The locker rooms have Daltile 4 1/2-inch tiles on the walls, and 8-inch abrasive-textured tiles on the floor.

24 Hour Fitness Sport Center in Sacramento, Calif.
With locations in the United States, Asia and Europe, 24 Hour Fitness is one of the largest chains of health and fitness centers in the world. The company has grown exponentially since its 1983 launch as a single 5,000-square-foot facility in San Leandro, Calif.

Attention to detail is the mark of the installation professional.
The company's 50,000-square-foot "Sport Clubs" fit the market niche between the 100,000-plus-square-foot "Sporting Clubs" and the namesake "24 Hour Fitness" clubs that are generally less than 25,000 square feet. But the pounding the flooring and wall coverings must withstand is equally severe in every building.

When the decision is made to erect a new facility, the building materials are selected with great care - and not just in the exercise areas. The high traffic and heavy use of the showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools - 24 hours a day, seven days a week - mandates the use of heavy-duty materials that don't distract from the center's design aesthetic.

The finished product gives the locker rooms a comfortable, functional feel.
Product specifications in the construction process begin at the architectural level. Two recent additions to the chain in Sacramento and Roseville, Calif., called for more than 10,000 square feet of ceramic tile in the swimming pools, steam rooms, showers, locker rooms, and entryways.

Daltile products were selected for use throughout the facilities. The color motif for tile in both clubs is primarily antique white, with green-, black-, and rose-colored pieces used as decorative breaks on lines running at 45-degree angles. The five, two-person installation crews overseen by Don Watts, owner of Custom Tile, installed the 4 1/4-inch-square tiles on the walls; 8-inch-square abrasive-textured tiles on the locker room floors; 2-inch-square tiles in the showers; and 16-inch-square tiles in the entryways.

Ceramic tile running the length of the swimming pool area provides a nice aesthetic.
The installation teams floated the floor tiles in conventional mudbeds, using VersaBond bonding mortar from Custom Building Products. Custom's Polyblend grout - sanded variety on the walls, un-sanded on the floors - was also used in the installation.

The biggest challenge the installers faced was forming and maintaining precisely angled slopes leading down to various drains in both the swimming and shower areas. With more than 90 drains in each facility, both the crew's skill and patience were pushed to the maximum.

"Great jobs and great results are what it's all about," said general contractor Glen Hilbers, owner of Hilbers Inc. "Don Watts and his team demonstrated, once again, why they are masters at their craft."

The Roseville center was completed in late 1999. The Sacramento facility opened its doors in June 2000. Vincent & Murphy was the architectural firm behind the projects; Custom Tile was the company primarily in charge of installation; and Hilbers Inc. was the general contractor for the projects. Materials for both centers were provided by Dal-Tile International and Custom Building Products.