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.

Lexus Car Showroom

What?  Luxury car showroom for Lexus and Toyota

Where? Brno, Czech Republic

Problem? 800m2 of cracked screed

Solution? Flexbone 2Easy floating uncoupling mat, negating the need to repair the screed or re-screed. Floor was simply swept with the uncoupling mat rolled onto and then tiled with porcelain tiles.

 

Mercedes Car Showroom

Tiling contractors in Diekirch, Luxembourg were suitable impressed with the technical qualities of Flexbone 2Easy floating uncoupling mat to specify the product for a 1,300m2 refurb of a Mercedes Car Showroom.

The existing epoxy flooring would have cost significant time and money to remove, forcing the contractors to look for an overlay option for new tiles.

They found it with Flexbone 2Easy which was loose-laid and then tiled onto.

The Gart

Featuring more than 500m2 of tiling on three floors and seven bathrooms, The Gart is a fabulous example of a high quality, modern tiling, completed despite a challenging design brief from the project’s artist owner.

Tiling in the property took more than a year and was completed by Wesley Geraghty from Atlas Tiling contractors.

An outstanding domestic project, The Gart offers amazing contemporary interiors with 13 luxury bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and an array of amenities including a games room, piano room, a 100 foot long reception room and its very own gin and whiskey bar. There is a beautiful kitchen and fabulous dining room , complete with bespoke dining chairs featuring the artist owner’s work from The Savoy in London.

Valued at £1.75 million, the property required tiling of the highest order with expert craftsmanship to fulfil a challenging design brief that incorporated an array of tile types and intricate designs on challenging substrates.

A handsome stone-built Scots baronial country house – it dates back to 1835 – and was rebuilt and extended after a fire in 1901.

The majority of the tiling took place on the low ground floor, ground floor and basement – this included the dining room, piano room, reception room, games room and bar – and featured stunning 750mm x 750mm Atlas Concorde marble-look porcelain floor tiles in various shades to match the décor.

Because the substrate was tongue and groove floor boards, potential issues included weight loading, height build-up, deflection and lateral movement in the floor.

To combat these potential issue and to ensure the luxury tiles did not experience any failures, BAL Rapid-Mat lightweight uncoupling mat was installed throughout to protect the tiling but also add minimal height to the floors.

One of the most challenging but ultimately one of the most inspiring rooms was a second-floor bathroom featuring a raised platform with a roll top brass bath.

Wes Geraghty was tasked with coming up with a design that replicated the splendour of the surroundings and opted for an intricate herringbone design.

Because the cuts on the top section and bottom section wouldn’t line-up, Wes plumped for mirror tiles on the outside of the step – which would highlight the step and provide a stunning reflection. Mirror tiles were also used on the walls to give an impression of extra space.

All floor tiles were tiled with BAL Rapid Flex-One, flexible rapid-setting adhesive, while wall tiles were tiled with BAL Single Part Flexible. All the tiling was grouted in BAL Micromax2 flexible wall and floor grout.

“I was delighted to use BAL throughout the project, as it my trusted tiling-system partner,” said Wes.

“I was going to use another uncoupling system, however because of the low build-up required, BAL Rapid-Mat was our only option on this occasion.

“I am delighted with how the whole project looks following completion – and so to was the client,” added Wes.

“Not only did the tiling need to match his individual artistic tastes, it also needed to match the high-end tastes of his clients who he often hosts in the property, as well as high-end individuals who rent out the property on a regular basis.

“In fact we were under time pressure to complete this project, as Ed Sheeran had hired out the property following one of gigs in Glasgow.

“It was a pleasure to work on, and we believe we have really brought the client’s work to life in the property.”

The Gart was a finalist for The Tile Association Awards 2019 for Best Domestic Project.

CASE FILE

Project Name: The Gart

Location: Callander, Stirlingshire

Description: Refurbishment of 19th Century exclusive-use mansion with a full BAL tiling solution.

BAL products used:

UNCOUPLING: BAL Rapid Mat

ADHESIVES: BAL Rapid Flex One, BAL Single Part Flexible

GROUT: BAL Micromax2

OTHER: BAL Micromax Sealant, BAL Prime APD

Tiles:

Atlas Concorde marble-effect porcelain tiles

Mirror tiles

Black Granite Floor Tiles

Project Partners

MATERIALS: Collinsons Ceramics

TILING: Atlas Tiling Ltd

Residential refurbishment with BAL Flexbone 2Easy and Pourable One

Preparation time was reduced dramatically with the use of BAL’s new floating uncoupling mat – Flexbone 2Easy – on a prime redevelopment in County Durham. The 200m² problem screed to be tiled had two days of preparatory work scheduled before installation could even begin, but this was reduced to just half a day using BAL Flexbone 2Easy.

Tile installation was onto a new pumped concrete screed, which had hairline cracks, residue and laitance on the surface. To fix tiles in a traditional manner – direct to the screed or using a bonded uncoupling mat – would have required the screed to be abraded to remove the laitance and significantly primed at considerable time and cost.

The use of BAL Flexbone 2Easy floating uncoupling mat alleviated the need to abrade and prime the screed, as the only preparation required was a quick sweep of the surface.

The mat was simply rolled out onto the screed. 800mm x 800mm, 10mm thick porcelain tiles were laid directly onto the matting, adhered with BAL Pourable One flexible tile adhesive – a pourable thick bed tile adhesive perfect for fixing large format floor tiles at up to 25mm bed depth. The tiles were grouted with BAL Micromax2 in smoke.

