Limestone Installation Stands Out in Napa

January 23, 2009
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The exterior of Crush 29, a new restaurant in Roseville, CA, was designed with Salado Palomino split-face limestone from ASN Natural Stone Inc. of San Francisco, CA. The material was installed using adhesive material from Laticrete International of Bethany, CT.


Beginning at the Northeastern tip of the San Francisco Bay and running north some 30 miles to Mount Saint Helena in the Mayacama Mountains, the Napa Valley has long been considered one of California’s most scenic venues. And to stand out within this dramatic environment, the owners of the new Crush 29 restaurant contracted an expert stone installation.

The word “Napa,” according to the urban legend of the locals, is a Native American term meaning “you will always return,” and each year more than five million tourists do just that for the annual rite of passage known as “Crush Season,” for which the restaurant was named. Beginning in mid-September and running through late October, the over 200 wineries in the Napa Valley harvest the plentiful grapes nurtured all year at just the right time, and then crush them to extract the sugary juice that becomes some of the finest wine in all the world.

California State Highway 29 - the 106-mile winding road that runs north to south from Upper Lake City through the Napa Valley, and on to its final resting point at Interstate 80 in Vallejo - has become synonymous with the beauty of the region and the romance of Crush Season in the valley.

It is this combination of elements that a local restauranteur family has sought to capture with their new creation, Crush 29, in Roseville, CA. Brothers Mike and Abe Alizadeh, and sister Kobra, opened the trendy Crush 29 just one-half mile south off I-80 in Roseville, about an hour drive from Napa Valley.

Cresting high on a hilltop, Crush 29 is 9,000 square feet of unique design influences, seeking to mirror the feel of a Napa Valley winery in almost every way. The hip, casual setting is touched off by soft romantic lighting, fireplaces and of course - fine wine. Over 70 different selections of wine are available by the glass and 225 more by the bottle, a perfect complement to Executive Chef Irie Gengler’s full menu of wine country cuisine.

Salado Palomino limestone was also used for the interior of the restaurant - cladding walls as well as multiple fireplaces.

Exterior Stonework

The exterior of the building is clad in Salado Palomino split-face limestone, which was supplied by ASN Natural Stone Inc. of San Francisco, CA. The rough-textured limestone was installed using adhesives by Robert Simas Floor Co. from Rancho Cordova, CA, and the project team was led by Bob Files, Ceramic Division Manger. In all, 2,500 square feet of limestone was installed using adhesives from Laticrete International of Bethany, CT.

Laticrete contractor sales representative Don Peak recommended a LEED-compliant,  Greenguard-certified palette of installation materials from Laticrete, it was locally supplied by the Tom Duffy Co.’s Rancho Cordova, CA, branch.

The limestone pieces range from 18 x 12 x 1 ¼ to 22 x 12 x 1 ¼ inches in size, and they were installed over a brown coat stucco substrate. The installation crew set the material using a one-step, thin-set adhesive, Laticrete 254 Platinum, a polymer-fortified product that has been formulated to exceed all ANSI A118.4 and ANSI 118.11 strength requirements. Robert Simas Floor Co. achieved 100% coverage by troweling Laticrete 254 Platinum on the brown coat stucco, as well as covering each limestone tile with a slurry bond coat before setting it in place.

For the final step of installing the exterior facade, the limestone tiles were grouted with Laticrete 1500 sanded grout, a Greenguard-certified grout formulated to eliminate the threat of shading and blotching caused by minerals and organic particles found in water. It also inhibits the growth of stain-causing mold and mildew with anti-microbial protection from Microban.

In addition to limestone for the vertical elements, the floors at Crush 29 are comprised of large-format Chivay travertine tiles.

Interior Stonework

Inside the main dining area at Crush 29, a massive circular bar highlighted by a beautiful mica-clad light suspended from the ceiling serves as the centerpiece of the restaurant. The bar in the main dining area is surrounded by authentic wine barrel booths and Napa Valley-themed murals. In addition to a main dining area, guests can rent out two separate “wine caves” off of the main dining area, each with seating for 60 people and featuring its own fireplace.

All of the interior spaces are set within a backdrop of natural stone walls and floors, contributing to a warm, yet elegant feel for restaurant guests.

The interior walls were clad with the same Salado Palomino limestone from ASN Natural Stone Inc., and Robert Simas Floor Co. utilized a similar installation system - modified slightly for the substrate and the interior application.

Over a cement backerboard, Files and his team troweled on Laticrete 254 Platinum and once again back-buttered each tile to ensure 100% bond coverage. Since Files and his team had already utilized Laticrete 254 Platinum outside, their familiarity with the product allowed the job to continue without any time wasted learning a new product and its tendencies. All of the grout joints on the walls inside were grouted with Laticrete 1500 sanded grout.

“It’s nice to have a single-source supplier,” Files said. “It’s becoming even more important these days. I try and do quality installations, so I don’t have to worry about the warranty, but it’s nice to know it’s there. But honestly, the main reason I use only Laticrete products is the customer service. Don [Peak] is unbelievable. If I ever have any problems, he’s always right there. He comes right to the jobsite and teaches my installers how to use the products.”

For the 7,000 square feet of stone flooring inside, ASN Natural Stone Inc. provided Crush 29 with 30- x 10- x 3/8-inch tiles of Chivay travertine.

The large-format tiles were installed by Robert Simas Floor Co. in the main area surrounding the bar and the bathrooms, as well as in each of the wine caves and libraries. Once again, Laticrete 254 Platinum was specified as the thin-set adhesive for the material, and the material was laid over a poured concrete substrate. The tiles were set with 1/8-inch grout joints filled with Laticrete 1500 sanded grout.

In the bathrooms, the installers applied Laticrete 9235 Waterproofing Membrane, a thin, liquid-applied, load-bearing waterproofing/anti-fracture membrane that also inhibits the growth of mold and mildew with antimicrobial protection from Microban.

Now that the project is complete, the restaurant has opened to solid reviews - in terms of cuisine as well as architecture. “The stonework is beautiful,” said Mark Fucci, General Manager of Crush 29. “The people that come in here compliment it all the time - inside and out. It’s pretty fantastic. It was amazing to watch this place built.”        

Sidebar: Crush 29

Roseville, CA


Stone Supplier: ASN Natural Stone, San Francisco, CA

Stone Installer: Robert Simas Floor Co., Rancho Cordova, CA

Installation Products: Laticrete International, Bethany, CT

Installation Product Distributor: Tom Duffy Co., Rancho Cordova, CA

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