JD Gyms

BAL have provided a full fixing solution for a multi-million pound gym development in the North West.

Following a site visit by Area Sales Manager Lewis Lupton and Business Development Manager Scott Peaurt, main contractor DSC Ltd chose a full BAL specification for the new JD Gyms site in Blackburn.

The state-of-the-art facility features the very best fitness equipment, studios, saunas, a JD Burn area and a sprint and prowler track.

Tiling was carried out by Cubica Tiling Ltd (Liverpool) with material supplied by Euxton Tile Supplies in Chorley.

BAL Green Star ready-mixed adhesive was the tile adhesive of choice to fix metro tiles to the changing room walls. BAL Green Star is a high grab and non-slip, ready-to-use adhesive which is perfect for commercial wall tiling with small ceramics.

Shower walls were boarded out with 12mm BAL Board to provide a solid substrate before being primed with BAL Prime APD and tanked with BAL Tank-it – rapid-setting tanking system.

BAL Board is a hybrid MgO tile backer board, perfect for providing sound backgrounds for tiling walls and floors. Available in 6mm and 12mm thicknesses, it is lightweight, easy to cut and more importantly is dust-free.

BAL Tank-it is a two-part, rapid-drying cementitious waterproofing system, that can be tiled after only 90 minutes for fast-track project completion – what’s more no priming or matting is required.

Tiles were fixed with BAL Rapid-Flex One, a rapid-setting flexible tile adhesive with longer open and working times.

Tiles on the shower floor areas were also fixed with BAL Rapid-Flex One.

The project also included a sauna which was prepared with BAL Board 12mm, tanked with BAL Tank-it, and tiled fixed with BAL Rapid-Flex One.

Grouting was completed with FLEX FS flexible standard-set grout from sister company ARDEX.

Chris Collins from DSC Ltd said: “We chose a full BAL specification following consultation with Lewis and Stuart.

“BAL provided product guarantees and a fail-safe project specification, enabling us to complete the job in the required time and budget.

“BAL products are tried and trusted throughout the industry, so we had no hesitate in placing direct orders with Euxton Tile Supplies.”

Hotel Hohe Duene

The 5-star Hotel Hohe Duene in Rostock was completely renovated in 2016. Part of the project involved the removal of natural stone in the 240m2 entrance hall to be replaced with 1.4 x 1.8m large format floor tiles.

Because of the tight 10-day schedule and the half-cracked and differing substrates in the entrance hall the chief designer opted for the the use of Flexbone 2Easy Floating Uncoupling Mat.

As a loose-laid uncoupling system, extensive subfloor preparation was not required, ensuring a quick turnaround on this stunning project.

“Separating the covering from the sub-floor was the greatest challenge because of the condition of the sub-floor covering,” explained Mathias Schreiber, chief designer.

“The floating decoupling technology has been tried and tested for 15 years,” says Gutjahr managing director Ralph Johann. “With the loose laying, the extensive underground work in the Hotel Hohe Düne was no longer necessary. That was an important factor in the project because the craftsmen involved were under great time pressure. “

The effort was worthwhile. With a total of ten employees and Gutjahr’s decoupling system, the tile laying team managed to stick to the ambitious schedule. Even when the material wasn’t completely delivered and the rest of the tiles didn’t arrive until the night, the team managed to cope with the situation.

Wells Leisure Centre

A £550,000 refurbishment of a Somerset leisure centre has been completed thanks in part to a full tiling solution from BAL – UK market leaders in tiling.

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BAL worked with tiling contractors J Bailey and Sons to provide a full M40 specification, fixing materials and on-site support for new changing rooms and shower areas at Wells Leisure Centre operated by independent charity Fusion Sport & Fitness.

The re-tiling of the changing areas cost approximately £40,000 and formed part of the first stage of an investment programme at the centre which also included an extended gym with new equipment, new sauna, new fitness studio, indoor cycling studio and refurbished reception area.

The shower and changing room walls featured 600x300mm Ceramica Impex White Gloss ceramic tiles, while the shower and changing room floors were tiled with 305x305mm Atlas Concorde Dolmen Porfidio Grigio porcelain tiles supplied by Bristol Tile & Bathrooms.

Backgrounds in dry areas were primed with BAL Prime APD while wet areas were tanked with BAL Tank-it fast-track waterproofing system.