Karl Fortune, tiler at Fortune Tiling, said: “The mat was incredibly easy to use and saved me significant time and money on preparation and materials.

“The use of Flexbone 2Easy has saved at least a day and half of preparation time, plus cost savings on primer and adhesive.

“BAL Pourable One adhesive is my go to adhesive for large format floor tiling – easy to mix up and spread, and helps me achieve 100% coverage every time.”

BAL Flexbone 2Easy is a unique mat to the UK market which is truly uncoupled, protecting floor tiles from lateral movement.

No removal or residue, no removal of laitance and no priming of the surface is needed. This means that contaminated and stained floors, wooden floors, cracked screeds and mixed substrates can be tiled immediately – as long as they are flat, level and rigid.

As well as time savings from the lack of preparation, materials costs are also significantly reduced with no need for primers, plus a massive adhesive saving of 2kg/m², when compared to laying bonded cavity mat systems.

Time trials indicate the removal of subfloor preparation for installations provides a minimum 50% time saving.

Lengthy waiting times on new screeds are avoided as Flexbone 2Easy can be laid on new sand:cement screeds when they are ready to be walked on, or new anhydrite screeds that aren’t fully cured (up to 1.5% CM residual moisture). This means no more projects on hold for weeks on end waiting for the screed to dry!

Fast-track installation is possible as any residual moisture in the substrate is distributed evenly through a system of perforations and channels in the mat, meaning the screed can fully cure under the tiling with no issues.

BAL Flexbone 2Easy also featured patented GripLock Technology and unique bone structure.

The patented design has been independently tested to provide the highest shear strength (providing more accommodation of higher levels of lateral movement) and the highest tensile strength (to stops tiles ‘popping-off’, or cracking under pressure). These highly flexible and deformable properties ensure all tile installations are protected from lateral movement and pressures.

As well as providing long-term benefits in terms of strength and flexibility, the unique bone structure also makes for significantly faster installations as the design ensures the trowelling-out of adhesive on the surface layer is fast and easy

“I would definitely recommend the use of this product, particularly if there are issues with the substrate,” added Karl.

“It’s a radical solution, but because it’s from BAL and comes with a 25-year guarantee, it is certainly a solution I trust.”

Rugby Central Shopping Centre

BAL products have played a significant role in a major refurbishment scheme of Rugby Central Shopping Centre.

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Formerly called the Clock Towers Shopping Centre, Rugby Central is a two-story shopping mall in the heart of the town with more than 50 outlets.

The two-year refurbishment of the centre included revamping shop fronts, installing new, energy-efficient LED lighting systems and the installation of granite flooring throughout.

BAL – market-leaders in full tiling solutions – worked with tiling contractor WB Simpson & Sons to provide a full tiling specification with materials sourced through Capitol Tiles. This was backed-up with full project and product support from BAL’s Technical Advisory Service and Product Support Technicians.

More than 2,500 bags of BAL Level Max – nearly 62.5 tonne – was used on the project to level the existing concrete base after the original quarry tiles and adhesive was mechanically removed.

BAL Level Max was specified because it can be used up to 80mm in a single application – the largest bed depth in the market. What’s more it is reinforced with Fibre Strand Technology and has added flexibility, self-smoothing capability, fast flow and low shrinkage – plus it is pumpable – making it perfect for large scale commercial projects such as this. Rapid-setting, it accepts foot traffic in three hours, and tiles in four hours – at whatever depth – producing considerable time and cost savings.

Because of the sensitivity of the granite flooring, a rapid-drying white adhesive was required for the project – and WB Simpson & Sons found the solution with BAL Rapid-Flex One.

Recently introduced into the market, BAL Rapid-Flex One is a high performance S1 adhesive that has extended open time of 30 minutes and working time of 60 minutes, while it can be grouted after only three hours.

The longer working time, but still rapid-setting nature of the product made it perfect for such a commercial project where workability and time saving were key requirements.

The floor was finished with BAL Micromax2 Grout – an efflorescence free, flexible and abrasion-resistant grout for walls and floors that is perfect for heavily trafficked areas.

Richard Friebe, Director at WB Simpson, said: “The scale of the preparation work required prior to tiling was scary, especially when it was discovered at an early stage that not one, but two layers of existing tiles, plus bedding was coming up when the mechanical removal commenced.

“Our operatives could not believe how quickly and efficiently they were able to provide a new, excellent base to receive the new granite paving. Due to the outstanding properties of BAL Level Max (which was used between 45 and 65mm on average), we were able to reschedule the works with the main contractor (Stepnells) causing little or no interruption to the tenants who were able to trade normally. We would have no reservations in adopting the same process using the same materials should a comparable situation arise in the future.”

Robin Swift, Centre manager, Rugby Central Shopping Centre, added: “Our substantial refurbishment has taken time, but the results have truly regenerated our shopping centre and the facilities for our customers and visitors. We wish to extend a huge thank you to everybody for their patience during the works and all the companies who helped this project come to fruition.”

CASE FILE

Project Name: Rugby Central Shopping Centre

Location: Rugby, Warwickshire

Description: Installation of new granite flooring as part of shopping centre refurbishment

BAL products used:

PREPARATION: BAL Prime APD

LEVELLING: BAL Level-Max

ADHESIVES: BAL Rapid Flex One

GROUT: BAL Micromax2

OTHER: BAL Micromax Sealant

Tiles:

Despina & Prospero 600x600mm and 200x600mm granite

Project Partners

MAIN CONTRACTOR: Stepnells

TILING CONTRACTOR: W B Simpson & Sons Limited (Midlands)

MATERIALS: Capitol Tile Group

Kirklees Estate Gatehouse

BAL have worked in partnership with CJ Ceramics (est. 1985) and English Heritage for the stunning renovation of a Grade-1 listed 16th Century gatehouse on the site of “Robin Hood’s” Grave.

