We’ve got it covered

BAL – market-leaders in full tiling solutions – have launched two new uncoupling mat solutions for problem floors.

Following the launch of the revolutionary and award-winning BAL Rapid-Mat in 2014, the Flexbone range offers two very different solutions to the UK market with the launch of Flexbone 2Easy and Flexbone VAried.

Unique to the UK, and bound to excite fixers, contractors and distributors alike, BAL Flexbone 2Easy is a floating mat system – where NO adhesive is needed underneath the mat system i.e. the mat is truly uncoupled.

David Wilson, UK Head of Technical at BAL said: “Because no adhesive is required, preparation of the substrate is reduced to a quick sweep of the floor. 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.

“It can also be used direct onto difficult substrates such as bitumen, fresh sand:cement screeds or new anhydrite screeds that are not fully cured (up to 1.5% CM residual moisture). Lengthy waiting times on new screeds can be avoided with no more projects on hold while new screeds are dry enough to be tiled directly, or fixed with a traditional bonded system.

“Fast track installation in possible as any residual moisture in the substrate is distributed evenly through a system of channels and can also ventilate via the covering joints through perforations in the mat.”

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 circa 50% time saving.

Because BAL Flexbone 2Easy is laid loose as a floating system, it is perfect for heritage projects where it is necessary to protect historic, sensitive substrates, plus areas where the ability to change the floor regularly is a requirement – e.g. rental properties.

BAL Flexbone VAried is a bonded mat system, with the same installation process as other fixed cavity mat systems in the market.

Unique to BAL Flexbone is the 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, while a special fleece provides for vapour pressure compensation.

“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,” added David Wilson.

“Fixer trials have shown that the unique bone-shaped cavities are much easier and faster to fill with adhesive than the conventional square or round cavities.

“Less adhesive is required on the mat surface, and trials indicate adhesive can be spread on the mat surface circa. 30% faster.”

BAL Flexbone VAried can be used anywhere – for a varied number of installation environments!

BAL Flexbone VAried provides a waterproof layer, meaning no tanking is needed in wet areas such as bathrooms, showers and wetrooms when BAL Flexbone VAried is installed.

The bonded mat is perfect for high load-bearing and commercial areas such as shopping malls, airports, car showrooms, office building and hospitals, as well as light or medium traffic areas.

Both mats are available in 20m rolls or easy to install 2x1m sheets (ideal for small bathrooms) or wetrooms – and are suitable for use with all tile types, including natural stone.

As with all BAL products, BAL Flexbone uncoupling mats come with the manufacturer’s unique 25-year guarantee – unlike other cavity mats available.

When used with BAL adhesives, grouts, and sealants, this provides a fully guaranteed tiling system.

BAL launches new improved epoxy grout

BAL have launched a new improved epoxy grout specifically for floor tiling installations.

Available in new Smoke and Ebony colours, BAL Floor Epoxy is a three-part hygienic impervious epoxy resin grout for floors.

With a resin-based formulation comprising liquid resin, liquid hardener and powder filler, BAL Floor Epoxy offers numerous benefits for the contractor as it is particularly recommended for large-scale commercial projects.

Because the filler is available as a separate component, other colours are available to order on a project-by-project basis* to match your tiles or chosen colour-scheme.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “Hard-wearing and offering high resistance to abrasion and impact, BAL Floor Epoxy providing protection against bacteria and chemical attack making it perfect for installations including food preparation/processing plants, swimming pools/sports and leisure centres, shopping malls/supermarkets, hospitals and industrial/chemical plants.

“The ability to provide bespoke colours for this product makes it particularly attractive for specifiers and contractors on large commercial projects where aesthetics are vital.”

For joint widths up to 20mm, BAL Floor Epoxy cures in 24 hours and has a pot life of 60 minutes, meaning fewer mixes are needed producing cost and time savings.

What’s more, it is also suitable as a tile adhesive for chemical plants with metallic backgrounds, and for areas requiring chemical resistance.

*Minimum order quantities apply

BAL strengthens sales and specification support team

BAL – the market-leading manufacturer of full tiling solutions including adhesives, grouts and ancillary products – have bolstered their specification and sales team with two new hires.

James Purrett

James Purrett joins the team as Specification Manager covering the Midlands and Wales. He has extensive experience in the bathroom sector, joining BAL from Venesta – the washroom and cubicles company – where he worked for six years as Specification Manager.

James’ previous roles include Design Engineer at Washroom Accessory Company and Product Designer at Venesta, Amwell & Bushboard. He is also a qualified CAD Technician and worked on large scale projects including the M1 widening scheme.

