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editor’s note Proudly produced and printed by ELITE PUBLISHING CO PTY LTD ABN: 27 006 876 419 PO BOX 800, Templestowe, Vic Australia 3106 Ph: + 61 3 9890 0815 Email: info@elitepublishing.com.au Web: www.finishesandsurfacesmagazine.com.au

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PUBLISHER Vicky Cammiade vicky.cammiade@elitepublishing.com.au EDITOR Betty Tanddo betty.tanddo@elitepublishing.com.au CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Scott Lewis MACHINERY EDITOR

Welcome to the relaunched 2017-2018 edition of Finishes & Surfaces magazine.

We explore the development of adhesives and grout in the final section of Finishes & Surfaces.

Philip Ashley philipneilashley@yahoo.com.au ADVERTISING SALES Sandie Velkovska

For architects, designers, specifiers and professional end-users, accessing relevant and useful information about finishes and surfaces has become an important part of their overall project management.

Our main intention with this edition is to give our readers, who are active industry participants, a magazine that has some longevity and an opportunity to highlight a number of leading companies in each category.

sandie@elitepublishing.com.au

Until next time,

www.ubercreative.com.au

georgia.gilmour@elitepublishing.com.au GRAPHIC DESIGN Uber Creative Ph: 03 9988 6112 connect@ubercreative.com.au PRODUCTION email: production@elitepublishing.com.au PRE-PRESS & PRINTED BY Prominent Press Pty Ltd ELITE PUBLISHING CO PTY LTD SUPPLEMENT TO: Flooring Magazine, Discovering Stone Magazine, Tile Today Magazine, Supplier Magazine and FB Magazine.

Betty Tanddo Editor, Finishes & Surfaces Magazine Leading the Industry

Endorsed by Australian Tile Council www.australiantilecouncil.com.au ELITE PUBLISHING CO PTY LTD. All rights reserved. No part of this publication maybe reproduced, transmitted or copied in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without the express prior written consent of Elite Publishing Co Pty Ltd. Viewpoints, opinions, claims, etc expressed in articles appearing in this publication are those of the authors. The Publishers accept no responsibility for the information supplied or for claims made by companies or their representatives regarding product performance, etc or for any errors, omissions, misplacement, alterations, or any subsequent changes, or for any consequences of reliance on this information or this publication.

For the stone sector, we write about natural stone ventilated rainscreen facades, engineered quartz and Cultured Stone. Corian and Venetian plaster are central to the surfaces section and Global GreenTag take over the flooring content and write about the benefits of implementing a green flooring option.

Georgia Gilmour

For artwork and production enquiries please

This special edition of Finishes & Surfaces takes an in-depth look at five main categories: tiles, stone, surfaces, flooring and adhesives & sealants. In the tile section, we present the history of the subway tile and why it has never really fallen out of fashion. There is also a feature on the disparity between bathroom design reflected in mainstream magazines and what is actually being created in many Australian bathrooms.

CIRCULATION MANAGER

Front cover image provided by Axolotl.

Please note: Shade variation is an inherent feature of tile and stone production. The Publisher is not liable for any discrepancy between images published in Tile Today and actual products.

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contents

08

Flooring 70

Tile 10

16

The appeal of the subway tile has continued almost unabated since its introduction back in the early 20th Century Sometimes bathroom designs depicted in mainstream magazines do not resemble the bathrooms that most people create for their homes

Stone 26

Building façades made of stone

30 The countertop market is becoming dominated by engineered quartz makers

30

David Baggs from Global GreenTag writes about sustainable flooring options

73 Green flooring product registry

Surfaces 44

16

Corian countertops are now synonymous with solid surface countertops

Adhesives & Sealants 82 Adhesives are a productsolving technology 86 It’s all about the grout

54 Venetian plaster combines traditional artisan craftmanship with contemporary style to deliver unique finishes

56

36 Boral’s Cultured Stone sees itself at the centre of the contemporary architecture and design movement

www.finishesandsurfacesmagazine.com.au

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It seems possible there is a type of nostalgia involved in the ongoing embrace of the subway tile by consumers and professional end-users — it could speak to a simpler, more elegant time. Whichever way it is used, subway tile can be an inexpensive, versatile choice for home owners and renovators, that has a great pedigree. In the following pages, we take a look at the enduring popularity of the subway tile and its evolution as a perennially popular option for bathrooms and kitchens. Dissonance is often used as a musical term. It means things are not in harmony. In the strictest sense of the term, design dissonance often relates to usability — when a design somehow pushes a user in the wrong direction, in terms of both understanding and action. In the second feature of the tile section in Finishes & Surfaces, we explore design dissonance in bathroom design. This article highlights the some of the inconsistencies between what is highlighted in many mainstream design magazines — what can be seen as highly aspirational — and the practitioners who are actually creating bathrooms in a handson way for people’s homes.

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tile

1.

SUBWAY TILES, EVERLASTING STYLE Regarded as a modern classic, the ubiquitous 3-by-6-inch rectangle, first seen in a New York subway station, quickly made its way into kitchens and bathrooms across the country. With its sleek, easy-toclean design, it’s no surprise that the trend is still going strong today.

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It’s no secret that one of the most popular tile styles over the past 15 years has been the so-called “subway tile”. The “standard” subway tile is easy to define exactly: it is a 3-inch by 6-inch (76mm by 177mm) ceramic tile that is around 3/8-inch (9mm) thick — and it is, importantly, a rectified tile. “Rectified” means that the tile is produced oversized, and is then ground or cut down to precise dimensions, with perfectly square corners and sides.

1.5mm, which gives them the look of a near-contiguous surface. Tiles with non-rectified, and therefore variable edges and slightly varying sizes need slightly wider grout lines so that the tiler can accommodate that variation.

That rectification has important consequences for the subway tile. It’s the main reason why the tiles can be laid — in their most “traditional” form — with very thin grout lines, usually of 3mm, but going down to as fine as

Underground

2017/18

Rectification might seem something of a small detail, but in fact it really points to the historical usage of the subway tile, the cultural forces at work in its creation, and — possibly — why it has proven to be such an enduring design.

As the name indicates, the subway tile came into being as part of the construction of underground railways — the “subway” — in the American city of New York.

Of course, as such things go, the construction of the subway itself was the consequence of major changes to New York itself. In 1900 the population of the greater New York area — “the five boroughs” — is recorded as 3,437,202. By 1910 it had leapt by 38% to 4,766,883. The subways (there were several independent companies operating from the beginning) were planned in the 1890s, with the first working lines completed by 1904. Aside from accommodating the ongoing expansion of the city, these transportation lines set the city up for further growth, linking together the disparate parts of greater New York.


tile

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Part of what fed that huge (for the time) population growth was the growth of manufacturing, as the second stage of the industrial revolution caught hold in a country with ample natural resources, an open policy that attracted immigrants from Europe, and new ideas about how best to run production. Tile manufacturing in the US had undergone transformations similar to those of other forms of manufacturing. Prior to 1870, just about all tiles sold in the US were imported from England, but this began to change around 1876. By 1890 virtually all imports had been replaced by local manufacture. The US industry had also changed the types of tiles it made by 1890. Previously these had been almost entirely encaustic tiles — which had an ingrained pattern, made by using different coloured clays, providing durability of appearance — but increased competition soon led to more variation. Both glazed ceramic tile and mosaic tile grew in popularity, and by 1900 had all but replaced encaustic tile in the market.

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In some ways, you could say that all these currents came together in the development and use of the subway tile. The tile formed a significant part of the work of the firm hired to design the interior decoration of the New York subways, Heins & LaFarge (H&LF), which was run by two artists, George C. Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge. Both artists were committed to the Arts & Crafts movement, which had begun as something of a reaction to increasing industrialisation, favouring traditional styles, and a reworking of the Romantic tradition. H&LF’s work on the subway started in 1901 and continued to 1907. H&LF’s choice of tile was likely partly a response to their Arts & Crafts orientation towards the colourful and the decorative, but it was also a response to what was at the time somewhat in vogue. The use of tile itself in this kind of public space was new. One of the factors that led to its widespread acceptance was the new fashion for something called “hygiene”. From a modern perspective it seems difficult to believe, but what

we take for granted as regards the need for cleanliness and the role of germs, did not begin to gain acceptance until the 1870s. In the 1860s leading scientists such as Louis Pasteur were still having to disprove theories of “spontaneous generation”, which, instead of acknowledging the role of microorganisms, believed that infections, mould and so forth were created “spontaneously”. Pasteur and other scientists demonstrated how diseases spread through infection, and from the 1880s onwards cleanliness became a mark of educated “high class” life. By the 1900s, after the invention of the flushing toilet and modern septic systems in the 1860s, and the production of Lysol in the 1890s, hygiene was fashionable, and “hygienic” regarded as a term of high praise. Tiles were (quite rightly) regarded as being a very hygienic product, as they were relatively non-porous and could be cleaned to a high standard. This is, of course, the reason why the original subway tile was white, which was the “new” hygienic colour. While white is, in a practical sense, no more hygienic than light blue, the use of white for hygienic spaces was a reaction against past practices of using black or other dark colours to hide the dirt or mess. Surgeons, for example, originally operated in dark clothing for this reason. What H&LF managed with the New York subways was to bring about a fusion of industrially produced materials used in surprisingly decorative designs, marrying the mass-produced with a mass transit system, but adding an individual touch which gave each subway station its own character. For example, elements such as simple directional signs were emphasised with elaborate surrounding tilework.


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tile The subway tile is a subtle reference to this combination. The tiles themselves seem to be almost the ultimate mass-produced item. However, their use in the subway reflected the way in which mass-production could, in certain circumstances, make available forms that hand production could not. The rectification process itself, which produced tiles that were nearly completely uniform, would not have been possible without industrial processes. Yet the contradiction is that to produce the beautiful uniform walls of these tiles required great skill and craftsmanship on the part of the tilers. The very thin grouting, of 3mm, is difficult to maintain, and to do so across the vast stretches of tiled area, where the slightest fault would be visible, showed real skill in the craftsmen who built the subway stations. The original subways used grey grout, as it set off the white tiles, and hid stains better than a paler grout would have.

Mass production After its success as a subway tile in actual subways, the tiles became increasingly common in American life. Their “hygienic” aspect made them the perfect choice for medical facilities, and also in areas of food preparation, such as butcher shops. By the early 1920s their success meant that some standardisation was brought to the basic tiles. In 1921, the Associated Tile Manufacturers in the US published a manual which offered a standard for production. By the mid-1920s, under the influence of the Art Deco and the Art Nouveau movements, as sanitary-ware evolved new colours and shapes, the tiles echoed the shift in colour. From the Depression Era of the 1930s, through World War II, the tiles became more plain, and functional, the style essentially frozen as first 12 |

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economic collapse and later the general sense of austerity made people reluctant to do anything that even seemed opulent. By the late1940s, however, the tiles had broken out again in their former exuberant colour and style. They became common in American middle-class suburban homes, complementing the extra-sanitary bathrooms in their pastel pinks and blues. During the 1960s the subway tile gradually became less favoured, and by the end of the 1970s was not regarded as a stylish choice. There was something of a revival in the mid-1980s, where they would often appear in brighter, more urgent colours, such as crimson red, but this was largely confined to very urban interiors. Their popularity faded again by the early 1990s, but then revived again as the industrial style began to influence design. By the late-1990s, as the urge to use bright colours faced, to be replaced by white simplicity, the original white subway tiles began showing up again, mostly in kitchens, but in some bathrooms as well.

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Revival In the 2000s the subway tile became a common feature as part of a kitchen backsplash. From there, it migrated to common use in bathrooms. As bathroom fixtures and fittings grew more luxurious, the subway tile proved the perfect foil, at once plan and yet elegant. In a curious turn of events, where the tiles had once been a rather expensive material to use, but inexpensive to install due to cheap labour, the tiles themselves now became relatively inexpensive, but required skilled (and expensive) craftsmen to install them properly. Once the common-persons bathroom wall covering, they had gained a certain “snob appeal”. What brought the subway tile back? One possible reason for its return is that it is pretty much the epitome of the “urban” tile, and the world is currently going through a phase of increasing urbanisation. Aside from this aspect of style and emotion, it’s also a very good tile for smaller spaces, as the pure uniformity of its surface, and the thin perfectly straight grout lines it makes possible, tend to make the surfaces it covers seem larger than they are.


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4. kitchen decorated with subway tile will not look very dated at all.

Modern

1. Architect firm H&LF combined industrially produced materials, decorative designs for the New York mass transit system. 2. There has been an evolution in the setting patterns for subway tiles. 3. A bevelled edge white subway tile for the bathroom. 4. Kitchen backsplash installation by US-based MAK Construction Services using Elida Ceramica Volcanic Essence glass mosaic subway wall tile.

Beyond that, for homeowners with an eye on the future sale value of their house, the subway tile has proven to be about as timeless as any modern tile design. It’s likely that a house put on the market 10 years from now with a bathroom or 14 |

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Today, you can find subway tiles used just about anywhere. Along with their various uses, there has also been an evolution in their setting patterns. There are nine basic setting patterns that are commonly seen. Also, as you might expect, the definition of what exactly is a “subway tile” has tended to shift and become somewhat inclusive. A wide range of tiles, from square 150mm by 150mm, to larger 400mm by 200mm tiles now call themselves “subway tiles”. There have also been many variations on the plain, rectified nature of the original tile, with little remaining except a vague reference to the original shape. That said, there is still steady demand for the original design. The Subway Ceramics company, of

Oak Park, Illinois (USA), continues to produce the tile to the original specifications set down in 1921, including cap mouldings, base mouldings, and radius trims. The company offers 20 basic glaze colours, from seven different whites, through khaki, ginger, and blush pink, through to midnight blue and three shades of black. If there is one downside to the subway tile, it is that installing these tiles is not a job for the average DIYer. The tiles are very unforgiving of errors. They tend to look best with a contrasting grout colour, which, of course, just makes matters worse, as any attempt to fill-over errors will result in an ugly blemish. One option is to use “mini” subway tiles which come with a backing, making installation much easier. However, this means you are not getting the original dimensions and the full effect.


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tile

1.

BATHROOM DESIGN DISCORD “Design dissonance” is a term we are borrowing from the world of systems design in technology. Perhaps the best definition is this: “Design dissonance occurs when a product or service sends out cognitive signals that run counter to the desired effect”. What is being pointed to here is that design does a number of things. It should facilitate the use of whatever is being designed — of course. It should also, perhaps, un-facilitate a bad or unsafe use of what is being used. For example, the safety button on a power tool trigger makes it a little harder to use, but it makes it really hard to use it in an unsafe way, by accidentally starting it up. The other main function of design is to contain and communicate a narrative about the things that have been designed. When we purchase an object or simply go to use it, we might have no or just very little experience with that particular object, so we look at its design in an effort to determine how it might perform. 16 |

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Of course, this opens up the way for profitable miscommunications as well. A typical one is buying some products in a box, then opening up the box to discover that it is halfempty. The design of the box should have accurately described size or quantity, and instead it has been deceptive. Between those two extremes — design that accurately describes an object, and design that misleads — is an area where design can be somewhat ambiguous. The guy who buys a simple family sedan, but chooses the option to have racing stripes on it isn’t being fooled into thinking the car is faster than it is. Rather he is expressing something that is aspirational. Either he wishes he could own a sports car instead

of a family sedan, or that he could afford a faster car. A lot of retail has a high component of the aspirational attached to it. While there is certainly a place for that, from time to time the aspirational begins to overwhelm the basic reality of whatever is being sold. The situation often seems to become one of people buying half-imaginary products for halfimaginary uses. At least a part of the Australian bathroom industry seems to be developing toward this. In particular, looking through most of the home design magazines available on the newsstand today, it can be difficult to know what exactly it is they are describing, or,


really, why. Take this sample of text from a picture caption in Real Living (ironically) magazine: “A whirlpool bath (left) with matt black tapware sits among the urban jungle housed in an atrium. Dual sinks and round mirrors (above) provide a contrast to the grid design of the tiling. The greenery of the atrium (right) is complemented indoors with a small flowerbed of grasses that provide a handy border to hide the loo.” It’s a bathroom with a skylight, and underneath the skylight is a glass box with a couple of plants and a bunch of rocks. This sits between the bathtub and the shower. (“Among the urban jungle”? Really? You can just imagine saying to a designer, “I desire an urban jungle to be among”.) What is just as interesting as the words, is the way the bathroom is portrayed in images in the magazine. There are four pages of content, spread out over six pages in the magazine (due to ad pages), consisting of three double-page spreads. The images on the first of these two spreads are a little confusing and disorienting, in that they make it hard to get a sense of this bathroom. It is only on the

2.

3. final spread that a clear, overall picture of the bathroom is shown — making possible the rather simple description we’ve provided above. What is clear is that the magazine is taking something of a cinematic approach to the architecture it describes. It’s not designed, as the magazine in other ways suggests it is, to provide a clear overview of what is going on with this design so as to aid other designers. Instead it is designed to dazzle the eye, to introduce a narrative experience that has to do with “jungles”, geometry, and secrets somehow concealed in a small brightly lit room that is wall-to-wall white tiles. Often when we venture into territory such as this, we often fall back on finding some actual practitioners in the real world of whatever it is, the people who actually put things together. When it comes to bathrooms, and what people are really doing, we fell back on Klaus Tietz. Tietz was, once upon a time, a hardware retailer, but swapped over for the other side of the counter and became a specialist in bathroom renovations for the past 15 years. His company, Bermagui Bathrooms, did most of its work in Canberra, but he has recently moved location to the south coast of New South Wales. We began our discussion by asking Tietz what recent trends he had noticed. “Most of my clients are tending to keep things simple. Unlike glossy

magazine designs, most bathrooms are quite small and the aim is to utilise the available space. “I’m seeing spa baths are less common and in most cases, I’m removing them instead of installing them. When it comes to tiles, people are tending to use neutral colours. White wall tiles with a charcoal coloured floor tile seems to be quite popular. “Tiling to the ceiling is preferred rather just half way up the walls. White never dates and coloured towels along with chrome tap fittings can change the theme of the bathroom quite simply. “Also, the semi-frameless shower screen is popular over the fully framed shower screen, and where possible (provided there is enough room), an open shower with single toughened glass panel. Shower bases are less common because they can fade and scratch over time so a tiled-in shower base, with no shower hob, is the preferred option.” 2017/18 | 17


4.

tile 1. Candana Bathroom ware has introduced AXOR Universal Accessories to its portfolio. Designer, Antonio Citterio has created a line of compatible product accessories that give the bathroom a timeless and classic look.. 2. When a brass base is coated in inFinium PVD, a molecular bond is created, as the brass and coloured PVD finish become one. This state-of-the-art technology delivers exceptional results, designed to stand the test of time.. 3. High end bathroom fittings can be a worthwhile investment because they can last longer. Products are from the AXOR range. 4. The City Que Basin Set Statue Bronze from Brodware. Darker shades can work in bathroom settings.

