A bite out of the apple
LATICRETE International says it’s been working closely with Apple in the US over the past year to determine the most suitable Laticrete products to use for re-tiling Apple stores worldwide.
Consequently, Laticrete UK was contacted by UK Electrical which is the appointed Apple Inc contractor for the refurbishment of Apple stores in the UK.
UK Electrical says it provides a complete electrical solution to clients in the retail and commercial sectors across Europe.
Established as a commercial electrician in 1995, it says its ethos has always been to work in partnership with the client, ‘to understand its business and deliver the most flexible, professional and highest quality projects every time’.
UK Electrical offers what it describes as a total solution, from design to installation, working directly with what it says are the UK’s most reputable shopfitters and tiling contractors (www.ukelectrical.co.uk).
The tiling contractor appointed by UK Electrical to carry out the tile installation at the Apple stores in the UK is AJ Tiling based in Leeds. Alex from AJ Tiling contacted Laticrete UK technical helpline on 0151 4866101 for help and advice on the Laticrete products specified.
The first Apple store in the programme to be re-tiled was in Bromley, Kent which was completed in December 2016. The til=ing work is carried out a section at a time completed throughout the night to enable the store to remain open.
The re-tiling of the second Apple store in the UK located in the Arndale Centre, Manchester was due to be completed May 2017.
The Laticrete Int Apple Store Specification is tailored to suit the demand and needs of the UK, specifying Laticrete products which are manufactured in the UK by Palace Chemicals, Speke, Liverpool, the ‘local’ licensee of Laticrete Int.
A fast-track solution was required owing to the time constraints demanded by the client - Apple needing the store in Bromley to be completed by December 2016 in time for Christmas shoppers.
The existing tiles were removed after which it was evident the concrete floor was out-of-level in places by up to 50mm. The stability of the floor couldn’t be confirmed, meaning a de-coupling mat was also required.
Once the tiles had been removed and the existing floor was deemed suitable for tiling it was ‘thoroughly cleaned and primed with Laticrete NXT Primer to ensure a sound, secure bond for the levelling compound’.
Polymer-modified Laticrete NXT level was the specified levelling compound because it can be used from 3mm up to 76mm in a single application, with a set time from 30-75 minutes making it suitable for fast-track work.
A thin bed of Laticrete 254 Platinum Rapid adhesive (EN 12004 C2 FT S1) was used to fix the Laticrete Strata Mat uncoupling membrane.
The patent pending design of Laticrete Strata Mat is said to provide for an enhanced mechanical bond and faster drying time of the adhesive bed used to fix the mat, allowing tiles to be fixed onto the mat immediately after it has been laid.
The 900x900mm porcelain tiles were fixed with Laticrete 254 Platinum Rapid and grouted with Laticrete PermacolorSelect Grout, a new grout, described by Laticrete as revolutionary, for 2017.
Laticrete PermacolorSelect is said to be an advanced high-performance cement grout that ‘offers the industry’s first dispensable dry pigment solution’.
PermacolorSelect is reportedly designed for ‘virtually all’ types of residential and commercial installations and is said to offer optimum performance on the most demanding exterior or interior applications.
Said to be easy to mix, grout and clean, PermacolorSelect is fast-setting and suitable for joints 1.5-12mm wide on floors or walls.
One unit of PermacolorSelect consists of a 5.5kg bag of white base which is mixed with 100g of pigment supplied in a pod which dissolves once water is added to the mix producing what’s described as a vibrant, consistent colour, minimising efflorescence.
PermacolorSelect is said to be reinforced with Kevlar making it crack-and-shrink resistant and owing to Stonetech sealer technology incorporated into the formulation no sealers are required.
The tiles were levelled using Raimondi Levelling System RLS Floor Kit, supplied by Tilers Tools based in Knutsford, Cheshire.
The RLS Floor Kit provides the tools you need to use the Raimondi Levelling System, says the company. It consists of one pair of special traction-adjustable pliers for floorcovering allowing what’s described as quick, easy insertion of the wedge into the clip and optimising pressure on the tile.
100 wedges and 100 1.5mm clips are provided for use with tiles of thickness ranging from 3-12mm. RLS is also claimed to be the quickest and easiest to remove: spacers can be kicked gently to remove them from floor, without the need for a special tool (contact Jim Stott on 01565 750666 or email@example.com).
Showing the Raimondi levelling system
‘When selecting the installation system for your project, consider the value and peace of mind that a Laticrete warranty can bring,’ says Michelle Costigan, Laticrete technical product manager.
‘Laticrete provides comprehensive commercial and residential warranty programs. However, our best guarantee is our 60 years’ experience with industrial, commercial and residential installations in every imaginable climate around the world.
‘Laticrete materials are covered by a limited one-year warranty when properly installed as per our written instructions.
‘By using a combination of Laticrete products to form a complete single source system, both the term and the scope of the warranty are dramatically increased, including up to a lifetime warranty!’