The most decorated Olympian of all time earned his 22nd medal in the iconic London Olympics Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park, London. The 260,000 square-foot center was made possible with ARDEX Tile and Stone Installation Products which bonded approximately 866,000 ceramic tiles in the pools, poolside and changing rooms; 180,000 tiles lined just the pools.

“ARDEX Tile and Stone Installation Products (TSIP) have been specified in many high-profile swimming pools, but to win the contract for the Aquatics Centre has been a great achievement, and a testimony to ARDEX’s ‘gold standard’ product range and support,” said Harrison Gardner, ARDEX Americas TSIP Manager. “The feedback from the installation team was extremely positive, and the end result is stunning. The Aquatics Centre is an amazing facility, and one that will benefit the local community for years to come.”

One of the key influences in ARDEX winning this prestigious project was the fact that ARDEX X 77 MICROTEC Fiber Reinforced Thin Set Mortar was suitable for fixing all of the tiles in the Aquatic Centre. By using just one thinset, cost savings and application time was saved.  ARDEX X 77 has an open time of up to 60 minutes, which means larger areas of adhesive can be spread in a single application, enabling Aquatic Centre installers to work more efficiently. This also gave them more time to tile awkward areas and cut around fixtures and fittings in and around the pool area. The sag resistance of ARDEX X 77 also enabled the tiles to be set quickly and easily with no slip.

ARDEX FL Rapid Set, Flexible, Sanded Grout in Dove Grey filled pool tile joints to complete the installation. ARDEX color tests every batch of grout, and the advanced manufacturing process ensures uniform color distribution of the grout powder which eliminates ‘streaking’ during mixing. In addition to offering a color palette of 35 colors, ARDEX FL sets in just 90 minutes and incorporates flexibility, water repellence, ease of application and dirt resistance, which ensured the perfect finish for the Aquatics Centre.

In addition to the tiling system installed throughout the pools, the shower areas within the changing rooms were prepared with ARDEX 8+9 Waterproofing and Crack Isolation Compound, which provided a rapid drying waterproof protection coat. It was essential to ensure the tiled background had protection from moisture ingress which can result in leaks to other areas and loss of adhesion between the tiles and substrate. ARDEX 8+9 is quick, easy to apply and minimizes downtime, as tile can be installed in just 90 minutes.

Areas surrounding the pool that would be subject to heavy foot traffic received an application of ARDEX EB 2 Fast Setting Screed. ARDEX EB 2 provided a strong and flat surface which enabled the tiles to be set just three hours after installation. A traditional sand and cement screed would have required a 3 week set period at minimum, before tile could be installed.

“The project required a proven tiling solution which could deliver fast track completion, as well as the ability to withstand the challenging environment within the centre,” said Stephan M. Liozu, ARDEX Americas President and CEO.

The 17,500 seat Aquatics Centre forms part of the gateway to the Olympic Park and is housed beneath a distinctive wave-like curved roof. The centre houses 164 feet long competition and warm up pools, and an 84 foot long competition diving pool with a ‘dry’ warm-up area for divers.

For further information on ARDEX Tile and Stone Installation Products, call (888) 512-7339 or visit