Also joining BAL is John Hunter who will work in Specification and Sales in Scotland. Edinburgh-based, John has more than 20 years-experience in the tiling sector including more than 16 years with Johnson Tiles.

John Hunter

John has strong relationships with contractors, distributors, regional developers, and architects across Scotland and NE England and joins BAL from Capital Tile Supplies.

James and John will work with architects, designers and specifiers supporting them on M40/M20 specifications, providing project support and delivering BAL’s suite of RIBA-approved CPDs.

John will also work with BAL’s distribution network in Scotland to boost sales and support fixers and contractors working with the company’s products.

David Lyman, Sales Director at BAL said: “We’re delighted to welcome James and John to the team as part of our continued development and investment in the specification and sales team to support all stakeholders in delivering long-lasting and high-quality tiling projects across the whole of the UK.

“This investment confirms BAL’s position as a leading commercial projects brand, providing high quality tiling product and providing a host of support services for distributors, designers and architects to assist them from design to build.”

BAL has several free tools available to architects and specifiers to assist them from project start to completion including the company’s industry-renowned free and dedicated Technical Advisory and Specification Service (TAS) for technical queries and Sample Testing Service to ensure the correct selection of tiles and fixing products during the specification process.

Specifiers and architects can also take advantage of BAL’s comprehensive online tools and support including BIM library, fast track project advice, grout selector, industry news, technical tips and more. Simply visit www.bal-adhesives.com/specifiers

BAL can provide a solution for any background, environment or tile material and is trusted throughout the industry for its quality and lasting performance.

Microban – protection against mould and nasties

Tiled surfaces are ideal throughout any building. Durable, aesthetically pleasing and suitable for all dry, wet and hygiene areas. In areas like showers, bathrooms and kitchens, the humid conditions together with soaps and food residues can be the perfect environment for bacteria, mould and mildew to survive and thrive.

Microban technology helps keep bathrooms, showers and all tiled environments cleaner and fresher.

Only BAL’s range of grouts and sealants developed exclusively with global leader Microban technology will provide protection against black mould AND potentially harmful microbes and bacteria.

Because the Microban technology it is in-built within the BAL formulation’s, Microban protection provides continuous antibacterial and antifungal protection that lasts the lifetime of the products, helping to create a cleaner, fresher and more efficient building application.

Other products in the UK market promote hygiene ranges of grouts and sealants but these only actually claim to be anti-mould. They do not offer the anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of BAL’s Microban range of grouts and sealants; including BAL Micromax2, BAL Microflex and BAL Micromax Sealant.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “As market-leaders in full tiling solutions, we are proud to offer a range of innovative products such as grouts and sealants with in-built Microban technology.

“We are the only tiling brand in the UK to offer finishing products which can provide protection against black mould AND potentially harmful microbes and bacteria.

“When microbes and bacteria come in contact with the product surface, Microban protection penetrates the cell wall of the microorganism and disrupts the cell, making the microorganism unable to grow and reproduce.

“What’s more, Microban protection is incorporated into the product formulation in the manufacturing process meaning it never leaves the product, keeping your tiling protected and looking great.”

Important changes to BS 5385-1 Wall and Floor Tiling

As part of the five-year review of British Standards and reflecting changes within the tiling industry since 2009 – BS 5385 Part 1: 2018 has now been published.

One significant change made was to exclude the use of plywood as a background material for the direct fixing of ceramic wall and natural stone tiles.

Clause 6.1.2.7 Other sheets and boards (see also 6.2.3.3) now states:
“The use of sheets or boards that are subject to movement from changes in moisture content should be avoided. Plywood and other wood-based sheets or boards should not be used for direct tiling”.

A significant uplift in the use of tile backer boards – such as BAL Board – and a wide variation in quality of plywood available on the market has provided a solid case for the removal of plywood from the standards.

David Wilson, UK Head of Technical Services at BAL and member of the TTA Technical Committee said: “Previously it was recognised in BS5385 Part 1: 2009 that tiling direct to plywood was possible, providing this was restricted to small areas and be “installed in such a way that they provide a dimensionally stable and rigid background” the quality of plywood for tiling purposes has decreased significantly with cheaper imports flooding the market.

“While higher quality external grade plywood is still available – it is significantly more expensive.

