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Michigan State University’s Spartan Stadium is its best recruiter

MSU’s football team finished 2013 undefeated in Big Ten Play and won the 2014 Rose Bowl and athletes are drawn to success. However, the new North End Zone Complex at Spartan Stadium seals the deal when potential student athletes see how it not only celebrates the team’s previous success, but also looks toward future victories. The $24.5 million renovation was completed in August 2014.

Comprising 50,000 square feet in two levels, the new North End Zone Complex is an inspiring home base for the Spartans. The locker room alone measures 5,000 square feet, with two 500-square-foot shower areas. The renovated space also features a prominent recruiting center for all MSU athletic teams, support spaces, media rooms, concession areas and additional restrooms.

Spartan Stadium's north end zone complex has Spartan green glass tiles.

Spartan Stadium’s north end zone complex has Spartan green glass tiles.

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The addition hosts hard-working athletes – and hard-working tile. To make sure the tile performed at its best in a variety of spaces – including the locker room’s showers – installer Artisan Tile, Brighton, MI, consulted with TEC technical sales professionals. A TEC representative worked with Artisan Tile to help them select an array of products suited for the demanding environment. Jennifer Panning, owner of Artisan Tile, said:

Early on, we were concerned about moisture levels on the job site. Our TEC representative helped us work through those issues for a successful installation. We knew we could count on TEC for support throughout the installation.

Artisan Tile used TEC HydraFlex Waterproofing Crack Isolation Membrane to protect the installation from potential moisture damage. As moisture levels change, subfloors, adhesives and tile can expand, contract and even crack. At Spartan Stadium, HydraFlex helps stop in-plane cracks at the subfloor from telegraphing through to the tile. HydraFlex dries in just two to three hours, which kept this installation on schedule to ensure the locker room was ready for football season.

In the shower areas, HydraFlex also provides waterproofing. It resists mould and mildew, helping to provide a place for MSU athletes to cool down on game days. Tile can be bonded directly to HydraFlex using a suitable TEC latex-modified mortar. Artisan used Full Flex Premium Thin Set Mortar to place 6-by-6 and 3-by-3 inch tiles on the shower floors. The walls feature Spartan-green glass tile, which was adhered with Super Flex Ultra-Premium Thin Set Mortar. The green is complemented by white 8-by-20 inch white tiles, set with TEC Ultimate Large Tile Mortar. The TEC products worked together to create shower areas with lots of school spirit.

 Recruiting center wow factor

The recruiting center, which will be used to recruit student-athletes for every MSU sport, also features a variety of types and sizes of tile. Future Spartans walk into the recruitment center on porcelain wood-look tile, installed with TEC Full Flex. TEC Ultimate Large Tile Mortar, 
in a 3/4-inch mortar bed, adheres large-format limestone tile to the walls. The floor and wall tiles create a welcoming, yet elegant, space that reflects MSU’s commitment to its student-athletes.

In high-traffic corridors essential for other trades, Artisan Tile relied on Quik Flex Accelerated Thin Set Mortar. This mortar is ready for grout in just 3 hours, which kept the installation on track and helped ensure that all contractors could reach their work areas without disturbing the tile.

TEC InColor Advanced Performance Grout, in Light Pewter, Bright White, Light Smoke and DeLorean Gray, was used with all of the many tile types in the North End Zone Complex. Specifically formulated for heavy commercial use, TEC InColor met both the aesthetic and performance requirements of this hard-working space. Panning explained:

InColor is stain resistant and durable. Those are essential characteristics for a busy athletic facility.