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NTCA Five-Star Contractor Trostrud Mosaic & Tile Co., Inc.
makes an open-and-shut case for award-winning law-firm project
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In April 2023 at the Coverings Expo in Orlando, NTCA announced its Five-Star Contractor Projects of the Year. The NTCA Five-Star Project of the Year Awards are a testament to the dedication, skill, and collaboration of the tile installation industry’s top professionals.
One of these winners, Trostrud Mosaic & Tile Co., Inc. (Wood Dale, Ill.) was awarded the NTCA Five-Star Project of the Year Commercial Grand Prize for its extraordinary work on a confidential high-end law firm project. The project involved the meticulous installation of 11,000 sq. ft. of 12”x24” tiles for a complex conference and reception floor. The team’s exceptional collaboration, innovation, and dedication to perfection earned them the prestigious award. The project is detailed in this video: https://youtu.be/Gr9xKKCIoTY
The scope of work involved three typical floors, each with an elevator lobby with 12”x24”porcelain floors and 5’x10’ gauged porcelain paneled walls.
In April 2022, Trostrud embarked upon a fourth-floor build-out for a global law firm in a new Chicago skyscraper. The scope of work involved three typical floors. Each had an elevator lobby with 12"x24" porcelain floors and 5'x10' gauged porcelain paneled walls. But the challenging floor consisted of 11,000 sq. ft. of a 12"x24" floor tile, a custom mural, and three feature walls of vented LED lit panels.
Installing the panel feature walls behind the reception desk required a monumental mitering job.
Challenges As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude and scope had its share of challenges. For starters, in a scope review with the general contractor and architect, Trostrud learned the actual tile size was to dictate the entire layout of the conference and reception floor.
“We spent an excess of 40 man-hours assisting the project foreman in laying out 11,000 sq. ft. of 12"x24" floor tile, including all movement joints,” said Brad Trostrud, President of Trostrud Mosaic & Tile Co., Inc.
The Trostrud crew added Schluter Finec edging and outside wall corners at the panel out-corners for a clean, finished look.
During the floor tile layout, Trostrud was asked to help the underlayment contractor set the elevations. Trostrud explained, “The general contractor wanted to save money by pumping self-leveler to flatten floors to meet our required floor flatness.” But after a week of pumping, Trostrud was “informed” that it was to take over floor prep for all its sub floors.
“This required detailed planning on how to set our elevations,” Trostrud said. “Some spaces had to be level due to millwork requirements, and many surfaces [had to be] pitched on a tile joint to create flat planes to keep elevations at a minimum.” What’s more – the slab height varied in excess of 3".
All surfaces were set with laser-guided tracks of trowelable patch, and were then filled in with patch to create a tileable substrate, Trostrud said. “Then all surfaces were either level or dead flat, changing only on selected grout joints.”
Another view of the mitered panel feature walls behind the reception desk.
Trostrud’s foreman had to modify some elements of the custom mosaic mural after the architect was initially unhappy with some of the color groupings.
Reworking the custom mosaic mural After Trostrud provided a dry layout of the clear plastic-mounted mosaic, the architect was unhappy with some of the color groupings. “Our foreman began a ‘nip-and-tuck’ type surgery, modifying some of the elements of the mural,” Trostrud said. “With close collaboration with the architect, we finally received the thumbs up and we executed the installation.”
Perfecting the panels For the panel feature walls behind the reception desk and at the elevator wall, Trostrud assisted the design team with various details on the panels, the junction between the tile surface and the sheet-applied ceiling, adding Schluter Finec at the panel out-corners.
Trostrud said, “The volume of mitering was overwhelming. We own a Sigma miter box and have done some limited mitering in the past with mixed results. I figured there must be a better diamond blade than the standard 3.5" we had previously used. After many inquiries, we purchased a Monolith, Red Lines, Squadro Blade. Wow, what a difference! With this new find, the panel installation went uneventfully smoothly.”
Trostrud Mosaic & Tile Co., Inc. spent more than 40 man-hours assisting the project foreman in laying out 11,000 sq.ft. of 12"x24" floor tile, including all movement joints.
Products used in this award winning installation:
Setting Materials MAPEI Products Ultra Flex LFT Thinset Mortar Aquadefense Waterproofing & Anti-Fracture Membrane Ultraflex LFT Rapid Type | - Wall Adhesive Ultracolor Plus FA Grout Kerapoxy CQ Mapesil T Silicone Sealant
Primer L Primer T Planibond EBA Primer Mapesand Coarse Planipatch Planipatch Plus Latex
Bostik Products Hydroment Vivid – Heron Blue Grout
Tile Artaic EMIL Group Florim Mutina
Suppliers/Distributors Ceramic Technics Stone Source Tile Bar Virginia Tile Company
The NTCA Five-Star Contractor Member network of top-tier professionals in the tile and stone industry enjoys exclusive benefits and resources, including educational programs, marketing opportunities, and recognition for outstanding work. Visit the NTCA website to learn more about becoming an NTCA Five-Star Accredited Contractor at https://www.tile-assn.com/page/ntca-five-star-accreditation. Learn more about all the NTCA Five-Star Contractor Project of the Year winners at TileLetter.com or https://tinyurl.com/NTCAFiveStarAwards.