The project, located in Medford, OR, features a dilapidated home belonging to C.J. and Lindsay McPhail, who have devoted their lives to an organization that provides support for children with devastating medical conditions. These parents now find themselves in need of help as they raise their three children, including two young sons with autism. Their home, situated on a 50-acre property that is adjacent to Lindsay's parents' home, must be rebuilt from the ground up by the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team.
Plans for the new home included extensive use of porcelain, glass and ceramic tile, and natural stone -- totaling approximately 1,000 square feet. Tile contractor Herbert Meierl of Herbert Meierl Tile in Rogue River, OR, was selected by general contractor Ark Built Renovations to direct the entire installation, which included three bathrooms, a laundry room and a kitchen backsplash. The timeframe for the entire installation was just 10 hours. Meierl immediately consulted with Custom Building Products' Technical Sales Representative Tom DeNure to determine an installation system that could be used throughout the project and would cure quickly enough to meet the demands of the timeframe as well as providing a long-lasting performance for the McPhail family.
DeNure recommended a system using ProLite® Rapid Setting Tile and Stone Mortar, Prism® SureColor® Grout and Custom's new Uncoupling Mat Mortar with an uncoupling mat underlayment. ProLite RS, Custom's medium-bed rapid-setting mortar, has a technologically advanced lightweight formula that delivers the performance needed in such a demanding environment on a challenging fast-track schedule. Prism SureColor Grout was specified for several reasons, including that fact that it can take foot traffic in just four to six hours, the color is completely consistent with no shading -- regardless of environmental conditions, and Prism creates dense grout joints that can range in size from 1/16 to 1/2 inch.
"I have worked with Custom products, and with Tom, many years, and knew that Custom was the only choice for this difficult, high-profile project," said Meierl. "They are an innovative company with superior, high-performance products, which they support with hands-on technical expertise. Tom was with us on-site as part of the team for the entire 10 hours, which was critical to our success."
The installation itself took place overnight, on a single 10-hour shift. During the process, described by Tom as "controlled and well-orchestrated chaos," the tile team had to work with -- and around -- at least 18 other teams who were responsible for doors, cabinetry, windows and other construction elements in the home. Within 90 minutes of laying the floor tile, contractors were able to lay planks and walk on the installation without causing any damage. "One of the most critical keys to success in this case was having the right products specified and installed correctly," said Tom. "There was absolutely no room for error, and our products performed exactly as they were designed to."
Tiling the shower stalls in both the master and the secondary bath proved a little unorthodox, because shower pans were specified for the floor-to-ceiling stalls, and could not bear the weight of a ladder. Because the installers were using ProLite RS, they were able to remove the pan temporarily, place a ladder in the stall, and tile the shower from the top down, without slippage. Once the tile was down to within arm's reach, the ladders were removed, the shower pans replaced and the remainder of the tile was installed.
"It was a privilege to be involved in this project, with some of the finest construction professionals in our industry coming together to make a difference for a wonderful family who has spent so much time giving to others. It's an experience I will never forget," said DeNure.