Look, actual information! Things you (and your clients) can understand, and maybe use. Finishes & Surfaces magazine then asked Tietz what changes he had seen over the past five years. He said, “I’ve noticed over the past five years that the use of a vertical mosaic feature tile strip in the middle of the shower or bathroom is now dated. A trend seems to be emerging to run the floor tiles up one wall as a feature. This also gives the illusion of a big room. White rectangular wall tiles 300mm by 600mm when run vertically can make a small bathroom look much bigger.” This issue of the space and the appearance of space is evidently one of some concern for many of Tietz’s customers. As he points out, increasing the actual physical size of a bathroom is a major renovation, so most of his customers try to find alternatives. He explains, “There are a few ways of making the existing bathroom space look and feel larger. One of those is to change the bathroom layout/configuration, also tile colour and orientation play a big factor. Installing a sliding door cavity where possible will give more room for a larger vanity and a shower. In cases where the shower is over the bath we can remove the bath tub allowing space for a bigger shower, 18 |

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this can make a big difference in making the room look bigger.” What about the classic bath/no bath debate? we asked Tietz. He replied, “Most people generally prefer to keep the bath but when we work out that on average they only use the bath four times a year, they all seem to agree that they can live without it. Unless, of course, it is a family with small children.” One topic we were really interested in was whether people were spending up on things like shower fittings. He said, “I’m finding that if the property is an investment property, they will tend to use the cheaper brands. If the property is their own residence, they generally spend more on good quality shower fittings. “The cheaper shower fittings tend to deteriorate much quicker especially in the coastal regions where I’m currently working. A sign of this is pitting in the plating of the cheaper chrome fittings. Spending money on a better quality fitting means it will last much longer and will keep the bathroom looking good in years to come.” We were also interested in whether people, once a drought has passed, would continue to invest in water conservation measures. Tietz

said, “Yes, people are more water conscious these days than ever before. All modern tapware now has a WELS rating (Water Efficiency Labelling Standard) which measures the water efficiency of a shower head, tap or toilet. Using a zero to six-star rating allows a quick comparison. The more stars the higher efficiency much like an energy rating of a fridge or freezer.” Finally, with so many new waterproofing products for bathrooms on the market, we wondered if Tietz had tried anything new out. He said, “I’ve seen many attempts at waterproofing using different methods. In most cases they have failed, especially in the older bathrooms, because the products we have today were not available back then. The most important part of a bathroom renovation is the correct installation of the waterproofing system. The consequences of failure of the waterproofing membrane can be very costly. I suggest that this task should only be done by a qualified, licensed tradesperson.” So, that is the real world of bathroom renovation. Small rooms that have to be carefully handled, white still works, dark floor tiles, possibly going up the wall, fully tiled treatments, spend more on bathroom fittings if you want them to last, and buy high water efficiency gear because people value that.


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Slab tiles are both highly practical and aesthetically inspiring. They’re suited to a number of different applications, from heavy transit areas to interior and exterior walls and floors. Uses: Facades: Our slab tiles provide any project with innovative construction solutions. With its large size, facades can be installed in fewer steps and in the case of the 3.5mm profile, its minimal thickness makes it one of the lightest facade coverings available and recommended for ventilated facades. Healthcare: The combination of the large slab format, fewer joints, and the additional application of the Coverlam H&C resistant properties, makes it especially suitable for wall coverings in hospitals, clinics and surgeries. Interior Design: They are ideal for surfaces requiring a precise finish. The slim lines and mechanical strength make it perfect for decorative feature walls, a streamlined look for floors, and even a porcelain veneer for furniture. Slab tiles offer a seamless solution for cladding kitchen countertops, islands or bathrooms. They also save time in renovation projects with the ability to tile over existing floors.

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Metro Tiles presents the latest in benchtop technology: iTOPKer Benchtops, 12 mm-thick porcelain slabs in a large 1500x3200mm format. Thanks to their extra-large size, iTOPKer Benchtops offer a design potential that was hitherto unimaginable, with no need for tile joints. It makes the projects easier to manage and implement. iTOPKer Benchtops can be used in ambitious and complex applications. METRO TILES earth www.metrotiles.com.au phone (07) 3216 5800

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Italian brand Scarabeo presents eye-catching printed floral basins. Made from a glazed ceramic, that is fired snow white in finish, the basins then have the decorative option, where the floral prints are available for the second layer. This is sealed on before the basin gets fired again. The finished product can give bathroom spaces a fresh and vibrant feel. PACO JAANSON earth www.pacojaanson.com.au phone 1800 006 260

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“However, simple tile formats like 100 x 300mm are also coming back into vogue. As designers experiment with variations in tile texture and finish combined with intricate laying patterns, we’re seeing exquisitely designed spaces emerging with deeply rich and luxurious patterned floors that look stunning,” said Gilding.

Project highlights: THE INDOOR-OUTDOOR ROOM With the Australian climate there is a current trend to bring the outside in, and vice versa. This is true of style, layout, and materials used in interior design, according to Beaumont Tiles. Rachel Gilding, strategic designer at Beaumont Tiles said that a great way to accomplish this look and feel is with continuity of flooring, particularly in entertaining areas. “Large format tiles were a clear trend established at Cevisama in 2017,” she said. “Using new exterior 20mm porcelain pavers, such as the 20mm Horizon series, with matching interior tiles creates a seamless flow between the inside and out, which is perfect for our Australian lifestyle.” Meanwhile the trends in finishes are evolving. There’s a movement away from the high gloss tiling of old towards rawer and more natural textures and finishes. This push has branched into two popular trends: the earthy natural look, and the raw industrial look. “In the earthy and natural look, tile finishes like timber and stone imitations are popular. There is a trend for natural materials to be shown off and be championed as the focal point of a space. “Matte finishes like soft cement and render 22 |

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looks are the next step in the raw industrial trend, maintaining the raw material feel but evolving it to create sleek and high-class spaces,” explains Gilding. The layouts and sizes that are popular in 2017 also echo the push to bring the outside in, with large format tiles traditionally reserved for outdoors being used now throughout the house. “The clear trend for floor tiles is that bigger is better, with tiles once considered large – like 600mm x 600mm tiles – being dwarfed by tiles up to 800 x 800mm and even 1000 x 3000mm.

MONOCHROME STYLE A bath and feature wall take centre stage in this project in Lockleys (SA) by LS Design Construct featuring Beaumont Tiles. The bathroom highlights the Icon Bone Textured tile on the floor and walls. As a feature tile, the Mosaic Carrara Hex is ontrend with its hexagonal geometric design that adds a subtle texture to the marble-look surface.

Main image: Denim Blue glazed porcelain with Denim Off White glazed porcelain tiles. Above: Eleganza glazed porcelain rectified tile. Below: The Kalkaria grey porcelain rectified tile.


Pictured here and bottom: Tile and stone are the central focus of this residential renovation in Turramurra (NSW)

Project highlights: A TILE TRANSFORMATION A home renovation featuring Amber Tiles in the suburb of Turramurra in Sydney’s North Shore focused on making it a modern, easyto-maintain home for a young family, and ensuring it complemented its leafy surrounds. The homeowners, Jarrod and Sandie, wanted to maintain a number of natural elements with a focus on stone. They explain: “The idea was to keep everything pretty bright so we could enjoy the natural elements around us. “We have used stone in the past with a number of our projects and it looks really contemporary but also very stylish and fashionable. We were also sold on the fact that the stone is unique as each piece has its own character.” The couple did not have a set idea of which stone to use but said they received great

advice from Amber Tiles’ Hornsby store staff and worked with them to see which stone would best suit and the one they liked the most. Jarrod said: “Through my commercial business, I have been dealing with Amber for over 10 years. Amber has a great range of products from stone, tiles, retaining walls, tapware etc. Great to go to one store and get everything you need. “The tiles and stone are always new and on-trend. Not the run of the mill that everyone seems to have…It is also very important is the people you deal with. There is a level of trust that you have to have with such an important decision and we definitely have that with the team at Amber. They genuinely feel like it is their own house and you are not dealing with just a salesperson who wants to sell you anything.”

BAVARIAN INFLUENCE Amber Tiles introduces Bavaria Stone, an exclusive series of porcelain tiles inspired by the mountains in Bavaria. “Tasteful and effortlessly chic”, according to Amber Tiles. It believes Bavaria Stone is bound to be an ideal choice for anyone who loves all things modern and practical.

BATHROOM PATTERNS This bathroom uses a pattern from the 2016 Love My Amber Competition Winner. One large scale, one medium scale, and one small scale pattern can provide a combination that is fun without being overwhelming. For example, one large plain tile, with a medium geometric tile can be used, pared back with a smaller mosaic accent tile.

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As one of humanity’s most ancient building materials, it is perhaps a little surprising to discover how much innovative work is being put into stone. In this section of Finishes & Surfaces, we explore a good cross section of that development, in an effort to show the range and extent of the innovative process that are adding life to such a familiar material. In the first article, we look at how real stone has come to be used as a form of building cladding. Then we write about a very different form of stone: so-called “engineered” or manufactured stone, where polymer resins are used to tie together various aggregates to produce a very solid, durable surface. The most common form of this stone uses silicabased aggregates, of which quartz is the most common. Just about all the engineered quartz surfaces produced today make use of the patents and processes of a single Italian company, Breton, and the generic name for these surfaces is “Bretonstone”. In the third article, we look at Boral Cultured Stone. This is a lightweight concrete (primarily pumice) cladding, which is first moulded, then coloured to make it look like a real stone. We trace its origins from its use in mid-century modern houses in the 1950s and 1960s, to its use in the later “ranch houses”, and on to its use in efforts to revive mid-century modern in the present day.

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stone

COVERED IN STONE The facade of a building is the first clue that tells us that structure may have something special to offer. Lightweight natural stone ventilated rainscreen facades are becoming more commonly used in modern buildings because of their benefits in efficiency and aesthetic appeal. The way buildings are constructed has changed fundamentally over the past 35 years. While the original change in “modern” architecture — building stressed frames, on which less-stressed walls are attached — was developed at the end of the 19th Century, and brought us the skyscraper, it was really post-modernist architecture that developed the full use of the facade. Where in the past facades were seen as decorative elements on the fundamental structure of a building,

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post-modernism buildings became more about their facades as a fundamental cultural expression of what the building was.

to an outsize 15-storey block of a building. In particular, its pink exterior was unusual in buildings of the time.

You could date post-modernism’s entrance into the mainstream back to the construction of the Portland Building, in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 1982. The architect Michael Graves (who passed away in 2015) conceived a building for the municipal workers of the city that was striking in that it attempted to bring human scale and dimensions

Originally Graves had wanted to use a glazed terracotta facade, but, mindful of the tight budget for the building, he opted to use coloured reinforced concrete and fibreglass for the cladding and decorative elements. Functionally, the building has been criticised. The windows are unique and interesting from the outside, but from the inside, in a building of such depth, they lead to a strong reliance on artificial light. This had led to recent calls for the building to be torn down. The architect himself has visited Portland to defend the building, and noted that many of the faults were the result of constraints imposed by tight budget restrictions. One reason the building is so dark, for example, is that the glass in the windows is tinted, as demanded by the government client, as a means to reduce expenditure on energy. A more successful post-modern building, though not without controversy, is Graves’ Humana Building in Louisville, Kentucky, which was constructed between 1982 and 1985. The architecture critic for The New York Times, Paul Goldberger, described the effect of the building in June 1985:

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stone “But for all the awkwardness of its overall shape, Humana is a warm and inviting building, perhaps the first skyscraper of our time to be both serious and visually alive. For too long architecture that has taken itself quite seriously has been a deadly bore, and architecture that has been lively has tended to be frivolous. But Humana is neither boring nor silly — it is at once a building of great dignity and a building of great energy and passion.” What distinguishes the building more than anything else is its playful yet artful use of granite facade. Some 33,000 pieces of granite were used in the construction, in five different colours, each of which was sourced from a different country. The signature pink granite came from Finland, Brazil provided the green granite, Angola the black, and Sardinia the grey. Sourced as 20 tonne blocks, the granite was first shipped to the Carrara stone works in Italy, where it was cut into custom shapes and then shipped to the building site in Kentucky.

The rise of the facade This has special relevance to the use of stone in modern architecture. While today the “excesses” of postmodernism have been increasingly moderated, the focus on the exterior facade of the building as a significant “character” in the design and aesthetic story has gone on to influence building. Colour and texture play an increasing role in making buildings that fit into a pre-existing urban landscape, and yet somehow also move the urban design story forward towards shapes and forms better suited to our modern times. As architecture has required more modern methods of construction, so too the use of natural stone in modern architecture has had to adapt to modern methods. One such change is the widespread adoption of techniques such as 28 |

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2. ventilated rainscreen cladding, which now competes with other innovative facade finishes. In traditional, “ashlar” construction, huge chunks of stone were often used to form a single leaf, which might be 300mm to 400mm thick. Today’s handset ashlar cladding is typically 75mm to100mm thick, often with 5mm joints. Using stone in this way carries with it a number of concerns and costs. The blocks of stone require additional support, usually on a floor-by-floor basis, through angle irons, along with restraint fixings doweled into the beds of the stone. The modern alternative to this kind of construction is to use a form of rainscreen cladding, which both protects the building and adds insulating properties, faced with thin sheets of stone. Thin stone wall systems used for exterior building envelopes typically consist of stone panels ranging in thickness from 19mm to 52mm. Most panels are fabricated from granite. Marble, limestone, travertine and sandstone are used to a lesser extent. The panels are lightweight and easy to position, often using scissor lifts, mast climbers or hydraulic platforms. A further advantage is that large format panels can be produced off-site to exacting standards. These are then quickly fixed to prepositioned rails, with all application being dry fixed.

To create a typical panel, natural stone is quarried and cut into slabs, then bonded to an aerated concrete backing, around 16mm thick. The large slabs are then cut into finished panel sizes, calibrated, honed and polished, before fixing points are drilled and ceramic plugs inserted. Some manufacturers’ systems incorporate an invisible fixing system and can provide bespoke specialist features such as fully mitred corners, window reveals and soffits. Typically, each panel is independently supported to the building structure or back-up system using an assemblage of metal components and anchors. In general, fixing utilises “helpinghand” brackets and vertical “T sections” which are used to support the rainscreen system. These can be installed with isolation pads to prevent cold bridging with horizontal rails attached to the T-sections and the support system fixed back to either light-gauge steel framing or blockwork. Clips are attached to the backs of panels with ceramic fixing points, and all fixings are aligned and attached using the correct torque before panels are simply clipped on to the horizontal rails. Joints at the perimeter of each panel are usually 9mm in width, and are filled with sealant. A drainage cavity is usually located behind the stone panels to collect and divert to the exterior water that penetrates through the joints.


1. The Portland Building, in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 1982 is considered a mainstream example of postmodernism. Architect Michael Graves used coloured reinforced concrete and fibreglass for the cladding and decorative elements. 2. The Humana Building in Louisville, Kentucky, USA is another post-modern building by architect Michael Graves. The faรงade is made of granite.

Panels are extremely impact resistant with the advantage of being one-third the weight of 40mmthick natural stone and one-fifth the weight of 75mm-thick handset stone and can be produced in sizes up to 3.75 square metres. Stone used in stone wall systems can have several finishes. For granites and marbles, a polished, highly reflective finish is common. Thermal finish is a rough textured finish that is often employed with granite. Also, smooth honed finishes are commonly used on all stone types used in stone wall systems. Granites have had a long history of durable service. Certain marbles have a long history of successful

use. Travertine, limestone, and sandstone have a good history of use as thick stone wall elements, but their service history as thin stone wall elements is fairly limited, particularly in terms of durability. Most distress observed in stone wall systems can be attributed to anchors used to attach stone panels to the structure. Panel cracking, displacements, or other distress conditions can occur at locations where anchors are inadequately or improperly connected to the stone. Poor construction is often the result of poor quality control and out-oftolerance fabrication or erection of the panels. Also damage from handling during construction can result in panel cracking, some of

which may not become evident for several years. When properly constructed, stone wall systems require relatively little maintenance as compared to other wall systems. In general, the only maintenance required is replacement of sealant in joints between panels. The time frame for this activity depends on the sealant used, but usually ranges between seven and 20 years. However, it should also be noted that periodic review and evaluation of thin stone veneers may be desirable in order to determine if any evidence of structural distress exists in the panels due to strength loss, and/ or accumulated stresses at anchor points.

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stone

ENGINEERED STONE COUNTERTOPS Laminate is fading, and now granite is coming under pressure from a manufactured alternative. Recent forecasts indicate the engineered quartz countertops market is expected to grow because of the availability of a larger variety of designs and colours, and increasing applications in kitchens. In 2018 the kitchen and bathroom countertop market will be largely defined by the struggle between two popular materials: natural granite, and silica-based manufactured stone produced using the Breton patent processes. This latter material is known by a number of alternate names,

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including engineered stone, Bretonstone, and, in the European Union, agglomerated stone. Perhaps the most accurate name, however, would be “engineered quartz”, which we will abbreviate to “EQ”. In the global countertop market, there is little doubt that granite

continues to dominate. For 2016, it held an estimated 27% marketshare, followed by solid surfaces (which is composed of 33% binding resins and 66% mineral content, in the case of the popular DuPont product Corian the latter being alumina trihydrate) at 24%, then EQ at 16%,


2. 1. The first Bretonstone plant in Italy. 2. Today, the Breton PARAGON multi-wire machines are ideal for cutting granite and marble blocks with diamond wires of 5.3mm in diameter. 3. Granite slabs ready to be made into countertops.

laminates at 10%, and marble at 4%. The remaining 20% is made up of around an additional nine categories, including various types of wood surfaces, tiles, stainless steel, porcelain, and polymer variants. While that might at first not seem all that positive as far as EQ is concerned, it is EQ that is currently growing at the fastest rate. EQ has gone from a global countertop marketshare of 7% in 2010 to 16% in 2016. Laminate fell steeply, from a 17% marketshare to just 10%, while granite slipped 1% from 28% in 2010 to 27% in 2016. Proponents of the EQ product, such as the listed Israeli/US company Caesarstone, believe that granite has reached its peak, and that EQ will take further marketshare from the natural stone over the coming two to three years. The main reason for the ongoing success of EQ is that, while originally it attempted to emulate granite, in more recent years it has branched out into a wide range of different surface looks. As the kitchen market has itself diversified in terms of design, it’s come to serve the needs of more adventurous families. Already there are signs that granite prices are slipping, as demand tails off in key markets. While EQ is available at a lower price than granite, both surfaces can easily triple their cheapest price when it comes to buying specific finishes.

