The Mojave Desert is one of the most popular tourism spots in North America, mostly due to the gambling destination of Las Vegas, Nev. However, the desert — which runs across Calif., Ariz., and Utah — is also known for the scenic beauty found within and around its four national parks. The Mojave Desert contains Death Valley — the lowest and hottest spot in North America — where temperatures typically reach above 120° F between July and August.
Just on the edge of the Mojave Desert, Diffenbaugh Construction is developing office space in the Inland Empire — an area rapidly expanding from greater Los Angeles to accommodate the growing Southern California population. The Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino was designed to include the natural beauty of the encroaching desert by utilizing red sandstone tiles on its exterior veneer. It’s known in the building industry that smooth sandstone is easy to work with and fairly resistant to weathering.
This makes it a common building or paving material that’s suitable for residential or commercial applications. Like desert sand, sandstone may be any color, but the most common colors found within this desert are tan, brown, yellow and red. In this case, McCandless Tile provided the red sandstone veneer in 12-inch by 12-inch gauged tile for this 30,000-square-foot development because the sandstone color coordinates with the rest of the building’s aesthetic construction materials.
Sandstone is very porous and one of the softest types of stone. Water and oil absorb into sandstone within seconds and, over a longer period, water (especially water with salt) or other staining agents can do damage to the surface. Sandstone can also look dull when it’s dry — like looking at the dry sand of the desert. To create a dark, rich look, sandstone should be sealed with a high quality, enhancing sealer. McCandless Tile chose Aqua Mix® Enrich ’N’ Seal™ as a safe, effective sealer for this sandstone. “Enrich ’N’ Seal permanently coats the sandstone to give it a dark, rich appearance — like it’s wet”, says Devin Dickey, territory manager, Custom® Building Products.
Enrich ’N’ Seal was applied to the sandstone tile prior to grouting for easier cleanup with the extra protection against grout staining. McCandless Tile was very impressed with how easy it was to cleanup grout residue after the sealer was applied. “The cleanup process was incredible — so quick and easy for the installers! Without the sealer, we would still be scrubbing today”, relays Sam Tran, foreman, McCandless.
Devin worked closely with McCandless Tile to provide them with a complete stone installation systems warranty that also includes VersaBond Flex® Mortar and Polyblend® Grout for the building’s exterior. McCandless also provided the interior tile and stone used exclusively with additional products from Custom, including RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane, FractureFree™ Crack Prevention Membrane and ReliaBond® Ceramic Tile Adhesive.
San Bernardino, CAYear Completed:
Diffenbaugh Construction, Riverside, CATile Contractor:
McCandless Tile, Santa Ana, CACBP Regional Technical Representative: