BAU 2019: case study DryTile

DryTile revolutionizes the laying of ceramic floor tiles - Dornseifers Frischemarkt at Much: Time not only means money ...

The buying of food is a sensuous, haptic experience at which the checking of the consistency of fruit, vegetables, meat or fish and impulse buys play an important part. In this connection, of course the products offered are essential, but also the environment in which they are presented. The floor covering is of particular importance: functionally because everything happens on it, and visually because it has a decisive influence on the overall impression. So far, its renewal has required great technical efforts and a lot of time. Now there is a solution which avoids these disadvantages and opens up new potentials: DryTile floor tiles of Agrob Buchtal. A convincing example for this is Dornseifers Frischemarkt (food product market) at Much/Germany. There, approximately 2,000 square metres of new tiles were laid in only four (!) working days in the autumn of 2018.

Special circumstances require special solutions
To avoid inconveniences for the customers, the renewal was not carried out during day-to-day business, but the market was closed for two and a half weeks in order to implement this and other building measures within an extremely short period of time. There were several good reasons for a speedy completion of works: on the one hand, of course economic aspects, because in the case of a market of this type every single day it is closed means a loss in sales in a considerable five-digit amount of euros. On the other hand, Dornseifers Frischemarkt at Much is the sole “full-range supplier“ for the approximately 15,000 inhabitants and thus has a certain social responsibility as well. Not least, however, one also wanted to prevent that the customers get used to other sources of supply and stay away.

“Tabula Rasa” or thinking big
In slangy words, the plan at Much was “to go the whole hog”: numerous refrigeration units were replaced and re-arranged, slots for electric installations and cables were adapted, walls were painted, the lighting was modified and all shelves were re-stocked. Above all, however, a floor area of approximately 2,000 square metres was newly covered with DryTile tiles of Agrob Buchtal. One chose the series Valley in the discreet, elegant colour pebble-grey and the format of 60 x 60 cm - with an “extra thickness“ of 15 mm because of static and rolling loads caused by shelves and pallet lifting trucks. The new ceramic floor could be realized within incredible four (!) working days and thus a fraction of the time that would have been required in case of the conventional method.

Excellent performance and craftmanship
For the execution of this order, the client intentionally had chosen a regional company, namely Fliesen-Baltes from Gummersbach, which is only approximately 20 km away. The team under the direction of the proprietor René Baltes, who manages the family business established in 1966 and meanwhile employing approximately 50 persons in the second generation, did a great job, and the sequence of the individual work steps almost reads like a thriller:

On Sunday (September 9, 2018) at 9.00 a.m. the team started with the preparation of the base in the form of the previous floor covering by grinding with a powerful special machine and “levelling“ works to obtain the necessary surface flatness. At 4.00 p.m., the laying of the first 550 square metres of DryTile tiles started, which could already be finished at 6.30 p.m.

On Monday morning (September 10, 2018) from 8.00 to 12.00 a.m., the laying of the next 550 square metres followed. After that, there was a forced break in the positive sense: for logistic reasons, the total quantity of DryTile tiles was supplied with several trucks. When René Baltes sent one of his employees outside on Monday noon to bring in the next pallet from the truck, it reported that no other pallet was there - which means that the laying could be carried out faster than supposed.

On Tuesday (September 11, 2018) from 9.00 a.m., one continued with the pointing of the surface tiled so far and the laying of the remaining approximately 900 square metres. After that, tiling works had to be stopped for two days due to a delay in the construction progress: the other trades involved were unable to keep pace and thus had to “catch up“ first of all.

On Friday (September 14, 2018) and Saturday morning (September 15), the DryTile works were terminated, which thus - as already mentioned - were carried out within a total of only four working days. The team of Fliesen-Baltes did a great job not only because of the incredibly rapid laying of the surface covering, but also with regard to details. Exact cuts of the DryTile tiles at adjoining structural elements (pillars, floor outlets, walls) or flush filled and perfectly straight joints prove this.

