Glamorous Art Deco Casino Wows with Tile Installation System from CUSTOM

Glamorous Art Deco Casino Wows with Tile Installation System from CUSTOM

The Hollywood Casino Jamul, near San Diego, Calif., brings the classic style and glamour of 1930s art deco to life.  With 40 different kinds of natural stone, porcelain and glass tiles setting the stage, visitors are instantly immersed in the Golden Age of Hollywood.  High performance installation products from CUSTOM were carefully selected to ensure lasting performance of the extensive tile throughout the venue.

Glamorous Art Deco Casino Wows with Tile Installation System from CUSTOMTile contractor FA International Stone Company (FAI) and general contractor C.W. Driver both have a background building high-end gaming and hospitality projects.  FAI recommended the use of a full CUSTOM tile installation system for leveling floors, providing crack isolation, bonding tile and grouting.

“We only use what works, so we’ve been using CUSTOM for over 20 years.  We requested a full system to ensure quality and a system warranty,” offered Shawn Smedley, project manager with FAI.  “CUSTOM offers the perfect products for any condition.”

Glamorous Art Deco Casino Wows with Tile Installation System from CUSTOMLarge and Heavy Tile

Luxurious looking large format porcelain and natural stone tile abounds, as you might expect in these elegant surroundings.  As casino guests enter the valet lobby, they will encounter the craftsmanship of intricately patterned, inlaid marble and granite medallions that evoke a more sophisticated era.  Apart from the extensive inlay work, the majority of the natural stone and porcelain tile was installed in 18″ x 18″ and 24″ x 24″ formats.

Crack Isolation

Glamorous Art Deco Casino Wows with Tile Installation System from CUSTOMTo help protect these tile assemblies, floors were treated with CUSTOM’s ready to use, liquid-applied crack isolation solutions.  FractureFree® Crack Prevention Membrane was roller-applied to meet ANSI A118.12 for crack isolation and was ready for tile setting in only two hours. Intermittently wet areas like bathrooms received waterproofing with RedGard® Liquid Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane.  Elastomeric RedGard exceeds ANSI A118.10 and ANSI A118.12, provides monolithic moisture protection, bonds directly to drain assemblies and achieves an extra heavy duty service rating.  Both FractureFree and RedGard liquid membranes isolate cracks from horizontal substrate movement up to 1/8″ (3 mm).

Tile setting and grouting

MegaLite® Ultimate Crack Prevention Large Format Tile Mortar was used for setting the signature ¾” natural stone slab medallions as well as stylish 2″ x 8″ and 2″ x 4″ glass tile on walls and ceilings.  MegaLite offers the ultimate in bond strength for the most demanding or hard-to-bond installation requirements. This lightweight mortar is capable of non-slump, medium-bed use and exceeds ANSI A118.5TE for exceptional performance on walls.

“There is nothing that bonds like MegaLite!” said Smedley. “With this product, CUSTOM provides a great service to the industry.”

Glamorous Art Deco Casino Wows with Tile Installation System from CUSTOMOther natural stone tiles and porcelain of all sizes were set with the VersaBond® family of mortars. VersaBond-LFT Professional Large Format Tile Mortar was used for all of the large format material. Versabond-LFT is a polymer-modified medium bed mortar for use with large and heavy tiles. This is a non-slumping formula designed to help prevent lippage, and can be applied to 3/4″ (19 mm) thick on horizontal applications.

A majority of the tile at the Hollywood Casino was grouted with Fusion Pro® Single Component® Grout. Revolutionary Fusion Pro is the patented stain proof and color perfect grout that requires no sealing.  Its unique formula is ready to use and the creamy texture proved easy for FAI’s installers to spread and clean.

“Fusion Pro was chosen for its stain resistance as well as cost savings over installing epoxy grout,” explained Smedley.

To protect tiled surfaces from greasy spills, the food court was grouted with CEG-IG 100% Solids Industrial Grade Epoxy Grout.  CUSTOM’s industrial epoxy formula delivers high chemical and temperature resistance for use in harsh environments, such as commercial kitchens.  Lightweight Prism® Color Consistent Grout was applied to bathroom tile because it cures quickly and does not contribute to efflorescence. Prism is designed to control the hydration process and will not mottle or shade in the grout joints regardless of humidity.

Subfloor Preparation

Glamorous Art Deco Casino Wows with Tile Installation System from CUSTOMBefore any of the large format tile and stone was installed, FAI had to ensure an extremely flat subfloor.  When unexpectedly high levels of moisture were discovered in the concrete slab, the project also required moisture mitigation prior to installing any leveler. Fortunately, FAI had already chosen to partner with CUSTOM on a flooring preparation system.

Rouse Company was engaged to bead-blast the surface and apply the initial CustomTech preparation products. TechMVC™ Moisture Vapor and Alkalinity Barrier was used to control moisture vapor transmission from the slab. This is a solvent-free, 100% solids epoxy that can be applied on slabs measuring up to 100% RH. TechMVC covers concrete with a single coat and dries in about 5 hours.

Subfloors were then treated with TechPrime™A Advanced Acrylic Multi-Surface Primer to prepare the surface for application of self-leveling underlayment. TechPrimeA seals both porous and non-porous surfaces, including TechMVC, and improves the bond of the underlayment to the subsurface.

Glamorous Art Deco Casino Wows with Tile Installation System from CUSTOMTechLevel™ 150 Premium Calcium Aluminate-Based Self-Leveling Underlayment was chosen for its strength, durability and superior surface qualities. This quick setting underlayment can be applied up to 1.5″ (3.8 cm) thick in one pour and seeks its own level in minutes. Formulated to have excellent compressive strength, TechLevel 150 achieves greater than 4,300 psi for high traffic commercial applications such as a busy casino.

“The system worked great.  We are very happy with the TechMVC moisture control,” said Smedley.   “CUSTOM’s team is super helpful and makes it easy to achieve project necessities,” he added.


Jamul, CA

Year Completed:



Marnell Companies, Las Vegas, NV


C. W. Driver, Pasadena, CA

Tile Contractor:

FA International Stone Company, Santa Ana, CA

CBP Architectural Consultant:

Dale Roberts, CTC, CSI, CCPR, LEED AP, commercial architectural services representative

CBP Regional Technical Representative:

Brian Swann, territory manager; Chris Vombaur, regional technical sales representative


INTERIOR DESIGNER: Genesis Interior Design, Santa Ana, CA