“It is important to consider though that that wood is a hygroscopic material which means that its moisture content will change dependent upon any changes in the environmental conditions on site. Therefore, dimensionally stability of wood-based boards cannot be assured there is always a risk to installing ceramic or natural stone tiles onto plywood or other wood-based sheets,

Another technical consideration for wall tiling is weight restrictions. Plywood is deemed to have a maximum weight of tiling per m² of 30 kg compared to proprietary tile backing boards which generally are capable of supporting heavier weights per m² of tiling (As per table 3 of BS 5385-1: 2018 and the TTA Internal Ceramic Tiling to Sheets and Board Substrates document 2016).

“A competitive tile backing board market means that prices are more attractive to tile fixers and contractors. This combined with the additional features and benefits of providing background for tiling which are dimensionally stable and resistant to moisture and thermal movement. “

However, while plywood is not recommended as a background for direct wall tiling, it can still be used as a structural board when overlaid with a suitable tile backing board, particularly where installation of mechanical fixings is required e.g. for mesh backed natural stone where it is not possible to remove 75% or of the mesh backing.

 Other changes to BS standards.

Previously in internal dry wall areas it was recommended that tile adhesive should cover a minimum of 50% coverage spread evenly over the back of the tile. However, driven by necessity, with the increase in the size and types of tiles i.e. larger formats and thin ceramic panels, now available of the market, BS 5385-1: 2018 advises: “Tiles with a surface area of less than 0.1 m², but which weigh more per square metre than 70% of the background’s capacity to carry the weight, should be solidly bedded e.g. the maximum weight of tile that can be supported by Gypsum plaster = 20 kg; whereas 9 mm thick porcelain tiles, which weigh approximately 18 kg/m², weigh more than 70% of 20 kg (14 kg) therefore, they should be solidly bedded regardless of their size”

Included within the scope of BS 5385-1: 2018 are large format ceramic tiles, ceramic panels i.e. tiles with a surface area >1m² (any edge length >1200 mm) and thin tiles i.e. ceramic tiles and panels with a panel thickness of ≤ 5.5 mm. To reflect this, additional changes have also been made in the minimum recommended grout joint width, dependent on the tile/panel size, e.g. the minimum grout widths vary by tile facial area – an example as follows:

  • For tiles with a facial area of less than 0.1m² with no side > 600mm long, a minimum joint width of 2mm is required.
  • Tiles with a facial area 0.1m² to 1m² with no side>1200mm long, a minimum joint width of 3 mm is required.

And

  • Joints between ceramic panels should be increased pro-rata to panel size (e.g. for a 3m long ceramic panels the minimum required joint width between these panels is 5mm.

Not included in the scope of BS 5385-1: 2018 are:

  • Natural Stone Slabs i.e. stone which is more than 12mm thick,
  • Agglomerate stone,
  • Metal, plastic resin, mirror or glass tiles of a similar construction

For these products it is recommended to always refer to the manufacturer of these products for further advice.

For more information please contact BAL Technical Advisory Service on 03330 030160.

BAL takes delivery of new branded trucks

Coming soon to a road near you!

As part of their drive for increased awareness across the UK, BAL – the market-leaders in full tiling solutions – have taken delivery of new truck trailers emblazoned in the manufacturer’s distinct red BAL branding.

The trucks – which also feature BAL’s “We know tiling inside + out” slogan – are being rolled out in the coming weeks in collaboration with Browns Group, the company’s haulage partner.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL said: “You won’t be able to miss our big red machines as they make their way from our factory in Stoke-on-Trent delivering high quality adhesives, grouts and tiling products to our network of near 750 stockists across the UK from Penzance to Inverness.

“The BAL brand is an iconic tiling brand having been founded in 1962, and these new lorry liveries will continue to showcase it across the UK.”

BAL are also running a competition on Twitter and Facebook where users can win a BAL goodie pack if they spot one of the lorries out on the road and send in a photo – if it’s safe to do so, of course.

Simply tweet your photo to @BALtiling or post it on BAL’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/BALtiling/.

BAL strengthens sales team with two new hires

BAL have strengthened their sales team with the appointments of Todd Misselbrook and Mark Blamires.

Todd joins BAL as Area Sales Manager for the South East and Mark joins as Specification Manager for the North respectively.

Mark Blamires

Hailing from Southampton, Todd has a vast amount of experience as an Area Sales Manager and has recently joined from Instarmac Group PLC where he looked after the Ultra Tile brand across the South East.

Before joining Instarmac, Todd spent 11 years as Area Sales Manager for Lyreco UK Ltd.

Todd will work with distributors, contractors and fixers in the South East, helping to drive through sales and brand awareness.

