When constructing the interior of The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care Administrative Headquarters in Mishawaka, IN, a little over a year ago, nearly 8,500 square feet of ceramic and porcelain tile from Daltile and American Olean was utilized to help create a soothing environment. The project, which was completed by the design and installation firm Office Interiors of Granger, IN, included tiling the 24,263-square-foot building’s floors, restroom walls and kitchen backsplash — with a unique design goal in mind.
“The design of the building was developed around the concept of reversed geometry,” said Ken Bohn, flooring division manager at Office Interiors. “The entire building featured lots of angles, creating a very unique space. Specific elements, like tile, were based on the natural earth tones of the exterior color, and stone selection working with the colors of the lobby tile.”
The design was a collaboration of the architectural firm, Helman/Sechrist Architecture; Office Interiors and two of its interior designers, Kristine Bergman and Alyson Greene; and the client, according to Bohn. “The client hired us to do the overall finishes concept,” he said. “We worked on the concept in collaboration with Helman/Sechrist Architecture, and the owner stepped in to give an opinion and to sign off on specific details of the project.”
Several collections from Daltile’s porcelain and ceramic lines were employed, along with one of American Olean’s mosaic collections. For the lobby floor, 1,800 square feet of Daltile’s Ayres Rock™ glazed porcelain in “Rustic Remnant” was employed. For the lunchroom floor, 1,209 square feet of Daltile’s Timber Glen™ Rustic ColorBody™ porcelain in “Heath” was used; while 2,055 square feet of Daltile’s City View™ ColorBody™ porcelain in “Skyline Gray” and “Downtown Nite” was selected for the restroom floors; and 16 square feet of each of Daltile’s Fabrique™ ColorBody™ porcelain in “Gris Linen” and “Brun Linen” — in 2- x 2-inch mosaics — were chosen for the shower floor.
For the men’s and women’s bathroom walls, a total of 2,866 square feet of Daltile’s Fabrique™ ColorBody™ porcelain in “Gris Linen” and “Crème Linen” were employed. In addition, 225 square feet of Daltile’s Ahnzu Metal Ages in “Clefted Pewter” was used for the men’s restroom accent walls, while 225 square feet of American Olean’s Crackle Glass Mosaics was used for the women’s restroom accent wall. To construct the smallest element of the job — the kitchen wall backsplash — 45 square feet of Daltile’s Sandalo™ Ceramic Tile in Zircon Blend was used.
Architects: Helman/Sechrist Architecture; Elkhart, IN
Installer:Office Interiors; Granger, IN
Installation Products:profiles and transitions from Schluter Systems of Plattsburgh, NY; Mapei Ultraflex LFT mortar from Mapei Corp. of Deerfield Beach, FL; and grouts from Custom Building Products of Seal Beach, CA
Number of Installers:4
Installation Time:3 months
“When selecting the particular tile used, Office Interiors looked at three factors — quality, performance and brand reputation,” said Bohn. “When looking at different tile manufacturers, the style and color palate became a key factor. When looking for a tile that complemented the exterior building design, Daltile manufactured a tile that we immediately knew was the perfect fit. From there, we looked for tile that was in line with that initial choice.
“We considered other brands, but at the end of the day, Daltile offered what we needed for the project, and our past relationship with the brand gave us security in the decision,” Bohn added.
Four installers from Office Interiors completed all of the work using a thin set installation. They utilized a variety of products, including Schluter profiles and transitions, Mapei Ultraflex LFT mortar and Custom Building Products’ grouts, and were able to finish the job in only three months.
“I was onsite daily to supervise the project from start to finish,” said Bohn. “I would look to make sure the entire project went smoothly, making sure that the installation followed the design, that the condition of the floors was suitable, and that we were paying attention to the details of installation. I wanted to make sure the pattern was correctly followed and lined up because the design of the building provided interesting challenges. I really handled the overall project management of the tile portion.”
Although the overall design and installation process went relatively smoothly, installers faced two minor difficulties when completing the tile work. “One difficulty would fall in the intricate design of the building and the unique shape. The reverse geometry design caused lots of angles, and for this reason, we had to be sure that the layout of the tile was symmetrical,” said Bohn. “[Also], during the installation, an elevator installation was delayed, creating a unique situation for the team. There was a hallway that the elevator was located off of, and during the installation it had to be divided into two different projects. Office Interiors had to coordinate with the contractor to work in the area and make sure the two sides came together correctly in the middle. As we installed on each side of the hallway, we had to be mindful of the eventual connection and make sure that everything lined up correctly once the two sides came together.”
Since the project’s completion last July, Office Interiors has received great feedback from both the clients and other individuals. “The client was pleased with the outcome of the project,” said Bohn. “Because of the nature of the administrative center, a lot of medical professionals visit on a daily basis. The great outcome of the project has led to many other opportunities for Office Interiors.”