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Holy Cross Hospital | Fort Lauderdale, FL

Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a state-of-the-art medical campus serving families in South Florida. Regarded as “one of the best places in Broward County to give birth” for over 55 years, Holy Cross is renowned as the first hospital in the country to not separate newborns from their mothers—an approach that raises the bar for early mother-child bonding.

In 2013, Holy Cross initiated the Blessed Beginnings remodeling project to raise the bar once more for quality care and comfort in the Holy Cross Maternity Unit, originally built in 1960. Facility renovations were divided into three separate phases for ease of project management and execution, with the first phase scheduled to complete at the end of January 2014. The result of the entire endeavor is a fully remodeled, beautiful, and sophisticated environment that offers both aesthetic improvements and the latest technology in obstetrics.

Architectural firm Gresham Smith and Partners led the project, and tile contractor PFC was awarded the contract for renovation of 18 facility bathrooms and showers in the individual maternity ward units. The bath facilities were outfitted in 4 1/4” x 4 1/4” glossy glaze, talc body wall tile, original from the 1960 construction. In order to bring the facilities to modern standards and style, all bath/shower walls required approximately 190 square feet of surface area be updated.

Rather than demolish the existing tile surfaces of the bathroom and shower walls, the project team opted to find a surfacing solution that would install over previous materials. Designers wanted a large, modern porcelain tile that would exude elegance and tranquility in the maternity unit while offering optimal performance. PFC’s installers prioritized the selection of a material that would be easy to handle, maneuver, and apply to a preexisting work space.

Enter Laminam by Crossville.

The PFC team was familiar with Laminam by Crossville’s large format, lean profile porcelain tile panels. These innovative panels are durable, versatile, and ideal for installing over existing tile. With overall dimensions of 1M x 3M yet just 3mm in thickness, these panels can be easily trimmed and installed over a range of substrates—just what was in order for this renovation project.

The design team selected the Laminam 3+ I Naturali in Ossidiana Vena Chiara to create a clean, fresh palette for the renovated showers.

A week prior to the installation at Holy Cross, PFC installers attended a Laminam by Crossville workshop that proved extraordinarily useful in understanding how to handle, cut, and install the panels. As a result of this training, the installation crews experienced no breakage and substantially less scrap than anticipated. These efficiencies helped to keep the Blessed Beginnings project on time and in budget.

For the installation, four crews, each with one installer and one helper, were assigned to renovate the baths and shower stalls. The crews cleaned the existing substrate (the previously installed wall tile) and applied Mapei ECO-Prime Grip bond-promoting primer. Next, they applied Mapei Ultraflex LFT thin-set mortar to both the prepared substrate and the Laminam panels with the appropriate trowels to achieve 100% coverage. Edge levels were used for spacing and flatness, and an orbital sander flattened trowel ridges and drove out any remaining air. The team used Schluter aluminum profiles for edge protection and aesthetics, as well as Laticrete Spectralock grout for a quality, finished installation.

The installed Laminam 3+ panels provide an attractive, smooth surface that is easier to clean with minimal grout joints. This creates not only a sophisticated design with seamless lines and contemporary appeal, but it also enhances the cleanliness and ease of maintenance of the maternity unit—an all important factor when creating a safe environment for newborns and postpartum mothers.

The speed of installation, lack of demolition, and reduced construction residue made Laminam by Crossville an excellent choice for this project. From start to completion, the renovation of all bathrooms took only 14 days. For a remodeling project 50 years in the making, that speed, quality, and efficiency is unparalleled.

Owner: Holy Cross Hospital
Architectural Firm: Gresham Smith and Associates – Hollywood, FL office
Tile Contractor: PFC
Distributor: D&B Tile Distributors
Tile Product: Laminam by Crossville

Material: Laminam 3+ I Naturali Ossidiana Vena Chiara | 3,400 square feet
Trim: Schluter Rondec for edge bullnose finish
Setting materials: Mapei ECO-Prime Grip Primer, Mapei Ultraflex LFT Thin-set Mortar, Laticrete Specralock Grout