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Located on the historic Kirklees Estate in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, the Gatehouse is a now located on private land and used as a luxury rental residence.

According to local legend Kirklees Hall is said to the final resting place of Robin Hood who was allegedly “murdered” on the site and buried nearby.

Craig Sellars from CJ Ceramics was commissioned to tile the interior of the gatehouse in Modena marble-effect porcelain supplied by Yorkshire Tile Company.

Because of the historic nature of the building including fragile lime render, Craig called on the expertise of BAL Product Support Manager Lewis Lupton to provide a technical specification for fixing materials.

“As soon as I was commissioned for this project, I immediately called on Lewis to provide specification and product support as I would be tiling onto sensitive backgrounds,” said Craig.

“In conversation with English Heritage and the owner, we agreed upon a fixing solution to ensure that the original fabric of the building was not compromised in any way.”

Original floor joists were protected with 12mm plywood over-boarded with 6mm BAL Board to create a firm base to tile onto.

Recently launched, BAL Board is a lightweight tile backer board that is 15-35% lighter than traditional cement-based boards. Because no specialist cutting tools are required and the product produces minimal dust when cut, it is a perfect product for sensitive heritage backgrounds and environments.

Following installation of the BAL Board, the surface was levelled with BAL Level Max as there were areas which had dropped 30mm due to due subsistence in the historic building.

The 800x800mm tiles were then fixed with new BAL Rapid-Flex One – a new all-white S1 adhesive with improved flexibility and strength. Because of its unique formulation, BAL Rapid-Flex One has an extended open time of 30 minutes and working time of 60 minutes, while it can still be grouted after only three hours.

Where necessary, Craig tanked backgrounds with BAL Tank-it – a rapid-setting tanking system which can be tiled on only 90 minutes with no priming needed.

To tile onto the historic lime render, Craig removed any surface efflorescence before priming with two coats of BAL Prime APD followed by a skim coat of flexible adhesive. Following another priming coat, the tiles were fixed with BAL Single Part Flexible.

Following installation of the tiles, they were grouted with BAL Micromax2 in White with edges and corners sealed with colour-matched BAL Micromax Silicone Sealant.

“It was a fantastic job to be involved with in such an historic building. Thankfully I had the support of BAL to ensure the right fixing solution was found,” said Craig.

CASE FILE

Project Name: Grade I listed 16th century gatehouse

Location: Kirklees Estate, Calderdale, Yorkshire

Description: Complete renovation of historic gatehouse on the Kirklees Estate, home to the “grave” of Robin Hood.

BAL products used:

PREPARATION: BAL Board, BAL Prime APD

LEVELLING: BAL Level-Max

WATERPROOFING: BAL Tank-it

ADHESIVES: BAL Rapid Flex One, BAL Single Part Flexible

GROUT: BAL Micromax2 White

OTHER: BAL Micromax Sealant

Tiles:

Modena 800x800mm marble-effect porcelain

Project Partners

TILING: CJ Ceramics (est. 1985) – Craig Sellars

MATERIALS: Yorkshire Tile Company

OTHER STAKEHOLDERS: English Heritage

 

Elmwood Cranage

BAL has provided a full tiling solution for the renovation of a six bedroom country house in Cheshire tiled by Mark Isherwood from Artisan Tiling.

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Featuring intricate brick slips, porcelain plank tiles and polished porcelain, the stunning redevelopment also features an external water feature tiled with split face stone.

A total of 400m2 of tiling was completed on both the ground and first floor of the property including the kitchen, four bathrooms and a cloak room over a calcium sulfate screed which was sanded and primed with BAL PRIME APD and decoupled using BAL RAPID-MAT uncoupling mat system.

Designed by Stuart Frazer Kitchens, the kitchen area features 1200x300mm Argento Sycamore porcelain plank tiles and a wall feature with split face stone supplied by Mandarin Stone.

As the kitchen and hallway floors weren’t flat, Mark used BAL LEVEL MAX levelling compound to create a smooth and level surface to tile onto.

The four bathrooms and the ground-floor cloakroom were all designed by Emma Scott from C.P Hart and feature a range of polished porcelain tiles.

Tiled in a linear pattern, the master en-suite features 895 x 446mm Jumble Cemento tiles, while the loft bathroom is tiled with Aalto Collagna on the floor with 596 x 596mm tiles, and 596 x 295mm tiles on the wall in a linear pattern.

The main family bathroom at the property is tiled in dark brown Aalto Toanna, again in a linear pattern on the floor and walls.

The ground floor cloakroom is tiled in Aalto Cerreto 600 x 300mm also in a linear pattern.

Aalto is a colour-bodied porcelain tile inspired by the hills of central Italy. The warm, organic colours vary markedly within each tile, reflecting a natural landscape.

All floor tiles were fixed with BAL SUPERCOVER RAPID-FLEX adhesive and grouted with BAL MICROMAX2 Smoke, while all wall tiles were fixed using BAL SINGLE PART FLEXIBLE in white or grey and grouted using BAL MICROMAX2 grout in varying colours, all primed with BAL PRIME APD first.

BAL worked with Artisan Tiling to provide a full M40 Specification and on-site project support including screed testing on the calcium sulfate screed by Lewis Lupton, Product Support Technician for the North.

On completion of the project, Mark said: “This was an amazing project to be involved with, featuring high quality designs, superior tiles and last, but not least, great fixing materials.

