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Robert D. Scinto, chairman of R.D. Scinto, Inc. in Fairfield County, CT, freely admits that he may have “gotten a little carried away” when he mapped out his plans for the grand entrance to his new 17-story luxury residence development in Shelton, CT.
R.D. Scinto’s latest effort, The Renaissance, in the Enterprise Corporate Park in Shelton, opened in 2008 as the landmark building of a mixed-use development with seven commercial buildings located about a 90-minute drive from New York City.
Knowing that “Class A” tenants only go to “Class A” buildings, Scinto pulled ideas from a top-shelf Manhattan hotel lobby he visited and transferred that design concept to the main lobby of his new luxury residence development.
The open, two-story lobby walls are clad in French limestone from floor to ceiling, hovering above a custom-fabricated stone floor with a unique inset pattern created from Emperador marble and Crema Marfil - surrounded by large-format Jerusalem Gold tiles. With his years of experience as a developer, builder and owner, Scinto also knew that the proper installation products were essential to both the performance and aesthetic of his masterpiece lobby. “Laticrete makes great products,” said Scinto. “I couldn’t take any risks. I wanted it to be absolutely perfect - and it was.”
In particular, Scinto selected Laticrete products because of the sheer height of his two-story lobby walls, and the fact that 3,500 square feet of expensive French limestone was soon to be hanging from them. With this in mind, they chose a Laticrete product that was specifically developed for this type of vertical application - Latapoxy 310 Stone Adhesive.
The stone for the project was imported by R.D. Scinto from overseas quarries and stoneworking factories. Meanwhile, for the Laticrete products, R.D. Scinto worked closely with Tile Concepts, the wholesale distribution arm of Sasso Tile, Inc. of West Haven, CT, which has been in business in the greater New Haven area since 1917. As a long-time business partner with Laticrete of nearby Bethany, CT, Tile Concepts supplied the Latapoxy 310 Stone Adhesive, as well all Laticrete mortar, mortar additives and grout for the flooring.
Limestone wall claddingThe installation of the 12- x 24- x ¾-inch French limestone cladding was accomplished by R.D. Scinto’s own crew, led by Bob Scinto’s son, Robert. Over a Durock brand cement backerboard, Latapoxy 310 Stone Adhesive, a two-component construction adhesive for the interior or exterior spot-bonding of large-format tiles, was used for the installation of the natural stone tiles in the main lobby of The Renaissance. Eliminating the need for mechanical anchoring or plaster and wire methods, Latapoxy 310 Stone Adhesive lists speed of installation and the resulting reduction in labor costs as its top, along with its bond strength. Latapoxy 310 Stone Adhesive has a shear bond strength of 900 psi, and that bond strength will not deteriorate over time. In addition, Latapoxy 310 Stone Adhesive speeds up the job even more by allowing the contractor to compensate for thickness variations inherent in most stones, as well as out-of-plumb substrates, by allowing for up to 1 inch (30 mm) of space between the stone and the substrate without any sagging. The stone can be adjusted as required while it’s already set in its row. The ability to do this can also improve the finished look of the veneer, making it quick and easy for the contractor to avoid any lippage or shrinkage from interfering with the design. Latapoxy 310 Stone Adhesive has a standard pot life of 45 minutes, but Laticrete also manufactures a rapid-set version that will set-up in approximately five minutes, which contractors often use on the bottom course to establish a perfectly level starting point. “Latapoxy 310 Stone Adhesive is a great product and it gets the job done quickly,” said Judi Sasso of Tile Concepts, Inc. “It’s a perfect product for hanging large-format material on walls. The technical support [Laticrete] offers allows us to get immediate answers for difficult or unusual applications.”
Flooring applicationsGoing beyond the French limestone wall surfacing, R.D. Scinto continued the luxury with a masterful stone flooring install in the lobby. For this intricate floor, R.D. Scinto once again reached out for the expertise of Sasso Tile - in particular Larry Sasso, a third generation owner of the 90-plus-year-old tile and stone shop. R.D. Scinto imported slabs of Emperador marble and Crema Marfil, which Sasso Tile fabricated in-house to meet the demanding requirements of the design scheme. To produce the specific pattern, Sasso precisely fabricated over 86 pieces of stone that took over one week to set in place. Sasso Tile set up a wood template on the lobby floor of The Renaissance for measurements, and then cut the stone accordingly.
To install the pattern properly, the main stone, Emperador marble, was set on the floor, flipped once to the left, then flipped up and over, and then flipped over once to the right, over and over again. Each piece of Emperador marble was divided by a strip of Crema Marfil for the custom-cut inlay design. The remaining part of the lobby floor, outside of the repeating pattern, was set with 12- x 24-inch tiles of Jerusalem Gold limestone.
“We’ve been using Laticrete products since before I can remember,” said Larry Sasso. “My father was primarily a contractor, and he used Laticrete before me. It’s been a long and good relationship. They manufacture great products. We want to install something once, without headaches. That’s the key, especially in times like this; do a good job and offer quality. I’d have to say the job at The Renaissance is one of the best projects we’ve been involved with; quality all the way.”
To install this intricate stone floor, R.D. Scinto’s crew first treated the pre-cast, pre-stressed interior concrete subfloor with Laticrete® Blue 92 Anti-Fracture Membrane to prevent new or pre-existing cracks in the substrate from telegraphing through to the finished installation. Of particular importance to the installation was the thin nature of the Laticrete Blue 92 Anti-Fracture Membrane, which helped the transition from the inset repeating pattern to the Jerusalem Gold field tiles stay level with each other. Greenguard-certified for healthy indoor air, Laticrete Blue 92 Anti-Fracture Membrane is TCA “Extra Heavy” rated per ASTM C627, ideal for the high-traffic lobby. Laticrete Blue 92 Anti-Fracture Membrane contains Microban® antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew that could also contribute to cracked or delaminated tiles.
All of the stone tiles in the lobby were set in a mixture of Laticrete® 317 and Laticrete 333 Super Flexible Additive, for a highly flexible thin-set mortar bed with superior bond strength for the interior installation of natural stone tiles over concrete.
To grout the main lobby of The Renaissance, Laticrete 1500 Sanded Grout in the Lifestyle color “Sauterne” - one of 40 standard grout colors manufactured by Laticrete - was selected for its ability to provide dense, durable grout joints when cured. Ideally specified for grout joints between 1/16 and ½ inch, Laticrete 1500 Sanded Grout also features antimicrobial product protection from Microban®.