Before its remodeling, Cerritos Ford’s showroom floor was lined with 12-inch tiles. Smaller tiles meant more grout lines. Now, with 40- x 40-inch tiles and thinner grout lines, the dealership in Cerritos, CA, boasts a showroom floor with cars that look like they are sitting on clouds.  Conant Automotive Retailer’s Vice President of Facilities and Information Technology, Richard Fisler, wanted the 9,464-square-foot space to have “elegance within simplicity,” without being too bold.

Another important design element was to dichotomize the showroom. By using two colors of tile, the showroom would have an outer area designated to customer traffic, and an interior 5,164-square-foot area designated for showcasing the vehicles. Above all, the tiles had to support the weight of the cars.

After an extensive search for the right tile, the 40- x 40-inch honed porcelain tile from Fiandre’s Maximum Collection was chosen from distributor EuroWest of Anaheim, CA. Two simple, yet complementary colors, were selected — “Mercury” and “Moon” — to achieve the desired effect.

A management team established the price range for the dealership project. They expected to pay more, but because of the trade-off in size, it wound up being equal in cost to a smaller tile installation.

When Fiandre confirmed that the 6-mm-thick tile, once installed, would indeed be strong enough to hold the weight of the automobiles, the installation team could come in. This would be the first-ever installation in the U.S. of that tile size.

The installation

Installation Details

Owner: Conant Automotive Retailers

Installer: Advantage Flooring Co., Placentia, CA

Tile Products: 40- x 40-inch honed porcelain tile — in “Moon” and “Mercury” from the Maximum Collection by Fiandre

Tile Distributor: EuroWest, Anaheim, CA

Installation Products: Mapei Self-Leveling Underlayment and Mapei Keracolor Sanded grout (multiple colors) from Mapei of Deerfield Beach, FL

Number of Installers: 7

Installation Time: 3 weeks

The installation of the tile was done by Advantage Flooring Co. of Placentia, CA. They sent in seven installers for this job, with the total time of the installation taking three weeks.

“The most challenging aspect of the installation was the unevenness of the concrete slabs in the floor’s substrate. Aside from that, the installation was pretty standard — nothing we haven’t seen before,” said Brian Monninger, President of Advantage Flooring Co. “That particular dealership had some extensions to the showroom, so the concrete slabs were uneven, and parts of the concrete slab used to be exterior concrete, so they had slopes to them.”

To go about installing the tile, they first prepped the slab and the tile with Mapei’s Self-Leveling Underlayment. They troweled the medium-set mortar on the back of the tiles and on the slab to correct any uneven surfaces. “It was important to make full contact with the concrete slab floors as well as the back of the porcelain tile,” said Monninger.

After preparing the substrate, the team laid out the job using a grid — a series of chalk lines. Then, a couple of installers made the cuts to the tile. Finally, three to four installers set the tile.

The end result

Ford Cerritos remodeling goals have been very well received.  Fisler is especially pleased with the outcome. “This dealership lies within the world’s largest auto mall, and this store is now the most beautiful store in the auto mall,” he said. Ford Motor Co. is equally pleased and commented, “[Cerritos Ford] has raised the bar for Ford dealers.” Fisler is planning to do the same floor remodeling in their other store in San Diego.