Todd Misselbrook

Mark is from West Yorkshire and has recently joined us from CTD Architectural Tiles (formally Swedecor) where he was an Area Sales Manager.

Previously with Porcelanosa, Mark also spent 15 years at Jacuzzi Group.

Mark will work closely with architects, specifiers, contractors, sub-contractors and fixers to deliver full tiling solutions and specifications for commercial and domestic projects across the North of England.

David Lyman, Sales Director at Building Adhesives Ltd, said: “I am delighted to welcome two highly experienced sales and specification specialists into our sales team.

“Both Todd and Mark know tiling inside and out and I am confident they will deliver outstanding support to our distribution partners, contractors, architects and end users.”

Former Tile Fixer of the Year joins BAL

BAL – the UK’s market leader in full tiling solutions – have appointed Andy Oates as Product Support Technician (PST) for the London and the South East.

Andy Oates

Sean Page

In 2015 Andy was named as The Tile Association (TTA) Tile Fixer of the Year and joins BAL after nearly 20 years in the tiling industry.

Qualifying with a NVQ Level 2 from Lambeth College, Andy began his tiling career with Moderna before joining Wilson & Wylie Contracts Ltd and then Stortford Tiling and Marble. In 2016 he founded Woodford Tiling which provided full tiling services for both residential and commercial tiling.

Andrew is joined in the Product Support Team by Sean Page who will work with fixers, contractors and distributors in East Anglia.

Sean, from Colchester, spent more than 10 years as a professional tiler with his own business Kabenza Tiling, developing his business and customer base from scratch and working in both the domestic and commercial markets.

Founded more than 20 years ago by the market-leaders for full tiling solutions, the PST concept is an integral focus of the many support services BAL provides to tilers, contractors and distributors. The nationwide team provide on-site consultancy and training, resolving any issues found prior to or during tiling work, as well as advice online and on the phone. They have many years of tiling experience between them and are highly regarded throughout the industry for their technical expertise.

Commenting on the appointments, Lewis Lupton, BAL PST Manager said: “I am delighted to welcome two highly experienced tiling professionals into our industry-respected product support team.

“Andrew and Sean know tiling inside and out and have the skills and knowledge to provide detailed on-site product and project support to all of our customers.”

To find out more BAL’s technical support services visit www.bal-adhesives.com/about-us/support/

BowWoW BAL

BAL – market leaders in full tiling solutions – have teamed up with international mosaic artist Natalie Guy for art and design charity fundraising project BowWow Haus London 2018.

BowWow Haus London is a fundraising and creative collaboration between pet charity Blue Cross, American not-for-profit organisation Outdoor Arts Foundation and photographer Drew Gardener.

A network of architects, designers and artists – including Natalie – are creating bespoke dog kennels to be displayed throughout London for the first ever auction of artistic dog kennels in Britain.

More than 75 one-off dog kennels will go on show at several London venues, including St Pancras International and will be available to buy at a charity gala auction on 26th April or via online bids.

Inspirational names already on board include the internationally famous Zaha Hadid Architects, and multi-award winning designers Denizen Works.

Natalie has designed a teepee shaped dog kennel featuring over 540 mosaic white flowers and buds, inspired by spring.  The kennel has been grouted in BAL Micromax2 Gunmetal, kindly donated by the Stoke-on-Trent-based manufacturer.

Rapid-setting and highly flexible, BAL Micromax2 is formulated with built-in Microban antimicrobial protection. Suitable for walls and floors, for joint widths from 1mm to 20mm, BAL Micromax2 sets in two to three hours, enabling faster completion. An efflorescence-free formulation also minimises any risk of patchy discolouration.

Natalie said: “I have mosaiced this uniquely designed dog kennel with over 2,500 hand cut petals to form this delicate design. I used BAL Micromax2 grout as it offers the perfect solution for grouting the 1mm spacing at the centre of the flower, but also allows me to grout the bigger spaces between the flowers. No other grout offers this performance and it is a dream to use. I have used this grout for all mosaic projects including much bigger commercial mosaics and wouldn’t use anything else now”

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support Natalie in this fantastic project supporting Blue Cross which helps sick, injured, abandoned and homeless pets each year.

“Natalie’s dog kennel looks absolutely stunning, and with BAL Micromax2 Grout providing the perfect finish, we’re sure it will stand out from the crowd and pull in a big bid at the auction.”

New number for BAL Technical Advisory Service

BAL have launched a new phone number for their Technical Advisory and Specification Service (TAS).

The new number – 0330 030160 – replaces BAL’s previous 0845 number and costs no more than calls to geographic numbers and are included in free call packages from mobiles or landlines.