Granite In some ways, the future of EQ is closely tied up with granite so it is best to take a close look at the granite market to better understand the potential of EQ. Granite has all the benefits of a hard, durable quarried stone surface. It can be polished to a reflective surface, or, in some rare cases, left as a lessreflective, “honed” surface. The natural beauty of “imperfections”, and variations in colour are found to be highly attractive to many, while others, seeking a closely controlled kitchen “look”, find them a little difficult to work with. Granite is a porous rock, which means that for kitchen use it must be sealed, and retreated every two to three years. Granite is also a very heavy material, and requires special handling for installation, as well as a substantial substructure to support it. Attempts have been made recently to develop forms of “granite veneer”, which provide a 12mm thick surface over a suitable substrate, such as an existing laminate countertop. Some companies have taken this one step further, and provide complete systems, with the granite veneer pre-installed on a new, lightweight substrate.

Engineered quartz In contrast to granite, which is an entirely “natural” product, EQ is manmade, using a majority of natural products. The actual composition of EQ varies according to the manufacturer and the style selected.

3. In general terms, EQ consists of between 10% and 5% binder, which is either a plastic (polymeric) resin, or — a relatively recent development — a type of cement. The remainder is composed of various stone aggregates. These can include quartz, marble, natural stone, as well as recycled industrial materials, such as glass, mirrors, silica and ceramic. While quartz dominates as the key aggregate for kitchen countertops, in bathrooms marble is more common. Marble does produce a glossier depth to the material, however it is also softer and more permeable, making it much less suitable for kitchens. That said, some US companies are now touting the benefits of what they term “Quartz 2.0”. This uses marble as a main constituent, but — they say — delivers the impermeability of quartz-based products. This is derived from manufacturing products using high temperatures and pressure.

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stone From the consumer’s perspective, the two main characteristics of EQ is that it is available in an everexpanding array of colours, and that its surfaces — unlike quartz — are “perfect” in the sense they do not have any natural variations. In terms of durability, while granite can withstand higher heat than EQ without ill effect, it is very rare that EQ will get exposed to sufficiently high heat to cause the surface to blister. In the event that such blistering does occur, the surface can generally be repaired through sanding and refinishing.

Manufacturing EQ Quartz itself is a very common stone worldwide. Marble-based products are typically made in blocks which need to be cut to size, but quartzbased products are produced to finished thickness in slabs. To begin the process of making EQ, the quartz is first mined, then crushed to create a uniform size. It is mixed with a binding agent, and other substances, including colour pigments. In modern factories, the mix is then poured between two sheets of paper, with the quantity needed to produce the required thickness.

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The conveyor belt then transports the material to the compression area. This uses a “vibrocompression vacuum” chamber where the material is compressed into a solid slab, and all air is removed. This process is the core, patented part of the manufacture. It effectively compresses the particles to the extent that the porousness of the finished product is greatly reduced. According to the holder of the patent, the Italian company Bretton: “The vacuum effect generated by vibrocompression compacts the aggregate mix and the excellent consolidating capacity created by this process reduces the gaps between the crystals and particles, resulting in a reduction of the quantity of bonding agent required and an increase in the mechanical properties of the final product. Vacuum compacting prevents macro-porosity in the compacted mix and micro-porosity in the bonding resins minimises water absorption to 0.02% in weight. “Bretonstone slabs, thanks to this technology, are perfectly homogenous and isotropic with high physical-mechanical properties throughout the entire slab structure.”

From there the material travels to a curing chamber, which is typically a tower-like structure, with a number of heating trays, which are kept at a temperature of between 80 to 85 degrees Celsius. It takes a less than 40 minutes of curing for the material to solidify into the finished slab of EQ. Final processing can include surface smoothing, calibrating, polishing, trimming, bevelling and edge work, depending on what the EQ will be used for. Larger plants are capable of producing around 30,000 square metres of EQ a month.

History of EQ Virtually all EQ in the world is made based on patents perfected by a single company in Italy during the 1960s and the 1970s. The company was originally named Brevetti Toncelli, later shortened to BreTon and then to “Breton” as it is today. It was established in 1963 at Castello di Godego in the province of Treviso, Italy by Marcello Toncelli. The name is a combination of the first syllable of his last name — “ton” — plus an abbreviation of “brevetti”, which in English is “patent”. Originally Bretonstone, as the product is known, was made of blocks of polyester resin and limestone. These materials which were hand-poured into 30cm by 50cm formworks, to then be cut into tiles. Today consumers think of EQ solely in terms of kitchen counters. However, the majority of EQ is slabbed out in massive sizes for use in shopping malls, airports, and high applications such as the floors of Prada fashion boutiques.

4. Caesarstone® Vanilla Noir™ is used on the kitchen benchtop of the River Shack renovation by Three Birds Renovations

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stone One of the core problems that early production processes had to resolve was the presence of small air bubbles that were trapped in the resin binder. These made the end product porous, and thus subject to the absorption of moisture — not what you want in a floor or a kitchen countertop. This was when Toncelli set about developing his patented vacuum process. Company legend has it that the first version of a vacuum chamber was a simple domestic hot water bottle. A second problem was that as slabs of EQ grew larger, they had a tendency to curve as they cured. The solution to this, it turned out, was to use much less binding resin their production. Toncelli achieved this through the use of vibration, which help established a closely compacted aggregate mix, which would then need a minimum of resin to bind. The result of these developments was a manufacturing plant that could produce a slab 125cm by 125cm in size. Versions of this plant were sold to companies in Italy, Tunisia, Venezuela, Singapore and Spain. One plant was also sold to Armstrong Flooring in the US. Success was limited both by concerns over using the unknown material, and the fact that it did not, at first, have the same robust qualities that granite did, being somewhat more like marble in terms of durability and maintenance. The answer was to move to using much harder siliceous aggregates, such as quartz, as a foundation material. By 1982, the company had made and sold in Italy a manufacturing plant that could produce this type of material. It gradually took over the entire market for Bretonstone. The company also sold a plant to a Welsh manufacturer, which began to experiment with harder substances, based on the silica family of stones (such as quartz and some sands). 34 |

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The next advance came in the size of slabs that could be produced. It was Caesarstone that bought the first Breton plant using new technology for the production of large 125cm by 308 cm slabs. While the plant began producing using marble aggregate, it was soon converted to using quartz instead, borrowing from the developments of the Welsh plant. Breton has continued to improve the size of slabs of Bretonstone that can be made, with the width increasing from 125cm to 144cm and then 166 cm. Today’s plants can produce “jumbo” slabs at 212cm by 367cm.

Caesarstone Caesarstone began in 1987 at the Israeli kibbutz Sdot Yam, replacing what had been a terrazzo tile factory. The company subsequently expanded to a second location in Israel, and then to a production facility at Richmond Hill in the state of Georgia, USA. The company also listed on the US NASDAQ stock exchange in 2012.

It is currently on track to have a total of seven Bretonstone plants operating. The company says its products account for 8% of global EQ production. In terms of individual countries, Caesarstone says that of the EQ market, it holds an 85% marketshare in Israel, 52% in Australia, 39% in Canada and 13% of the US market. Sales in Australia and New Zealand for calendar 2016 amounted to USD130.9 million, up by 18.7% over calendar 2015 and accounting for over 24% of the company’s revenues. In terms of sales and distribution, the company has progressively purchased the companies that were distributing its product in the UK and Australia, as well as setting up its own distribution network in the US. While market penetration in the US market continues to be low for all kinds of EQ, that is the company’s biggest market, contributing 55% of its annual revenue. In early 2017, the company announced two combined new initiatives. One was the launch


of a product Caesarstone calls “Transform”, which is a 13mm EQ overlay product that can be installed in a single day over an existing kitchen countertop surface. The second part of the announcement was that the company is distributing this new product in collaboration with US big box home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies. This follows on from a deal Caesarstone made with the US branch of Swedish company IKEA to be its exclusive provider of EQ countertops for IKEA kitchens, reached in May 2013. While this improved the company’s volume sales in the US, it also caused a decline in its EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin for the product line.

Dekton One of the long-standing producers of EQ, Italian firm Cosentino, in 2014 launched a new EQ product, Dekton. This product set out to eliminate all of the negatives of EQ as compared to quartz, such as its resistance to the effects of heat, and impermeability to stains. To achieve this, Cosentino has changed both the chemical composition of the material, and some of the manufacturing processes. The company terms part of this process an application of “sinterized particle technology”, which, it claims, reduces the porosity of the material significantly. As part

of utilising this technology, during the production process, the material is subject to very high temperatures, as opposed to the moderate temperatures of the standard EQ process. One area where the company sees a significant market for this product is for “outdoor rooms”, especially the kind of outdoor kitchen popular in large barbecue areas. Dekton not only resists high heat very well, but it also resists the effects of being frozen and thawed, making is usable in outdoor areas in colder regions of the world.

Manufacturers There are over 50 manufacturers of EQ licensing the Bretonstone process from Breton. In the US one of the most significant is Cambria, which distributes solely in North America. Its product can only be purchased through professional services such as kitchen and bath installers, or sourced by builders, architects and designers. While Caesarstone is a major supplier to the Australian market, there is also a wide range of competitors. These include Silestone, which is made in Spain by Cosentino, Essastone which is distributed by Laminex (better known for laminate kitchen surfaces), and SmartStone, which is part of Halifax Vogel Group, a privately owned Australian

company that imports and distributes a diverse product range throughout Australia. DuPont also distributes its Zodiaq range of EQ.

Future While manufacturers and distributors of EQ are quietly confident they will see marketshare continue to expand, much of that confidence is based on a continuation of current housing trends, which are dependent on a range of economic factors, including low interest rates on mortgages and other loans, and appreciation of house prices. The move, in Australia, to smaller, less expensive residences in multidwelling buildings could see the market shift in the future towards simpler, and more affordable alternatives, such as solid surfaces. It is also worth noting that solid surfaces, such as DuPont’s Corian, are much easier to install on a DIY basis, as common power tools can be used to cut and finish these countertops. Such a change would, however, likely further secure EQ’s marketshare versus granite, as EQ is capable of going lower in price than granite. The move towards Caesarstone’s Transform product is one example of an EQ manufacturer creating a new channel for less expensive, and faster renovations in the future.

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stone

TRADITIONAL STONE, JUST LIGHTER AND MORE AFFORDABLE For more than 50 years, Cultured Stone by Boral has continued to innovate and develop products to meet the latest design trends. It can enhance the aesthetics of a project, as well as add value and maintenance-free performance while helping protect the environment. Boral introduced its Cultured Stone product to the Australian market in 2011, to something of a mixed response. The product is a form of cladding, which is designed to imitate various kinds of stone construction.

It consists of something between 40% and 70% pumice, which means it is essentially a kind of lightweight concrete, mixed with a range of stabilisers and colouring agents. The concrete is poured into moulds that have themselves

been modelled on actual stones. Once set, the surface is coloured to closely resemble the stone it is designed to emulate. Boral claims that it has a very extensive line of these moulds, which means they can provide unique surfaces for 70 square metres of cladding before the pattern would repeat itself. The product is, of course, much cheaper than real stone construction. It is lightweight, which means construction is easier, and it provides a very resilient, long-lasting surface, which will survive even Australia’s harsh conditions. It needs to be sealed only for some specific uses (such as in a water feature), and, once installed, requires minimal maintenance to retain its good looks. It’s even environmentally friendly, with Boral claiming the product contains a minimum of 54% recycled content.

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All that sounds pretty good. However, it’s not uncommon to find architects and interior designers who regard the material as something of a travesty. For example, Katrina Malyn, architectural designer at Design Projector in Sydney was quoted in a July 2016 story for the Domain.com.au website as saying:


2. 1. The Modera Pro-Fit line from Boral Cultured Stone offers a very modern take on the cladding product. 2. A typical floor plan by architect Joseph Eichler.

“I would never have stack stone or cultured [engineered] stone cladding in my house or in houses I design. If you would like to use stone in your interior or exterior design, it is preferable to go for solid stone, rather than stack stone. Of course, a large feature wall may be beyond budget but you can introduce stone in other ways that will create a similarly powerful visual effect. “It is the imitation that robs stack stone of the power of natural stone. Once the stone is reduced to just a thin cladding it loses its structural strength and the stone, in my view, loses its appeal.” The point we imagine Malyn is making is that if you can’t afford the real thing, it’s better to find an alternative “non-fake” material. Which, of course, taps into a very long-running dispute in architecture and elsewhere. Is it somehow more “authentic” to use real granite instead of a “quartz” composite such as Caesarstone on kitchen countertops? If you do use granite, is it OK to use granite veneer instead of a solid slab? What about wood veneer versus solid wood? Then there is the whole issue of laminate flooring, “plastic” outdoor decking, and so on. Is there really any difference between using these “cultured stone” panels, and using those thin slivers of stone facade to dress up the edifices of tall buildings? Of course, for the latter, the stone is “real” stone, but the impression it is designed to produce is that the entire building is constructed from stone — which, today, and for tall buildings, would be utterly impractical. Just as it would be

impractical for many home owners to afford real stone-work on their small suburban homes.

Origins It’s helpful in thinking about issues such as these to get back to the origins of the cladding material we now call “Cultured Stone”. It’s actually, by now, quite a familiar product, at least in North America, as it has been around since the late 1960s, and has been quite popular both in the US and Canada. Its “mission” at the time was to help deliver the promises of what later came to be termed “midcentury modern” architecture to the suburban reaches of major US cities, mainly along the West Coast, but also in some locations in the East Coast. While the general characteristics of mid-century modern (MCM) seem clear to us today, in the 1950s and 1960s there was a less clear sense of what it actually was. The style’s real origins date back to the 1920s and 1930s, with those early developments being “frozen” by both the 1930s Depression, and then by World War II. As ever, one of the major influences was the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. His main contribution was the aesthetic that houses should sit “in” the landscape, rather than on top of it. He also pioneered some of the designs that sought to make gardens — and the outdoors in general — a part of the house. His work intersected with the work of various European architects, many of whom had fled to the US as war broke out across Europe. Much of their work culminated in what became known (in the US) as the “International Style”. This style put a premium on the idea of “transparency”, and making houses seem light, almost floating above the landscape where they were built. It relied on post-and-beam and cantilevered

construction techniques, which, like the techniques used to construct skyscrapers, relieved walls of the function of structural support, meaning that they could be, for example, vast sheets of glass. In domestic construction, these ideas — making the house part of the landscape, merging the outdoors with the indoors, and transparency — came together and wound up making the key characteristics of what we now think of as MCM: single-storey houses with open-plan interiors, a conjoined outdoor area, high ceilings, walls of glass, and the use of earthier materials such as wood, stone and rough brick. While many of these ideals were possible when designing an estate house on one hectare or more of land, translating them into standard suburban housing tracts required different talents. Several US architects stepped up to that task, with one of the most successful being Joseph Eichler. Eichler successfully scaled down the ambitious dreams of the few to the practical demands of the many. His houses retained the high, arcing ceilings, often worked into an A-frame house, with large glass walls and significant outdoor space. 2017/18 | 37


stone The floor plan shown here is typical of the design choices Eichler would make. Note the very modern combining of three rooms — multipurpose, dining and living — into a single, contiguous space, with the kitchen at the centre of the three. The back terrace attaches to the house via folding glass-panelled doors, and there is a central garden atrium — a key feature of many Eichler houses.

a West Coast style has made a callback — to Wright. Wright, of course, made extensive use of stonework, as seen in his iconic Fallingwater house. Even recent imitations of Wright’s style have kept stone features as a major part of their design. It’s as though the more abstract planes of the MCM houses have been “brought back to earth” by the addition of stone-like cladding.

Reinterpretation

In a similar response, the 1960s also saw the start of the now-familiar “ranch house”. Low and long, the ranch house recalls America’s frontier origins. Gone were most of the innovations of the MCM houses, including the integration with the outside, the open-plan interiors, and the sense of transparency and openness. What was essentially a European vision of how Americans could live in their new urban landscapes was swept away by a conservative return to a pretended historicity.

The “Eichler inspired” larger house shown here in photographs is on the East Coast, in New York, and was built in the late 1960s. Its design follows principles derived from Eichler, but with some important variations. In particular, in the places where stonework has been used, Eichler would almost certainly have used the rough dark red brick that he favoured for these outdoor exposures, and it is highly unlikely he would have used anything like a stone finish indoors. What is going on here? What it seems is that this East Coast rendition of what is essentially

3.

Cultured stone, of course, fit right in to this new style of ranch house, offering something that seemed a little primitive, rough and folksy.

3. This Mid-Century Modern house in New Jersey, USA has lines inspired by Joseph Eichler. 4. Frank Lloyd Wright made extensive use of stonework, as seen in his iconic Fallingwater house.

Revival Over the past 10 years there has been a gradual revival of interest in MCM houses, driven, it has been speculated, by the popularity of the TV series “Mad Men”, which detailed the doings of a Madison Avenue, New York advertising agency in the 1960s. This has begun to revive interest in some of the classic Cultured Stone designs — though not always to good purpose. If you are not familiar with the work of Kate Wagner on her blog McMansionHell.com, you really should take a look. She includes diagrams of the worst McMansions up for sale in the US, and details their (multiple) architectural infractions. (A personal favourite is a two-storey Grecian column that goes directly through the roof of a cupola underneath.) In a recent article Wagner wrote for real estate website Curbed. com, she pointed out that McMansions, influenced by the “Mad Men” swerve of popularity,

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4. had begun to dress themselves up as MCM houses. She calls these “McModerns”, and described the circumstances leading to their creation like this: “The socioeconomic and technological development of the 21st-century McModern is strongly tied to the relentless pursuit of minimalism, beginning with industrial design: At the turn of the millennium, we entered the iPod age. Even more importantly, we fully embraced the internet age, and then subsequently the mobile age. These shifts triggered the beginning of the McModern. “[I]t is the indulgent, inefficient, and architecturally botched nature of the McMansion that lies beneath the sleek surface of the McModern. In the eyes of McMansion builders, modern architecture is perceived by potential buyers as the culturally significant, high-brow form of architecture, revered by the educated and glossy magazines. To see something only for its superficial attributes or financial potential and execute it carelessly is perhaps the most “Mc” thing anyone can do.”

