With nearly a million square feet of enclosed retail space, The Shops at South Town in Sandy, Utah is one of the state’s largest malls. Ownership at the shopping center has made a significant investment to renovate the property, including over 100,000 square feet of striking, large format porcelain tile in the main concourses on both levels. In a second phase of construction, 20,000 square feet of widely varied and often colorful tile was added in restrooms and at a newly expanded food court. CUSTOM’s Fusion Pro® Single Component® Grout was selected to provide stain protection in all public areas of this busy mall that attracts 8 million visitors annually.
“We recommend Fusion Pro grout for many different projects, but especially on a job like this,” said Russ Moore, president of Westech Tile, the firm that performed the tile installations. “Fusion Pro is the best because it doesn’t stain, the color is uniform, and there is no mixing or waste.”
Fusion Pro is stain proof and color perfect, plus it’s ready-to-use and easy to spread and clean. Unlike typical epoxy alternatives, Fusion Pro’s patented formula will not discolor when exposed to sunlight through the atrium roof of the shopping center. Because Fusion Pro is applied and then cleaned immediately, with no need to return for sealing, crews grouted continuously through the night to keep retailers open for business during the remodel.
Fusion Pro is everything that a tile guy wants in a grout,” added Moore. “This product performs – it really does what they say it does.”
“Tile with natural finishes, from different sources or even within the same lot can present a range of coatings and textures that may affect grout installations. Contractors at South Town began the grouting process by applying Aqua Mix® Grout Release to ease cleanup over the variety of tile surface textures present on the project.
Grouting with Fusion Pro was completed by teamwork due to the size and speed of the job. With this method, one installer spreads grout across the joints, one shapes the joints with a sponge and one cleans the tile with a microfiber towel. The installers continue moving across the area applying and cleaning the grout very efficiently. Because Fusion Pro is spread and then cleaned up in a matter of minutes, a team approach works well on any large expanse of tile or fast-track project.
“We have found that is it less expensive to use Fusion Pro since the need to return and apply sealer is eliminated,” said Aaron Colledge, project manager at Westech. “This also helps to maintain accelerated construction schedules.”
South Town’s design inspiration is described as “mountain meets urban” in an area of Utah known for its outdoor lifestyle and located only minutes from world-class mountain resorts. Tile of literally every shape and size recreates the kind of material juxtapositions seen in nature, such as mountains, forests and bodies of water. A rugged but warm look of weathered timber and stone was achieved by utilizing multi-colored wood-look planks. The layout complements the wilderness surroundings and is right on trend. CUSTOM’s nature-inspired, 40-color grout palette offers Fusion Pro in shades to match this broad spectrum of tile.
The large format tile chosen for the concourses ranged from 12″ x 24″ and 24″ x 24″ squares to 36″ and 48″ long planks – even 16″ x 68″ tile. Planks were placed in a running bond pattern with a one-third offset to help prevent lippage and achieve a flat tiled surface. Other square and rectangular tiles were installed in a modified hopscotch pattern, with planks included as accents in some areas. Tile craftsman Jesus Villalobos created the elaborate, sweeping cuts that mimic river and rock formations.
Gensler’s interior design team composed the patterns using porcelain tile from Stone Source, SpecCeramics and Crossville. “Our design intent was to bring the natural forms into the interior space adding warmth and a fluid floor pattern,” said Sean Park, project architect with Gensler. “On the practical end, the porcelain tiles are an excellent choice as they are durable for high-traffic commercial use and meet the slip co-efficient.”
All tile on this fast-track project was set with polymer-modified mortars that exceed the requirements of ANSI A118.4 and A118.11 for setting porcelain. VersaBond®-LFT Professional Large Format Tile Mortar is designed to support the weight of heavy tiles and SpeedSet Professional Rapid Setting Thin-Set Mortar allows grouting in as little as three hours. Installers used ½” x ½” by ½” square notch trowels and back buttering to achieve a minimum 90% mortar coverage to the back of the large format tiles.
Intermittently wet areas such as the restrooms were treated with RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane. RedGard exceeds both ANSI A118.10 and A118.12 to protect tile from crack transmission and the building envelope from moisture intrusion. Fusion Pro was applied throughout with SuperiorBilt® ProBiltSeries™ Stone Grout Floats, which are ideal for use with textured tile. One exception was the large water fountain, which was grouted with Prism® Ultimate Performance Cement Grout. Prism develops early high strength, will not effloresce, and is ideal for submerged applications like pools and water features. After grouting was completed in each area, movement joints were filled with permanently flexible CUSTOM Commercial 100% Silicone Sealant.
“Fusion Pro has been perfect for this project since day one,” offered Moore. “The ease of cleaning is going to be great for the owners and it should perform well for this mall for many years to come.”
Sandy, UTYear Completed:
Gensler, Los Angeles, CAContractor:
Unified Construction Group, Westmont, ILTile Contractor:
Westech Tile, Salt Lake City, UTCBP Architectural Consultant:
Kolby Colledge, territory managerDownload PDF Document