Tiles were fixed with BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre tile adhesive and grouted with BAL Micromax2 grout. The project was finished with BAL Micromax Sealant colour-matched with the grout.

Rob Bailey, director at J Bailey and Sons, said: “We approached BAL at the very start of this project for their technical advice, support and full specification.

“We’ve used BAL for many years as they are a tried and trusted manufacturer who provides quality fixing materials, backed-up with outstanding specification and on-site project support.”

Based in Shepton Mallet, J Bailey and Sons Ltd have an established reputation as a regional building contractor undertaking building and maintenance works including tiling and flooring across commercial and private sectors.


 Project Name: Wells Sport & Fitness

Location: Wells, Somerset

Description: Refurbishment of leisure centre changing and shower areas with ceramic and porcelain tiles with a full BAL tiling solution.

BAL products used:


ADHESIVES: BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre

GROUT: BAL Micromax2

OTHER: BAL Micromax Sealant, BAL Prime APD


Shower and Changing Room Walls: Ceramica Impex White Gloss

Shower and Changing Room Floors: Atlas Concorde Dolmen Porfidio Grigio

Project Partners

DESIGN: Fusion Leisure

MATERIALS: Bristol Tile & Bathrooms

TILING: J Bailey and Sons Ltd

Brimstone Spa

BAL – market-leaders in full tiling solutions – have provided a full system solution of adhesives, grouts and anciliary products for a luxury spa complex in the heart of the Lake District.

Featuring stunning tiling throughout in a demanding environment, including electric and water-fed underfloor heating systems, the new Brimstone Spa complex at the Langdale Estate Hotel in Cumbria oozes elegance and sophistication.

The 990m2 development includes 10 treatment rooms, seven thermal experiences including a Himalayan salt steam grotto, an outdoor sauna, and a heated relaxation infinity pool that spans from indoor to outdoor.

The stunning complex also features a number of relaxation areas, a spa deli and a private spa suite for two, among other facilities.

Contemporary in style, Brimstone Spa offers a luxury, sensory experience with tiles types, textures, colours and matching grouts inspired by the surrounding Lake District landscape including striking bronze metallic ceramic throughout the thermal areas, wood effect porcelain in the floor areas and stunning mosaic work in the relaxation areas and infinity pool.

BAL worked extensively with project architects Unwin Jones, main contractors MedLock, and Ceramtek from design to completion including a full written M40 specification, specification support from BAL’s Specification Support Team and on-site support from BAL’s Product Support Technicians.

As a result, BAL tile adhesives, grouts, sealants and preparation products – including waterproofing and levelling – were all supplied for phase three of the £4.5 million project.

With changes in humidity and temperature the project required a range of specialist products to cope with additional movement from thermal changes.

Products specified included BAL Level Max levelling compound with Fibre Strand Technology (FST), BAL Single Part Flexible tile adhesive and BAL Stone & Tile PTB tile adhesives which are all highly-polymer modified for extra flexibility.

BAL Micromax2 anti-mould grout, with colour-matched BAL Micromax sealant, was specified throughout the project, is also specifically formulated with increased flexibility to cope in all environments including showers, wet rooms and heated floors – perfect for this project.

A number of colour-options were specified including Smoke, Chocolate and Jasmine which perfectly complemented the tiling work throughout.

Joe Macdonald from tiling contractors Ceramtek Ltd, said the spa project was one of the most complex he has been involved with due to the egg-shape of the changing area, deliberate randomised wall and floor tile sizes, complex falls and the changes in backgrounds.

He said: “This project was particularly difficult due to the particularly complex tiling design and shape of the building throughout.

“Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the tiling design was the inner egg-shape spa area which required complex cuts to achieve the desired shape. This was further complicated with the specification of wood-effect porcelain floor tile planks in three different widths, fitted in random as per the design notes and all laid to a 45° angle throughout.

“The alternative sized wood-effect porcelain plank tiles were used to follow curved walls in the Spa area. We relied heavily on using a variety of BAL’s adhesive products to suit the changing conditions as the job progressed.”

“We also had to take into account falls into central gulley’s and drains and incorporate the thermal dynamics of the project which required the use of specialist flexible adhesives and levelling compounds.

“Thankfully we have a good working relationship with BAL from previous large scale projects so brought them into the equation to assist. BAL produced an excellent specification of fixing solutions, on-site project support and outstanding technical advice on this project which everyone knows is the most trusted in the industry.”