The future While Boral Cultured Stone has a 50-year history, the product has managed to innovate in recent years. In 2016 it brought its Pro-Fit Modera Ledgestone product to

Australia. The Modera line offers a very modern take on the cladding product. Boral describes Modera like this: “[O]ur Modera Pro-Fit collection offers a practical way to achieve a tailored ledgestone look with smallscale, low relief stones. It’s quick and easy to install because it isn’t applied one stone at a time. Instead, the primary building blocks are groups of small stones meticulously bundled together to form modular components of equal height.” If the original stone has a place somewhere at the origins of MCM, the Modera line is a reach into postmodernism. It’s overtly a facade, but a very attractive one, adding a kind of “chunkiness” to sleek modern lines. That means that, oddly, where the original Cultured Stone represented a reaching back to Wright through the screen of modernism, Modera is more like a connection between MCM style and the post-modernism that replaced it. For the fact is that, while house style evolved from MCM to ranch houses and then to an eclecticism that borrowed from multiple periods, that eclecticism never touch MCM at all. It has remained an island of design purity.


stone

Project highlights: FIVE STONE FINISHES Melbourne-based stone care professionals, Stone Doctor offer a unique service for homeowners and commercial properties. When it comes to stone, most people are generally aware of only two possible finishes: the more matte “honed” finish, and the glossier “polished” finish. The former is more common in Australia, and the latter can often be seen throughout south-east Asia.

Semi-polished finish

Stone Doctor can introduce property owners to a total of five possible stone finishes: - Honed finish - Polished finish - Semi-polished finish - Brushed finish - Antique finish

In the brushed process, the stone is textured to a rough finish using brushes and water. This process removes the softer stone particles from the surface. This gives is a rough, rustic look, and can often transform the base stone to which it is applied. It also creates a good anti-slip surface, making it a finish that is ideal for uses such as outdoor kitchens and outdoor paving.

It specialises in in-situ restorative work that does not require stone removal or replacement.

Honed finish

Honed stone has been ground down to produce a perfectly flat surface, often lightening the basic colour of the stone as well. The popularity of the honed finish is due to the properties of this matte surface. A less polished surface means a more “natural” look, better camouflage of wear and tear, and high slip resistance. This makes the honed finish most suitable for countertops, as well as indoor and outdoor paving with high foot traffic, such as hallways and entrances.

Polished finish

This finish provides the best visual appreciation of stone. When a stone is ground and processed to a refined state, the full depth of colour and beauty of the material itself are revealed. Commonly used on interior floors, bench tops and kitchen countertops, it provides a high-gloss, “designer” finish to interiors. However, this finish does have a real Achilles heal, in that it reveals signs of wear quite early in its life-cycle. Scratches and etch marks can easily mar the ultra-smooth surface. It has limited anti-slip properties, making it unsuitable for wet areas. 40 |

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For property owners who can’t do without a bit of gloss, the semi-polished finish offers a good compromise between glamour and practicality. Ideal for interior floors, especially in marble and limestone, it has a more subtle sheen, creating understated elegance and provides better traction for foot traffic.

Brushed finish

Antique finish

Also known as a leathered or river wash finish, antique finish is rapidly gaining popularity for the way it enhances a stone’s attractiveness and durability. The process involves the use of various techniques to artificially “age” the appearance of the stone. It can combine highdesign with practicality. For example, kitchen countertops with this finish are pleasant to the touch, and yet remain practical when it comes to cleaning and general maintenance. Stone finishes have come a long way from the days of just pure gloss and shine. Knowing them well enough to make bold and creative recommendations will not only do justice to the stone but will earn you the reputation of being an industry trendsetter. Stone Doctor can help you achieve the very best with your use of stone, securing a better match between material and design, while also ensuring the stone functions to help deliver an optimal result. Want to know more about the suitability of these stone finishes for your residential or commercial project? Contact Stone Doctor Australia at (03) 9429 1223.

MELBOURNE CBD APARTMENT The Stone Doctor team arrived at the apartment to find its limestone floor in a sorry state. Using products and equipment from Bellinzoni and Coor & Kleever, it removed the stains, cleaned the grout, re-honed the pitted surface and had it all sealed. Within a week, Stone Doctor was able to restore the floor to its former glory.

Above: Bellinzoni products were used on the exterior of this apartment. Established in 1937, Bellinzoni is has built its reputation as a stone surface treatment specialist. Its high-quality range of stone is comprehensive in the various stones it treats and protects. Below: Coor & Kleever tools and equipment were used on the apartment’s floors


Left: The Environex factory in Wangara (WA). Environex International is an Australian owned and operated business.

Project highlights: KEEPING STONE BEAUTIFUL The process of caring for stone in residential or commercial spaces begins from the day it is laid. Maintaining the high-end, luxurious feel of stone means ensuring suitable cleaning products are used. Environex has a wide range of premium sealers to safeguard and protect an investment in stone. It says its products can prevent permanent staining from most common spills, not just when it is installed, but for many years into the future. Most recently, the company has launched a new eco-friendly TSL range of low VOC organic penetrating sealers with a 15-year warranty. It offers a comprehensive range of premium formulated cleaners for almost all applications. Speciality formulation cleaners for each stain variety are available anywhere in Australia. Premium quality products at an affordable price are a key strategy for Environex throughout its value chain. It has long-time,

well-established employees who have in-depth technical knowledge of cleaners and sealers, as well as masonry application, repairs and maintenance.

For the nearest Environex distributor, put your postcode into the Dealer Locator page on the website: http://www.environex.net.au/ stonecare/dealer-locator/ Visit the website www.environex.net.au or call free on 1800 999 196.

They provide exceptional support and assistance as to how these products they can be used safely and correctly. This winning combination has allowed Environex to ensure superior supply and service is delivered throughout Australia, according to the company. Environex International is an Australian owned and operated business with over 43 years’ experience in the stone care and coatings industry. It has ISO 9001 accreditation with two manufacturing sites in Western Australia as well warehousing and distribution facilities throughout the Eastern Seaboard. The company says this ensures short lead times anywhere in Australia.

NON-TOXIC STONE CARE PRODUCTS The latest products from Environex include Hi Lite, a semi-penetrating sealer designed to darken and highlight the natural beauty of the stone without making the surface too slippery. It is suitable for internal, external, domestic and commercial surfaces. Ideal for honed and polished masonry block surfaces, and test on paving is recommended. Tuscan TSL is an eco-friendly low VOC organic solvent based sealer. This invisible, penetrating sealer is suitable for internal, external, domestic and commercial surfaces. It will help prevent permanent staining from the most common spills.

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Corian has steadily evolved from its original niche in kitchen and interior design to countless uses outside the home. Developed by DuPont in 1967 as an alternative to laminates and granite, scientists soon realised they had something much more on their hands than a typical polymer sheet. In the first feature of the Surfaces section, we examine some of the lesser known history and evolution of Corian which is made up of acrylic and natural materials. It can be coloured, moulded, and machine-shaped in ways similar to wood and plastic but more durable, nonporous, and easier to clean. The second feature is all about the re-discovery of Venetian plaster. Speaking to Architectural Digest, interior designer Leigh Herzig explained some of the growing attraction plaster has: “I think there’s been a resurgence in plaster in general, not just Venetian plaster. Recently, there have been technological advances in the composition of lime plaster that have made it much easier to use. So it’s becoming more prevalent and more and more people are getting exposed to it…But I also think there is an enduring and increasing appreciation for natural materials in design. There’s a growing focus on blurring the architectural line between indoors and out. And lime plaster is quite literally the earth on your walls.” We look at the classic and modern variations of Venetian plaster.

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surfaces

1.

SOLID SURFACES COME OF AGE Countertops using Corian are man-made material that don’t look man-made, is more durable and often more affordable than natural stone. Its history dates back to the early sixties and was part of an industry that promised much excitement and promise. The following exchange reflects the enthusiasm at the time. Mr McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr McGuire: Plastics. [Pause] Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? Mr McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

Once a common popular culture reference, these 20 seconds of dialogue from the 1967 film “The Graduate” (staring an almost 44 |

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unknown Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock) just barely make any sense today. But back then, as the first moon landing loomed only two years away (even though the Apollo 1 mission had blown up on the launchpad that year, killing three astronauts), the plastics industry was what the computer industry became in the 1990s: an area of infinite possibilities, where business and science formed an alliance set on delivering a popular future. It’s not so surprising that one of the more familiar plastic products of our time, polymer-based solid

surfaces for countertops and other building purposes, emerged out of that chemically creative period. DuPont was the original developer of this class of products, launching its version, Corian, on the market in 1971. The real story of its development, however, begins eight years earlier, in 1963. In a process that would later become something of a pattern in the later personal computer industry, DuPont found itself with a group of “malcontent” and “misfit” scientists on its hands, which it threw together into a group to come up with products for the building industry.


surfaces Don Slocum, PhD, was one of that group, though he was by training a bio-scientist, not as a materials chemist. Nonetheless, he and the others applied themselves to the problems at hand, and after four years of work, in 1967 Corian — or at least the Corian patent — was born. This was the start of an industry that in later years became known as “solid surfaces”. The original patent lasted the standard 20 years, and by 1989 there were four other competitors in the field: Avonite, Formica, Nevamar and Tuff Top. Formica and Nevamar were both laminate companies, and while Formica continues to produce its solid surface product, Nevamar seems to have dropped out of the business. Tuff Top no longer seems to be around at all.

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Of all the original competitors, Avonite had the most direct effect on the market. It was the first company to develop and release a wide range of colours — though this was soon copied by DuPont and other companies. Avonite continues to be a leader in the field of solid surfaces, in the US and Australia, offering both acrylic and polyester based products in a very wide range of colours. The overall solid surfaces market has undergone a large number of changes over the 28 years since those four companies joined DuPont as solid surfaces manufacturers. There is now something like over 20 major companies in the field, with new ones — such as the Indian firm VELO during 2017 — cropping up all the time. Aside from the original Corian, one of the most significant is LG’s Hi-Macs range. While US big-box retailer The Home Depot stocks and sells the original Corian solid surface, its main competitor, Lowe’s Home Improvement, stocks and sells Hi-Macs. Hi-Macs has also achieved significant market share 46 |

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3. in Australia’s commercial sector. It has been used, for example, at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, and in Westfield shopping centres in Sydney. Other major brands include: Krion Porcelanosa Solid Surface, LOTTE Staron, Hanwha Hanex, Meganite, Samsung Staron, Swan Swanstone,

Wilsonart Solid Surface, and Kerrock Kolpa.

Production process Each manufacturer of Corian-like solid surfaces (for convenience, we will use the non-standard acronym “CLSS”) brings something unique to the product in terms of tweaking the manufacturing process, in


4.

To go through those four elements, the majority of the product is made up of the filler, making up 60% to 65%. The most popular filler is Aluminium-trihydrate (which is refined from the Aluminium ore Bauxite).

colours, availability of sizes, training, sourcing, and so forth. As the market has evolved, it has tended to return to the core qualities of the original product. The main reason for this is that this form of plastic fabrication is a very clear illustration of the standard engineering mantra “you don’t get anything for nothing”. Every change and shift to the formulation of CLSS brings both advantages and disadvantages. A simple example of this is that early attempts were made to increase the hardness of CLSS by introducing harder substances as part of the formulation, such as quartz. However, this tended to produce more brittle products (products that could not, for example, stand up to the constant vibration of in-sink garbage disposals and dishwashers), and that were then just as difficult for installers to work with as materials such as granite and engineered quartz countertops.

The basis of CLSS production is the combination of four types of substance: a filler, a resin, a combined catalyst/initiator (catalysts help reactions occur, while initiators are “used” by reactions), and additives that largely affect the appearance. These products are mixed to form of raw material which is placed (usually) in moulds. The material is a loose paste when added to the mould, at which point catalysts begin a process referred to technically as “curing”. This is the process where the kinds of atomic links that, basically, make plastic “plastic” are created in the material. During curing, the material hardens and over a short space of time increases its durability. Curing in any such material never really reaches completion, i.e., not all the possible atomic links ever really get made.

The resin is usually a form of acrylic, and it makes up around 30% of the product. Resins made with Neopentyl glycol and Isophthalic acid are the most popular because they offer a high heat distortion temperature, better chemical resistance, and lower water permeation. Polyester resins are also used, though these alter some of the fundamental characteristics provided by acrylic resins, such as the ability to thermoform the material. The third component consists of additives such as catalysts, initiators, and a range of additives that affect (mainly) the way the product hardens and cures. The most common catalyst system would be Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide. A range of additives can affect things such as the time and completeness of curing, porosity, and enhance specific surface characteristics. The fourth component consists of elements that largely alter the appearance of the material, including colours, and objects such as glass beads. Every manufacturer tweaks these elements to suit their needs, and every tweak provides some advantages and some disadvantages. For example, the 2017/18 | 47


surfaces original filler material used at the inception of Corian in the late 1960s was calcium carbonate (essentially marble), which helped to produce a harder surface, less susceptible to scratches, but also made it much less stain resistant. It is possible to grind the usual Aluminium-trihydrate filler very fine, which would reduce porosity, and add to stain resistance. However, such a fine grind means that the curing process is significantly inhibited, which would eliminate that advantage. Different resins and catalysts can be used to affect the overall curing process. For example, a catalyst can be used that requires an elevated temperature for curing, but results in a faster and more complete curing. Yet, most of these bring concerns of introducing colour variations.

More importantly, CLSS does have a number of specific advantages. No other countertop surface can boast its range of both colours and finishes — which can include translucency. As most CLSS can be thermoformed (heated and moulded to a new shape), this means that the designs can be customised to meet the stylish requirements of some customers, in ways no other material can match. That includes the ability to have near-invisible seams — again, something other countertop materials cannot offer as an option.

When listed in isolation, the disadvantages of CLSS for use of kitchen countertops (less so for bathrooms) seem quite severe. CLSS cannot tolerate high heat, and is subject to stains from a wide range of substances including: vinegar, coffee, tea, lemon juice, vegetable juice, dyes, tomato sauce, saffron, shoe polish, marker pens, iodine, blood, red wine, perfume, grease, fat, oils, and nail varnish. They can be severely marred by substances such as oven cleaner, paint thinner, acetone, and drain cleaner.

Where engineered quartz, granite and marble all require high-specialty tools, such as diamond blades, to cut and customise countertops, CLSS can be worked using standard high-end woodworking tools fitted with carbide blades. Working with CLSS does require specialised training, so this doesn’t mean that most DIYers can directly use the product. It does mean, though, that custom kitchen builders can work directly with the material, instead of having to source finished countertops from specialist workshops, reducing both costs and ordering time. And, if there is a mistake in the length of the countertop, for example, this can often be fixed onsite.

The surfaces also require care when being cleaned. In particular the use of even mildly abrasive products can mar the surfaces. This also applies to the use of any kind of cutting implement, such as knives, which can easily create significant scratch marks.

Another big advantage is that if CLSS is damaged, it can, most of the time, be repaired by a professional. Scratches and marring can usually be sanded out, and even deep blistering due to heat can be blurred out, then seamlessly fixed by applying a patch.

While all that does sound very dire, the truth is that just about every kitchen countertop surface material has some vulnerabilities. Marble is, of course, infamous for its tendency

Finally, of course, CLSS has a significant cost advantage, priced at around 70% of the cost of engineered quartz, and a little more than half the cost of granite.

Pros and cons

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to stain easily, engineered quartz can scorch at higher temperatures, and quartz can crack and also will absorb stains if it is not resealed every couple of years.

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5.

1. Corian Dune Prima is used in this kitchen. It offers a mix of colours to create richly defined and unique patterns. 2. Inspired by the urban environment, Corian Ash Concrete embodies the appeal of modern industrial design in this bathroom. 3. Corian in Glacier White was used in this luxurious dwelling located on a prominent Adelaide beachfront. The flexibility of the material enabled project architects, DC Architecture to achieve the design of the eight-metre-long and streamlined curved kitchen island bench. 4. Architects, EJE Architecture specified Corian for Battlesticks Bar in Newcastle (NSW) because of its lightfast, robust durable properties to withstand the marine environment degradation. Corian Glacier White and Serene Sage were chosen to fuse with the modern


design. 5. Designed by Tzannes Architects, in collaboration with interior designers, Make and executive architects, Corian was used to form the kitchen islands, benchtops and bathroom basins in the Opera Residences at Bennelong Point, Sydney (NSW).

The market Perhaps the most interesting feature in the current market is the effort that DuPont is putting into a new marketing surge for its original Corian product. Starting in mid-2013, when the company announced its “Endless Evolution” strategy. After some years of introducing only incremental changes, DuPont began to bring the brand back to life, and to improve consumer awareness. This strategy to some extent has culminated in 2017, as DuPont has used the 50th anniversary of the product’s patent to introduce a new vigour into the brand. According to DuPont marketing material: “The Corian Brand has a whole new look, a whole new way of expressing brand beliefs and most importantly a new range of products and aesthetics that invite consumers to meet the Corian they never knew. Corian Design is celebrating the role that surfaces play as the unsung heroes in the realm of design and their ability to transform a space into an environment that is truly unique to the tastes and needs of the individual with the ‘Corian Design — Make Your Space’ positioning.” In the debut issue of its new “Corian Design” magazine, Julie J. Eaton, global business director, DuPont Surfaces wrote: “In this inaugural issue, we look at what lies ahead for Corian, from its ever-expanding collection of colors — moving now in the direction of warmth, emotion and modernity to meet specific market and societal trends — to technological developments aimed at improving its

performance and adapting it to the evolving needs of modern society.” Part of that move towards modernity has been the introduction of wireless charging solutions for mobile devices that can be integrated into countertops made with DuPont Corian solid surface. The Corian Charging Surface technology was officially launched at NeoCon 2015 in Chicago. Corian Charging Surface has a transmitter discreetly hidden under the surface, delivering the charge directly through the Corian. This avoids the need to make penetrations into the surface and maintains a seamless finish. This means that, for example, the latest Apple iPhones (8 and the X) can be recharged simply by setting them down on a specific area of a kitchen countertop. In terms of colours, 2017 has seen the launch of three style ranges for Corian: Concrete, Onyx and Prima. Concrete consists of four neutral colours, which mimic the tones of different concrete types. Onyx provides two colours with what DuPont terms “semi-transparent veining”, which, it claims are “striking” when lit from above or below. Prima, the company states, provides “embedded hues [that] create a remarkable patterning and sweeping movement”.

Market development Of course, one of the main questions all of this raises is “why is DuPont, with its vast product range, choosing to accelerate its marketing and development spending on Corian?” A partial answer to that could be that, as new markets for kitchen and bathroom renovations are developing, those markets have very different characteristics to past markets. The previous kitchen renovation market, for example, worked

largely on a cycle of between 12 to 15 years, with some kitchens stretching past 20 years before they were renovated. A number of factors have speeded that trend up. Kitchens now are more central, and more open to, most homes, meaning that their style and condition has a great impact. Technology continues to develop rapidly, even in common-day appliances, meaning that there is more incentive to make changes. Also, kitchens have simply become more stylish, moving away from a utilitarian room, to a central gathering place for family activities. This has resulted in something of a more 6/12 pattern, where kitchens are due for a “refresh” every six years or so, and then get a complete renovation every 10 to 12 years. The advantage of using CLSS material in this kind of renovation pattern is that it opens up the possibility of changing countertops completely more frequently. The sheer cost of both engineered quartz and granite countertops means that most families count on getting at least 15, if not 20 years worth of use from them. With CLSS whatever imperfections have come about can be taken out by professionals at the sixyear refresh, and, as they are less expensive, they can be completely replaced for a whole new look at the 12 year interval. If that does prove to be the case, it’s likely growth in CLSS will accelerate over the next three to four years. Granite could continue to decline in popularity, with those consumers switching over to engineered quartz. But it is also likely that a number of customer that would previously have chosen engineered quartz will switch to CLSS. It’s possible we could see both CLSS and engineered quartz effectively growing at the same rate. 2017/18 | 49


look inside look inside

Natural Modernism Our surfaces can help you create that cost effective high value authentic look, with the added benefit of easier maintenance. Feelwood textured surfaces, are the pinnacle of this evolution as both the visual and tactile aesthetic of wood have been recreated.


surfaces

1.

QUALITY BRANDS IN ONE PLACE For almost forty years, the interior joinery and cabinet trades have come to rely on Nikpol to supply the highest quality products at very competitive prices. It is a supplier of hardware and decorative products that is both comprehensive and environmentally sound. Nikpol was formed in the 1970s by Nick and Poly Nikolakakis. Spiro and John Nikolakakis run the company these days, and they are as committed as Nick and Poly were to maintaining the high levels of quality and service.

New marketing Though well-known in the industry, the company has decided to boost its profile further. Over the past 18 months the team at Nikpol have been developing a new promotion to bring all their products into closer alignment. Anastasia Parlamentas is Nikpol’s sales manager, and is also a qualified interior designer. “What we thought we were internally will now be on display to all our customers,” she said. “Our ‘One Brand’ campaign will define who we are today.” 52 |

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The refreshed branding includes a beautifully presented hardcover decorative catalogue, a downloadable online catalogue, product sample packs, plus a new corporate image and logo. According to Ana: “This is the first time we’ve shown our decorative products and colours in the one platform.” Spiro adds, “Next year we’ll celebrate our 40th year of service to the Australian industry. As the business changed, we had to change with it. We’re a family business so a lot of what we do is about people and service. It’s important to communicate all our quality brands under the Nikpol umbrella and this has led us to our ‘Look Inside’ tagline.”

Products Nikpol sources and supplies a complete range of products for

the joinery and cabinet trades, including Egger Melamine and worktop products. Commenting on the Egger product, Spiro says: “Our Egger Melamine and Worktop products have the lowest level of formaldehyde of any wood-based product sold in Australia. It is the same as the product imported into Japan, which has super-strict regulations.” According to Ana: “Our worktops fabricated for the Australian market are available in 38mm and 20mm thicknesses and feature low

2.


formaldehyde to a four-star rating, and a 2.5mm radius on the 20mm top that’s not easy to manufacture, but looks like a stone benchtop.” Other Nikpol products include high gloss, acrylic lustre boards, a range of low-formaldehyde melamine boards, micro-abrasive resistant laminates and thermoplastic 3D films. Its innovative J-handle adds a shadow line under cabinet tops without the joiner have to alter the carcase design. Nikpol continues to innovate with new products. As Ana explains:

4. 1. Nikpol have been developing a new promotion to bring all their products into closer alignment. 2. Nikpol’s Natural Halifax Oak in black. 3. A kitchen showcasing Nikpol’s Jackson Pine surface and Calcutta laminate. Jackson Pine is an ideal surface for solid wood reproductions. 4. Nikpol’s Grey Beige Gladstone Oak is a grainy texture with a medium gloss level. This surface is robust and durable. 5. Latitude Nikpol was created by Melbourne-based art director, Marsha Golemac.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into looking at what the Australian joinery industry wants in terms of colours, textures and features. We are design driven and constantly look at European trends to source products that suite the [local] market.

3.

“Ten years ago, we introduced textured woodgrain boards, and today our new Feelwood range of décors feature a synchronised grain, where the print and grain align, to create deeper textures simulating real wood. This is the next generation of textured woodgrains.” Feelwood is available in a nonpost-formed laminate and compact laminate, melamine particle board with a matching straight grain ABS and a Q cut cross-grained edging as well. Another product with a premium look and feel is the PerfectSense lacquered board in matte or high gloss finishes, with the matte range offering a “fingerprint proof” technology. PerfectSense is available in a range of décors and comes with a seven-year warranty.

Nikpol has unveiled an additional new product, the Motivi 5mm compact laminate that’s resistant to heat, mould, grease, water and dirt. This can be used as a splashback. It is the first product of its kind to conform to Australian Standards. Nikpol also supply the ultra-light Eurolight composite board with 8mm particle board on the top and bottom surface layer. This has a honeycomb recycled cardboard core. Spiro said, “The more you look into our products, the more you feel good about them. Our customers want to know the ‘story’ behind what we supply, where it came from and what it’s made of.” Ana explains, “Our board product is made from PEFC forest certified timber and contains a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled materials. It’s a great story and one that consumers are keen to embrace; and the price is very competitive. It’s good to know that we are doing something for the next generation.” Nikpol is focused on design, fair pricing and service. It has offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane which support a national distribution network.

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surfaces

1.

SMART SURFACES: VENETIAN PLASTER Perhaps no surface evokes the romance of old-world Europe in the way that Venetian plaster does. Its popularity resurged in the 1990s with the Tuscan decorating trend, and it has held steady since then as a way to lend richness and patina to ordinary walls. One of the wall surfaces that is gaining increasing attention is plaster, in particular various kinds of Italian plaster finish, which can vary its look from industrial chalkiness, to a very good imitation of solid marble. There are a number of reasons for this steady revival over the past three or four years. Some of the plaster finishes available go very well with the “industrial” look that has been in vogue. Another factor is that, when it comes to internal finishes, plaster is the one that requires the highest degree of 54 |

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craft skill to produce the requisite finish, and there has been a steady movement to better honour craft in home decoration in recent times. Also boosting popularity is that, while plastering is never going to be the “easiest” option, recent advances in manufacturing plaster, which includes new types of additives, have made it much more possible for the less experienced to at least “have a go”, and also helped to guarantee better results for professionals, as well as simplifying preparation.

For example, the addition of certain adhesives means plaster can now be applied directly to a wood or plasterboard substrate without substantial preparation. Companies such as Australia’s DuluxGroup even have a specific pre-plastering coating, which ensures the initial plaster layer will stick effectively to a wide range of substrate material. There is also the problem of maintenance. Recently, there have been technological advances in the composition of lime plaster that have made it much easier to live


Marble variations The simplest variation on standard plaster is simply to add some colour. Earthy tones are growing in popularity, including beige, grey, brown, and black.

2. with. The new products are very low-maintenance and very durable. Previously, you might need to replaster a whole wall to cover one scuff or blemish, but today there are many lime plasters that can be easily repaired in patches, and then blended with the rest of the wall. Also, most minor scuffs can be removed with a damp cloth and mild detergent, or at worst a light sanding of the surface with 1000-grit sandpaper or even a fine steel wool. Plaster today really has come close to regular paint in terms of application and maintenance. Basic lime plaster is made by heating limestone to around 850 degrees Celsius, which converts it into its oxidised form, calcium oxide, also known as “quicklime”. When water is added this becomes calcium hydroxide, also known as “slaked lime”. This is the product sold as plaster, either in the form of a white powder, or a wet putty. To apply the plaster, additional water is added. On exposure to the carbon dioxide in the air, the plaster completes the cycle be resetting itself as limestone, which is calcium carbonate.

By far the most popular variation is to make what is known as “Venetian” plaster by adding very fine marble dust to the mix. (Though there is some dispute about this. For many Italians, just about all plaster used to finish walls, with or without marble, is referred to as being “Venetian”.) To its fans, its application in thin translucent layers creates an iridescent finish, giving the appearance of “depth and movement”. At the other end of the spectrum, some treatments of plaster can result in a finish that could, to the untrained eye, pass for actual marble, enabling the use of that finish in areas that could not support even marble veneers. A variation on Venetian plaster is known as Marmorino (more correctly “Marmorino Veneziano”). Marmorino is interesting because it has deep roots in Venice itself, and the requirements of that fascinating, ancient city built on a lagoon. It is a centuries-old way of building, dating back to ancient Roman times, and was even noted in the main work of the Roman civil and military engineer, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, the multi-volume De architectura (also known as “The Ten Books on Architecture”), which was written in the first Century B.C., and inspired everyone from Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo. Of course, the history is even more ancient, dating back to the Egyptians, and, as usual, the Romans are thought to have picked up the basics of plastering from the Greeks. Interestingly, one of the main proponents of Marmorino plaster in the 16th Century, Andrea Palladio,

was famous for writing I quattro libri dell’architettura (The Four Books of Architecture), which were seen as something of a continuation of Vitruvius’ work. While this work does dwell on matters of design, it is also something of a very practical manual, with instructions for making bricks, mortar and plaster. While Palladio was an important influence on Venetian architecture, much of his best work is to be found around Vincenzo. While ancient, Marmorino does not have a continuous history. It was actually “rediscovered” in the 15th Century, where it turned out it could solve multiple problems of construction somewhat unique to that city-state at that time. Transport is a problem Venice has always had, and relates to both getting requirements into the city, as well as disposing of waste going out. When it comes to building, for example, transporting such basic necessities as sand could be difficult, and removing the waste from building could also be costly. Marmorino solved both of those problems, because it made use of the waste produced by a completed building to create material for new building. In its Venetian form, Marmorino relied on a substrate of crushed bricks and roof tiles. An early document from 1473 indicates that a substrate of ground terra cotta was the best to use. One reason for this is that such a substrate would make the resulting finish highly resistant to the persistently damp conditions to be found in Venice. In technical terms, it is referred to as a hydraulic substance, which means that it is capable both of absorbing moisture, but also of evaporating moisture, without any real change to its structural properties. While plaster of all types gradually fell out of general favour post World War II, as paint and other finishes underwent rapid 2017/18 | 55


surfaces technological development, there were occasional revivals of plaster. The most well-known modern proponent of plaster was the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. A visit to his works such as Castelvecchio in Verona, which he helped to restore the museum between 1959 and 1973, shows an exquisite use of surface finishes that help to highlight an important collection of medieval art. In some ways at the other end of aesthetics, yet just as exciting, is Scarpa’s Olivetti showroom in Venice. Designed as a display place for Olivetti’s office machines in the late 1950s, the space was sold and used for other purposes, but returned to its original purpose in 2011. Throughout the design Scarpa contrasts a kind of architectural roughness with the smooth mechanical perfection of the machines displayed, so that the machines can be seen to emerge from a “surf” of texture, like seashells on a beach. Plaster is used not just to produce that sense of texture, but also to subtly control the perception of light. The main attribute of Marmorino is really that the way it ends up looking — and even its performance characteristics — depends very much on how it is applied by the plasterer. The plaster is applied in three basic coats, though, really, this can often end up being six or seven coats applied in three stages. What makes really good plastering so difficult to achieve is that the surface finish of the plaster relies entirely on how the plasterer uses the trowel. Used in one way, the trowel will leave a rough finish, used in a slightly different way, it will leave a matte finish, or a satin finish, or, with several applications, a high-gloss, marble-like finish. The first coat, even when there is a very good substrate, is to create a thick, rough absorbent layer to set up all the subsequent coats. This coat is left to get completely dry, which can take up to 24 hours. 56 |

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3. The second coat is often the place where the real master plasterers show their craft, even though it will not be visible. The task at hand is to create a smooth, uniform plaster surface, but to make sure that no “shiny” areas — where too much pressure has been applied at an angle directly perpendicular to the surface — are created. When the plaster is shiny, it means its porosity has been greatly reduced, and this means that the finishing coats of plaster will not adhere to that surface adequately.

It’s not uncommon on even medium-sized jobs for three plasterers to work at once, with two applying the nominal third coat, and the third concentrating on the polishing. Again, it’s also not uncommon for there to be two or even three “third” coats, laying down repeated very thin layers of plaster, but saving the final polishing motions for only the final layer that goes down. When the trowel polishing is complete, as it dries, the surface is further buffed with a soft fabric cloth.

Often, a little contradictorily, good plasterers will tell you they always apply two second coats. They will let the first second coat dry just a little, then return with a new coat of plaster, working out the imperfections in the first second coat, and delivering a great surface for the final coat. The second, second coat is particularly useful if the end finish of the plaster will be left with just a bit of rough, matte texture.

It is easy to see from this description just how intense putting plaster up can be, and how much room for variations there are. Someone who is a master at this trade can skilfully introduce minor variations that differ from floor to ceiling, for example, and create beautiful, subtle effects with the light that shines on the surfaces.

The final coat (or coats) can be applied as the second coat(s) start to dry. This is the most intensive work period, with the plasterer working on a small area of the wall (usually around a square metre) applying a very thin scrim of plaster. The plaster must be applied quickly, in a continuous pattern, as any pause or break in the pattern will leave visible seams. This is also the period of polishing, with the plaster finally smoothed, with a clean trowel moved repeatedly over the surface in multiple directions.

Modern products One of the better known suppliers of a Venetian plaster is Australian company Rockcote. According to the company, its Venetian Plaster product: “Rockcote Venetian Plaster captures the elegance and class of a traditional European finish and brings it into the modern era. Our Venetian Plaster is a very fine, genuine lime product designed to be applied using the same techniques as the traditional artisans, yet performs exceptionally well on modern buildings.


4. 1. Silver bespoke Marmorino plaster wall by Brisbane-based Wonder Wall, a specialist decorating company. 2. Venetian plaster is used to highlight the elegant library in a private home. 3. Throughout the design of the Olivetti showroom, architect Carlo Scarpa contrasts a kind of architectural roughness with the smooth mechanical perfection of the machines displayed. Venetian plaster is used not just to produce that sense of texture, but also to subtly control the perception of light. 4. The Olivetti showroom in Venice, Italy showcases the use of Venetian plaster. Photos by Stephen Varady.

“Unlike synthetic products that deliver a faux Venetian Plaster finish, Rockcote Venetian Plaster is an authentic Venetian Plaster, natural lime composition delivering benefits beyond its stunning aesthetics. This completely natural product is non-toxic and contains no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), helping to improve indoor air quality. It is also naturally mould-resistant.” In addition to the Venetian variety, Rockcote also offers three other plaster variants: Velvetina, Otsumigaki, and Marrakesh. The Marrakesh variant is an attempt to provide a finish close to that of the traditional Moroccan Tadelakt finish. Real Tadelakt is common in Morocco, but requires a lengthy, difficult process to produce. Lime plaster mixed with additional ingredients including a form of organic soap is applied in a single thick layer, which is then compressed against the wall. Once set, the plaster is then smoothed and buffed down to a suitably smooth surface. It is an extremely durable coating, and has been used in modern housing for kitchen and bathrooms, areas where traditional

lime plaster is not always the best choice. Modern variants on Tadelakt, such as Rockcote’s Marrakesh, seek to provide something of the inviting glow of the original without the difficulty of creating it. The Otsumigaki finish is designed to emulate traditional Japanese lime and clay plasters. It is applied in two coats, then polished using a Japanese trowel and Carnauba wax. As with Tadelakt, the polishing process compresses the plaster, giving it a deep inner lustre. Velvetina is really a derivative product, frequently used to create the base coats for Rockcote’s Venetian plaster product. Used as the surface finish, it creates a softer, more matte finish. Where Rockcote is essentially on a mission to preserve both the “natural” nature of surface finishes, and their historical makeup, DuluxGroup Australia (Dulux) has developed a range of plaster finishes that create special effects when applied. For example, the company provides two kinds of Marmorino plaster,

Venetian Plaster Fine Marmorino and Venetian Plaster Marmorino Carrara. Both lime-based plasters, the former uses very fine-grain marble particles, and the latter more coarse-grained particles for a different end finish. Venetian Plaster Marmorino Salt & Pepper has both white and black marble particles, making for a speckled end finish. Venetian Plaster Marmorino Carrara Metallic Highlights had metallic particles which give the finished surface gleams of gold, silver and bronze highlights. Venetian Plaster Carrara Travertino reproduces some of the effects of Travertine marble. Dulux also offers a Venetian Plaster Tadelakt. According to Dulux: “The intention in developing this Moroccan-style material were to remain entirely faithful to the look, feel, and chemical makeup of the original Moroccan Tadelakt, while creating a more sophisticated, userfriendly product.” The company claims the material is easy to use, and produces equivalent durability to more traditional forms of Tadelakt. 2017/18 | 57


Be inspired by the new smart material. Have you heard of Fenix NTM exclusive to Nover Australia? Fenix NTM is an aryclic based resin cured with an electron beam process. Thanks to the use of NANOTECHNOLOGY, Fenix NTM is highly resistant to scratches, abrasions, dry heat, acid-based solvents and household reagents.

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surfaces

A COMMITMENT TO NEW IDEAS

2. The stone surfaces are derived from natural slate and quartzite slabs. Each piece is authentically individual and showcases the inherent beauty, texture and lustre of the original slab. The raw split surface of the slate and the interchanging colours of each stone layer are one-of-a-kind, meaning no two pieces are alike.