“I am a great fan of BAL whose products I use on a regular basis. You can always trust BAL for quality, plus they give you great back-up. As soon as I won this job I phoned Lewis who wrote a full specification and came on site to test the screed for moisture.

“It was a testing job over a long period of time, but BAL were with me every step of the way.”

CASE FILE

Project Name: Six-bedroom country house renovation

Location: Elwood Cranage, Cheshire

Description: High quality tiling kitchen, cloakroom and four bathrooms of a six bedroom country house in leafy Cheshire.

BAL products used:

WATERPROOFING: BAL Waterproofing Kit

LEVELLING: BAL Tank-it

ADHESIVES: BAL Supercover Rapid-Flex and BAL Single Part Flexible

GROUT: BAL Micromax2

OTHER: BAL Micromax Sealant, BAL Prime APD

Tiles:

Kitchen: Argento Sycamore

Master En-suite: Jumble Cemento

Loft Bathroom: Aalto Collagna

House Bathroom: Aalto Toana

Bedroom 2 En-suite: Mollino White

Cloakroom: Aalto Cerreto

Project Partners

DESIGN: Emma Scott – CP Hart and Stuart Frazer Kitchens

MATERIALS: Mandarin Stone

TILING: Artisan Tiling

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.

CASE FILE

 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:

WATERPROOFING: BAL Tank-it

ADHESIVES: BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre

GROUT: BAL Micromax2

OTHER: BAL Micromax Sealant, BAL Prime APD

Tiles:

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.”

CASE FILE

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:

LEVELLING: BAL Level Max

WATERPROOFING: BAL Tank-it

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

Tiles:

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

Tile Ceramique Internationale Amazzonia Dragon Brown

Newood Outdoor Brown Porcelain

Newood Brown Porcelain

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.

Baden Lodge

A logistical challenge at 2,608 meters above sea level: the sun terrace of Baden Lodge in the East Tyrolean Alps, Austria was renovated with all materials brought to their destination by helicopter due to the hut only being accessible on foot.

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In order to save transportation costs for future renovations, the owner of the chalet – the Austrian Alpine Association – looked for a solution that would provide maximum safety against damage due to extreme weather conditions in the mountains. He opted for Gutjahr System Technology, now available from BAL, utilising the AquaDrain EK drainage mat, as the substructure.

From the sun terrace of the Baden chalet, climbers enjoy panoramic views of the Alps – and since summer 2008 they have enjoyed these spectacular views from beautifully restored natural stone flooring. Because strong sunlight, large amounts of rain, snow and ice had greatly damaged the old stone, the owners wanted to protect the newly installed polygonal porphyry stone against this damage. Thanks to the capillary breaking drainage mat AquaDrain EK, the installation will be free from permanent damage.

The system has been specifically designed for the safe installation of natural stone and allows for drainage through drainage mortar. It prevents moisture storage in the substructure, with surface water running through to the drainage channels and away from the assembly. As a result, the drainage property of the overall construction improved by up to 20 times.

The natural stone surface can also dry faster because the construction is ventilated. AquaDrain EK is the only product on the market with a special mesh fabric that has a long-term limit state and thus remains permanently water permeable. This is unlike drainage mats with geotextile felts which are limited in their function, due to being clogged and blocked by soluble limestone deposits.

About The Baden Lodge

The Baden Lodge is a high alpine shelter, owned by  the Austrian Alpine Association, Baden Section. It lies in the Frosnitztal Valley near Matrei which is part of the Venediger mountain group in the East Tyrolean Alps.  The hut was initially built on a trial basis in 1910 in Mödling, Vienna before being dismantled and transported to Matrei where it was reconstructed in 1911 before being expanded and renovated in 1959, 1986 and 1996. The Baden Lodge offers 41 mountaineering and 15 camp beds.

Schloss Elmau

Restoration of terraces and balconies with AquaDrain EK

In 2005 a 20-hour fire destroyed large parts of Elmau Castle near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany. The fire was so severe that four million litres of water were used to put out the flames.  Thanks to the efforts of the owners, the luxury hotel was rebuilt however in time for the G7 summit to show it in all its glory – as well as the completion of the new Elmau Castle Retreat.  Gutjahr System Technology for external tiling, now available from BAL – the UK’s market-leader in full tiling solution – played a vital role in protecting the balconies and terraces of both hotels.

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On 7 and 8 June 2015 when David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama and the other leaders of the seven leading industrial nations strolled around Elmau Castle all memories of the great fire had long been forgotten as the castle emerged like a Phoenix from the ashes.

Following the fire, castle owner Dietmar Muller-Elmau invested around €40million to rebuild the listed building. Together with architect Christoph Sattler, a cousin of Mr Muller-Elmau and grandson of the original builder of 1914, and a team of other architects and designers, a concept was developed for a modern spa hotel within the ancient walls. The result was a modern, five-star superior luxury. It is now one of the “Leading Hotels of the World” and has been recognised as such several times.

In March 2015, the additional Elmau Castle Retreat was opened 150 meters west of the castle hidden in the hillside.  From the balconies and terraces of the new building, the politicians of the G7 summit were presented with a breath-taking view of the nearby Wetterstein Mountains.

Natural Stone for balconies and terraces

As part of the renovation it was proposed to cover the balconies and terraces with Brazillian quartzite tiles. For six months contractors worked at the castle – up to 45 men at peak times – to complete the tiling.

Rising to 1,000 meters above sea level, the castle faces extreme weather conditions including cold winters, excessive rain fall and variable temperatures. Since the natural stone specified is particularly sensitive, precautions were necessary to protect it from ugly efflorescence and water staining.

