More than 9 000 m2 of floor and wall tiling was successfully completed at the Checkers Hyper in the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria, using specialist tile adhesives and ancillary products manufactured and supplied by TAL.
The project required the installation of approximately 8 000 m2 of porcelain tiles onto internal powerfloated suspended concrete slabs, in sections that included the trading floor, offices, staff areas, and the back-of-house food preparation areas.
In addition, over 1 000 m2 of ceramic, porcelain and sandstone tiles were fitted onto the walls of the front-of-house office, staff areas, food preparation areas, and trading floor columns. TAL worked closely with appointed contractor HL Pardal & Son, in order to ensure that the six-week project was a success.
TAL technical consultant Schalk Pelzer says: “With a project this size, completing over 9 000 m2 of tiling work in line with the TAL specification, within six weeks, is an impressive feat. By adhering to the TAL specification and maintaining a high standard of workmanship, HL Pardal & Son ensured that this project met the requirements for the TAL ten-year warranty.”
Comprehensive range of TAL products used
TAL Goldstar 6, a rapid setting tile adhesive, was used to affix porcelain tiles onto the floors. TAL Goldstar 12, a quick setting adhesive, was used to affix the porcelain and sandstone tiles onto the walls while TAL Professional, a standard setting adhesive was used for the ceramic wall tiles. TAL Quarry Grout was used for the general floor areas, such as the trading and staff areas, while TAL Wall & Floor Light Grey Grout and TAL Super White Wall Grout were both used for the wall areas.
A specialised grout was required for the food preparation areas, therefore, TAL Industrial Antibacterial Fine Epoxy Grout, ideal for use where hygienic conditions are important, was applied in the food preparation areas such as the butchery, fishery, bakery and deli.
Enhanced flexibility was required in the adhesive and grout system for the floor tiling, as this was installed onto a suspended slab. TAL Bond was ideally suited, as it is a modified latex-based additive for cementitious adhesives and grout. It enhances the bond strength, flexibility and water resistance of the adhesive and grout, when used as a total water replacement in the mix. A TAL Keycoat primer slurry was also used to improve adhesion to the smooth, dense and impervious powerfloated substrate.
Pelzer admits that some challenges were faced during the tile installation. “Construction and structural joints in the concrete substrate had to be accommodated in the tile installation. Tiling over these joints would place the tile installation under stress, and most likely result in reflective cracking occurring in the tiles. Pre-manufactured tile-in structural movement joints were incorporated in the tile installation to coincide with the construction joints,” he says.
The tile panel movement joints and the perimeter joints were sealed with TAL Goldstar Sealmaster 1000 polyurethane joint sealer. These intermediate tile panel movement joints and perimeter joints were essential to cater for any anticipated structural, background and thermal movement. They are specifically constructed to ensure no compressive stress build-up, and to prevent subsequent and unnecessary forces on the adhesive or fixative.
The uneven floor surface provided a further challenge. “Exceeding the maximum application thickness of the tile adhesive may result in an installation failure,” Pelzer explains “In order to overcome this challenge, the ‘high’ spots on the floor were ground down and the ‘low’ areas were levelled out.”
Due to the tight deadlines and the short turnaround times stipulated in the tiling schedule, the contractor also found it challenging to adhere to the substrate curing times. According to Pelzer, drying, shrinkage and settlement movement in the substrate poses the risk of an installation failure.
“Failures include delamination and bulging or tenting of tiles, as well as cracking of grout and tiles. Reports on curing times were sent to the contractor, and all curing times were adhered to, thereby ensuring a successful tile installation that is backed by the TAL product warranty,” Pelzer adds.
TAL is ISO 9001:2008 quality management system certified and its products are designed, manufactured and tested according to its high-quality standards. Most TAL products used on this project also conform to the requirements stipulated by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) in lowering emissions of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC).