12 years old and still as good as new
Opened in 1994, the aquatic centre features a wide range of facilities including the competition pool used for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, a utility pool for water polo and diving, five spas, a river rapid ride, a water slide and a bubble beach.
Seven years after it was completed, a decision was made to retile all of the leisure centre pools. With high-profile projects such as the Petronas Tower in Malaysia and Burj Al Arab in Dubai in its portfolio, LATICRETE was deemed to be the best company for the job. LATICRETE was involved right from the start when the original tiling was demolished and the remaining renders and screeds were deemed not suitable.
LATICRETE 3701/226 was used for the new structural toppings and beds. The remaining renders and screeds were removed and the surface was then grit blasted to provide an open-pored, sound and clean concrete surface for the levelling screeds and renders.
LATICRETE 226 Mortar Mix was gauged with LATICRETE 3701 Latex Admix to produce a high-strength, chemical-resistant mortar. A mechanical mixer was used to ensure the large quantities of 226/3701 used were correctly and economically mixed to the correct consistency. For every bag of 226 that was put into the mixer, 1.9 to 2.3 litres of latex was added. The different quantities of latex were used to produce a wet wall render or a semi-dry floor screed.
The render mix was applied to the walls and vertical surfaces in a manner very similar to normal renders to achieve the desired finish.
In the case of the floor screeds, a bond coat was used. LATICRETE 4237 Latex Additive and LATICRETE 211 Crete Filler Powder were combined in a bucket and mixed to produce a mix the consistency of toothpaste.
This mix was broomed onto the floor just prior to the application of the semi-dry screed mix. The screed mix was then floated to a wood float finish or better. LATICRETE latex mortar toppings and renders bonded monolithically to the concrete surfaces and were an excellent surface background for the following waterproof coat.
LATICRETE 9235 Waterproofing Membrane was applied to the dimensionally corrected shell. This liquid-applied, fabric-reinforced, load-bearing membrane was designed to be tiled directly onto.
To apply the membrane, a liberal coat of the liquid is applied in a manageable size onto the wall or floor. A pre-cut piece of fabric is then laid over the top of the first coat and broomed or brushed to work the liquid from beneath to the top face of the fabric. When fabric saturation is achieved, a top coat is rolled over the top. When this dries, a final coat is applied.
The corners and coves have a two-ply application and all fabric is lapped to a minimum of 50 mm. Typically, the detailed work is done first with the remainder of the body work completed afterwards. After the waterproofing is complete, it is allowed to cure for seven days before the flood testing is carried out.
After the aquatic centre tiles were laid and cleaned up, LATICRETE SP-100 Stainless Epoxy Grout was placed into the joints. The mosaic tiler was easy to apply and clean off the grout, leaving a great finish. The grout is mixed from three components: first, the resin and hardeners are mixed, then the powder is added to achieve the right consistency. The grout was applied to the joints and the excess removed with a rubber float.
This particular grout is also vertical grade, allowing for wall application without slumping. According to LATICRETE, SP-100 Stainless Epoxy Grout is a good choice where chemical resistance is required under almost all immersed conditions. Final cleaning of the tiles was carried out with wet towels and pads.
The tiling work had a warranty of 10 years, but has lasted beautifully for 12 years and is expected to do so for many decades more.
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