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A Local Favorite Is Reborn
The Winery of Omaha, Nebraska was a staple for local patrons for over 33 years providing delicious sandwiches, soups, and charcuterie boards alongside an incredible selection of wines. Even with the quality and service found at this local family-run business, the Winery was set to close for good due to the passing of one of the previous owners and the challenges of the global pandemic.
Fortunately for the people of Omaha, a pair of investors – Julie Hockney and Holly Jones were willing to purchase the then dormant property and return it to its former glory. Julie is also the owner and president of a prominent interior design studio, JH Interior Design Studio located just a few doors down from the Winery. In keeping up with her busy schedule of client work, she left material sourcing duties to one of her associates – Breanna Cortinas.
Designing with mortarless porcelain tile
Breanna saw what the space needed: A flooring solution that would withstand the heavy foot traffic, add to the energy of people being together, provide some acoustical value to hold a conversation, and perhaps most importantly, something that could be installed quickly to get The Winery back up and running.
Breanna didn’t hesitate to reach out to her friend and “tile expert” Florida Tile’s own Mat Pruitt, who was able to walk her through the Kerlite Easy mortarless porcelain tile system from Cotto d’Este. After prepping the subfloor by tearing out the existing carpet, and cleaning and leveling the underlying concrete, the crew was able to start the Kerlite Easy installation process. The first step was rolling out the SILENT sound-deadening mat over the entire floor. This took only minutes. The second step was to peel back the transparent film of the SILENT mat as needed to place each 6mm Kerlite tile into place. The mat featured a significant degree of surface grip, holding the tile firmly in position without mortar.
The final step was to fill the grout lines with FILLER, a highly elastic and mold-resistant silicone sealer. The filler acted as not only a way to fill the joints but to bond the tiles together, creating a floating floor. The 100% silicone filler is impervious to water and resistant to stains. The 1,800 sq. ft. interior floor was installed in under four days. It was ready to handle foot traffic from other trades on the jobsite the next morning.
In a traditional porcelain installation, the process could have taken weeks and provided far less flexibility in the overall redesign. Throughout the course of the renovations there were multiple trades working in unison including electricians, carpenters, and painters. A traditional tile installation with wet mortar would mean inaccessible areas of the Winery that would halt productivity. But thanks to the Kerlite Easy system, multiple trades were able to quickly continue their work, adding a tremendous overall cost savings on labor.