Experts recognised this in advance and so specified the AquaDrain EK drainage system for external tiling – now available from BAL.

AquaDrain EK is a passive capillary surface drainage matting, designed for the installation of natural stone, tiles and slabs on drainage mortar on balconies, terraces and roof terraces.

The combination of drainage mortar and drainage mat is recommended by the German Natural Stone Association in its literature. This is because studies have shown that the drainage capacity of drainage mortar is not enough and can cause problems with the installation of drain grates.

The AquaDrain EK drainage mat channels water effectively away from the surface, avoiding any damage. Ventilation underneath also ensure the lining dries faster, while the mesh fabric remains permanently permeable to water without permitting the entry of mortar or cement which could block the capillary system.

Comfortable transitions from inside to outside

A crucial part of the re-build was the transition from the balconies and terraces to the interior of Elmau Castle. German regulations state that transitions between interior and exterior tiling should be at least 150mm, to prevent water running behind the seal and entering the interior. However due to the architectural approach of the luxury hotel, this was impractical, requiring a solution only Gutjahr could fulfil.

With special drain grates made of stainless steel, transitions were reduced to a more convenient 50mm, while still meeting building regulations and at the same time ensuring interiors are kept dry. Thanks to the AquaDrain drain grates, water is captured at the transitions and directed into the attached surface drainage mat and away from the balcony or terrace.

AquaDrain drain grates are extremely flexible being easily height adjustable and easy to cut to length on site.

8 years without damage

Six years after the re-opening of Elmau Castle, construction began on the second hotel.

“The balconies and terraces of the parent venue were still in perfect condition,” said Ralph Johan, Gutjahr Managing Director.

“Therefore, the client decided to protect the exterior of the new Elmau Castle Retreat with the Gutjahr System Technology.”

No sooner said than done: on 400 square meters of terraces, Brazilian quartzite was also protected against the elements with AquaDrain EK.

Gutjahr System Technology from BAL

Gutjahr System Technology from BAL represents drainage, ventilating and uncoupling solutions for balconies, patios, terraces and on facades and interiors.

Its innovative technology helps protect external installation from frost damage, staining and water damage.

For more than 25 years, BAL’s sister company Gutjahr have developed long-lasting trouble-free coverings even on problem substrates throughout Europe from prestigious projects including Amsterdam Library, The Palace of Hambach, and the Weimar National Theatre, to small domestic projects.

Now available to order, Gutjahr system technology represents a breakthrough in the UK market for simple, safe and strong solutions for outdoor tiling installations and provides a complete system for all products required for external tiling, from market-leaders BAL

Palace of Hambach

Restoration of terrace and courtyard with AquaDrain T+

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Built as a retreat for the Bishops of Speyer in the Middle Ages, the castle reached the heights of popularity in 1832 when it welcomed 30,000 participants to the Hambach Festival in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse and becoming the cradle of the German democratic movement of the 19th Century.

Therefore it was critically important to preserve the historical existence of the medieval castle ruins and its spectacular views of the Rhine Valley during it’s 2006 renovation by architect Max Dudler.

As part of the multi-million pound renovation, a new restaurant building and spacious terrace was constructed along with a complete renovation of the castle courtyard in beautiful yellow sandstone from the Haard Mountains in the nearby Pfalzer Forest.

In order to provide drainage and protect the stone from moisture damage, AquaDrain T+ was specified. Traditional loose laying on gravel or chippings was ruled out due to the possibility of water backing up and breaking the seal causing ugly damp patches and weed infestation of the joints.

AquaDrain T+ – specially designed for the loose laying of natural stone – is capillary passive and ensures rapid and permanent drainage of the covering structure. The system also serves as a protective layer and filter layer. Due to the large contact area of 66%, high point loads are avoided. An additional protective layer on the sealing is not necessary, while a plastic film made from special geotextile felts is laminated for low flow resistance and additional filter capability. This prevents build-up of gunk on the seal.

On the terraces and courtyard of the castle, 16mm AquaDrain T+ mats were rolled out over a sealed surface – a total of about 600 square meters. A thin layer of drainage mortar was applied over the matting, before the high-quality sandstone was laid with impressive results.

Bratislava Castle

Restoration of historic courtyard with AquaDrain EK 

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As part of a €126million renovation project, the 1,600 square foot courtyard at the center of this historic castle was redesigned and covered with natural stone.

Large tiles were originally laid on a mortar bed, but for years water had come up through the joints in the substructure, penetrating the seal, leading to efflorescence and frost damage.

In order to protect the small-sized granite paving selected for the courtyard redevelopment, a drainage system was required to quickly remove standing water to prevent water staining. Gutjahr proposed the laying of the AquaDrain EK capillary passive drainage system with drainage mortar to provide rapid drainage.

The AquaDrain EK drainage mat channels water effectively away from the surface, avoiding any damage. Ventilation underneath also ensure the lining dries faster, while the mesh fabric remains permanently permeable to water without permitting the entry of mortar or cement which could block the capillary system.

Thanks to Gutjahr, visitors from around the world can now enjoy this symbol of Slovakia without getting wet feet.

Amsterdam Library

New construction of external courtyard with AquaDrain EK

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With more than 1.5million books on 28,000 square meters, the new headquarters of “Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam” (OBA) is Europe’s largest public libraries and one of the most spectacular buildings in Amsterdam.

Designed by Architect Jo Coenan as a library and urban meeting place, the entrance areas features high-quality limestone to provide a durable and usable area.

