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ARDEX system specified to rejuvenate a building that posed unique challenges

Cairns Corporate Tower, Cairns

30 year old Cairns Corporate Tower modernised and rejuvenated using an approved ARDEX tiling system

Cairns Corporate Tower, Cairns

INSTALLER: Touchstone Tiling Services

The Cairns Corporate Tower is a modern 16 storey commercial office tower located in the heart of Cairns’ Central Business District, close to Cairns Esplanade and Waterfront. The building consists of 14 levels of office space and 2 levels for car parking and has served the area for over 30 years.

Unique Elements
Having been built over 30 years ago, the original 300mm x 300mm granite tiles that had been installed in the foyer had become crummy and hollow. The entire installation also had to be completed in small sectioned off areas as the building was still in use by all tenants. This created a challenge as the sections could not be tiled in straight lines as the tiles were all staggered.

As part of the renovation, 3000mm x 1000mm large format tiles were specified into the main foyer area and hallways of this commercial building as well as for the first floor and bathrooms. One section of the main foyer had 1480 pieces of tile that were 90mm x 1000mm and each had to be cut form the full sheets and bevelled to look original.

The bathrooms were designed to have true and flat walls at all junctions, with all grout lines lining up to each fixture. The cubicle doors in the bathrooms were a unique glass composite which were not able to be adjusted or trimmed down to fit, so tiling had to be exact with completely square openings.

The unique layout of the floor also meant that of the 900m2 of tiles on the floor, only 9 tiles were installed as full tiles without a cut. The floor areas are laid on a 45-degree angle and with the unique curves of the walls as well as columns throughout, almost every cut was unique.

Solution
Touchstone Tiling Services had a team check every tile on the floor and mark the tiles that needed to be removed. The drummy granite tiles were then removed, with the existing granite tiles ground then primed with ARDEX P 9 Primer. Once the old tiles were removed, the remaining area was ground to remove any surface contamination. All removed areas were prepared and filled using ARDEX K 250 and ARDEX K 220 Floor Levelling compounds and the entire floor (as well as on all other porous substrates) was then primed using the easy to apply ARDEX Multiprime.

The work was carried out utilising a full system approach utilising both ARDEX and ABA products. The contractor had experience with the chosen products as they had used them on several projects previously.

ABA Choicestik tile adhesive was chosen as it has an extended open time and is non-slump. It was also softer when applied, making it easier to push the large format floor tiles into. ARDEX FG 8 polymer fortified grout was then used as it reduced the likelihood of cracking, and ARDEX SE Silicone was applied to finish the area.

The installation required the team at Touchstone Tiling Services to be split into teams with each team assigned a set role in the project. This included preparation of the existing tiled floor, measuring and marking of tiles, cutting the tiles, and installation of the tiles. Doing this ensured that each part of the installation was consistent and completed to the high standard expected.

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