Making tiles stick in Singapore

Monday, 18 July, 2016 | Supplied by: LATICRETE Pty Ltd

Singapore’s position as an engine of growth and stability in South-East Asia has seen an explosion of new developments — both residential and commercial — in the last decade. The city-state’s aim to promote private banking and foreign wealth management has sparked many high-end projects.

Among the most prestigious of these is the Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island. A 390 ha former fishing village turned military base turned idyllic tourist haven, Sentosa Island is just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Singapore. Its proximity to the city means it attracts nearly five million visitors each year.

The Capella Singapore is a 12 ha luxury resort is housed in two historic bungalows, complemented by the addition of modern, curved villas.

The six-star Capella Singapore design drew heavily on the recent trend of using tile and stone for vertical exterior applications. A pair of LATICRETE products were used to ensure the construction was up to standard and could withstand the year-round humidity and monsoonal winds and rain.

View of the granite surrounding the pool.

Granite was used as the prevailing theme for the exterior landscape, highlighted by natural granite rubble walls that run along the entire front of the entrance. As the central component of the hotel’s exterior design, the natural granite rubble walls are featured each time the property transitions another level down to the pool area.

The original plan was to use the more traditional mechanical anchor method, but spacing constraints relative to the gap area between the stone and the concrete substrate forced the hotel to seek an alternative. LATICRETE offered a solution that allowed the Capella Singapore to retain its intended design and reduce labour costs at the same time.

LATAPOXY 310 Stone Adhesive, applied with the LATAPOXY 310 Cordless Mixer, is ideal for installing tile or stone on vertical surfaces. It is a high-strength, two-component epoxy adhesive specifically designed for the spot bonding of tile or stone on vertical surfaces.

In the case of the Capella Singapore, the use of LATAPOXY 310 Stone Adhesive made the granite rubble wall possible, since the thin nature of the material and the direct adhered application reduced the space between the surface finish and the substrate to as little as 3 mm.

Detail of the stairs at the Capella Singapore.

“Mechanical anchoring was proposed initially for the project,” said DP Architects Planners and Engineers.

“Due to spacing constraints, we were forced to look for alternatives. Since the wall base substrate was new and quite flat, we needed only to apply LATAPOXY 310 Stone Adhesive at a thickness of 3 mm for each piece of stone. The adhesive allowed us to make adjustments to the stone while in place for instances where the wall was slightly uneven.”

In addition, LATICRETE Hydro Ban was used for the substrates of the granite rubble walls, the granite pavers for the private driveway, the main entrance, the staircase to the pool and the granite for the pool deck surround. This waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane was a crucial element in the long-term protection of the stone work since much of it was located in the pool area, and all of it was located outside.

The main entrance of the Capella Singapore.

“There was some importance attached to the thinness of LATICRETE Hydro Ban with the spacing concerns already present,” said DP Architects Planners and Engineers.

“Also, it’s very easy to use and cures quite quickly — much faster than other membranes we have worked with in the past. Most importantly, using the waterproofing membrane will ensure the project’s durability and long-lasting beauty. Singapore is very humid most of the year, but also the monsoon season can bring high winds and rain. This was a concern for the exterior tile installation, including the pool area for the Capella project.”

Quickly and easily applied with a paint roller, brush, trowel or airless sprayer, Hydro Ban bonds directly to PVC and metal plumbing fixtures and can be flood-tested in just 2 h. Hydro Ban’s speed and ease of application provided time- and labour-saving benefits that helped reduce the overall costs of tile installation for the project. 

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