1. A known innovator in architectural surfaces, Axolotl was established in 1995 after many years of R&D led to its ability to adhere genuine metal to the surface of any substrate, a world first. In this feature, Axolotl managing director, Kris Torma writes about its latest stone, metal and paint finishes. 60 |

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Axolotl Stone Surface is an exciting, lightweight stone that opens up a wide range of opportunities to incorporate stone in architecture and design. Stone has a noble history spanning centuries and countries, but traditionally has constrained design applications by being both prohibitively heavy and expensive. Engineered stone has become very popular in recent years through its superior flexibility, but it remains a composite product, using synthetic components and ultimately offering a homogeneous palette with a bigger environmental price. The development of technology has allowed natural stone to be split into finer sheets, realising a much more flexible stone that can be utilised in ways that never before have been considered possible or affordable with a natural stone.

The original range of Axolotl stone veneers are available in a selection of 21 different finishes, and in two styles: Axolotl Stone and Axolotl Flex Stone. Both of these stone veneers are ultra-thin at 1-3mm thick. They can be curved to a convex or concave profile, and be bent to a minimum 20cm radius in some stone types depending on the grain direction. All Axolotl Stone surfaces can be applied over nearly any solid substrate including concrete, metal, plywood, fibreglass, MDF, MasoniteÂŽ, door skins and cabinetry. Most importantly, it is easy to work with using traditional woodworking tools, sealers and adhesives. By using Axolotl Stone in place of solid stone, more than 80% of natural resources are saved, in the form of stone, sand and cement and leave a smaller environmental footprint. Axolotl Stone panels weigh up to 20 times less than that of a solid stone object of the same size, making this surface far easier to transport and handle, as well as store.


Contemporary stone series The latest surfaces to be introduced to the range, Axolotl Stone Link and Axolotl Sculpt, extends the beauty of natural stone even further through the blending of the base surface with other classic, natural surfaces such as stainless steel and brass and even resin, as well as polishing the stone surface, to create an original surface that is available through Axolotl. Stone Link seamlessly blends stone with inlaid stainless steel, brass or resin offering a authentic beauty with custom designs. Sculpt enables carving and polishing of natural stone to create almost any 3D design. Because of the bespoke nature of the range of Axolotl surfaces, you can individualise each stone piece. Choose from our own portfolio of designs, or create an entirely different design. It is available in a range of marbles such as Pacific White and Carrara, as well as stones in beige, whites, and blacks with thicknesses ranging from 10 to 20mm.

Marvellous metals Axolotl Metal is a specialist metal coating for interior and exterior applications. A revolutionary technology developed by the company, where liquified semiprecious metals such as zinc, copper or bronze can be applied to the surface of any substrate.

not limited to, MDF, timber, plaster, ceramics, fibreglass, concrete, acrylic, glass and steel.

3. include zinc, copper, brass, bronze, aluminium, nickel, iron, pewter and more. By using real metals, it gives Axolotl the unique ability to apply natural ageing processes such as rusts, pearl, florentine or verdegris patinas. One of the core aspects of the company’s surface research is the development of patinated metal surfaces. All metals will develop a natural patina over time, for example green copper rooftops or rusted iron anchors. Decades of research has lead Axolotl to harness these natural organic processes and develop techniques to achieve the elegance of patinated metals, in a matter of days as opposed to decades. Substrates that can be bonded with Axolotl Metal include, but are

Axolotl Sheet Metal is another new offering. Sheet metals are now able to be patinated in a variety of different colours including Verdigris, Florentine and Pearl. Copper, brass, aluminium, mild steel, zinc and stainless steel. They are available in a variety of thicknesses and can be used where sheet metal is required in lieu of its decorative metal coatings. This range offers architects and designers the ability to specify pre-aged panels on a new build or renovation, avoiding bright and inconsistent “fresh� metal, while ensuring the characteristics of the solid metal are retained.

5.

The technology extends to both the design and construction potential of any substrate by lending it the appearance of solid metal without any of the restrictions, such as weight and cost. Once applied, the surface can be treated as if solid, allowing endless finished effects such as etching, carving, burnishing, linishing and texturing. The metal coatings are typically only 0.5mm thick and can be applied to virtually any solid surface of any size or shape. Metals that can be applied

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surfaces 1. Axolotl paints honour traditional craftsmanship through batch production. 2.The Axolotl Sculpt range blends the base surface with other natural surfaces such as stainless steel and brass and resin. 3 . The Stone Link range featuring a poppy design. 4. Axolotl Sheet Metal can be patinated in a variety of different colours including Florentine. 5. Spectrum is showcased in a debut project for Savills by Futurespace. 6. Axolotl Paints offer a unique aesthetic palette.

6. the elevated creativity to which they were accustomed.

Spectrum is a unique coloured metal surface typically available in flat aluminium and stainless steel sheets in sizes up to 2400 x 1200mm and thicknesses from 0.9mm – 3mm. Panels can also be laser cut to customer sizes. Customers can choose from the range of colours and designs or they can create their own unique Spectrum surface.

Paint has a new formula Axolotl Paint is an exclusive range of designer effects and colours developed locally in Sydney, and continues the story of individuality that is at the core of Axolotl surfaces. From the beginning, Axolotl has explored the intersection of creativity with technology and delivered industry professionals the opportunity to re-imagine the possibilities of the built environment. Metal that looks solid, but weighs as much as a cardboard box. Concrete cabinetry etched with the beauty of a Florence Broadhurst design. Multistorey blades of terracotta that will never crack. Which is why when Axolotl set out to develop a paint product, it had to be something that had never been done before. The company was excited to open up the beauty and quality of an architectural product for nonprofessional end-users and design enthusiasts, whilst also continuing to deliver architects and designers 62 |

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The paints honour traditional craftsmanship through batch production, using the finest quality materials made to the highest standards. Modern technology is utilised to refine the products to deliver a technically superior choice, developed for the demands of modern environments. Axolotl Paints deliver the paintability, depth of finish and durability expected by the best commercial and residential projects. By bringing our understanding of materiality together with the knowledge that comes from being immersed in architectural demands and trends, the range delivers a palette that is as concise as it is expansive. Concise in that it doesn’t overwhelm you with unnecessary choice, and expansive in that it delivers to the most classic or contemporary palette.

products can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea. Higher exposure levels have had links with serious outcomes such as cancer. By specifying low or zero VOC paints these problems can be minimised, even eliminated. Usually, low VOC paints emit less odours and offer faster drying times and nonyellowing properties. However, it’s important to look beyond simple “eco” claims to ensure that you still get optimum performance from your paint, particularly for outdoor finishes. Common shortcomings include poor durability and low coverage. Axolotl architectural paints are water based and contain low or minimal VOC, yet are engineered to deliver considerable performance in all environments. These paints have the uncommon combination of technological expertise, traditional craftsmanship and environmental sensitivity.

Because experts have specifically curated the range to represent the most relevant and current trends, Axolotl makes it easier for anyone to achieve the ideal hue to project a professional design aesthetic.

More than this, it is the unique aesthetic palette offered, along with access to innovative design expertise in product selection, that differentiates an Axolotl architectural paint from others.

Environmental standards

You can view the range at axolotlpaint.com or 6/73 Beauchamp Road, Matraville (NSW).

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are the harmful chemicals found in paints. These are carbon-containing solvents that vaporise into the air as paint dries. They can have negative effects on the health of building occupants and exposure to such

The Stone Link and Sculpt ranges are Australian innovations that are available only through Axolotl offices worldwide.


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The Next Generation in Specialty Formulators


Innovation meets design. FENIX NTM® - nanotech material - is an innovative interior design product, that combines elegant aesthetic solutions with state-of-the-art technological performance. 0750 Verde Comodoro - NEW

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Thanks to its special characteristics, FENIX NTM can be used for both horizontal and vertical surfaces and a very wide range of typical interior design applications, both for home and business markets: kitchens, bathrooms, as a material for worktops, coating shutters, doors and walls, for splashbacks; hospitality, healthcare, as well as furnishings and fittings such as tables, bookcases, chairs, partitioning. Its surface characteristics make it a high-performance material

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Our colour range includes a choice of classic timeless colours inspired by nature, pearlescent shades with a superb effect on supermatt surfaces and an exclusive selection of materic expressions. 0030 Bianco Alaska

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Orange 02 6362 9666

Wagga Wagga 02 6921 6499

ACT

Townsville 07 4775 3500

www.nover.com.au

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Project highlights: FLAIR, FUNCTION AND FLEXIBILITY

environments subjected to busy traffic and harsh wear-and-tear such as hospitality, government and retail spaces. They also achieve high levels of acoustic performance.

Easycraft’s internal timber wall panels and timber ceiling linings range have designs that cover all timber wall, ceiling panelling and decorative wall panelling applications for bedrooms, kitchens, hallways and other living areas. With clean crisp lines, Easycraft products are hard wearing and easy to install.

cost of installation, knotholes, splits, dust and air leakage through the joins were perceived as some of the shortcomings of using the timber planks. So, Easycraft created a product to replicate the look of the VJ and beaded timber plank profiles, made from MDF (medium density fibre) board.

The company offers a flexible choice of profiles that traditional lining manufacturers cannot provide. Easycraft make it possible to match period styles and designs, or to create a contemporary feel, using a substrate that is strong and can save countless hours in installation and finishing.

Over time, new profiles have been introduced such as Regency and Ascot, and contemporary profiles Easygroove and Easyline have also been added. Today, it boasts an extensive range that can create charming bespoke finishes for renovations and new builds.

Easycraft has been enhancing both traditional and contemporary spaces since 1986, when it began manufacturing an alternative to the original timber vertical joint (VJ) planks used in the original Queenslander home. Renovators wanted to achieve the authentic look of the original Queenslander. However, the

Easycraft panels are manufactured with a consistent density, thickness, width and length. They are free from defects, inconsistencies and imperfections. These panels are strong and 300% more impact resistant than standard plasterboard and 50% better than impact-resistant plasterboard. This makes them an ideal choice for commercial

Easycraft panels come pre-primed and are installed three times faster than installed and primed plasterboard, or twenty times faster if you consider plaster sanding and drying time. They are approximately the same cost as supplied and installed plasterboard. The Easycraft easyjoin system allows one easycraft panel to join together, and seamlessly to the next. The panels and joins will stand the test of time and movement. All raw materials are produced by Australian manufacturers. Processing and painting are also performed locally. The Easycraft team has a long and successful history working with designers, architects and specifiers to achieve excellent outcomes. No project is too large or small. It offers a lot of support to designers and specifiers with different types of support materials and project advice. Sample kits, product specification guides and project galleries can be accessed quickly and easily.

ADD A STYLISH DIMENSION

Easycraft’s comprehensive range of design-driven, decorative wall and ceiling linings is available in convenient sizes to suit any job. Not only do the boards make it easy to create visually stunning spaces, they can outperform plasterboard for impact and abrasion resistance. It has a final comparable installed cost and come pre-primed. To discover more visit Easycraft.com.au

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surfaces P R O D U C T

S H O W C A S E STRIKING SURFACES

The Stefano Orlati decorative product range from Titus Tekform includes panels, made to measure doors, solid surface sheets or fabricated benchtops, as well as metalaminates and HMR particle board. Just added is the high gloss Optiglaze in 10 finishes with matching edgebanding. It features UV stabilisation coating with a mirror-like finish. Also new are the OptiMatt PET panels and doors and Chiara 100% acrylic benchtops. Chiara offers custom made applications with seamless joins and a repairable and renewable surface that is resistant to stains, mildew and bacteria. TITUS TEKFORM earth www.titustekform.com.au phone (02) 9826 0007

SUPER MATT FINISH

Simulating honed stone such as marble, travertine and cement, Matera is the essence of modernity and innovation. With the benefits of easy cleaning and less disposed to scuff and finger marks, Matera is the next step in improving laminate finishes in Australia. POLYTEC earth www.polytec.com.au phone 1300 300 547

THE LOOK OF TIMBER

Providing a warm and textural appearance, Steccawood is ideal for horizontal and vertical applications – creating a striking artistic feature to any space. Steccawood mimics wooden battens for a durable and cost-effective solution with eight colour adoptions to suit any project. POLYTEC earth www.polytec.com.au phone 1300 300 547

EXTENSIVE DESIGN OPTIONS

FastmountTM is a superior panel mounting solution that facilitates a smoother and more economical construction process. Modern panel building techniques combined with the Fastmount clip systems allow for faster build methods, which ensures a reduction in both time and money, with an improvement in the final finish. The benefits of installing new panels with Fastmount include perfect finish and alignment; secure, hidden and removable fixings; suitability for CNC machining of panels and substrates; installation after other trades and the ability to remove easily for servicing. The versatile clips are designed to suit a wide number of applications. TITUS TEKFORM earth www.titustekform.com.au phone (02) 9826 0007 66 |

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L In the future, sustainability in building could move from being a luxury that is out of reach for many people, to a requirement. Green building won’t depend on any one product, practice or technology. Rather, it will depend on how these three elements come together to produce projects that take equal consideration for the overall health of the building, its occupants and the environment. David Baggs writes about the benefits of green flooring in the following pages of Finishes & Surfaces magazine. We also publish a green flooring product registry table where it is possible to track which products would comply with Green Star categories that have been developed by the Green Building Council of Australia. David developed the Global GreenTagCertTM product certification program with a team of toxicologists, materials and environmental scientists, and industry advisory and expert committees. It has achieved new global benchmarks in green product certification. The Global GreenTag standard is an advanced ISO 14024 compliant Type 1 ecolabel, ISO 17065 compliant Conformance Assessment Body and registered Certification Mark that is recognised in over 70 countries. It is distinguished by being the only sustainable building product related certification scheme approved in Australia by the (ACCC) Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

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flooring

GREEN FLOORING LAID OUT David Baggs puts together a strong case for using environmentallyfriendly, sustainable flooring. He is well-positioned to do this as the CEO and program director of Global GreenTag. David is a passionate advocate for the development and use of sustainable products in building design and construction. It makes good sense (for your health and for the sake of the planet) to use green flooring products but there are so many other reasons that make a great business case for only using green flooring. Especially when you consider what is now available and compare them against other “business as usual” flooring products in the market. Regarding price point (there’s often little difference these days), we really all need to get past the perception that green flooring (or any green products for that matter) only belongs on exclusive, up-market projects whose sole aim is to push green building program boundaries. Health (human and planetary) is everybody’s business. The bottom line is, green flooring can and should be used on every project. It is because of green-focused flooring design that there have been developments in the flooring sector that have led to some significant product outcomes. For example, major initiatives have been launched in product stewardship (recycling from building sites) in the PVC flooring sector. This is epitomised by the recent awards received by Karndean and Tarkett for their PVC recycling outcomes. Critically, green designed flooring products are pushing boundaries in product health and safety, which is an important factor to consider in minimising professional 70 |

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David Baggs, CEO and program director of Global GreenTag.

risk. We know there have been a number of indoor environment studies that have revealed concerning levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These have been attributed to sub-par flooring products, affecting indoor air quality and subsequent respiratory problems for building occupants. That, and the issue of leaching chemicals present in flooring found in other studies, present the problem of toxic chemicals taken through the skin – with crawling age children being at most risk. Social behavioural studies confirm that end users are becoming wiser to these product related problems and progressive flooring manufacturers like Australian-based Karndean Design Flooring agrees. Technical consultant Graham Caldwell recently spoke to GreenTag about the growing need to provide consumers and professionals with “compliance evidence”. He said the Karndean sales force who visit flooring retailers and face the public at home exhibitions are reporting that the “mums and dads” are very environmentally aware before they purchase a floor covering. In particular, they are asking about VOC compliance and phthalate free evidence. Trust in that evidence is also important, said Caldwell. Naturally, most people want to avoid flooring products that are making false green product claims. Selection is made easier by flooring companies who have taken care to qualify their product manufacturing processes and put third party certification in place. They have also ensured that certification also defines how it is compliant to building rating systems with pertinent sustainability criteria addressed in detail. Be careful to distinguish when certification only covers raw materials and not the manufacturing and ingredient toxicity. An example of this is when a manufactured timber product makes much of its FSC, AFS or PEFC certification to the exclusion of all else. While this is nonetheless


flooring important, such certification only covers the supply of the raw timber and completely ignores the toxicity of the other ingredients, VOC and formaldehyde emissions in use, worker safety, employment conditions and disposal and recycling fate, i.e. the overall life cycle impacts. An effective certification system will assess and rate the performance of all these issues together with the product’s relevance and compliance to local green and healthy building rating tools. To assist professionals in making sustainability and health related decisions, the Global GreenTagCertTM certification system was created to penetrate product claims at this deepest level and rate them beyond the typical binary “Pass/Fail” of Type 1 ecolabels that have until recent times prevailed. GreenTag decided to take this approach from the beginning because we find that one of the biggest issues in sustainable procurement is making sure that the products you are buying or specifying are actually delivering real and measurable sustainability outcomes. Once it is realised that the vast majority of ecolabels are just that, “eco” labels (assessing health and environmental outcomes only) it is easier to understand that only certain aspects of sustainability are being assessed by ordinary ecolabels and most don’t “measure” specific outcomes at all.

