Case Studies

six-sided sealing from aqua mix preserves beauty of stone

DubaiAirport

Dubai International Airport is one of the world's fastest-growing airports, and is in the midst of a long-term plan for expansion. Terminal 3 was recently completed after three years of construction, and features 3.8 million square feet of a Brazilian stone called Panha Fragola Corcovado, or "PF". PF presented a serious sealing challenge because the stone contains soluble pyrite (an iron sulphide) which can absorb water from the mortar bed during curing and cause severe discoloration. IKAN, Inc. a local distributor of Aqua Mix care and maintenance products, recommended a six-sided sealing solution in order to protect the stone from moisture throughout the 28-day curing process.

Extensive testing was conducted by Aqua Mix technical experts, with two new products that were not even on the market yet, UltraSolv® and Econo-Seal™. First, local materials were used in order to duplicate the installation conditions, while confirming with control groups that the discoloration from soluble pyrite would in fact occur without proper sealing. Next, IKAN preformed submersion and mortar bed tests with PF stone sealed on all six sides with EconoSeal and UltraSov. Both sealers performed impressively, keeping water at bay for the required 28 days and preventing discoloration. Finally, tests were done to prove that neither sealer would compromise shear bond strength.

After successful testing, EconoSeal was selected for the initial six-sided sealing, with UltraSolv specified for final sealing of the installed surface. Stone was laid out, sealed on six sides with Econoseal, and cured for 24 hours prior to installation. UltraSolv was applied to the finished surface just prior to completion of the entire terminal. During this period both UltraSolv and EconoSeal products were launched for sale internationally.

IKAN assisted the primary stone contractor, Al Habtoor, throughout the 2-year process, providing onsite support, quality control and education for the ever-changing staff of over 400 tradesmen imported from other countries to work on the project. The result is a stunning, pristine installation that has no trace of soluble pyrite or any other staining. In fact, the sealing project was so successful that Aqua Mix sealers, from Custom Building Products, will be used on the next new terminal at Dubai International Airport, already underway.

Dubai _casestudiepage4Aqua Mix has a 25+ year history of leading the global stone and tile industry with innovative care and maintenance solutions utilizing unique, water-based formulas. As part of Custom Building Products, North America’s largest provider of tile and stone installation systems, Aqua Mix products continues to expand into a worldwide offering of a trusted, single source supplier of over 500 products for tile and stone installation systems.

After successful testing, EconoSeal was selected for the initial six-sided sealing, with UltraSolv specified for final sealing of the installed surface.

Custom Building Products operates 14 North American distribution sites and 30 other worldwide locations to support professional product performance along with unsurpassed innovation, a highly educated and experienced technical staff and unparalleled customer support.

Custom is proud to bring to customers innovative solutions to any tile or stone installation project, including products that contribute to "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED®) certification. Representatives are available to planning, specification writing, product application, testing, and installation information, to ensure each project goes smoothly with outstanding results.

Dubai International Airport is one of the world's fastest-growing airports, and is in the midst of a long-term plan for expansion. Terminal 3 was recently completed after three years of construction, and features 3.8 million square feet of a Brazilian stone called Panha Fragola Corcovado, or "PF".

Product Used :

AquaMix®Econoseal,Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv®

Location :

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Year Completed :

2005

Burj-Khalifa

Burj Khalifa (known during construction as Burj Dubai) - the world's tallest building - opened January 4, 2010. Custom Building Products was selected to provide tile and stone installation and protective products in different areas of the building.

For the 160 floors of Burj Khalifa, the designers selected a vast range of stone and tile from dense natural stone like Absolute Black Granite, to porous stone such as Silver Travertino and Satuario Marble, as well as conventional porcelain tile. Massive amounts of stone were installed on both walls and floors throughout bathrooms, elevators, hospitality areas, lobbies and pools. The substrates that were tiled over include a combination of concrete, cementitious plaster, gypsum board, cement backer board and even steel.

In an effort to reduce complexity, the contractor wanted a single adhesive for all tile and stone installations, regardless of type or substrate, which is a significant challenge especially in the extreme hot weather conditions of Dubai.