Project Name: Brimstone Spa,

Location: Langdale Estate Hotel, Langdale, Cumbria

Description: Installation of porcelain, ceramic, slate and mosaic tiles in spa area, shower rooms, changing rooms, deli-area and walkways.

BAL products used:



ADHESIVES: BAL Stone & Tile PTB, BAL Single Part Flexible, BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre, BAL Easypoxy AG

GROUT: BAL Micromax2

OTHER: BAL Micromax Sealant, BAL Prime APD


Tile Ceramique Internationale Amazzonia Dragon Green 900 x 450mm & 600 x300mm

Tile Ceramique Internationale Amazzonia Dragon Brown

Newood Outdoor Brown Porcelain

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Marazzi TreverkWay OLMO 150x900mm MLA5 OLMO Porcelain

Project Partners:

DESIGN: Mark Green, Curveline Design

ARCHITECT:  Jez Marvin, Unwin Jones

TILING: Ceramtek Ltd

MATERIALS: Ceramique Internationale Ltd.

Huddersfield Leisure Centre

BAL, the UK’s market leaders in full tiling solutions, have played a crucial role in the development of a new 12,500m², £36m leisure centre in the heart of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

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Recently opened, Huddersfield Leisure Centre features a range of top sporting and leisure facilities, including a 25m competition pool, 20m training pool with moveable floor and a family leisure pool with interactive water features, water flume and sidewinder.

What’s more, visitors can enjoy squash courts, a 15m climbing wall, bouldering wall, twelve court sports hall, large gym, cycle studio and combat room.

The centre also features changing facilities, offices, meeting rooms and a large café.

The new centre was designed to meet the clients brief for a multi-purpose sporting and leisure facility for the local community which compliments the existing street pattern and contributes to the regeneration of the town and surrounding region.

BAL tile adhesives, grouts, sealants and preparation products were all specified for the project which featured more than 10,000m² of tiling in the main changing rooms, upstairs changing rooms, pool surround, leisure pool and main swimming pools.

BAL worked extensively with project architects AHR, main contractors BAM, tiling contractors The Tiling Company and tile suppliers Ceramique Internationale Ltd from design to completion, including specification support from BAL’s Technical Advisory Service (TAS) and on-site support from BAL’s expert Product Support Technicians.

David Longbottom, Specification Manager at Ceramique Internationale, said: “We called upon BAL at the very beginning of the project for their technical advice and full NBS specification for the tiling, and we would like to thank them for their hard work on this prestigious project.

“BAL are a tried and trusted manufacturer, always providing quality tiling products, with back-up support and technical advice from design to build.”

BAL products used at Huddersfield Leisure Centre included numerous preparation products such as BAL Quickset Cement, BAL Quickset Render, BAL Prime APD and BAL Bond SBR (acrylic primer for walls and floors, bonding agent for walls and floors respectively).

A number of different tile adhesives were utilised throughout the project including BAL Single Part Flexible (flexible adhesive), BAL Supercover Rapid Flexible (fast-setting, high yield tile adhesive), BAL Rapidset Flexible (fast-setting flexible adhesive) and BAL Max Flex Fibre (flexible, fibre-reinforced adhesive).

The stunning tiling work was completed with grouts including BAL Microflex White, BAL Superflex White, BAL Superflex Wide Joint in Grey, White and Limestone, BAL Grout White and BAL Easypoxy White. Movement joints and edges were sealed with BAL Micromax Smoke (flexible, anti-microbial silicone sealant).


Project Name:

Huddersfield Leisure Centre


Huddersfield, West Yorkshire


Installation of more than 10,000m² of floor and wall tiling throughout a new £36m, multi-purpose leisure centre.

BAL products used:

ADHESIVES: BAL Single Part Flexible, BAL Supercover Rapid Flex, BAL Max-Flex Fibre, BAL Rapidset Flexible

GROUT: BAL Microflex, BAL Grout, BAL Superflex, BAL Superflex Wide Joint, BAL Easypoxy

OTHER: BAL Quickset Cement, BAL Quickset Render, BAL Bond SBR, BAL APD Primer, BAL Micromax sealant


General circulation space: 450x450mm unglazed grey porcelain tiles by Casalgrande Padana, Italy.

Main Changing Rooms: Walls by Vogue, Italy, 10 matt glazed colours supplied in modular sizes 200×200, 200×100, 100×100 and 50x50mm. Floors by Casalgrande Padana, Italy, 2000m2 grey speckled porcelain profiled 200×200 with contrasting dark grey sit on cove.