To protect the highly moisture absorbent natural stone from water, snow and ice, the entrance area is protected by the AquaDrain EK surface drainage system from Gutjahr.

This is a traditional “mortar” installation, however this would have been counterproductive as it stores water for too long leading to ugly damp stains on the stone. A solution to this problem was found with the installation of 500 square meters of AquaDrain EK – specially designed for the fixing large porous natural stone tiles.

The capillary passive drainage system allows for the rapid removal of surface water through the joints in the tiled surface, with a mesh fabric ensures the drainage channels are not blocked by soluble concrete.

The project was carried out by four contractors over a six week period, helping to create an elegant building that perfectly adapts to the local environment.

Lucae Fountain

Restoration of fountain and courtyard with AquaDrain EK

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Framed by the historic Opera House and the modern skyscraper backdrop: The square in front of the Alte Oper is a popular meeting place in downtown Frankfurt.

At the centre is the Lucae Fountain which was designed according to old plans found of the original fountain which once stood in the square. Inaugurated in 1983, after a few years the well was found to be leaking and became uneconomical to run.

Water leaking onto the granite structure also caused unsightly grey deposits to form on the well structure, making the original colour of the stone barely recognisable. Simultaneously, the fountain lost more water than could be supplied and a highly visible trickle ran across the Opernplatz. The only way to stop this was a total renovation to the underground system, a major overhaul of engineering and optics.

After careful restoration from scratch, the AquaDrain EK system from Gutjahr was incorporated above a tanking system, helping to support the drainage of water before the winter break and protecting the structure permanently from frost damage.

Thanks to the restoration, the Lucae Fountai now shines as the centre of many events around the Frankfurt Opernplatz.

Hale Barns Mansion

BAL, the UK market-leaders in full tiling solutions, have provided a full system solution of tiling products to help transform a high-spec six-bedroom mansion in Hale Barns, Cheshire.

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Shortlisted for the The Tile Association (TTA) Awards 2016 for Best Use of Tile in a Domestic Environment category, the project was completed over a six-month period by Dave Stott from Elite Tiling Ltd.

The high-spec property is a fantastic example of modern tiling, including the creation of a stunning mosaic wet room and bathroom that was previously an unused attic space and a complex hexagonal patterned tiling installation in one of the en-suite renovations.

BAL tile adhesives, grouts, sealants and preparation products were specified throughout the project which included a family bathroom, and four ensuites, including master ensuite and guest ensuite, each with their own unique patterns and styles helping to create a stunning property in the Cheshire countryside.

BAL worked extensively with Dave Stott including specification support from BAL’s Technical Advisory Service (TAS) and on-site support from BAL’s expert Product Support Technicians.

“BAL were absolutely brilliant from start to finish, visiting the site to assist with product specification and technical advice,” said Dave.

“I have always used BAL as they never let me down. This was a prestigious, high-value project, so I instantly turned to BAL to provide a high quality, value-for-money fixing solution that I know will last the test of time.”

Fixed with BAL Supercover Rapidset Flexible, BAL Single Part Flexible and grouted with BAL Micromax2 Gunmetal, the stunning 29m2 family bathroom features stunning 300 x 600mm Purestone Grigio Natural Rectified Porcelain tiles fixed in a brick bond pattern on both walls and floors.

The area around the bath and shower area was tiled with textured Purestone Grigio Muretto 3D Décor tiles fixed with BAL Single Part Flexible. Not only do the textured tiles provide a stunning finish to the bathroom, they also deliver longevity, protecting against damage, wear and tear.

Situated at the front of the house, the 14m2 Ensuite 1 features striking 266 x 230mm hexagonal tiles (Alchimia Mix 1 Bianco Grigio and Alchimia Esagono Bianco) for the walls, floors and shower area.

Before tiling commenced, the floor was primed with BAL Bond SBR, Wedi boards at 6mm were installed and under floor heating mat laid and covered with BAL Fibrebase levelling compound, before the tiles were set-out and fixed.

Without doubt the biggest challenge of the room was the setting out of the walls to ensure perfect symmetry of the room – including intricate internal cuts to ensure the correct pattern and size continued around corner with perfection. The finished walls and floors were grouted with BAL Micromax2 Gunmetal and sealed with matching silicone.

Ensuite 2 is tiled with large format ceramic tiles (Modern Colour White and Modern Colour Silver) in brick bond pattern on the walls and glazed porcelain on the floor fixed with BAL Single Part Flexible and BAL Supercover Rapidset. Featuring a number of intricate recesses, the bathroom was also finished with BAL Micromax2 in Gunmetal and colour-matched BAL Micromax Sealant for consistency of colour and tone.

Tiled with stunning book-matched marble by Isaac Davila from Rockford, Fior di Bosco and Rosa Auria Extra, the 22m2 master ensuite is an ode to high quality tiling.

Fixed with BAL Single Part Flexible on the walls and BAL Supercover Rapid Set on the floors, the ensuite features a walk-in shower with a brown marble book-matched seat and recess.

A converted attic space used to accommodate guests, the Guest Ensuite is surely the property’s pièce de résistance. After extensive and exhaustive preparation work including the cladding of the entire room with tile backer-board and double scratch-coats, the room was tiled with 5mm x 25mm Stone Glass Mix White mosaic tiles which curved around the upper radius of the room, and Petrified Tree White Lion Core Natural Porcelain Tiles fixed with BAL Supercover Rapidset and grouted in a brick bond pattern on the walls to complete a simply stunning wetroom.

