Demanding balcony renovation:Aluminium frames solve the problem
In fashion: large-format ceramic coverings in outdoor areas
This is a challenge for installers, because classic bonding is difficult, especially with large-format ceramic elements. And a lot can go wrong. This is shown by a balcony renovation in Vaduz. However, previous damage was able be repaired without any defects with the aid of the TerraMaxx RS aluminium frame system developed by Gutjahr.
It was a special task for tiling company Fliesen Röhlich from Wendelstein when it was called to a construction site in the Principality of Liechtenstein. In the capital Vaduz, three balconies of a villa with a total of about 500 square metres were to be renovated. However, the house, and therefore the balconies, was only three years old. But the drainage hadn't worked properly right from the start, which had not only caused damage to the balconies, but also led to the ingress of moisture in the building.
Porcelain stoneware tiles measuring 60 x 60 cm had been laid on the balconies during construction. An elaborate structure made of epoxy resin and drainage mortar had been created beneath the coverings. But Georg Mangold, project manager at Fliesen Röhlich, quickly discovered that this structure did not work. For example, the fall situation was not ideal, and because of the large panes of glass that were being used as the balcony balustrade, the balconies did not have any external edges in whose direction drainage could have taken place. Instead, the drains were located on the inside in the concrete floor. There were also deficits in the planning: The floor-to-ceiling windows were drained via separate channels supplied by the window manufacturer – and which had not been sufficiently taken into consideration in the planning of the balcony.
Closed joints can also be produced during laying on the TerraMaxx RS aluminium frame system using the special MorTec SOFT joint filler.
Drainage problem solved
So the tile company and Gutjahr looked for a solution as to how the renovation could proceed in an effective way, and quickly decided to use TerraMaxx RS. The new aluminium frame system from Gutjahr was the right solution for the complicated drainage problem, because there is a cavity all around the drainage channel beneath the frame system. The surface water runs away from here, and then drains on the lower watercourse layer. And if a puddle does form, the system reliably prevents frost or other damage.
The previously anxious client and his three experts were also very enthusiastic about the TerraMaxx-RS system – particularly since the building owner definitely didn't want a system with raised floor supports and wanted closed joints, which are often impossible with raised floor supports. However, this is possible with TerraMaxx RS: After laying, the joints can be closed with the special MorTec SOFT filler, creating a visually continuous surface.
Quick and easy laying
The simple, material and weight-saving way of laying TerraMaxx RS made the tilers' work much easier. One reason were the T-joint connectors that connect the aluminium rails to one another. The frame structure can also be quickly and easily adjusted to the required fall thanks being mounted on raised floor supports with height adjustment.
Another client request: an identical joint pattern inside and outside. This too could also be easily achieved with the frame system. Unlike with fixed installation, no additional expansion joints are required. And with expansion joints that are wider than normal joints, the outer and inner joint patterns would no longer match at some point in time. Thanks to the aluminium frame system, the floor-to-ceiling windows now give the impression that the surfaces of the living room, the dining room and the balconies constitute a single unit.
Two other advantages of the aluminium frame system were important for the installer. On the one hand, the load on the balconies is much lower than if the slabs had been laid on gravel or screed. On the other hand, the system is reversible. If there is a problem with the waterproofing or the substrate at a later date, the relevant panels can be lifted without chiselling and re-laid after the repair.
Defect-free balcony renovation
The renovation of the balcony in the villa in Vaduz was a complete success. Both the critical client and his three experts accepted all three balconies, whose surfaces were completely free of defects. And that is often unachievable with conventional laying on screed mortar.
The tiler is so impressed by the system that he has given the client a ten-year guarantee. And the higher costs are also justified: if you compare TerraMaxx RS with other systems such as epoxy resin screeds, it pays for itself for the client in the medium term because there are no maintenance costs.