Installation Case Study: High-rise office features unique flooring
A commercial office building in downtown Chicago, IL, opted for a minimal design, with a gypsum underlayment from USG Corporation used as the final flooring material
550 West Jackson is a Class A high-rise located in the heart of downtown Chicago, IL. When it was being renovated, a local contractor was enlisted to provide a flooring solution that could handle heavy foot traffic while meeting the attractive design aesthetic of the building. MTH Industries of Hillside, IL, was on a mission to find an alternative to dense concrete, which can be difficult to use in this type of space.
“The overall design goal for the floors was to level the floors, but still have a concrete finished look,” explained Ben Hester, project manager at MTH Industries. “I worked closely with the general contractor and architect, who chose the size of aggregate that was to be exposed after grinding and which of our mockups had the final color and sheen they were looking for.”
To help find the right solution for the high-traffic floors, MTH Industries teamed up with USG Corporation and combined the Levelrock® Brand 3500 Floor Underlayment with USG Durock™ Brand PWT™ Pro Self-Leveling Topping. “We used Levelrock 3500 to level the floor to a specific tolerance and then installed USG PWT Pro over the Levelrock 3500 substrate,” said Hester.
USG’s underlayment provided a level foundation, while the PWT Pro was mixed with larger decorative aggregates for a more desirable look and feel after grinding the surface. USG Durock™ Brand PWT™ Pro Self-Leveling Topping, a fast-setting, versatile design solution, can be colored integrally or topically, and receives many different types of coatings and sealers that allow for a customized look of the floor.
Hester detailed the benefits to utilizing this system of products opposed to a polished concrete. “If the floor needs to be leveled for the buildout, the concrete will be covered with leveling material, so this product is a great way to still have a concrete-finished look after the floor has been leveled,” said Hester. “Also, if the concrete is in bad condition and the customer does not want to see all of the patching in the finished floor, this product will give them a nice concrete-finished look without the look of patches in the floor.”
Since MTH Industries specializes in decorative concrete floors, this installation didn’t present any complications. However, since each step of the installation process required a different amount of installers, the company had between two to six installers onsite each day. “The installation took about 12 days, including the dry time for the PWT Pro,” said Hester.
Since the project’s completion, MTH Industries’ team has received numerous compliments, but more importantly, has set an example for other flooring projects. “We have done many jobs using decorative concrete toppings, however, this was our first time using the USG PWT Pro material,” said Hester. “Since this job, we have already completed more floors using the USG PWT Pro.”
550 West Jackson
Flooring Installer: MTH Industries, Hillside, IL