Custom supplied Aqua Mix sealers for exterior areas located around the building, called Burj Boulevard. Flamed and sand-blasted finished granite was used for pedestrian and vehicular traffic areas. Ultra Solv was selected due to its high resistance to oil based contaminants, its optimized penetration into relatively dense surfaces like granite, and its ability to leave the stone looking natural. In other areas where an enhanced color was required, Enrich'N'Seal™ was used.

The granite pavers were sealed using Ultra Solv® on all six sides to reduce the stones' immediate surface water absorption from the curing cement installation system. Without a proper sealer, the moisture could cause the stone to stain or effloresce. The Burj Khalifa project offered many installation challenges that Custom and Ikan were able to solve with innovative products and a technical support program of education and quality control.

"The Burj Khalifa project offered many installation challenges that Custom and Ikan were able to solve with innovative products and a technical support program of education and quality control."

Burj Khalifa (known during construction as Burj Dubai) - the world's tallest building - opened January 4, 2010. Custom Building Products was selected to provide tile and stone installation and protective products in different areas of the building.

Product Used :

Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv, Aqua Mix® Enrich 'N' Seal

Location :

Dubai, UAE

Year Completed :

2010

Inland Regional Center

The Mojave Desert is one of the most popular tourism spots in North America, mostly due to the gambling destination of Las Vegas, Nev. However, the desert — which runs across Calif., Ariz., and Utah — is also known for the scenic beauty found within and around its four national parks. The Mojave Desert contains Death Valley — the lowest and hottest spot in North America — where temperatures typically reach above 120° F between July and August.

Just on the edge of the Mojave Desert, Diffenbaugh Construction is developing office space in the Inland Empire — an area rapidly expanding from greater Los Angeles to accommodate the growing Southern California population. The Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino was designed to include the natural beauty of the encroaching desert by utilizing red sandstone tiles on its exterior veneer. It’s known in the building industry that smooth sandstone is easy to work with and fairly resistant to weathering.

This makes it a common building or paving material that’s suitable for residential or commercial applications. Like desert sand, sandstone may be any color, but the most common colors found within this desert are tan, brown, yellow and red. In this case, McCandless Tile provided the red sandstone veneer in 12-inch by 12-inch gauged tile for this 30,000-square-foot development because the sandstone color coordinates with the rest of the building’s aesthetic construction materials.

Sandstone is very porous and one of the softest types of stone. Water and oil absorb into sandstone within seconds and, over a longer period, water (especially water with salt) or other staining agents can do damage to the surface. Sandstone can also look dull when it’s dry — like looking at the dry sand of the desert. To create a dark, rich look, sandstone should be sealed with a high quality, enhancing sealer. McCandless Tile chose Aqua Mix® Enrich ’N’ Seal™ as a safe, effective sealer for this sandstone. “Enrich ’N’ Seal permanently coats the sandstone to give it a dark, rich appearance — like it’s wet”, says Devin Dickey, territory manager, Custom® Building Products.

Sandstone is very porous and one of the softest types of stone. Water and oil absorb into sandstone within seconds and, over a longer period, water (especially water with salt) or other staining agents can do damage to the surface.

Enrich ’N’ Seal was applied to the sandstone tile prior to grouting for easier cleanup with the extra protection against grout staining. McCandless Tile was very impressed with how easy it was to cleanup grout residue after the sealer was applied. “The cleanup process was incredible — so quick and easy for the installers! Without the sealer, we would still be scrubbing today”, relays Sam Tran, foreman, McCandless.

The Mojave Desert is one of the most popular tourism spots in North America, mostly due to the gambling destination of Las Vegas, Nev. However, the desert — which runs across Calif., Ariz., and Utah — is also known for the scenic beauty found within and around its four national parks.

Product Used :

Aqua Mix Enrich 'N' Seal.