Specifying and planning for green flooring Essentially, a good certification system will clarify the relevancies of flooring product certification and reporting outcomes and their compliance to Green Building rating tools. The two product rating schemes of GreenTag LCARateTM and GreenTag GreenRateTM can be applied and are compliant with a number of green building rating and infrastructure rating schemes, including Green Star®, LEED® and BREEAM® . Flooring manufacturers whose products are aligned with these schemes will seek out GreenTag’s certification program to provide the high level of scientific support, transparency, quality endorsement and one-stop certification required. In Australia, most green building projects seek to meet the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star system and to achieve Green Star credits. Flooring product needs to meet the building sustainability criteria, as set out under the Green Star tools and credit system. All surfaces, including paving, resilient flooring, timber, laminates, ceramic tiles and carpets are now encompassed in different Green Star tools that include: • Design and As Built (D&AB-base buildings and integrated fit outs); and • Interiors (all interior fit outs); together with 72 |

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• Performance Tool (building operations) require “Sustainable Products” credit compliant certification • Both D&AB and Interiors tools also have a “Life Cycle Impacts” reduction credit that involve a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of the project. The compliance currency for projects with these LCA credits is for the products they certify to have an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD- a summary LCA report) available as well. Referring to the green flooring product registry table, following this article, it is possible to track which products would comply with these Green Star categories. Accessing information about a flooring product under the GreenTag LCARateTM certification system, for example, also enables you to compare a product over its full life cycle. After this, more confident specification or purchasing decisions can be made because the most sustainable flooring is determined by considering not only just cost but also the highest certified rated product from Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum outcomes. Once the product with the highest rated outcome is determined then the most sustainable product is the one with the lowest GreenTag EcoPOINT score. Metrics like the lowest EcoPOINT per Dollar/Pound/Euro can then be developed to assist in assessing tenders. These EcoPOINT scores are displayed on all GreenTag certified product certificates, scorecards and web pages on www.globalgreentag.com and other international websites such as globalgreentag.co.za and globalgreentag.cn. A similar process can be used when focussing on the health aspects of products with the rating scores (BronzeHealth, SilverHealth, GoldHealth and PlatinumHealth) which sit under Global GreenTag’s recently launched Product Health Declaration™ or PhD tool. The GreenTag PhD is the first system globally to assess the health impacts of the final product – and not just the hazards of the ingredients. The Green Building Council of Australia in 2018 has flagged that it will be introducing its new product health compliance tools under Green Star 2018 – and GreenTag will be ready.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR David Baggs is a multi award winning architect and consultant with over 35 years experience. He is also a qualified Exemplar Global Lead Auditor and both a LEED® and Green Star® Accredited Professional as well as CEO of Sustainable Design and Green Compliance Certification consultancy Integreco Pty Ltd.


GLOBAL GREENTAG® FLOORING REGISTRY MANUFACTURES

PRODUCT

GREEN RATE LEVEL A EPD

PHD

GBCA

All Ceramic Marketing

Porcelain Floor Tiles

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Altro APAC Pty Ltd

VM20 Walkway / VM20 Walkway SD

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Altro APAC Pty Ltd

Aquarius

"Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Amorim Revestimentos Wicanders Corkcomfort S.A. – WICANDERS Floating WRT and HPS Flooring

LCARate Silver"

No

Gold

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Amorim Revestimentos Wicanders Hydrocork S.A. – WICANDERS

Green Rate Level B

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Amorim Revestimentos Wicanders Corkcomfort S.A. – WICANDERS Glue-down WRT Flooring

Green Rate Level B

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Armstrong Flooring Pty Ltd

Australis™

Green Rate Level A

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Armstrong Flooring Pty Ltd

Infinity

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Armstrong Flooring Pty Ltd

Infinity Safe

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Armstrong Flooring Pty Ltd

Eco-Accolade

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Armstrong Flooring Pty Ltd

Accolade Safe

Green Rate Level A

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Armstrong Flooring Pty Ltd

Accolade Foothold

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Armstrong Flooring Pty Ltd

Accolade Plus

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Aura Sports Pty Ltd

Pulastic Sports Flooring

Green Rate Level B

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Belgotex Floors

SDX Tufted Miraclebac Broadloom Carpet

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Belgotex Floors

SDX Tufted Bitumen Backed Green Rate Level A Carpet

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Birrus Matting Systems

Ultramat and Duramat

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Decoline

Decoria looselay Vinyl plank

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Desso, Tarkett Australia

SoundMaster Modular Carpet Piece & Space Dyed

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Desso, Tarkett Australia

Modular Carpet Tiles with Desso EcoBase® backing

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Desso, Tarkett Australia

ProBase Modular Carpet Piece and Space dyed

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Earp Bros Innovative Tile Solutions

Porcelanosa Floor Tiles Range

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Floorwise

Steel Encapsulated Cementitious Access Panel System 600x600mm

Green Rate Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Floorwise

Air-Flow Perforated Panel System

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Floorwise

Steel Cementitious Panel System with HPL

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Floorwise

Calcium Sulfate Panel System

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Forbo Flooring

Colorex Conductive and Static control flooring

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Forbo Flooring

Allura Flex Design vinyl tiles Green Rate Level A – Loose Lay

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Forbo Flooring

Step Safety vinyl flooring R10,R11 R12 & Barefoot Areas

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Forbo Flooring

Eternal General Purpose Vinyl Flooring

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Forbo Flooring

Allura Luxury Vinyl Tiles

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Forbo Flooring

Flotex Sheet

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Forbo Flooring

Flotex Tile

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Forbo Flooring

Marmoleum sheet and tile

Green Rate Level AGC15:C35reen Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Taraflex™ Sport M Evolution Vinyl Flooring

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Creation Clic Vinyl Planks

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Texline Pro Vinyl Flooring

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Taralay Impression Compact

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Taralay Impression Comfort

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

2017/18 | 73


Gerflor

Tarasafe Standard, Style, Ultra, Uni, Geo

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Taralay Premium Comfort

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Taralay Premium Compact

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Mipolam Symbioz

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Gerflor

Mipolam Ambiance HD vinyl sheet

Green Rate Level B

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Green Resources Material (GRM) Australia

Biowood Decking, Cladding, Ceiling and Flooring systems

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Interface Australia

Nylon 6.6 Carpet Tile Range with CushionBac® Backing

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Interface Australia

Nylon 6.6 Carpet Tile Range with GlasBac®RE Backing

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Interface Australia

Nylon 6.6 Carpet Tile Range with GlasBac® Backing

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Interface Australia

Nylon 6 Carpet Tile Range with CushionBac® Backing

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Interface Australia

Nylon 6 Carpet Tile Range with GlasBac®RE Backing

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Interface Australia

Nylon 6 Carpet Tile Range with GlasBac® Backing

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

iRubber Pty Ltd

REMP Suber flooring

Green Rate Green Rate Level C

Karndean Design Flooring

Luxury Vinyl Tiles

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Lindner Australia

NORTEC Raised Floor system

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products (when installed as part of base building). GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

ModWood Technologies

Flame Shield® Decking Board

LCARate Bronze

No

No

ModWood Technologies

Decking

LCARate Bronze

No

No

Mohawk Group

Nylon 66 Tufted Carpet on EcoFlexTM NXT Backing

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products Indoor Pollutants . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Mohawk Group

Nylon 66 Tufted Carpet on EcoFlexTM ICT Backing

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Mohawk Group

Nylon 6 Tufted Carpet on EcoFlexTM NXT Backing

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Mohawk Group

Nylon 6 Tufted Carpet on EcoFlexTM ICT Backing

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Nora Systems GmbH

Norament

Green Rate Level AGC62:C91Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Nora Systems GmbH

Noraplan

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Bloc PUR

Green Rate Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.2’: Sustainable Products . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.2’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Acoustix Forest fx PUR

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polyclad Pro PU

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polysafe Hydro Evolve

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Expona Linne LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Resonsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polysafe Verona PUR

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polysafe Apex

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polyflor Standard XL

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polyflor Classic Mystique PUR

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polyflor 2000 PUR

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polyflor XL PUR

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polyflor Prestige PUR

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polyflor Pearlazzo PUR

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polysafe Vogue Ultra

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polysafe Standard

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polysafe Astral

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polysafe Wood fx Acoustix PUR

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Polysafe Wood fx PUR

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Colonia LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

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GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1’: Sustainable Products . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1’: Sustainable Products . GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials


Polyflor Australia

Forest fx PUR, Expona Flow PUR

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Expona Commercial LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Expona Supertile LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Genero Design LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

CAMARO LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Expona Superplank LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Homeline LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Expona Domestic LVT

Green Rate Level A C62:C91LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Polyflor Australia

Expona Design LVT

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Bulding Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

QEP Australia Pty Ltd

The Drop Loose Lay Flooring

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Rephouse Australia

Isodec™ B700-BA, B750-IF, B935-F series Underlay

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Rephouse Australia

Neoflex™ 700 series rubber flooring

Green Rate Level B

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Rephouse Australia

Neoflex™ 500,600,800, BFC Green Rate Level A series rubber flooring

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Resonsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Signature Floorcoverings

Moduleo Plank & Tile Click 4.5mm (0.4mm wear layer)

Green Rate Level A LCARate Bronze

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Signature Floorcoverings

Moduleo Plank & Tile Click 4.5mm

Green Rate Level A LCARate Bronze

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Signature Floorcoverings

Moduleo Plank & Tile Stick 2.5mm

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Signature Floorcoverings

Moduleo Plank & Tile Stick 2.1mm

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Signature Floorcoverings

Signature Friendly Tiles™with ‘FriendlyBak’

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Signature Floorcoverings

Signature Friendly Tiles™with ‘Comfibak’

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Sterling Supplies Pty Ltd

Duratred® Ribbed Mat

Green Rate Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Responsible Building Materials- Best Practice PVC certified included vinyl strip. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Responsible Building Materials - Best Practice PVC certified included vinyl strip. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

iQ One

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

Tandus Ecobond

Green Rate Level C

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

Acczent Excellence 80

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

Safetred Universal, Safetred Universal Plus, Safetred Spec

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

Tapiflex Essential 50, Tapiflex Excellence 65

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

iQ Optima, iQ Natural

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

iQ Megalit

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

iQ Granit, Granit Multisafe, Granit Safe. T

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

Eclipse Premium, Primo Premium

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Tarkett Australia

iQ Eminent

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

The Andrews Group Pty Ltd

Bolon Woven Flooring Collections

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

The Laminex Group

Trade Essentials® Particleboard Flooring – Non Termite Treated

Green Rate Level A

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants . GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

The Laminex Group

Trade Essentials® Particleboard Flooring – Termite Treated

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Waterford Carpets Ltd

Tretford Tile

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Waterford Carpets Ltd

Tretford Cord Roll Carpet

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.2’and ‘Interiors v1.2’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

Waterford Carpets Ltd

Tretford EcoTile Carpet

Green Rate Level A LCARate Gold

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products, Indoor Pollutants, Responsible Building Materials. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Refurbishment Materials

WK Marble & Granite Pty Ltd

Quantum Quartz Flooring

Green Rate Level A LCARate Bronze

No

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’and ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing - Refurbishment Materials

Zhejiang Kingdom Plastics Industry Co., Ltd.

Kingdomfloor Vinyl CompositeCore Click – cork backing

Green Rate Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products . GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Zhejiang Kingdom Plastics Industry Co., Ltd.

Kingdomfloor Luxury Vinyl Tile

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

Zhejiang Kingdom Plastics Industry Co., Ltd.

Kingdomfloor Vinyl CompositeCore Click – no backing

Green Rate Level A LCARate Silver

Yes

No

GreenStar ‘Design and As Built v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘Interiors v1.1’: Sustainable Products. GreenStar ‘ Performance v1.1’: Procurement and Purchasing: Refurbishment Materials

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flooring P R O D U C T

S H O W C A S E

HIGH END NICHE A leader in industrial cleaning equipment, Tennant Company is ideally positioned to provide a hand-in-glove offering with its premium floor coatings. As business development manager, Javier Conejo puts it: “Our customers make a significant investment in our considerable expertise and reputation when they install our floor coatings. It’s our duty to make available the exact equipment that will protect that investment for many years to come.” Since the 1930s, the company has led the way globally in high performance industrial floor coverings, supplying some of the world’s major military installations, airports, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, universities and prisons. From its proprietary polyurethane coatings to its Eco-Advantage® low-VOC products, Tennant stands squarely at the cutting edge of science. Customers’ demanding requirements for such features as light reflectivity, static dissipation and slip resistance, as well as resistance

to abrasion, chemicals, impact, bacteria, thermal and UV exposure are all in a day’s work for Tennant. Its well-trained consultants assess each site and the activities that will be carried out and design a custom, layered solution to match. When visual impact counts such as in car showrooms, aviation hangars and large public spaces including airports, convention centres and casinos, or when VIP guests visit factories, Tennant’s floor coatings are designed to deliver a “wow” factor. There are a range of colours and finishes, as well as custom options to deliver superior presentation. Whether your priority is prestige or performance, visual appeal or protection, Tennant has a floor coating solution to suit, and the equipment to maintain it in prime condition. “Tennant Company customers own floors that are genuinely assets,” says Javier. “Assets that add value to their property and they can be proud of for decades to come.”

A SOLID BASE Tennant’s Eco-MPE (Multi-Purpose Epoxy) is a low-odour, 100% solids epoxy that self-levels for easy application. Eco-MPE is ideal for use as a primer, broadcast or build coat. Key features include LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating for Indoor Environmental Quality – 4.2 Low Emitting Materials, Paint & Coatings. The low odour formula works well around odour-sensitive stock and environments.

HIGH PERFORMANCE SYSTEMS Eco-HTS 100 (High Traffic System) from Tennat is a low odour/low VOC, durable, chemical resistant, aliphatic, satin urethane topcoat for high volume and heavy load traffic areas popular across government and aerospace industries. It has a gloss finish. The satin sheen lasts twice as long as standard urethanes; up to four times as long as standard epoxies. Its slight texture creates a safer workplace by providing greater traction which helps reduce risk of slip and fall accidents. The 100% aliphatic or UVstable formula helps keep floors from yellowing over time.

Above: Tennant’s floor coatings are designed to deliver a “wow” factor in locations such as aviation hangars.

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Project highlights: YOUR COMFORT IS OUR BUSINESS Dunlop Flooring’s commitment to innovation and enterprise has resulted in a suite of carpet underlay products, for both residential and commercial applications. They provide comfort and are a reflection of the company’s environmentally responsible manufacturing and sustainable practices. Dunlop Flooring also offers hard flooring underlays designed to complement its Heartridge products. Available in multiple finishes and a stylish range of colour combinations, the engineered timber, laminate and luxury vinyl products are all inspired by the beauty of nature. They use the latest advancements in technology to bring the tranquillity of the outdoors into any space.

Luxury vinyl planks

The Heartridge 1.8m Australian Timber and Natural Oak range represents the latest innovations in luxury vinyl flooring. Made from a flexible construction, all planks have been created by way of scanning genuine Australian

Timber and European Oak samples, delivering detail and authenticity in each plank. They can be installed in living areas, kitchens and bedrooms along with bathrooms and laundries as the stability of these planks are not adversely affected by moisture. Complemented by a micro-bevelled edge and a low gloss finish, the flexible PVC formula provides a soft and comforting feel underfoot and a sound absorption quality that will add to the tranquillity of a space. The planks are quick and simple to install, accompanied with the documentation required to place this product in all manner of settings including: Fire, Slip, Acoustic, VOC, Dimensional Stability and Adhesive Recommendations. With 12 decors (six Australian Timber and six European Oak), the Heartridge range also offers versatility. It represents the most sought after colours and species to complement a broad range of interiors and palettes.

SIGNIFICANT PROJECTS Interspersed amongst the muted grey flooring palette by way of “break out zones”, Dunlop Flooring’s Woodland Oak in Natural provides a subtle yet striking touch to the Bio Sciences Building (above) at the University of New South Wales. The Super Amart in Fyshwick (ACT) features the Heartridge 1.2m Luxury Vinyl Plank in Smoked Oak and Sunset Haze. It is ideally suited to the purpose of the building: easy to clean and impervious to moisture, featuring a 0.55mm wear layer for surface durability, fibreglass layer for optimal dimensional stability, and realistic decors. For a touch of character, the planks have been repurposed for display on both the bedding walls and the display plinths. Dunlop Flooring’s Smoked Oak and Silvermist at Townsville Coffee Club (below) in North Queensland have created a communal space that exudes timeless appeal and charming character. Made for light commercial use, and complemented by a heavy duty 0.55mm wear layer, the luxury vinyl planks are built to withstand moderate foot traffic, remain durable and allow for the easy maintenance of spills.

Left: Inspired by the beauty of nature, Heartridge floors use innovative technology to capture the look of real timber.

2017/18 | 79


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2017/18


Far from basic, adhesives and sealants play an integral role when creating and designing spaces. The choice of these elements can have a major impact on the aesthetics of an interior or exterior room. Through the years, many adhesives materials, both natural and man-made, have been used to bond ceramic tiles, including tar and other bitumens, various resins and caseins, and cement. Modern construction materials, such as gypsum wallboard, plywood and cement backer boards (pre-formed concrete sheets used as a sub-surface for tiling) led to demand for less labour-intensive, more effective ceramic tile adhesives. Today, thin-set mortars and mastic adhesives are the dominant choices for virtually all applications. In the first feature, we take a look at the revolutionary changes that began with Laticrete’s first product in the market that influence the way buildings are constructed today. Grout is another important choice when designing a room. It’s not just about the colour but the application itself that can contribute to the longevity of the room. We explore grout and some of its uses in the second story in this section of Finishes & Surfaces magazine.

2017/18 | 81


adhesives & sealants

1. enough, there would have been little or no ceramic tile sold on this project. The owners would have chosen carpet, vinyl or thermoplastic flooring.”

Adhesive qualities

MORE THAN A BONDING AGENT When Laticrete founder, Dr. Henry M. Rothberg, launched the company’s 4237 Latex Thin-Set Additive, he introduced a strong, weather- and shock-resistant “thin-bed” mortar, using equal parts sand and cement. It replaced thick, heavy and labourintensive mortar bed installations. As acceptance of this problem-solving technology increased, ceramic tile and stone became more common choices for flooring and building facades. Early in their development, tile adhesives won out over mortar for one very simple reason: weight. Writing in the mid-1990s about the evolution of tile adhesives, Henry M. Rothberg, then chairman of the board for Laticrete International, recounts the story of the first major project he was involved in during the 1960s where adhesives replaced mortar. “For example, 30 years ago, I met with the designers, including the architect I.M.Pei, who were developing two100-storey buildings in New York City. We reviewed the problems of ceramic tile in such structures when installed by the traditional mortar method. We created a study reviewing costs and savings of ceramic installation 82 |

2017/18

with the new adhesive method and traditional mortar method.” What that study showed was that, using mortar, some 2268 metric tonnes of the material would be required. When all the costs of elevator time and loading/unloading were added up, it came to, in 1960s US dollars, USD168,000. Comparatively, adhesives would require less than 250 tonnes of material, which would cost only USD 16,800, a savings of USD151,200. Adjusted for inflation to 2017, that’s equivalent to USD1.236 million. Additionally, with a reduction in structure weight of over 2000 tonnes, the building engineers estimated there would be further savings of USD100,000, which in 2017 terms would be USD817,000. So an overall savings, in 2017 terms, of over USD2,000,000. As Mr Rothberg points out, the reality was that without the use of adhesives, the architects would simply not have chosen to use ceramic tile: “If the adhesive method was not available for ceramic tile or if the technology was not advanced

There are around four highly important characteristics that tile adhesives need to have, namely: • Adhesive strength • Water retention, i.e. open-time and adjustability-time • Resistance to excessive strain development • Flexibility (deformability) The ability of the adhesive to keep the tile in place can be measured in terms of tensile and shear factors. These two factors are frequently connected when it comes to stress being placed on tiles. For example, if the substrate on which the tiles are placed shrinks, this will create an initial shear stress, which seeks to move the tile on a horizontal or vertical plane. When that force is resisted by the adhesive, the tile will instead tend to bulge outwards, which places a tensile stress on the adhesive. “Open-time” refers to the length of time the tile layer has to place the tile on the bed of applied adhesive. If the adhesive loses water rapidly to the substrate, or reacts quickly to exposure to the air by forming a skin over its surface, the adhesive will not form a strong enough bond with the tile. “Adjustability-time” refers to how long the tile layer has to move and adjust the tiles after contact with the adhesive. Again, this largely depends on how fast the adhesive loses water to the substrate. The expected standard for most adhesives is open-time and adjustability-time of around 15 to 20 minutes. It is typically promoted and controlled by the addition of organic additives, which tend to be limited in cheaper adhesives, due to their high cost.


