Splash Pad Resurfaced to Create Vibrant & Safe Space for Play

At the Texas State Aquarium, SUNDEK Commercial Contracting used Classic Texture to create a beautiful spot for aquarium guests to cool off.

When Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas, began working on plans for a new splash pad, they knew they wanted it to be bigger than their old splash pad. They also wanted a colorful, durable surface. After the aquarium hired Kraftsman Commercial Playgrounds and Splash Parks to execute the project, Kraftsman reached out to Jason Unruh, commercial decorative concrete specialist at SUNDEK, to discuss options for the surface of the splash pad.

SUNDEK Commercial Contracting used Classic Texture and six custom colors to make this vision for Texas State Aquarium come to life.
Classic Texture’s slip-resistance makes it a safe coating for surfaces, even when they get wet.

Kraftsman and SUNDEK have worked together on many projects in the area in the past, and the two began collaborating to come up with the best options for the aquarium’s new 6,500 square-foot splash pad. Jason brought SUNDEK Commercial Contracting project manager Michael Mercado in on the discussions—he would eventually oversee the project and crew the entire way through.

Kraftsman, Jason, and Michael decided that coating the surface using Classic Texture would be the best solution for the splash pad. Classic Texture, SUNDEK’s knockdown texture product, is extremely popular among homeowners and commercial property owners, appreciated for its many great qualities.

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Specially formulated for locations where water is present, Classic Texture is safe to walk on, even when it’s wet—a priority for a splash pad which will see thousands of families every year. Also important in a location where there will be lots of people present is that the coating is non-porous. This feature means that the finish repels dirt, oils, and chemicals from remaining on the surface, making it resistant to staining and discoloration.

In addition to being slip resistant, Classic Texture is also comfortable to walk on and doesn’t get too hot, even during scorching summer days. The fact that it’s one of the most durable coatings on the market makes it even more perfect for a location that hosts so many people all year long.

Kraftsman provided Michael and Jason with a rendering of the design and samples of the requested colors. The SUNDEK team mixed six different custom colors to achieve the look the aquarium was going for. Applying the color according to the design specs required meticulous attention to detail, which SUNDEK crews employ on every project.

SUNDEK Commercial Contracting project manager Michael Mercado and his team carefully studied the design and the space to ensure lines (transitions from one color to another) would not go through drains, spouts, or any other splash pad features.
The aquarium and Kraftsman Commercial Playgrounds specified six colors that would coordinate with the aquarium’s other outdoor features, and SUNDEK was able to custom mix those colors, successfully creating the desired look.

Prior to arriving at the site, Michael and his crew studied the drawings, photographs of the space, and the placement of features installed on the splash pad. “By looking at everything at this level, we can estimate where the lines or spots where colors will transition will go,” says Michael. “We can also identify places where the lines will go through a drain or the middle of a feature.” SUNDEK then brings those issues to the attention of Kraftsman to discuss adjustments so everything would look professional and intentional.

When SUNDEK crews arrived on site, they began using fiber tape to lay out the design, using the X and Y coordinates of the drawings as their guide. After placing the tape, they ask all stakeholders to verify that the lines look accurate before they begin adding color.

Designs with a variety of colors look outstanding when complete, but there is a lot of work that goes into doing it well. For this splash pad, SUNDEK applied six custom colors. Only one color could be applied at a time. Before applying the first color, crews had to cover and protect all surfaces that wouldn’t be receiving that color. Then, after the application of that first color was complete, those sections needed to dry completely so they could be covered while other colors were applied. This process continued until all six colors were applied to the surface.

Even with all the wait time required for this project, it only took SUNDEK crews a little over five days to complete it. After the Classic Texture coating and color was complete, Michael and his crew sealed the surface to protect it for years to come. Now, this gorgeous splash pad is enjoyed by thousands of guests each year, providing them with a stunning and safe spot to cool off during their aquarium visit.

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