AURORA, IL…One of the most awarded BMW dealerships in the United States, located in Southern California, recently underwent a makeover. Flooring and wall renovations at the 90,000-square-foot facility, undertaken with TEC® products, had to live up to the dealership’s superior reputation aesthetically and provide the performance required for the demanding showroom environment.
The California dealership touts its commitment to customer service as a reason for its success, and the recent renovations aimed to enhance the customer experience. 123,832 square feet of tile create a sleek, high-end aesthetic in all parts of the dealership – from the service area to the stand-alone iCar building, which houses a sustainable innovation.
Coast Floors, Inc., Irvine, CA, undertook the tile installation in phases, beginning with the service area and drive. The dealership’s service department employs dozens of technicians and advisors who aim to quickly diagnose and repair vehicles, so efficiency was of the utmost importance. Coast Floors, Inc. relied on TEC® products to get the service area up-and-running quickly. Their first task was correcting imperfections in the substrate, using TEC® Fast-Set Deep Patch. TEC® Fast-Set Deep Patch accepts tile in just 1 to 1-1/2 hours, allowing for efficient installation.
“TEC® Fast-Set Deep Patch helped us create a consistent floor in the mechanics area,” says Shawn Kennedy, of Coast Floors, Inc. “It allowed us to quickly bring the substrate up to industry standards for an efficient turnaround.”
The service area and showroom host dozens of cars, each weighing thousands of pounds. Its tile and the materials underneath it have to support not only vehicles, but also automotive lifts and equipment. With those performance requirements in mind, BMW specified clinker tile, known for its resistance to shock, in the service area. The tile was installed with TEC® Ultimate Large Tile Mortar, which delivers non-sag/non-slump characteristics for wall and floor applications.
TEC® Ultimate Large Tile Mortar passed rigorous ASTM C627 Robinson floor testing, which enabled it to be specified for heavy commercial environments like an auto dealership. During testing, the tile assembly withstood 450 rotations of three steel wheels bearing a load of 250 pounds each, without any damage. With those test results, installers knew TEC® Ultimate Large Tile Mortar– and the other selected TEC® products rated for heavy commercial use – would withstand the rigors of a car dealership.
TEC® Power Grout®, which is also rated for heavy commercial applications, finished off the floor with strong grout joints. TEC® Power Grout® delivers aesthetic benefits as well. In the showroom, porcelain tile provides an elegant platform for the latest BMW models for sale. Gray tile in a running brick pattern is accented by TEC® Power Grout in Charcoal Gray. The color consistent joints and understated tile allow customers the cars to shine on a refined and elegant stage.
“TEC® Power Grout® sets rapidly,” says Kennedy. “Because of Power Grout, the technicians could start working on cars quickly.”
While many of the tiled details of its showroom and service area align with other BMW dealerships, the building that houses BMW’s iCar, a sustainable innovation, sets the dealership apart. Other dealerships offer the iCar – a five-door urban electric car – this Southern California dealership features the model in a building of its own. The car stands out among wood-look and royal blue porcelain tile. The royal blue tile, airfreighted from Spain, surrounds the car on both the floor and walls – forming a 3-D frame for the car. TEC® AccuColor® Premium Unsanded Grout – Cornsilk matches the wood-look tile and contrasts with the blue tile, creating a sophisticated showcase for a sophisticated product.
Because most of the tile in the building was imported, replacing it would be both difficult and costly. To help the tile maintain its appearance, Coast Floors, Inc. used TEC® HydraFlex™ Waterproofing Crack Isolation Membrane throughout the dealership. Like TEC® Ultimate Large Tile Mortar and TEC® Power Grout®, TEC® HydraFlex™ is rated for heavy commercial applications. In demanding environments like this dealership, it stops in-plane cracks up to 1/4” wide at the subfloor from telegraphing to ceramic and stone tile. Because it dries within 2 to 3 hours, Coast Floors, Inc. could use it while keeping their installation on schedule.
Tile work at the dealership was completed in May 2014. The project team included general contractor AUTOBUILDERS General Contracting Services, Inc.