Installation Case Study: Over-the-top Tiling
Most hotels in Las Vegas are over the top. From the elaborate designs of ground-level casinos to the intricate details throughout various public areas and guestrooms, each property has its own pizazz. It is Las Vegas, after all, where no idea is too big or too small.
For the new 10,000-square-foot Hardwood Suite at Palms Casino Resort — which features two main bedrooms, a basketball court, pool room, whiskey room, locker room and enough space to host a party for 300 people — more than 4,000 square feet of custom-designed porcelain tile mosaics were used on the floors, walls and ceilings of the locker room and bathrooms to create a never-before-seen design.
“The Hardwood Suite has been one of the more iconic Vegas suites in recent years with visibility in print and on television,” said Dave Cohen, co-founder of Elegant Mosaics in Phoenix, AZ, which supplied all of the mosaic tile. “The extremely talented design firm behind the space, Klai Juba Wald, did an amazing job coming up with a concept that was in your face, sexy, chic and really an all-enveloping experience. This space really epitomizes the return of the Palms and the amazing renovation they just completed.”
The ambitious endeavor was the first hospitality project of this scope for Elegant Mosaics since they launched their brand in January 2018, which was recently renamed to Unique Design Solutions. “We manufacture a large selection of customizable mosaics, with one of our specialties being penny rounds, which is what the design firm was looking for,” Cohen explained. “As we went through the design process, which happened very fast, we came to the conclusion that in order to provide them with the right look in the right type of material on a viable timeframe and price point, we were going to have to get creative. Since at the time we did not stock the exact chips that were required, we sourced solid-colored meshed mosaic sheets from one of our partner companies, brought them to our factory in Phoenix, un-meshed every single chip by hand, and then re-designed the chips from monotone to really out of this world.”
After obtaining more than 4,000 square feet of solid-colored mesh mosaics from their partner company, the team at Elegant Mosaics was tasked with removing more than 1 million individual chips from the mesh by hand in order to re-design them into two different custom colorways. “This in itself just got us to the starting point of having the loose chips needed to make the desired design,” Cohen said.
Cohen and his team used a combination of black and white porcelain chips to create the custom diamond penny round pattern that was implemented throughout the suite. “To create more variation to the color and enhance the depth of the mosaic, we incorporated both matte and gloss finishes for the black chips,” Cohen said. “The difference in finish really changes the look and color of the chips in the black color.
“We had considered a similar approach to the white, but the color difference between matte and gloss with those is much harder to discern,” he went on to say. “The matte finish also provided a very practical aspect for the project in making sure that the tile was viable for the application and met the necessary slip co-efficient testing standards.”
Although the majority of the project’s design features black tiles with white accents, the team also installed the mosaics in the master bathroom using white as the predominant color with hints of black. “Adjusting the colorways using the same chips gave us two very distinct looks,” Cohen said.
Originally, the Elegant Mosaics team thought of using a combination of black and white marble to dress the 360-degree tiled suite, but ultimately selected porcelain because of its affordability and ability to withstand wet conditions that the bathrooms and locker rooms present. “Natural stone is one of the staples of our mosaics, and the stone we provide for our penny round designs is all 3/8 inch thick, which makes it great for the floor portion of this project,” he said. “But, after weighing cost considerations and also an application within a locker room, the final decision was made towards porcelain.”
The entire project took around six weeks to complete, with a rigorous installation completed by Superior Tile & Marble in Las Vegas, NV. “Superior took on a beast of an install and knocked it out of the park with incredible pattern-matching and a really top-notch installation,” Cohen said.
Since the Hardwood Suite re-opened, it has received rave reviews. “All you have to do is look at it and understand how most people feel,” Cohen said. “It's jaw-dropping and bold. I really commend Klai Juba Wald and their amazing team of designers for thinking out of the box to create something so spectacular. This suite really is a mind-blowing experience.”
Hardwood Suite at Palms Casino Resort
Las Vegas, NV
Designer: Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors, Las Vegas, NV
Tile Manufacturer/Supplier: Elegant Mosaics, Phoenix, AZ
Tile Installer: Superior Tile & Marble, Las Vegas, NV- Corp., Chicago, IL