At the University of Alabama, everything is done to a standard of excellence, and that is most certainly true in the Athletic Department. So when the University announced plans to renovate the Mal Moore Dining Hall and Recruiting Room we knew this project would be expected to meet or exceed those standards of excellence and would require the highest level of professionalism. At Southern Carpet, Hardwood and Tile we hold ourselves to those same standards, so we were very pleased when we were awarded the contract for this prestigious project.
This project involved several different types of work and very high quality materials. We installed 25,000 square feet of wall and floor tile, carpet and mosaic glass tile. We used large format ceramic tile, subway tile and porcelain. We also installed stair treads, specialty millwork base and imported tile.
We began our work in the Dining Hall, starting with the flooring. We used large format porcelain tile. This is a very high quality product, and requires very precise handling and installation. Our team of installers (two crews with a total of 15 men) worked with expert precision to install these tiles perfectly.
Once the flooring work was finished we moved to the walls and the columns. On the walls we used a 4” x 16” ceramic tile. These tiles required expert installation so that they would maintain their bright, clean look. Our installers took great care to keep the ceramic tile clean throughout the installation process.
Throughout the dining hall are glass mosaic tile columns. These columns are highly visible, give the dining hall color and add to its distinct look. Each piece of the glass mosaic tile is 1” x 1” and they are mounted on a 12” x 12” mesh sheet. Each sheet is very flexible and requires very precise handling to ensure a flat and smooth installation. The sheets require multiple adjustments due to the nature of the tile. Our expert installers did an outstanding job of assembling these sheets for each column. This type of work requires a high level of expertise, patience and skill, and our team was definitely up to the task.
We had to complete our work in the dining hall at a quick pace because the kitchen equipment could not be installed until our work was finished and the equipment had to be tested and the staff had to be trained on the equipment in order for the dining hall to be fully operational once the athletes arrived for summer camp. In order to do the work quickly, yet also do it to the high standards that were expected, our teams had to be focused, well-prepared, and totally committed to this project. And that is exactly what they were. Our men worked long hours and coordinated their work with the other trades that were working in the same space in order to get this job done.
The flooring work in the Recruiting Room was a very challenging and rewarding job. This floor design was very unique. Not only did the flooring have to help to create the desired atmosphere in the Recruiting Room, it also had to include the shape of a football in the design. When we were awarded the contract and were ordering the specified materials we discovered that the originally specified tile for the football was no longer available. Working with the General Contractor and the UA design team we came up with an alternate tile in the same series that gives an even greater visual than the original selection.
This tile had to be cut in a shop to create the curves of a football. This obviously required very precise measurements and design work, as well as very exact cutting so that all the pieces fit together perfectly. The individual pieces had to be installed one by one to make sure the design came together correctly. Once again, our expert team of installers did an outstanding job of getting this flooring installed exactly right. As you can see from the photos of this flooring attached to our submission this floor looks incredible and it adds to the ambiance of the room.
The football design in the floor, along with all the displays of all the former Alabama players who achieved All-American status and went on to the NFL, and the National Championship trophy make this room a great reflection of the standard of excellence that has come to be synonymous with the University of Alabama football program. All of us at Southern Carpet, Hardwood and Tile are proud to have been a part of the renovations of the Dining Hall and the Recruiting Room.