Location :

San Bernardino, CA

Year Completed :

2009

Ferrari World

Ferrari World officially opened its doors on December 1, 2010. Materials from Custom® Building Products were selected for the installation of ceramic tile and natural stone on the walls and floors throughout 925,360 square feet of enclosed space, which is equivalent to seven football fields. The complex, located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), is the largest indoor theme park in the world.

Custom’s Aqua Mix® brand was also used on the project to solve a specific problem related to Dark Emperador Marble. The marble needed repolishing after installation to restore the color intensity that had been lost as a result of general wear and tear during construction. Because repolishing would be too costly and time-consuming, the contractors decided on an alternative approach by applying Enrich’N’Seal™ to rejuvenate the color and improve the stone’s appearance. Once sealed, the stone regained the color intensity of the polished original with an advantage of being less slippery underfoot.

“The Ferrari World project presented a unique opportunity for us. Our client, Depa, the world’s largest interior design and fit-out contractor in Dubai, was looking for a one-stop-shop solution,” explained Scott Worthington, Custom’s director of international business. “They wanted to obtain products for installing ceramic tile and natural stone, as well as compatible stone sealer protection systems, all from one manufacturer. They also wanted the products to be stocked and supported locally.”

Custom’s Aqua Mix® brand was also used on the project to solve a specific problem related to Dark Emperador Marble.

“Custom was able to deliver on all of these requirements, as we are one of the very few companies, globally, to manufacture installation systems for tile and stone, as well as sealer systems through our Aqua Mix brand,” said Worthington. “All of the products required for the project were supplied and serviced from our local Ikan/Custom Dubai warehouse, which helped the client complete the project on time."

Ferrari World officially opened its doors on December 1, 2010. Materials from Custom® Building Products were selected for the installation of ceramic tile and natural stone on the walls and floors throughout 925,360 square feet of enclosed space, which is equivalent to seven football fields.

Product Used :

Aqua Mix Enrich 'N' Seal

Location :

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Year Completed :

2010

Texas Carved Stone

Since its conception in 1987, Texas Carved Stone has established itself as one of the largest stone handcarving shops in the United States. The company's highly respected reputation is the result of a dedicated and talented team of skilled artisans, which is led by company founders Bob Ragan and Mary Condon. Operating in Florence, TX, Texas Carved Stone produces high-quality, unique ornamental stone pieces for upscale residential applications, as well as various commercial projects. And to ensure the long-lasting appearance of its architectural work, all of the company's limestone pieces are treated exclusively with sealing products from Custom® Building Products, including its Aqua Mix® Penetrating Sealer and Sealer's Choice® Gold.

Although Ragan initially began his career as a stonemason, he always had a passion for carving. “I began carving limestone as a hobby, with a sharpened screwdriver and a ball peen hammer,” he explained. “On my next birthday, Mary bought me a full set of fine Italian hand tools and a block of Carrara marble.”

Eventually Ragan realized there was a niche for small specialty carving projects, and Ragan and Condon opened Texas Carved Stone. “There just weren’t that many people doing this,” said Ragan, who serves as head designer and carver.

Both Ragan and Condon are founding members of the Stone Carvers Guild — a group of independent, working professional carvers — and as a result, they are very careful in their selection of employees. Ragan explained that his skilled team of artisans carve in the traditional, classical, European manner, and that meticulous attention to detail is paid to each piece. Additionally, a relaxed environment is maintained inside the shop to inspire creativity.

With such an emphasis placed on the quality of its work, Texas Carved Stone believes it is crucial to use a premium sealer on all of its limestone pieces. Almost from the start, the company has relied upon Aqua Mix Penetrating Sealer.

Eventually Ragan realized there was a niche for small specialty carving projects, and Ragan and Condon opened Texas Carved Stone. "There just weren't that many people doing this," said Ragan, who serves as head designer and carver.

Since its conception in 1987, Texas Carved Stone has established itself as one of the largest stone handcarving shops in the United States. The company's highly respected reputation is the result of a dedicated and talented team of skilled artisans, which is led by company founders Bob Ragan and Mary Condon.

