressed. We completed the project and when the client saw the surprise, she absolutely fell in love with it!
Unique Features: This project utilizes 2 wood species, pattern was milled on site, custom blended stain color.
Location: Encino, CA
Challenges Overcome: Building out the base for the actual installation of the finished hardwood floor. Having to drill through 5/8 steel plates in order to clamp and adhere 3/4 inch plywood to staple and glue down hardwood floor.
Unique Features: Floating steps with all 45 degree angle cut wraps
Location: Loudonville, OH
Challenges Overcome: The floor was huge, and cut up everywhere.
A 24' x 12' piece of vinyl was used, because a 1 piece vinyl install was needed.
The vinyl was heavy and had to be taken in through the window.
There was no room for error. All cuts had to be exact, and they were.
The template had to be perfect, and it was.
Just 2 of us.
Unique Features: The kitchen was giant, and cut up everywhere.
The garage almost fit the entire sheet. 3 to 4' had to go on the driveway.
I could not get 2 more pictures to attach. It would help you if I could. I would like to send more if I can somehow.
Location: Long Beach Island, NJ
Challenges Overcome: The clients gave me their tile selections, along with the custom handmade turtle mosaics, and asked me to make them look like they were chasing each other. I decided to pull all the green pebbles from the island stone birds egg mix and make the kelp sprout up from the drain. The pebbles are scribed into the field tile by hand with a grinder and kskribe blade them polished with a dry pad. Each wall took a full day to layout, trace, and cut in.
Unique Features: After cutting in the walls I decided that I needed one last thing to really take the project to the next level. I took some of the field tile to make the border inside the pan and scribed the pan pebbles into that tile before taking the green ones down into the drain. The clients were blown away when they saw the final product.
Location: Green Bay, WI
Challenges Overcome: One challenge was creating a drawing of the shower so that the customer could visualize my idea. I made a template of the shower floor using rosin paper the size of the customer's existing shower. I used a pencil to draw the design and chalk to fill in the colors of where the pebbles would be placed. I also drew a full size template of the wave on the wall using an excel spreadsheet for calculations of the wave.
Another challenge was maintaining a 3 inch band in the spiral of each color and aligning them around the drain. I had to redraw it a few times to get it symmetrical.
The wave on the wall was challenging because I scribed the pebbles into the field tile. I placed the full size wave template onto the laid out tile on my garage floor. I numbered and placed the pebbles along the template edge to trace them. I cut the tile using my IQ table saw and a 60 grit polishing pad. During installation, I had to place the pebbles in the order they were numbered to align with the scribe. I purposely chose these pebbles because they have a lot of smaller pebbles which was easier to fit within the 3 inch color bands. I had to remove the pebbles from the sheets and install them individually, this process took three days.
Also, all the outside corners were mitered around the niches and the curb. I didn't want to use bullnose or metal. I used a grinder with a Montolit Blade to cut the miters and 60 grit polishing wheel to fine tune the edge. Although it was time consuming cutting 60 mitered tiles, it gave the shower a crisp, clean look.
Unique Features: I used a sine wave to draw the wave on the wall using the formula y=sin(x). I learned about sine waves in college when I studied Electronics Technology. I always wanted to implement the wave in my flooring work and I thought it would work well in a shower.
I used four different colors of pebbles in this design because I wanted each color of the spiral to touch each side of the drain. It was important to blend the floor with the wall so that the wave and spiral would flow together.
All outside corners are mitered. I use this technique often in my showers and really like the look. Using the same material of porcelain tile, the vein continues on the changes of plane, giving it a more natural stone look.
Location: New Orleans, LA
Challenges Overcome: The owner wanted the linear wall to wall at the primary bathroom, so we had to install two linear drain 60 inches in the center of the shower one following the other (tile in grate).
The fireplace tile (big tile) had the corners cut in 45 degrees to have a perfect fit.
The hall floor boarder was installed with schluter trim between tiles to match the gold details.
Unique Features: This job have a ADA shower, which one we made to achieve perfect mobility with the wheelchair. This shower has a seat and a tub deck beside so they can have access to all the options.
Also the ADA shower has an accent wall on the back to create a visual effect.
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