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Reference Library : Case Studies : High-Style Casino is on a Winning Streak with CUSTOM

High-Style Casino is on a Winning Streak with CUSTOM

Wind Creek 1American Tile and Marble of Shreveport, Louisiana chose not to gamble on tile installation systems at their latest demanding casino project. They simply called Custom Building Products.

Wind Creek Casino in Wetumpka, Alabama is the second luxury casino hotel completed by American Tile for PCI Gaming Authority. Not surprisingly, it is also the second PCI casino built using a complete system of CUSTOM installation products. With a compressed construction schedule and a round-the-clock, high traffic business model to support, the specification team took no chances. CUSTOM’s professional-quality underlayments, membranes, mortars and grouts were chosen to set a wide array of glass and ceramic tile throughout the project.

The Wind Creek complex totals 512,000 square feet with over 110,000 square feet of tiled surfaces. This property is the largest casino in Alabama and is owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the only federally recognized tribe in the state. The casino offers a Las Vegas-style atmosphere with dramatic lighting, over 2,500 gaming machines and a raised center bar that boasts a 16,000 gallon shark tank. 

Wind Creek 3Finishes range from exquisite imported glass mosaic to large format porcelain tile to quarry tile in the kitchens of the five on-site restaurants.  A 20-story hotel towers over the casino and all 283 guest rooms and suites include tiled bathroom floors, walls, showers and soaking tub surrounds.

This fast track job offered many challenging elements for any tile contractor.   Luckily, American Tile is not just any contractor. They also installed the tile at the original Wind Creek Casino in Atmore and knew precisely which products would make this even larger and more ambitious project a success.

After winning the Wetumpka job, Jeff Blanchard, project manager with American Tile, contacted CUSTOM architectural consultant Chip O’ Rear. Together, they reviewed the product specifications against the variety of materials to be installed. At the tile contractor’s request based on past casino and hospitality construction experience, all tile setting materials were standardized to CUSTOM brand products. “Everyone at Custom has been extremely helpful, knowledgeable and sincere in their efforts to make this project successful,” said Blanchard. “I cannot say enough about the team.”

Wind Creek 4Surface preparation began with installing expanses of LevelQuik® Rapid Setting Self-Leveling Underlayment. LevelQuik seeks its own level in minutes and was poured up to 1" deep to achieve true flatness and an extra heavy rating.  Its fast cure rate and early high strength allowed tiling to begin in only four hours.

Crack Buster® Pro Crack Prevention Mat Underlayment was specified to help protect the 12" x 24" and larger format tiles. A fabric-reinforced asphaltic mat, Crack Buster Pro reduces crack transmission where traffic and subfloor conditions can increase this risk.  

Wind Creek 5Tile size also dictated the choice of mortars. Marble, Granite & Travertine Premium Medium Bed Mortar is a non-slumping formula for use with heavy tiles over 15" on any side. Installers applied it up to 3/4" thick over the mat to minimize lippage and hold the large body tile in place.

Prior to spreading mortar, RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane was applied in each hotel bathroom and kitchen. RedGard is a ready to use, quick drying, elastomeric membrane that creates a continuous water and moisture vapor barrier. The application of RedGard ensures a waterproof tile installation system in all intermittently wet areas of the casino. 

Wind Creek 6Tile installation materials used at Wind Creek included three different solutions from CUSTOM’s Emerald System™ of lightweight and environmentally-friendly products.  Each one is formulated with CustomLite® Technology for both ease of use and contribution towards LEED® certification. These products are part of CUSTOM’s Build Green® program, which simplifies the selection of environmentally responsible materials.  Use of an Emerald System earned over 38,500 carbon offset credits for the project.

ProLite® Large Format Tile & Stone Mortar was used to install large format tile on walls and floors and for setting the extensive glass tile throughout the casino. ProLite’s excellent handling and non-slip characteristics were appreciated by the tile installers. Due to recycled components, ProLite is 40% lighter than traditional mortars, making the bags much easier to move around the job site. 

Many of the common areas were grouted with Prism® SureColor® High Performance Grout.  “We love Prism’s color consistency and it is super easy to use,” said Jeff Leggett, job supervisor. Prism is a unique, lightweight, polymer-modified cement-based grout. It offers superior stain resistance and consistent color without shading or mottling - regardless of humidity during application. This is an important consideration in most of the country, including Alabama where the casino is located.  Select back of the house spaces with quarry tile were grouted with CEG-Lite™ Commercial Grade 100% Solids Epoxy Grout.

Once again, the team at American Tile and Marble was thrilled with the results.  “All of the products performed wonderfully,” reported Blanchard.  The entire installation qualified for a 25-year system warranty by using a complete system of qualifying CUSTOM products. This quality assurance provides long-term peace of mind for the tile contractor as well as the casino’s owners. 

Product Used - LevelQuik® Rapid Setting Self-Leveling Underlayment; CrackBuster® Pro Crack Prevention Mat; RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane; Marble, Granite, & Travertine Premium Medium Bed Mortar; ProLite® Large Format Tile & Stone Mortar; Prism® SureColor® High Performance Grout; CEG-Lite™ Commercial Grade 100% Solids Epoxy Grout
Location - Wetumpka, AL
Year Completed - 2013
Architect - Hnedak Bobo Group, Memphis, TN
Contractor - Flintco Constructive Solutions, Tulsa, OK
Tile Contractor - American Tile and Marble, Shreveport, LA
CBP Architectural Consultant - Chip O’Rear, CSI, CCPR, CTC, CCSMTT, LEED AP
CBP Regional Technical Representative - Vann Clayton

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