Aachen Arkaden

Aachen’s new centre

Aachen has a brand new shopping centre: “Aachen Arkaden”. The city’s largest shopping mall, it stands on the site of the former railway goods yard, “Rothe Erde”. This large, three-storey shopping and services centre with a six-storey office tower has 26,000 m² of floor space for retailers, cafés, restaurants and service providers in a top location.

The timetable up to completion on site was tight. Tile layers had only 10 weeks to complete all thin-bed tiling work in public areas – in this case laying and grouting about 5,000 m² of floor tiles on four floors. Laying the tiles in the elliptical rotunda proved to be a time-consuming job demanding careful workmanship. In addition, tiles had to be laid on a total of 1,000 m of stairs and steps, and in the public sanitary facilities. A challenging job: In addition to the tight timetable, the screed in the mall proved still to be too wet on three floors. That meant a quick and reliable tiling solution had to be found for these extensive, heavily trafficked floor areas which will have to handle large numbers of shoppers and the movement of goods every day.

Once all floor surfaces had been given a coat of primer, the next step was to lay a Schlüter-DITRA waterproofing and decoupling profiled membrane over the not fully dry screed. This created a surface that could be tiled directly and reliably without delay. The Schlüter-DITRA membrane was securely bonded to the screed with ARDEX DITRA FBM, an adhesive specially developed for this purpose, which guarantees a full, intensive bond with the anchoring fleece of the waterproofing material.

The 60 x 60 cm porcelain stoneware tiles were then laid on all floor surfaces in the same way. ARDEX X 78 MICROTEC premium pourable thin set mortar was used, which is characterised by optimum workability and outstanding reliability for laying floor tiles.

Finally, all floor areas were grouted with ARDEX FL in grey, washed and then quickly covered over for protection until opening day. With this solution, truly top-quality, heavy-duty floor surfaces were produced fast storey by storey.