CASE FILE

Project Name:

6-bedroom mansion

Location:

Hale Barns, Cheshire

Description:

High quality tiling throughout six-bedroom, five-bathroom property in the heart of Cheshire.

BAL products used:

ADHESIVES: BAL Rapidset Flexible, BAL Supercover Rapidset Flex, BAL Supercover Rapidset, BAL Single Part Flexible

GROUT: BAL Micromax2 (Gunmetal)

OTHER: BAL Fibrebase, BAL Bond SBR

Tiles:

Purestone Grigio Natural Rectified Porcelain 300 x 600mm

Alchimia Mix 1 Bianco Grigio and Alchimia Esagono Bianco 266 x 230mm

Modern Colour White and Modern Colour Silver ceramic

Isaac Davila from Rockford book-matched marble

Fior di Bosco and Rosa Auria Extra book-matched marble

Stone Glass Mix White mosaic tiles 25 x 25mm

Petrified Tree White Lion Core Natural Porcelain

Project Partners:

DESIGN: Martin Hobin, MH Interiors (NW)

TILING: Dave Stott, Elite Tiling

MATERIALS: Contract Tile Consultants, Cheshire

 

 

 

 

West One

Major tiling renovation work at West One, a high spec office complex in Leeds city centre, has been completed with extensive use of BAL adhesives, grouts and ancillary tiling products.

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Work was carried out by Elite Tiling of Manchester to replace approximately 50m2 of carpet tiles with stunning 450mm x 450mm beige Porcelain tiles from Caesar in a first floor lift lobby to complement existing tiling in the reception.

Due to the nature and amount of work, the project was completed over a Bank Holiday weekend commencing as soon as all the office staff had left work for the evening.

Elite Tiling began by lifting all the carpet tiles before scrapping up the sticky glue residue. The whole floor was then swept, cleaned and primed with BAL Prime APD and left to dry.

To provide a stable substrate and prevent against future cracking and de-bonding of the tiles, Elite Tiling made extensive use of BAL’s innovative and award winning BAL Rapid Mat uncoupling system which was fixed with BAL Rapidset Flexible (grey) tile adhesive.

All tiling was set in BAL Rapidset Flexible (grey) tile adhesive before the whole area was grouted with BAL Micromax2 Smoke to match the tiled surface in the reception area.

Movement joints and edges were sealed with BAL Micromax Sealant, colour-matched with the BAL grout.

The project was completed in double-quick time to allow staff to return to work on the Monday.

Dave Stott, from Elite Tiling who carried out the work, was quick to praise the BAL products used on the project.

“I have used BAL and nothing else for many years and they never let me down,” he said.

“When I was contracted for this project I instantly knew that BAL would provide the perfect solution for my tiling needs.

“I was particularly impressed with BAL Rapid Mat – it was extremely easy to use, providing minimal height build-up and is perfect for this sort of project where high foot traffic and surface movement is expected.

“Using BAL allowed me to complete the job effectively over a weekend, ensuring that it was business as usual for staff when they returned to work.”

CASE FILE

Project Name:

West One, Leeds City Centre

Location:

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Description:

Installation of approximately 50m2 of floor tiles in high specification office building in the heart of Leeds City Centre.

BAL products used:

ADHESIVES: BAL Rapidset Flexible (Grey)

GROUT: BAL Micromax2 Smoke

OTHER: BAL Rapid-Mat, BAL Prime APD, BAL Micromax Sealant

Project Partners:

DEVELOPER: Bruntwood Estates

MAIN CONTRACTOR: MH Interiors, North West

TILING CONTRACTOR:  Elite Tiling, Manchester

MATERIALS: Ceramic Tile Distributors, Denton

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).

CASE FILE

Project Name:

Huddersfield Leisure Centre

Location:

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Description:

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

Tiles:

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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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.

 

Lings Honda

When the December flooding hit Lowestoft, one of its first victims was the major car and motorcycle showroom of Lings Honda. The premises disappeared under three feet of water and Lings had to scrap more than 150 vehicles. Once the floodwaters subsided, it became clear that some parts of the premises themselves would need extensive work.

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When it came to re-tiling, returning the Lings flagship to its former glory was not a quick fix. Having to wait for normal conditions was only the first hurdle; then, the site had to be made ready for tiling. By the middle of February, a team of fixers from Cottrell Ceramics was on site and working. It was not just a case of replacing tiles. BAL product support technician, Mark Dove, was closely involved with helping to minimise the potential impact of any further natural disasters.

The team prepared the floors for tiling and then laid BAL’s latest technological innovation: BAL Rapid Mat. This remarkable uncoupling product requires around 20% less adhesive than cavity-based uncoupling mats. With the team tiling approximately 1,300 m2 of flooring, this would mean using almost two tonnes less adhesive and losing much less tiling time for mixing.

BAL products were used exclusively for the project, including BAL Bond for priming and BAL Acrybase for smooth levelling. BAL Rapid-Mat was laid throughout, with the tiles fixed using BAL Supercover Rapid Flex and BAL Tile & Stone PTB, both in grey, and grouted with Micromax2.

London Southend Airport

Major tiling work at London Southend Airport has been completed with the exclusive use of BAL adhesives and grouts.

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The tiling was carried out within a signification expansion project, which has included a new control tower, new railway station, extended runway and new departure terminal.

Tiling work was carried out by a team of eight skilled fixers from Elite Tiling Ltd. of Chelmsford.

The first phase of the development, the Departures Concourse, was finished in 2012. While Phase 2, which includes the ground and first floor of the Arrivals Concourse, catering zone, and the queuing and central search areas, was completed in 2013.