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adhesives & sealants ingredient is quite typically an alkyl derivative of cellulose.

2. 1. During the 1960s, adhesives replaced mortar on 100-storey buildings designed by the architect I.M.Pei in New York City. 2. Using a notched trowel in applying a thin layer of cement based adhesive.

If the adhesive has an unbalanced formulation, or is applied at too great a depth, shrinkage in the adhesive will introduce strain on the tiles. Flexibility is the ability of the adhesive to adapt to shifts and changes while retaining adhesion to the tiles.

Types of adhesives The development of adhesives has largely followed the path of attempting to meet these requirements in a variety of circumstances, and with different balances between them, while keeping costs low and ease of use high. There are, in general terms, five different types of adhesive: “Thinset” or standard mortar; one-part adhesive (also called paste/mastic adhesive); latex-based adhesive; solvent/resin-based adhesives; and epoxy/reactive resin adhesives. Thinset/mortar cement adhesives are the simplest of the adhesives and consists of Portland cement, sand and an organic ingredient to help the mixture retain water to improve its open-time. That 84 |

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One-part adhesive is primarily a resin or latex based adhesive with filler substances such as quartz or marble dust. While this adhesive is easy to use, it is not suitable for use where exposure to moisture will occur, or where heavy stress will be placed on the tiles, such as in flooring. Latex-based/cement adhesives were the first tile adhesives developed that could withstand external application, with good waterproofing and frostproofing properties. Sometimes also known as “two-part” adhesives, they are made by mixing liquid latex with a mixture of Portland cement and sand. Solvent/resin-based adhesives are factory-prepared, ready-touse mixtures consisting of fillers dispersed in a solution of an organic binding agent in volatile solvent. Environmental concerns mean that these formulations are no longer used much. Epoxy/reactive-resin adhesives is a speciality adhesive that provides a high level of resistance to exposure to cleaning chemicals, and is frequently used in areas such as dairy production and food factories.

Impact on building As Rothberg relates in his history of the early use of tile adhesives, the move to adhesives also required some changes in the way that buildings were constructed. He said, “When I developed the first latex Portland cement adhesive suitable for both exterior and interior ceramic tile installations, I met great resistance from the construction industry because it was not traditional. Forty years ago, it was necessary to instruct both architects and building contractors in floor and wall surface preparation. I would then teach ceramic tile installers how to use a notched trowel in applying a thin layer of cement based adhesive.”

Architects needed to be informed because the types of building surfaces we take for granted today were not the norm back then. Rothberg goes on to say: “The traditional method accommodates variations in wall or floor surfaces because mortar can he applied from 20mm to 70 mm in thickness. This allows the tile installer to accommodate poor quality concrete floors, or uneven brick and masonry walls. “The introduction of adhesives has dramatically changed many phases of construction. With adhesives, the floor surfaces must first be flat, true and level or the walls must be flat and plumb. This is usually the responsibility of the concrete worker for floors, and the plastering worker for preparing the walls. It is necessary for the architect and builder to understand the adhesive technology limitations so they can prepare the building properly.” Adhesive technology also developed in step with advances in producing ceramic tiles. Pre-World War II tiles tended to be small mosaic tiles fixed with cement mortar, and the rough backs of these tiles helped the mortar to secure them in place. The mortar was applied with a minimum thickness of 25 mm. This thickness ensured that the cement would retain moisture over a period of time in order to develop strength and cure. The move to ceramic tiles with smooth backs, produced in larger sizes meant that the standard methods no longer worked well. Rothberg said, “Technology advances in the adhesives industry supported technology advances in the ceramic industry. As the ceramic industry produced larger and more impervious tiles, they required new adhesive technology to provide problem-free installations. So, adhesives technology moved hand in hand with ceramic technology.”


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112 | Medium Grey

133 | Sand

130 | Jasmine

799 | White

720 | Pearl Grey

134 | Silk

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100 | White

728 | Dark Grey

135 | Golden Dust

138 | Almond

710 | Ice White

113 | Cement Grey

152 | Liquorice

700 | Translucent

115 | River Grey

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141 | Caramel

144 | Chocolate

103 | Moon White

116 | Musk Grey

NEW

136 | Mud

162 | Violet

149 | Volcano Sand

110 | Manhattan 2000

174 | Tornado

111 | Silver Grey

119 | London Grey

170 | Crocus Blue

114 | Anthracite

137 | Caribbean

143 | Terracotta NEW

NEW

NEW

139 | Pink Powder

171 | Turquoise 172 | Space Blue

NEW NEW

150 | Yellow 145 | Terra di Siena

120 | Black 173 | Ocean Blue 283 | Sea Blue 146 | Rich Brown 165 | Cherry Red

131 | Vanilla

Contact your local Mapei Stockist to view the complete Colour Range MAPEI products are readily available from all leading tile outlets and specialy hardware stores. For more information visit www.mapei.com.au Email: sales@mapei.com.au Freecall: 1800 652 666

www.mapei.com.au


1.

adhesives & sealants

MAKE GROUT COUNT Grout is perhaps not one of the most celebrated components of assembling a new tiled kitchen or bathroom, but it plays a surprisingly significant role in both the look of the room, and how well a tiled surface will age over time. It can define the character of a space but the real job of grout is to bring out the best in the tile or stone that it surrounds. Grout performs an aesthetic task in providing either a distinct colour contrast, such as when using white or light grey grout with black tiles, or a more blended appearance, such as when using white grout with white tiles. This strongly affects the visually linear appearance of the tiled surface in subtle ways. A contrasting grout colour will highlight the skill of the tile-layer, while a grout in a colour that matches the tile work will give a “seamless” appearance (and also tend to mask any mistakes in the work of a less-skilled DIYer). While it is perhaps overstating the case to say that using the correct grout “makes” a tiled area, it is certainly the case that the wrong grout can conflict with the tile choice and diminish the effect of a well-tiled surface. An important element of this aesthetic contribution is that most grout will, inevitably, age differently than the surrounding tiled surface. Truly skilled craftsmen will adjust the grout choice to account for this, with some tiled surfaces reaching peak appearance a year or two after installation, as an initially bright 86 |

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grout colour mellows and seemingly adapts to the tile colour. A concerning issue with grout is always its flexibility. The planar surface of walls tends to shift, and this becomes critical at corners and other points where walls might join at an angle. Most grouts are a little flexible, but not flexible enough to cope with these kinds of changes, which means that many tiled areas rely on caulk for the corner areas. This raises a number of issues for tilers, as caulk can have a different appearance to the main grout being used, and will frequently age quite differently to the grout as well.

Types of grout There are, in general, three types of grout, though there is a bit of variance within each of these types as well. Cement-based grout is the most common and the easiest to work with. It differs from standard mortar in that it tends not to have lime, which is added to mortar to give it greater pliability. Physically, grout is also much thinner than mortar, as it plays only a limited role in providing

any kind of structural support. Grout without sand is used for grout lines that are thin, around 3mm or so, while grout lines that are 5mm and up use grout with sand added. Particularly with the use of sanded grout, it may be necessary to apply a grout sealant as well. Sand will absorb moisture easily, and the sealant helps to prevent that from happening. There are three different ways of applying sealant. It can be brushed on, following the grout lines, rolled on with small rollers, or even sprayed on. The critical difference between the three techniques is how much of the sealant gets applied to the surface of the tiles. With the brush, very little does, but the work required is quite laborious. With the spray technique, the job is completed quickly, but the tile surface needs to be washed, and tile discolouration can occur, though this typically wears off over time. The roller technique is a compromise between the other two techniques, easier to apply than brushwork, but with less tile area getting covered by sealant.


1. Grout for bright, red tiles. 2. How to make grout stand out: use glitter grout.

One tip tilers will often give is to choose a medium grey grout for areas such as showers, which will be subject to lots of water and dirt. Most grouts will tend to “grey out” over time and exposure, and the medium grey colour is one that can be maintained consistently over a long period. Epoxy grout has been steadily growing in popularity, especially among professionals. It is made up of epoxy resins and a filler powder. While it is more difficult to apply than cement grout, it also provides a range of benefits, such as being very easy to clean, offering close to complete stain resistance and providing great durability. Typically epoxy grouts are not used for very wide grout joints, but for those between 1mm and 12mm. These grouts often come in twopart mixtures with solids and colour

additives. Experienced tilers will mix a limited amount of grout, and count on mixing three or four batches for an average sized room, as this kind of grout sets comparatively quickly. It is very important to ensure that the surrounding tile is completely clean of all grout, as otherwise epoxy grout will produce a haze over the finish of the main tile. Some grout manufacturers include cleaning packages with the grout, which can be used to ensure this doesn’t happen. The result of applying epoxy grout is a surface that can be cleaned repeatedly without the grout deteriorating in appearance. That said, some epoxy grouts will yellow slightly with age if they are consistently exposed to strong sunlight. Another downside is that epoxy grout will look just a little “plasticky”, at times.

2. The first generation of urethane or one-pack grout did use urethane, but more recent versions tend to rely on a form of siliconised acrylic. This grout comes pre-mixed, usually in a resealable bucket container. The grout is remixed just prior to use, and can then be resealed and re-used at a later date. This type of grout is frequently used for waterproof areas such as showers. It is mould and mildew resistant, less prone to staining and slightly flexible, thus less prone to cracking. While cleanup remains a problem, there are specific chemical solutions that can be used to make this task easier.


adhesives & sealants

Project highlights: THE ANSWER TO WATER CONTROL Solutions Sealers is an Australian maker of impregnating sealers for stone and tile. Established in the early 80s, the company has grown from a family-based business with a concreters warehouse to a well-established manufacturer of specialty products for the purpose of protecting, sealing and maintaining masonry surfaces. As an independent manufacturer, it has partnered with the world’s leading resin manufactures, which has enabled it to produce high quality, state-of-the-art sealers for use in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. With its manufacturing expertise and experience, Solutions Sealers work with industry professionals to provide a comprehensive, project specific, reporting system for any stone type and environment. The team also work closely with clients by offering in-house and independent testing for their surface type, to deliver the correct sealer to meet their on-site requirements. Its ongoing research and development program ensures Solutions Sealers meet the high expectations of its clients and remain up-to-date on the complexity on today’s natural stone market.

The company has been involved in a number key projects such as the following, among many others: • Q1 skyscraper – Gold Coast (QLD) • Soul residential tower – Gold Coast (QLD) • University of NSW Materials Science & Engineering Building – Sydney (NSW) • Charles Perkins University – Sydney (NSW) • Star City Casino – Sydney (NSW) • Westfield Werribee Plaza – Melbourne (VIC) • Westfield North Lakes – Brisbane (QLD • The Sunshine Coast University Hospital – Sunshine Coast (QLD) Solutions Sealers continues to grow as a business, with key staff and warehouses in each state along the east coast of Australia. It is keen to assist clients in the correct selection of sealer to meet their surface type and location. For further details email: info@ solutionssealers.com or phone: Free Call 1300 4 Stone (78663) or (07) 5446 7281. Download the app – sealer selector guide at the App Store for Apple and Android users.

CHARLES PERKINS UNIVERSITY, SYDNEY (NSW) This project required exporting one of Solutions Sealers products, Silcopel to Guangdong China. Silcopel is a high quality, water repellent that reduces moisture uptake by up to 95%. It was requested to keep the facade looking new to reduce freeze thaw, contamination, moss, mould and mildew on the sandstone. The product also reduces airborne contaminates from penetrating within the pores of the surface without changing the look of the surface. Solutions Sealers worked with Deemah Stone and Brookfield Multiplex to deliver the product to the China-based factory for processing. The stone was processed in Dongguan, sealed with Silcopel and fitted to cradles ready for shipping and installation in Sydney. As the stone arrived on site, many were amazed at the product’s water repelling effect during local showers at the time of installation, according to Solutions Sealers general manager, James Carr. Over five years later, Silcopel is still performing well and the stone is looking as good as it did the day it was installed, he said.

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Project highlights: A SUCCESSFUL ENSUITE RENOVATION Laticrete products played an integral role in a bathroom renovation in a Victorian home built in 1906 located in the Melbourne suburb of Ascot Vale. The homeowner wanted an ensuite added to the side of the house and the extension had to complement the flow of the existing home.

A challenge to this renovation involved trying to eliminate wastage of the tiles in the ensuite due to their large size at 1500mm x 750mm and cost. To address this potential problem, Chris suggested laying both wall and floor tiles in a random pattern where the off-cuts would be used in another row which would keep waste to a minimum.

The addition of an ensuite bathroom and powder room featured 81sqm of tiling. Architect Nicholas Murray, builder Craig Kinney, Chris Stenhouse from Wall & Floor Tiling and tile manufacturer Refin worked together to ensure that the finished project would be completed to the exceptional standard expected by the homeowners.

The products of choice for Chris, as the contractor, were Hydro Ban® Waterproofing and 335 Premium Flexible Adhesive. Hydro Ban was used to waterproof the shower walls, floor to ceiling. It is a thin, load bearing waterproofing/ crack isolation membrane that does not require the use of fabric in the field, coves or corners.

Hydro Ban is a single component, self-curing liquid rubber polymer that forms a flexible, seamless waterproofing membrane. It bonds directly to a wide variety of substrates. 335 Premium Flexible Adhesive was also an ideal choice for the large and extremely heavy tiles. 335 Premium Flexible Adhesive is a high performance thin-bed adhesive for installing a wide range of tiles and stone including low absorption ceramic tile, porcelain tile, natural and manufactured stone using the thin-set method of installation. The ensuite and bathroom were waterproofed. As the bathroom was on a concrete slab on-grade, it didn’t require full floor waterproofing coverage but Chris prefers to put his mind at ease and waterproofed the bathroom floor, shower walls, vanity and behind the bath. He said: “Hydro Ban is a cost effective, high performance waterproofing membrane. Since using Hydro Ban, I’ve cut down on labour and increased my productivity.” 335 Premium Flexible Adhesive is a smooth adhesive with a long pot life. Chris skimmed the walls with 335 and trowelled the back of tile, providing an extremely strong bond to the substrate. Photography by Tahnee Jade Photography

Pictured: “The tiles in our new home look stunning and it is in no small part due to the care and craft displayed by Chris”, said the homeowners. Laticrete’s Hydro Ban and 335 Premium Flexible Adhesive was used in this bathroom renovation. Hydro Ban (right) is a single component, self-curing liquid rubber polymer that forms a flexible, seamless waterproofing membrane.

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adhesives & sealants P R O D U C T

S H O W C A S E

EIGHTY YEARS OF PROGRESS Mapei has been manufacturing chemical products for the construction industry since 1937, and has become a point of reference for the global market. The company’s long, proud history has always been closely connected to its capacity for ground-breaking research and innovation. Mapei invests 5% of its annual turnover into their 18 R&D laboratories. Its Corporate Research Centre in Milan (Italy) acts as a central analysis laboratory and hub to coordinate the activities of the other 17 laboratories. As a result of the inherent quality of its products, Mapei is the ideal partner for architects, builders, designers, contractors and clients who are operating on significant ecosustainable projects worldwide. For 80 years, Mapei has been producing chemical products for the construction industry. It has always been committed to working and operating with the utmost respect for ethics, health, safety and social and environmental responsibility. Its emphasis on developing innovative products means Mapei can meet its client’s requirements while at the same time, respecting the needs of the environment.

Mapei makes over 5000 products, across 16 product lines that include adhesives, sealants, special grouts, waterproofing membranes, admixtures for concrete, levelling compounds and bonding primers, to name a few. The company’s products combine with integrated systems that offer specific and advanced solutions to the building industry.

boasts a modern laboratory, product testing facilities, sales offices, warehousing and a colour-mapping facility.

Mapei offers technical product training courses because it strongly believes they play an important role for contractors to perfect application techniques. These courses also present the latest product developments.

Mapei has also released a new lightweight, high performance adhesive into the market classified as C2TE S1. Ultralite S1 is a one-component, flexible, cementitious adhesive with no vertical slip. It has a long open time with an extremely high yield. Ideal for bonding thin porcelain tiles on floors and walls including external facades. For interior or exterior surfaces and available in grey and white in 13.5kg bags.

The Mapei Group is made up of 70 production plants in five continents, across 32 countries. It ships more than 25,000 tonnes of product each day. MapeI Australia recently built a new manufacturing plant and premises at Wacol (QLD), further enhancing production output and maintaining sales growth. The new plant

The company has offices and warehouses in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and technical sales staff based in North Queensland and Perth.

Effortless tile work

ARC LEISURE CENTRE At the newly built ARC Campbelltown Leisure Centre in Adelaide (SA), Mapei products were selected to install over 2000sqm of tiling and waterproofing, 1000sqm of levelling, 440sqm of render, 1060sqm of cement screeds and 1500 lineal metres of silicone joints required to complete all pools. Contractors chose to install the final pool tiles using Mapei’s Granirapid, a fast setting adhesive, to ensure the project was completed on time using a fully warranted Mapei Product System. Left: The completed ARC Campbelltown Leisure Centre in Adelaide (SA)

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Finishes and Surfaces Magazine 2017/18  

Annual review of new products, innovative ideas and aspiring projects, focusing on interior design materials.

Finishes and Surfaces Magazine 2017/18  

Annual review of new products, innovative ideas and aspiring projects, focusing on interior design materials.