Custom Helps Transform Hanes Mall

Custom Helps Transform Hanes Mall

Custom Helps Transform Hanes MallLike many shopping centers of a certain age, Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, N.C. was a popular and well-patronized suburban mall in need of some significant updating. With two large wings that were built in different decades, the mall was functional but slightly disjointed in terms of both construction and design. The original structure dated back over 30 years, with the second wing added on in the mid-1980s. Existing floor coverings in common areas included extensive terrazzo in both the north and south wings, with areas of carpet and ceramic tile throughout.

KA Architecture of Cleveland, Ohio, was brought on board to renovate Hanes Mall with a modernized, upscale look that could withstand the rigors of high foot traffic.

“The goal of the design was to upgrade the existing mall by giving it a distinctive new look as well as creating a cohesive aesthetic for two very different mall concourses built at different times,” said Jeffery Hoskins, senior design architect at KA Architects.

Custom Helps Transform Hanes MallThe design team selected an array of porcelain and ceramic tile in a variety of patterns and colors to achieve the desired effect and unify the vast interior space, which totaled more than 160,000 square feet. Polished porcelain was specified for the primary common spaces and decorative accents, with matte tile planned for the food court area.

EMJ Corporation served as general contractor on the project, and selected two tile contractors to partner with,one for each concourse. Together, this team reviewed the challenges the tile installation would present and enlisted both products and expertise from Custom® Building Products to ensure success. A primary concern from the outset was the wide range of existing substrates and uneven floor surfaces that the renovation efforts would expose.

David deBear, architectural consultant from Custom Building Products, partnered with EMJ’s team to consult on installation product specifications, conduct field testing and supervise onsite for progressive and final inspections. David also developed a customized 10-year warranty for the entire installation, protection that was essential for the design and construction team.

Custom Helps Transform Hanes Mall“Our decision to go with Custom’s system was due in part to the successful negotiation of a full 10-year warranty that covered both products and the installation,” said Clinton Dean, project manager for EMJ Corporation. “We also needed special preparation for each type of substrate, which was accomplished at the direction of the TCA manual, under the guidance of David deBear.”

David was able to evaluate the complex installation needs that stemmed from such a wide range of substrates. In the newer wing, the team would be installing tile over existing monolithic terrazzo, which is bonded directly to a concrete bed, while in the older sections of the mall they were faced with terrazzo that was set over a sand cushion. In addition, some sections had cement beds or old ceramic tiles that would serve as substrates. David ensured that careful attention was paid to a number of essential factors such as expansion joint detail, transitions from common areas to tenancies, and different bond strength requirements for setting tile over each different type of surface.

Custom Helps Transform Hanes MallTo prepare the surfaces, Skim Coat & Patch Cement Underlayment and LevelQuik® RS Rapid Setting Self-Leveling Underlayment were used across the entire project to fill low spots and address transitions from common areas to tenant areas, creating a level, uniform surface. RedGard® Waterproofing and Anti-Fracture Membrane was applied in wet areas such as restrooms where waterproofing was a concern.

For setting the tile, David recommended one of Custom’s highest performance mortar systems.

RapidSetting Mortar System was used to set all floor tile throughout the project, because it provides crack isolation, superior bond strength and flexibility, and fast curing times. In restrooms, wall tile was applied using TripleGrip® Premium Tile Adhesive.

Thanks to careful planning and a team of experts, the Hanes Mall renovation project achieved its goals and was completed on time and within budget parameters. Today the center is a successful, thriving complex in the heart of Winston-Salem.


Winston-Salem, NC

Year Completed:



KA Architecture, Cleveland, OH


EMJ Corporation, Chattanooga, TN

Tile Contractor:

Carolina Stone & Tile, Winston-Salem, NC; Southeastern Interior Systems, Marietta, GA

CBP Architectural Consultant:

David DeBear CTC, CSI