Upstairs Changing Rooms : Walls by Casalgrande Padana, Italy, 1000m2 in white unglazed porcelain 600x300mm with coordinating decors. Floors by Casalgrande Padana, Italy, 300m2 in bush-hammered unglazed light brown porcelain 300x300mm.

Pool Surround:  900m2 by Casalgrande Padana, Italy, Cream textured glazed porcelain 250x250mm.

Leisure Pool: Floor by Gail, Germany, 300m2 in white extruded anti-slip 250x125mm. Walls by Vidrepur, 200m2 in special bespoke blends in 25x25mm glass mosaic.

Main Swimming Pools: Tanks and edge details by Gail, Germany, 1000m2+ in 250x125mm in white and blue extruded, extruded finger grip tile with blue safety edge with special bespoke corner pieces.

Project Partners:

ARCHITECT: AHR, Huddersfield

MAIN CONTRACTOR: BAM Construction, Leeds

TILING CONTRACTOR: The Tiling Company (Northern) Limited, Newcastle

MATERIALS: Ceramique Internationale Ltd, Leeds

Tate Britain

A stunning £45-million redevelopment of Tate Britain made extensive use of BAL tile adhesives. The transformation included the Millbank Project, creating new spaces within the national home to 500 years of British art. Stonework specialists Szerelmey completed two packages in the Grade II listed building’s south-eastern quadrant, on staircases and flooring, involving both new build and restoration work.

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TTA Awards 2014 Best Tile In Leisure – BAL Supporting Image 06 – Tate Britain

Richard Piggott, Business Development Manager at Szerelmey, said, “This is a fantastic project to have been involved in and we’re thrilled with the end result. We have worked with BAL on many of our projects over the years and they continue to provide the excellent support, knowledge, attention to detail and highly skilled team that’s needed on such detailed projects like the Tate Britain.”

BAL adhesives and other products were used extensively at Tate Britain, including BAL Thickbase (single-part self-smoothing levelling compound), BAL Prime APD (acrylic primer for walls and floors) and BAL Supercover Rapid Flex (fast-setting flexible adhesive).

As a major addition to the museum’s former layout, a large opening through the floor of the main entrance rotunda allowed a new staircase to be inserted. A further 2,000 m2 of flooring included a stunning geometric design that extends through the lower level of the museum; the canteen, public areas and lower rotunda.

The flooring at the top of the grand staircase has a complicated fleur de lis pattern that echoes the design of the staircase balustrade. In addition, 500 m2  agglomerate skirting, dados and reveals were installed. A further 800 m2  of terrazzo flooring on the principal and upper levels, and the marble mosaic flooring in the entrance hall, were also cleaned and repaired.

Szerelmey used BAL adhesives, having long experience of working with the professionals’ first choice and its market-leading products. In particular, it valued the support: one of BAL’s expert Product Support Technicians visited Szerelmey to demonstrate the correct use of BAL Stone & Tile PTB. He also answered the installation team’s questions on some of the other products they would be using.

BAL Stone & Tile PTB is a C2F floor adhesive available in white and grey; both were used for the Millbank Project, where it was used to fix 1,800 m2  of agglomerate stone in white, grey, dark grey and black. The areas tiled included the flooring, skirtings, dados and reveal. It was also used for the stone treads, risers and stringers on both the southwest staircase and the rotunda.

BAL Single Part Fast Flex is part of the BAL ‘Go Greener’ family: for every 1 m2 tiled, 1 m2 of Peruvian rainforest is protected through a donation to Cool Earth. Both white and grey variants were employed at Tate Britain, where it was used to fix 235 m2  of kitchen walls with ceramic tiles and 175 m2  of flooring with porcelain tiles.

The stunning redevelopment of Tate Britain, with extensive use of BAL tile adhesives, won The Tile Association Award 2014 for ‘Best Use of Tile within the Leisure or Hospitality.


Villa Marina Arcade

As with all historic buildings, refurbishment of this 1930s Arcade, linking a theatre and villa from Regency times, required a sure touch, sensitive planning – and total reliability from the materials employed. BAL tiling products met the challenge and made a vital contribution.

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This was no routine project: 1800m2 of access routes, bars and performance areas were carefully planned into an integrated whole. With a complex tiling design to ensure great visual appeal and impact.

