The Pepsi Center's contemporary design gives the venue an open, natural feel.


When the Pepsi Center opened its doors to the public, it ushered in a new era of sporting event exhibition in Denver. The $160 million, state-of-the-art facility, which is home to both the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, hosts a wide range of events -- from college basketball tournaments to concerts to the circus.

The venue includes a variety of visual enhancements on the walls and ceilings that were designed to engage and entertain the 20,000-plus ticket holders who walk through the doors on any given evening. But as they enter the Pepsi Center, visitors find just as many unique designs underfoot.

More than $3.4 million worth of tile and stone was installed in the Pepsi Center, according to Ace Tile's Ken Howell. Due to the arena's structure, much of the installation was performed at a 30-degree angle stretching up four stories.

The Pepsi Center in Denver.
The 2,400-square-foot ticket lobby floor is marble.Floor Gres'Chromtec porcelain tile can be found on the floor throughout the facility in both 12-by-24-inch and 12-inch-square sizes, with 12-by-12-inch tiles on the walls as well. The Nuggets' locker room and showers feature 4 1/4-inch tiles from Daltile, while the 41 public restrooms abound with the company's mosaic tiles.

A cornucopia of Mapei surface preparation and installation products were employed by the contractors. Ultra/Flex 2, PRP 315, Ultra/Contact RS, and Ultra/Color were used extensively throughout the project.

Orchid-colored slate from India adorns the walls and floors of the two restaurants on the club level of the Pepsi Center. The quarry tile in the kitchens is from Daltile.

Ace Tile was originally presented with an eight-and-a-half-month time frame in which to complete the installation. Due to weather and logistical problems, the window closed to just five months, turning the job into a seven-day-a-week, 14-hours-a-day marathon.

The principals' attention to detail created a striking blend of stone and custom-designed carpet.
"At one point we had 50 installers working," Howell said. "It wasn't a case of finishing one area and moving on to the next. Everything was working at once."

In addition to the tile and stone, more than 26,000 square yards of carpet cover the floors of the Pepsi Center. Custom-fabricated carpet from Masland is found in both the third-floor mezzanine and the administration offices. Bentley's Regis Place carpet is laid in the 95 luxury suites. The company's King's Road series can be found in the Nuggets' locker room, customized with the team's logo, while carpet from Design Weave is in the visitor's locker room. And to help counter the heavy-duty beating the floor takes from hockey skates and other equipment, the Avalanche locker room features Azo, an outdoor carpet from Tek Stil.

Bentley's King's Road carpet with the Denver Nuggets' logo.
The entire project reads like a floor covering directory. In addition to the stone, tile and carpet, 40,000 square feet ofManningtonVCT fills the corridors of the Pepsi Center, as does 40,000 linear feet of cove base. Flooring fromTuflex Rubber Productsplays a vital role in the venue's grand design. Mapei products were the adhesives of choice in nearly all areas. Needless to say, it was no small feat to bring the whole design to fruition. And that doesn't include the architectural challenges.

"The mezzanine is a circle wrapping around the entire building," explains Mike Gonzales, account manager for Resource Colorado, the Denver-based company charged with installing the carpet, VCT and cove base. "They had to keep a square pattern on match the entire way around."

The Pepsi Center was developed by Ascent Arena Co. LLC. The project architects were HOK Sports of Kansas City, Mo., known for their previous work on Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, and Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Calif. Denver's M.A. Mortenson, the contractor for the project, was also behind the L.A. Convention Center and the TWA Dome.