Product Used :

Aqua Mix Penetrating Sealer, Aqua Mix Sealer's Choice Gold

Location :

Florence, TX

Year Completed :

2005

Temples

Beautiful architecture needs protection from the elements – especially when the building has been designed with hand-carved porous stone. In order to stand the test of time, natural stone must be treated with professional quality care products. CUSTOM’s Aqua Mix® sealing solutions were chosen to protect the carved stone treasures at two unique houses of worship.

Ultra-Solv®: Protecting a Masterpiece

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, Calif. is an exceptional architectural achievement. The exterior of the intricately carved Hindu temple is made of sandstone and the interior is white marble. It took 7,000 carvers over six years to prepare the intricate design – known as “poetry in stone” – that includes over 400 statues. Construction and carving of Mandirs as places of worship and inspiration is a tradition going back over 8,000 years.

In 2013, this distinctive stone temple was nearing completion and needed sealing treatment to protect its beauty. The light-colored sandstone contained many subtle variations and the builders wanted to retain this delicate character.
They sought the guidance of Kevin Breen, technical advisor at MS International, the largest stone importer in the U.S. Based on the needs of the project, AquaMix Ultra-Solv® was chosen to seal the stone while staying true to its original color.

Ultra-Solv is a professional quality, no sheen sealer that allows moisture vapor transmission from the stone. It provides a natural look while delivering maximum stain protection to the extensive sandstone exterior of the temple. Ultra-Solv is a polysiloxane impregnator with 50% more actives than most comparable sealers. This provides the highest level of protection and superior stain resistance with fewer coats compared to typical sealers.

A second carved Mandir temple, located in Chicago, also chose to apply Ultra-Solv for weather protection. “Knowing the success of the treatment in Chino Hills, the Chicago builders decided to use Ultra-Solv when their stone needed resealing,” said Rod Sigman, business development manager at CUSTOM.

Enrich ‘N’ Seal®: Long-lasting Enhancement

A second temple, the Jain Center of Southern California in Buena Park, has an exterior of unusual carved yellow limestone. During construction back in 2004, this temple’s builders had also asked Kevin Breen to advise them on the right care products. Since it is so susceptible to staining, the limestone needed a high quality sealer for protection against pollution and graffiti in an urban environment. Breen assessed the stone and suggested Aqua Mix Enrich ‘N’ Seal® from CUSTOM.

Enrich ‘N’ Seal was selected to deepen and bring out the rich color of the limestone as well as protect the temple from the effects of weather and vandals. Its formula penetrates the surface to enhance and highlight the beauty of natural stone. “Enrich ‘N’ Seal is simply the best enhancer on the planet,” said Breen.

The original treatment has stood the test of time since 2004 and still keeps the stone looking pristine. “The stone looks exactly the same today as the first day we applied Enrich ‘N’ Seal,” said Breen in 2014. “Most sealers do not last ten months – let alone ten years.”

Enrich ‘N’ Seal is the only 100% solids polymer-based sealer and enhancer available, so it gives unmatched performance in key areas such as fade, stain and chemical resistance. Contractors know it will provide the deepest enhancement to stone with fewer applications, providing savings and the longest lasting treatment.

Ultra-Solv is a professional quality, no sheen sealer that allows moisture vapor transmission from the stone. It provides a natural look while delivering maximum stain protection to the extensive sandstone exterior of the temple.

Other monumental projects have similarly used Enrich ’N’ Seal and Ultra-Solv to protect their installations for years to come. Builders at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, applied both of these Aqua Mix products on over half a million square feet of stone.

Both the Mandir and Jain temples have become sites of pilgrimage where the sacred architecture inspires both spiritual and scholarly pursuits. CUSTOM is proud to earn the trust of these faith communities by protecting the legacy of their unique and beautiful houses of worship.

Beautiful architecture needs protection from the elements – especially when the building has been designed with hand-carved porous stone. In order to stand the test of time, natural stone must be treated with professional quality care products.

Product Used :

AquaMix® Enrich ‘N’ Seal® and Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv®

Location :

Buena Park, CA and Chino Hills, CA

Year Completed :

2004, 2013