The new Robert D. Love Downtown YMCA in Wichita, KS, contains more than 50,000 square feet of mosaic and large format tile. Its installers turned to TEC products to aid with fast-paced tile installation in a variety of challenging environments.

The 110,000 square-foot LEED-Certified YMCA is the flagship YMCA for the city and is expected to serve 30,000 people annually in its state-of-the-art exercise facilities. It also includes administrative offices and community meeting rooms for local activities. 

The facility features large format porcelain tile on its lobby floor, ceramic and porcelain tiles throughout the building and porcelain mosaics in its pools, whirlpool and steam room. For the job, installer Fox Ceramic Tile used TEC products to address each space’s unique demands, including time constraints and exposure to heat and harsh chemicals.

In the wet areas of the building, TEC HydraFlex Waterproofing Crack Isolation Membrane protects the substrates of showers, steam rooms and saunas. TEC AccuColor EFX Epoxy Special Effects Grout was used in these areas for its extreme heat, stain and chemical resistance. 

"We were confident that TEC products would hold up to the environmental challenges that showers, steam rooms and saunas present,” says Kevin Fox, owner of Fox Ceramic Tile. 

The locker rooms and pool deck have 8,300 square feet of running bond mosaics that also face moisture and chemicals. TEC Full Flex Mortar was selected for use in these areas.

The building’s high-traffic corridors, which feature large format tile, posed another type of challenge to installers. The tile had to be installed and set quickly to allow other trade workers access to them.

"TEC Fast Set Ultimate Large Tile Mortar allowed us to quickly complete installations in critical areas like the corridor, which we had to rapidly turn over to other trades to meet the owner's aggressive timeline,” says Fox.

TECUltimate Large Tile Mortar was used with large format tile in less time-critical areas. 

TEC Power Grout Ultimate Performance Grout was used in all grouted spaces in the facility that are not subjected to harsh chemicals and provided several advantages. 

"This space required a highly stain resistant, durable grout that met both budget and installation requirements. Using TEC Power Grout saved us money and time, because it sets faster and is less labor-intensive to install than epoxy,” Fox says. 

TEC AccuColor 100 100% Silicone Sealant was used to caulk each tiled area of the YMCA. This product provides a flexible, long-lasting and water-resistant seal. 

This project was completed in November 2012. 

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