Interlocking circles of stairs, curved ramps and sloping walkways required individual tiles to be each re-cut on-site with great accuracy, using advanced water-jet cutting techniques. Tile placement, fixing and finishing needed to be equally precise. The result: a rejuvenated environment for leisure and recreation that now fully complements the restored Gaiety Theatre and Villa Marina which adjoin the Arcade.

Anticipated heavy daily usage of the Arcade by the public pointed to both adhesives and grouts needing excellent bond strength.

With under-tile heating and pillars on the lower level, and a glass roof likely to cause thermal movement in the floor, flexibility was also vital. BAL Rapidset Flexible and PTB Flexible were the right adhesive answers – while BAL Superflex Wide Joint was the chosen grout. The tiles were ready to grout after 3 hours.


Ampersand Hotel

The Ampersand Hotel won its first awards within weeks of its 2012 opening, in South Kensington, with BAL tiling products playing a significant part.

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In a London district renowned worldwide for culture and arts, The Ampersand Hotel blends luxury, decadence and quirkiness, alongside the latest in gymnasium facilities and state-of-the-art technology. In every area of the hotel, guests can see stunningly tiled walls and floors.

BAL was involved from the outset, working with architects Dexter Moren Associates to create the initial M40 specification. It then provided consultancy to both the main contractor, John Sisk & Son, and the tiling contractor, Dyson-Briggs & Sons, during the course of the project.

The Ampersand Hotel has approximately 1,485 m2 of tiling, fixed with extensive use of BAL primers, adhesives, grouts, admixtures and allied products. These included: BAL Prime APD, BAL CTF4, BAL Supercover Rapid Flex, BAL Rapidset, BAL Single Part Fast Flex, BAL Stone & Tile PTB, BAL PTB Flexible, BAL WP1, BAL Micromax, BAL Floor Epoxy, BAL Admix AD1 and BAL Admix GT1.

A wide range of products was necessary because of the importance of having exactly the right product for any given situation. Tiling was onto a variety of backgrounds and substrates, including plasterboard, plaster, timber (with overlay), concrete, marine ply and steel.

Shaun Easter, of Dexter Moren, explained the choice: “BAL has outstanding products, supported by unbeatable free consultancy. They understand the needs of architects and make sure that these are met. In essence, we speak the same language.”

John Sisk & Son’s Mike Whittaker, agreed: “You do not get to be the market leader for five decades unless you are extremely good at what you do. We certainly had no objection to the exclusive specification of BAL products, which we have known for years. I can not recall a single problem during the course of the tiling.”

High-quality tiling is fundamental to The Ampersand Hotel, from the main entrance to the balconied suites, from the Apero restaurant to the flooring in the lifts. A dozen tile types, in many more sizes, include polished marble, polished silestone quartz and basalt in various colours. Natural stone is used for counter tops and bathroom vanities, in guest rooms and suites, and counter tops in public areas. Floors tiled with natural stone include the reception area, coffee lounge, breakout space, wine room, corridors and lifts.

Porcelain is used extensively for guest bathroom walls and public area floors, in black, off-white and matt cream. Floors in guest bathrooms, public washrooms and the restaurant entrance are laid with various shapes and sizes of ceramic tiles in white and cream. Glazed ceramic tiles, in crackled ivory, was specified for the restaurant, bathroom and public washroom walls.

Mark Elvin, of Dyson-Briggs, was in charge of all this tiling. He said: “We have worked with BAL adhesives and grouts for many years and expect to carry on doing so. It is not just the quality of the products themselves, which is unbeatable. Quite simply, they offer the best support in the business, only a phone call away, and they are always ready to visit with free on-site technical advice. It is no accident that they are still the professional fixer’s first choice.”

For the architects and designers, Dexter Moren Associates, global recognition for The Ampersand arrived within weeks of the hotel’s opening. It received the International Design & Architecture Award 2012, in the 50-200 bed category, ahead of The Sanctuary Hotel in New York, Syon Park Waldorf Astoria and the London’s ME Hotel by Foster + Partners. These renowned awards celebrate the best in hospitality design, attracting entries from around the world.

Roberto Pajares, as general manager, has ultimate responsibility for the visitor experience at The Ampersand Hotel. His view is succinct: “I am no expert on tiling, but I do know about the importance of quality. There is no doubt that, throughout the hotel, the tiling looks quite stunning. We could not wish for better.”