The substrate was made from TOPCEM, a special hydraulic binder for normal-setting, rapid-drying, controlled shrinkage screeds. Thanks to the skill of the tilers and the quality of the products, once the screed was cured and dry, it was ready for the next stage of the intervention without having to do anything else to level off the installation bed.
For the bar and the restaurant area, 2 cm thick Art Déco tiles were chosen in two different formats (10x10 cm and 12.5x12.5 cm). KERAFLEX MAXI S1 high-performance, non-slip cementitious adhesive with extended open time was used to install the tiles. The final phase was to fill the grout lines with ULTRACOLOR PLUS high performance, rapid-drying mortar which, over the years, remains perfectly water-repellent and resistant to the formation of mould. Preference was given to MAPESIL LM silicone sealant to make the expansion joints.
In the restaurant area there is an English style fireplace and surround. To comply with safety regulations, a wooden insert was installed in the old fireplace, a special hearth designed to be placed in old fireplaces during restoration work. The new structure was made from Ytong concrete blocks which were reinforced with a cementitious mortar, reinforced with MAPENET 150 alkali-resistant glass fibre mesh before installing the tiles. The natural stone surface was bonded with ADESILEX P9, while for the grout lines, which needed to have a rustic look, preference was given to KERACOLOR RUSTIC high performance mortar, a product manufactured in Hungary exclusively for the Hungarian market, which has good compressive and flexural strength and resistance to abrasion and is used to fill internal and external grout lines from 5 to 50 mm wide.
THE PROBLEM OF DAMP IN THE WASHROOMS AREA
Some of the walls in the washrooms and in the stairwell were tiled with square Pietra Kvàder tiles which look like natural stone (21x21 cm). Before installing the tiles, the surface was treated with PRIMER G synthetic resin-based primer in water dispersion diluted 1:2 with water. PRIMER G is a product that encourages adhesion, anchors surface dust and evens out the absorbency of substrates before bonding tiles. The tiles were installed with ADESILEX P9 and again grouted with KERACOLOR RUSTIC in the stairwell and with ULTRACOLOR PLUS in the washrooms. The joints were sealed with MAPESIL LM.
The public washrooms were located in the original vaulted cellar but had problems of damp and had often suffered from flooding. They had been badly damaged by water in the past and the surface needed to be coated with a waterproofing membrane before installing the tiles. So, after installing new screeds made from TOPCEM, the waterproofing work could be carried out. The first step was to create fillet joints between the floors and walls with MAPEBAND alkali-resistant, rubber-backed felt tape.
MAPELASTIC FOUNDATION two-component cementitious mortar, which is used to waterproof facing walls, was applied on the surfaces, and this was also reinforced with MAPENET 150 mesh.
Two types of tiles were installed on the walls: the Victorian model in black for the men’s washrooms and the Moorish model in terracotta for the ladies’ washrooms. For the floors, on the other hand, preference was given to the Art Déco model of tiles in a similar size (20x5 cm) to the planks used for the wooden flooring. The wall tiles were installed with ADESILEX P9 non-slip cementitious adhesive and the floor tiles were installed with KERAFLEX MAXI S1.
In order to create a rustic yet elegant look, it was very important to choose the right grouting product: KERACOLOR GG polymer-modified cementitious mortar proved to be the perfect choice. This product is resistant to acids and is ideal for grout lines from 4 to 15 mm wide.
The Terracotta Castle model tiles, characterised by their decorative textured finish, were installed with ADESILEX P9 in the stairwell leading to the gallery.
The efflorescence that had formed on the existing surfaces dressed with natural stone was removed with KERANET acid-based cleaner, which is available in both liquid form (15% in solution) and in a concentrated powder form. MAPECRETE STAIN PROTECTION was then applied over the stone, an hydro-oil repellent and anti-stain treatment made of modified organic polymers in a watery solution for surfaces in concrete, stone material and natural stone.
For the final treatment of the floor tiles, the designers were looking for a finish that was neither shiny nor matt, but rather a satin finish, which is not particularly easy to obtain. Mapei Technical Services proposed mixing MAPELUX OPACA and MAPELUX LUCIDA, double-reticulating, high-strength metallic waxes with a matt and shiny finish, which is used to protect floors exposed to highly intense traffic, such as in this case. After applying two coats of the wax mixture, both the client and the designers said that it was “….exactly the finish we were looking for, as if we had gone back in time!”
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