Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, NY is the third largest shopping mall in the U.S. Only 20 miles from New York City and featuring over 220 retailers, the mall draws 24 million visitors annually—making it one of the busiest malls in the country. An impressive array of upscale attractions includes an ice rink, a Ferris wheel and an IMAX theater, plus the largest indoor climbing attraction on the east coast. The mall’s owners, Pyramid Management Group, decided to refresh this huge space by adding premium porcelain tile to the heavily-trafficked aisles.

With over 600,000 square feet of existing stained concrete to prepare and tile, the sheer scale of the project required extensive planning and consultation. Pyramid called on the expertise of Kevin Killian, owner of ProFast Commercial Flooring of Ijamsville, MD. Kevin knew right away he wanted to partner with the tile installation experts at Custom Building Products.

“I wanted to put together the very best team in the industry,” said Killian.

A primary consideration in choosing installation products was product performance, workability and compliance with current standards were of the utmost importance to ProFast Commercial Flooring.

The mall was able to remain open for business throughout the renovation process. Using rapid-setting patching and leveling materials in conjunction with quick curing tile installation products minimized the time each area had to be closed off to the public.

David DeBear of CUSTOM developed installation system recommendations for the team, conducted due diligence and performed field evaluations. DeBear also coordinated a 20-year Installation System Warranty for this specific tile installation. CUSTOM technical services representative, Matt Grandinetti, regularly visited the site to advise the installers on technical aspects of the products and inspect subfloor conditions.

Large format porcelain tiles manufactured by Iris U.S. were chosen for their superior design and easy maintenance qualities. The 24″ x 24” tiles were sourced by Ceramic Technics of Alpharetta, Ga., who worked with Iris U.S. to deliver the significant quantities needed to keep up with installation demands. Rapid production was critical for a team focused on staying ahead of the fast-paced schedule.

Surface preparation began with CUSTOM’s new TechLevel™ XP-1™ Self-Leveling Underlayment and CrackBuster® Pro Crack Prevention Mat. These two products were specified to address the uneven condition of the cement substrate and ensure an installation system designed for large format tiles. The size of the tiles and the requirement for speed dictated the use of Complete Contact™ Rapid Setting Fortified Mortar. Complete Contact eliminates the need for back-buttering, allows grouting in two hours and traffic in as little as four. These characteristics—along with Complete Contact’s ability to hold its ridges for deeper trowel notches—were vital to this project’s success.

“Our crews worked day and night, averaging over 8,000 square feet of tile set and grouted each shift,” said Kevin. “That is insanely fast! With the size of these tiles, not to mention the size of the mall, having the precise installation materials we needed for this job saved us weeks of time.”

The tile installation was completed with CUSTOM brand 100% Silicone Caulk and PolyBlend® Sanded Grout. CUSTOM’s exclusive line of Profiles and Transitions products was specified to create smooth, code-compliant transitions between flooring finishes, such as the hundreds of tenant spaces and carpeted areas.

Palisades Center’s owners did not wait for a grand opening, but started to showcase the work in progress on their website. Millions of shoppers will now enjoy the transformation of their favorite mall for decades to come. With a 20-year Installation System Warranty in place, all involved with the project know that the quality of the installation products used are the best in the industry—backed by Custom Building Products.