Tiling

Projects

ARDEX adhesive, grout and primer used at Sydney Opera House

Opera House Western Foyer, Sydney

ARDEX tiling system was chosen as part of renovation of the iconic Sydney landmark

Opera House Western Foyer, Sydney

INSTALLER: Better Tiles
BUILDER: John Holland
ARCHITECT: Original Architect: Jørn Utzon & son Jan Utzon
COLLABORATOR: Johnson Pilton Walker

CHALLENGES:
Reproducing Jørn Utzon’s original vision
Irregular shaped glass reinforced concrete tile was produced specifically for the project the first of its kind in Australia, as Jan Utzon wanted a seamless floor finish construction while building was being used
Floor movement from stages & loading docks underneath foyer
Silicone used in perimeter & expansion joints needed to match the floor to create a seamless look

PROBLEMS:
Design improvements included irregular tile shapes & glass reinforced concrete tiles with clear silicone expansion joints to create a seamless floor. Frequent floor movement was expected because of the stage & loading docks below the foyer, which could potentially cause the tiles to crack.

SOLUTION:
To prepare the original substrate for the new tile installation, ARDEX recommended ARDEX Multiprime Water Based Primer which is designed to improve adhesion of ARDEX products to various porous substrates. This primer dries fast allowing subsequent products to be installed quickly.

When applying the screed, ARDEX Abacrete Bonding Agent was specified. It is a liquid polymer additive that greatly improves the shear & tensile bond strength of the screed.

To place the specialty tiles, ARDEX X 77 high performance, fibre reinforced polymer modified adhesive was used in addition to ARDEX E 90 Admix for Cement Based Tile Adhesives. ARDEX X 77 is reinforced with ARDEX Microtec ® Technology. The combination of these two products enhances bond strength for use in high volume foot traffic areas. When mixed with the ARDEX E 90 additive, it has water repellent qualities & improved sag resistance. By using the combination of the two products together, the specialty tiles were less likely to move while the adhesive was drying, maintaining an even surface.

ARDEX SE Coloured Silicone for Sanitary Installations was used to fill perimeter, expansion joints and ARDEX Abapoxy High Performance Epoxy Grout was sprinkled over the silicone for a matt finish. This enhanced the seamless look of the tile installation. To grout the rest of the area, ARDEX Abapoxy was selected for its permanent colour capabilities. It also has a high resistance to chemicals, so commercial cleaning required for a high traffic area would not have an adverse effect on the grout.

Each of the ARDEX products used were low in VOC, allowing the Sydney Opera House to remain open during the installation.

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