The Exterior view of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

Photo of the glass-tiled walls in the ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium


The beauty of the Georgia Aquarium’s interior sparkles from the walls of fountains, viewing areas, the food court and even the bathrooms. The sparkle comes from glass mosaic tiles installed by Williams Tile of Smyrna, Georgia. Project manager David Arthur managed up to 7 installation teams at peak times during the construction. “Our advantage in successfully completing our part of the project was the craftsmanship of our experienced mosaic glass installers on each team,” said Arthur. The teams were also able to depend on the reliability of MAPEI Tile & Stone Installation products.

In the bathrooms and around the fountains in the central rotunda, the Williams Tile Team waterproofed the walls with Mapelastic HPG, a ready-to-use liquid membrane from MAPEI. “We used the Granirapid System to set the tiles in these areas, because we wanted high adhesion and rapid setting, so that we could peel off the plastic film that covered the front of the mosaic tiles and held them in place until they were installed,” said Arthur. “We used Granirapid on the walls in the food court area as well.” The “Trend” Italian glass mosaic tiles were supplied by Ceramic Techniques of Alpharetta, Georgia. All the wall tiles were set with Keracolor U unsanded grout.

On the floors in the bathrooms, one of the teams installed porcelain tiles from Atlas Concord, using MAPEI’s Ultracontact full-contact mortar, which works well for installing large-format tiles without backbuttering, saving time and labor. These tiles were grouted with Keracolor S sanded grout. Williams Tile was also asked to install stone tile in some exhibit areas and unglazed ceramic tile on the walls in backstage locations. For these installations, they used Kerabond/Keralastic.

“The biggest issue we faced with the glass mosaics was the usual difficulty of installing them and having the faces of the tile aligned perfectly to satisfy the owners, and we accomplished that,” said Arthur. “The project went really well.  All the MAPEI products worked very well for our installers. The general contractor, Brasfield & Gorrie LLC, was easy to work with, and we had an opportunity to show off our best work.”

Together, MAPEI and Williams Tile have made it fun for the Georgia Aquarium’s visitors to “swim with the fishes.”