The photo above shows the culmination of George’s Carpet One’s tile work on the flooring and walls at the new Yogurt Mountain Rock Spring in Forest Hill Maryland. The glass mosaics on the wall and rectangular 12″x24″ floor tile installed ashlar set (with the joints staggered) show how bringing together several discrete tile-design elements (tile size, tile shape, tile color, direction…) into a complex create an enhanced overall feel and look, lend to a certain mood, and channel the use of space. …And this is all most folks will see! …But, what went into creating this stunning results? Continue reading to follow us through the progression from unfinished shell to styling tile!
It’s difficult for many of us to envision all the time, effort, and energy that goes into finishing the beautiful interior spaces we enjoy outside our homes. Considering that creating finished commercial spaces represents the culmination of a “process” (really several processes), much careful planning and hard work (that almost entirely occurs behind the scenes); we thought it would prove interesting, instructive, and enjoyable to peel back the curtain of finishes to reveal a glimpse into how this progression unfolds through the lens of this project.
We at George’s Carpet One along with the other tradespeople (including, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, drywall finishers, just to name a few), the general contractor, Emerald Custom Builders, and certainly the business owners themselves invested a great deal of effort, knowledge, skill, and talent into the synergies that so dramatically and brilliantly coalesced to transform this space from rough, empty shell into the delectable environment it became. Here we will focus quite narrowly on our own involvement in this project, our tile work and the processes involved; but, since our work would not even have been possible without the cumulative efforts of all others instrumental in bringing this space to fruition, we will attend to other’s roles in survey.
Our flooring work began, as is not uncommon in commercial projects, with a set of blue prints furnished to us by the general contractor so we could, “take off” measurements, figure quantities, and quote costs for the tile and installation… But, prior to even our preliminary involvement, the business owner would have identified the site, done feasibility and planning work, commissioned architecture and design…; the general contractor would have obtained the necessary permissions, permits, and approvals from local municipalities, franchise, etc.; the other subcontractor’s involved would have undergone an exercise much like ours… Once all subcontractor submit prices, the general contractor would assemble a bid for the business owner. Following approval, all trades involved would meet on location for a site-visit, review the plan, timeline, schedule, verify job site conditions, perhaps physically measure and inspect our work areas…
The unfinished shell is a blank canvas! Upon arrival on site, we found a pretty familiar scene:
Work would begin with demolition, clearing debris, and generally cleaning to ready the shell for its refit. After a good deal elbow grease to clean and clear the area, the work of finishing could begin. Electricians and plumbers undertake to rough in mechanicals. Carpenters frame interior walls. Crews hang and finish drywall. Painters work their magic. Ceiling crews hang the new grid for the acoustical drop ceiling, electricians continue installing light fixtures…
The transformation is now underway, and, as can be seen from the images, even these initial steps make an enormous difference.
Ideally, the order of operation for finishing work progresses from the top down. This strategy minimizes mess and damage that could result of gravity…; we install floor tile, for example, after walls are finished and painted to diminish the likelihood of drywall dust and debris or paint from soiling the new floor… (Interior designers generally suggest selecting finishes in the opposite direction, starting from the flooring and working upward. The prevailing wisdom here being that paint, for instance, offers a grater range of options than does flooring, so, it is easier and more effective to coordinate paint colors with a floor that already has been selected than select a floor from paint… but this would be another discussion.) …so, in a best case scenario, flooring will typically be among the last finishes installed.
This project proceeded accordingly, so after all the other trades had, for the most part, buttoned up their contribution, the time for tile had come!
We commenced to install tile! Proceeding according to architectural and design plans, which meticulously map where, in our case, each tile type starts and stops…, tile masons orient the layout to the space, mix thinset, and begin setting tile. We must still share the space with other crafts-people and work to avoid getting in each other’s ways; so, for optimal efficiency and efficacy, we endeavor to coordinate our tasks, schedules, etc., with any other trades still present and juggle areas so everybody can progress. In the case of this installation, because the wall-tile would set on top of a tile-base which would in turn be set into the floor, our tile masons set the tile-base first, worked up the lions-share of the walls, then graduated to flooring.
We worked through each area, detail trims, grout, clean up then move on to the next, and so on until we have completed all our tile work.
The total tile installation which also included (but we have not shown here)kitchen, rear hall, and bathrooms took just under two weeks. As one may expect, the project progressed smoothly, albeit not without incident. (But isn’t this really one of the hallmarks of a quality contractor and especially a quality general contractor: their ability to adapt to less than ideal circumstances and resolve challenges often makes up the difference between finishing a project properly and on schedule and missing a deadline.) This was especially true on this project because it was on a fast track and we had a very real deadline: any delay anywhere along the timeline from any contributor stood to potentially throw everyone else into a tail-spin, but the care, capabilities, flexibly and cooperation of everyone involved and the exceptional project management, problem solving of the general contractor and all subcontractors… kept us on track and Yogurt Mountain Rock Spring on schedule for their grand opening!
…So, next time you’re savoring the deliciousness of your Yogurt Mountain treat… hopefully, this glimpse into all we put into creating an equally delicious treat for your eyes will heighten your enjoyment all the more!
Have you been…? We welcome your comments! Want to know more about this or other projects feel free to contact us for more information.