More than 5,500 m2 of floor tiles has been laid throughout the extension, including the new departure lounge. The porcelain tiles have been supplied by Solus Ceramics, of Birmingham. The products specified for fixing these were BAL Supercover Rapid Flex adhesive, in grey, and BAL Superflex Wide Joint grout.  Floor tiles were laid onto power floated concrete, a hard-wearing substrate often specified for high-traffic areas. The fixers prepare the surface for tiling with BAL Prime APD.

A further 300 m2 of white gloss tiles were supplied by Ceramic Tiles, of Ipswich. They were specified for the walls of toilet facilities, both for customers and for airside staff and were fixed with new BAL White Star Plus ready-mixed adhesive and grouted with BAL Grout, in white.

Gary Bude, managing director of Elite Tiling Ltd., explained that BAL involvement in the project went well beyond supplying the adhesives and grouts. “BAL was more of a partner than a supplier,” he said. “BAL’s Mark Dove was on site with me long before the start, examining the job and going through the requirements. Working with his colleagues in Stoke, he then delivered the full formal M40 specification for the job. He was back on site for the first day of the project and visited again while the work continued, just to make sure that there were no issues or concerns. We could not have asked for more.”

Gary Bude said, “Like most professionals, I have worked with BAL products for years and know that their performance can be trusted. It is always helpful when a single product has the versatility for use throughout a project, as was the case here with both the adhesive and the grout.”

South Thames College

South Thames College, serving 21,000 students, has invested £100 million in transforming its Wandsworth campus.

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New wall and floor tiling in a number of areas demanded high-traffic durability with lasting good looks. BAL products made a major start-to-finish contribution.

This was a classic large-scale project, with new wall and floor tiling in 12 disparate areas of the college, all demanding high-traffic durability, with lasting good looks.

The contractors faced a range of challenges, typical of such large projects. Over 15,000 tiles, of numerous types and sizes had to be fixed to differing backgrounds, in a dozen separate areas, providing varying environments.

At any one time, at least four tilers would be working alongside other trades such as plumbers, carpenters and electricians meaning everything had to go to plan.

The individual projects included six toilet blocks, a laundry and three salons. The tilers worked with tiles varying from traditional and standard tiles, to the stunning aesthetics of 250m2 of elegant 450mm x 450mm Peronda tiles. Upon completion, the college had been transformed to an elegant environment for inspiration and learning.

BAL products used included four tile adhesives, grout and a range of preparation products including: BAL Supercover Rapidset (rapid-setting tile adhesive), BAL Rapidset Flexible (rapid-setting flexible tile adhesive), BAL Single Part Flexible (flexible tile adhesive for walls and floors), BAL White Star Plus (ready mix tile adhesive for walls), BAL Superflex (flexible tile grout for walls).

The Result:

Tiling that will bear heavy use while looking terrific for years to come, providing a striking and inspiring environment for all students and staff that have the privilege of using the facilities.

No problems. No disputes. No delays. The mark of tiling excellence in any large construction project is always that, while the tiling process is almost unnoticed for the client, the results most certainly are not.

Only somebody familiar with the challenges inherent in complex, multi-contractor construction projects can truly understand the significance.

Contractor, John Anderson, said: “We knew exactly what we needed to do. We had excellent tilers working on the project and we had ensured at the outset that the products we would be using were up to the demands of the job. After 30 years of using BAL, I confidently expect quality and value and, without exception, that is exactly what the specified products delivered, as always.”

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.”

Eco House

This new, large private home was designed to combine clean, good looks with energy efficiency and the ultimate in convenience. The ensuite master bathroom and sauna is complemented by further guest and children’s bathrooms, all tiled to the highest quality standards with BAL tiling products.

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The home of our dreams is already a natural goal for most. Today, there is also increasing consciousness of our responsibility, as individuals and as society, to reduce our carbon footprint.

That was certainly the aim of the Grant family when planning the major redevelopment of their Manchester property. They were committed to ensuring that the works could be achieved sustainably with maximum protection of the environment.

Tiling was the natural choice for the décor of the three bathrooms and sauna included in their plans. This would create the right context, and ensure lasting quality, for the anticipated relaxed enjoyment of these facilities.

However, their eco-build vision needed to be reconciled with a variety of individual challenges from each of the rooms. Some related to the different tiling backgrounds, and to proposed additional installations such as under tile heating. Others concerned the variety of tile types and sizes to be used to create each distinctive design.

All this called for specialist expertise and guidance to ensure correct specification as well as quality, value and peace of mind. The designers knew from previous experience how this could be assured: BAL products were to be used throughout, from priming to grouting including BAL Single Part Fastflex (elastomeric tile adhesive) and BAL Superflex (flexible tile grout for walls).

A BAL Product Support Technician made a site inspection. The required products were duly defined in an M40 Specification.

At the core of this specification was the desire to minimise the use of concrete, a primary raw material of most tiling adhesives and a recognised pollutant.

As a pioneering market leader, BAL was able to provide a more eco-friendly option: BAL Fastflex.

This is part of the BAL “Go Greener” range of specialist products. Like all BAL products, these are high performance and easy-to-use adhesives and grouts. However, they are specially formulated with alternative recycled fillers, which help minimise the carbon footprint of tiling.

To continue this environmentally-friendly solution, BAL Microcolour grout was used in all tiled rooms. This efflorescence-free, fast-setting grout is formulated without OPC cement, and produces a smooth, long-lasting finish.

The tiler, a veteran professional with 24 years experience, hailed the designers’ decision to specify BAL throughout: “You just don’t get the quality or backup from anyone else.”