Afterwards, diverse other works were carried out until September 26, 2018, such as e.g. the extensive installation of the new refrigeration units and shelves as well as their systematic stocking with products. On Thursday (September 27, 2018), the market could be reopened according to plan after a total renovation time of approximately two and a half weeks.

Details concerning DryTile
The basis for this constructional masterpiece is the special advantages of DryTile: these high-quality ceramic tiles of the brand Agrob Buchtal are provided with a thin cork layer on back already at the factory, which is durably applied by a special technique. This cork layer on back has an exactly defined, slight projection on all sides, so that a precise narrow joint forms when the tiles are laid side by side. This joint is filled with a special pointing compound explicitly developed for the system. Before pointing, the covering can be walked on immediately for follow-up works of other trades. After pointing, the surface can be walked on after 12 hours and is fully load-bearing after another 12 hours. As the name DryTile already implies, the laying is carried out “dry“ without tile adhesive. The system permits an up to 8 times faster laying.
René Baltes, who had planned and executed this demanding order very professionally, was completely enthusiastic about DryTile. After initial scepticism, his employees were also quickly convinced of this innovative system. At Much, the client could benefit from its advantages in several respects, because not only the tiling works were terminated within an amazingly short time, but also the other trades could carry out their works faster than usual despite the delay in the construction progress mentioned above (not caused by DryTile).

Statements of the parties involved
At a joint interview* on location at Much in the middle of December 2018 the parties involved expressed their great satisfaction with the result:

Friedhelm Dornseifer, entrepreneur and leading figure of the industry - he is President of the German Federal Association of the Food Trade since many years and Chairman of the medium-sized Food Chain Stores - confirmed that he would recommend DryTile without hesitation.

Jörg Dornseifer, who had personally co-ordinated the construction works as managing partner, also made a very positive statement and called DryTile an innovative, future-oriented solution with remarkable technical and visual advantages.

The tiler René Baltes consented to this statement and added an economically and ecologically relevant aspect. DryTile is supplied almost without packaging material: the tiles are simply piled one upon the other on a strapped pallet, and the cork layer on back serves as buffer and transport protection. This permits quick handling directly from the pallet and avoids time-consuming unpacking as well as disturbing individual packagings lying around, which require an expensive disposal afterwards.

Last but not least, Dieter Schäfer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Steinzeug AG (parent company of the brand Agrob Buchtal) was very pleased and proud that the renowned Dornseifer Group now also is among the satisfied DryTile users.

Portrait of the ambitious client
In contrast to several other industries, the subject of online distribution does not play an important part in the food trade in Germany until today. An essential reason for this certainly is the aspect of freshness, which can be guaranteed by the stationary trade far more reliably. In addition, the consumers are increasingly interested in the production and origin of food, as they may perhaps prefer regional products. These two aspects - freshness and regional origin - have been the leitmotif of the Dornseifer Group (head office at Wenden in the southern “Sauerland”) right from the start, which from humble beginnings has impressively developed in the course of the years: the young Friedhelm Dornseifer became self-employed in 1965 with two small “home shops“, which had been operated by his father Otto as side job. Today, Friedhelm Dornseifer and his sons Peter and Jörg are operating 16 food product markets in the West German regions of “Sauerland”, “Siegerland” and “Bergisches Land” with a total sales area of approximately 25,000 square metres and more than 1,000 employees as well as own bakeries, butcher shops and meat cutting halls. Back then just as today, the company’s motto has always been to please people with fresh, high-quality and healthy food. This is expressed by a committed team of employees, a first-class range of mainly regional food products and an interior design in the elevated style of delicatessen shops. According to this philosophy, great importance is attached to an attractive ambience and regular renovation measures in the markets - as the example at Much proves. / /

Werner Ziegelmeier (Head of Public Relations)
Phone: +49 (0)9435 391-3379
Mobile: +49 (0)160 90527159
Fax: +49 (0)9435 391-303379

*corresponding video clip: see