BAL TAS can also be contacted through the standard 01782 591120 number.

Handling approximately 50,000 calls a year, BAL TAS provides free assistance, advice and specifications for all aspects of tiling installation to professional fixers, tiling contractors, architects and homeowners. Whether assistance is required on a particularly complex tiling design, or simple product advice, BAL experts are available on the phone or via https://www.bal-adhesives.com/ask-an-expert-form/

What’s more, the team will provide assistance whatever the material used, from any manufacturer.

One of the first technical advisory services to be set up in the country, BAL TAS offers support like no other brand because they are backed by more than 50 years of heritage by tiling experts with many years’ experience and expertise in tiling and construction.

As well as offering a comprehensive technical advisory service, BAL also provide on-site project support through it’s nationwide team of Product Support Technicians (PSTs).

BAL is the only UK tile adhesive manufacturer to have specialist PSTs. BAL PSTs offer practical knowledge, project advice and training on the phone, online and on the road.

For more information visit https://www.bal-adhesives.com/about-us/support/

Simon and Geoff join support team

BAL have appointed Simon Harding and Geoff Cavell to its sales team.

Simon joins BAL as Area Sales Manager (ASM) for the East Anglia and the Home Counties. Based in Colchester, Simon will work with BAL distributors and other customers to develop the BAL product range and provide a first port of call.

Simon Harding

With an extensive career in the tiling industry, Simon has worked for companies including Solus Ceramics, Ceramic Tile Distributors (CTD) and Colchester Tiles. He joins BAL from Johnson Tiles where he worked with the housebuilding sector in the south.

Also joining BAL is Geoff Cavell as a Product Support Technician (PST) for the Midlands. Worksop-based Geoff has worked in the tiling sector since leaving school, initially as an apprentice working for his father’s tiling business and then taking over the reins a few years ago as owner of the business.  He has been a keen user of BAL adhesives and will bring his practical tiling skills to his new role as PST.

Geoff Cavell

Geoff will work alongside Kieron Birch, BAL ASM for the Midlands, providing support and training to distributors as well as providing on-site support and technical advice for contractors and tilers.

Founded more than 20 years ago by the market-leaders for full tiling solutions, the PST concept is an integral focus of the many support services BAL provides to tilers, contractors and distributors. The nationwide team provide on-site consultancy and training, resolving any issues found prior to or during tiling work, as well as advice online and on the phone. They have many years of tiling experience between them and are highly regarded throughout the industry for their technical expertise.

Geoff succeeds Martin Pouncey who has joined sister brand Dunlop as Technical Support Manager.

Commenting on the appointments, David Hackett, General Manager said: “I’m delighted to welcome Simon and Geoff into our sales team. Both have extensive experience in the tiling industry and will significantly enhance our ability to provide an outstanding support service to our distribution partners, contractors and end users.”

BAL & CTi join forces for DIY SOS

BAL has joined forces with Tile & Stone Gallery part of the Ceramic Tiles Ltd Group based in Ipswich to provide tiles, adhesives and grout to help BBC DIY SOS improve the home of Simon Dobbin – who was left with brain damage after an unprovoked attack by football thugs.

Credit: East Anglian Daily Times

In March 2015, Simon was set upon by a group of 25 men after watching his team Cambridge United play away at Southend United in Essex.

The brutal attacked left Simon fighting for his life after a stroke and bleed on the brain which left him with permanent brain damage.

Thirteen men were subsequently convicted for the attack and jailed for more than 42 years in total.

Earlier this year the BBC issued a call-out for volunteers to donate their skills, time efforts and companies to donate materials to help the DIY SOS team make much needed renovations to Simon’s home in Mildenhall, Suffolk.

After hearing of the call, Jonathan Newton Tile & Stone Gallery Senior Manager from the Ceramic Tiles Group kindly agreed to be the tile supplier with Johnsons supplying tiles. BAL were subsequently approached and kindly agreed to supply Micromax2 Grout, Rapid-Flex One adhesive and White Star Plus adhesive for the project.

Taking nine days, the work included a downstairs extension and bespoke care provision Mr Dobbin needs.

Before the completion of the project, Nicola Dobbin, Simon’s wife and full time carer said: “I’m totally and utterly overwhelmed by all the offers of help.

“I’m very excited that Simon will now have the space he deserves.

“The changes that will be made to the house will improve not only Simon’s life, but ours as a family.”

Jonathan Newton said: “Having grown up in the area I was already aware of the awful injuries inflicted on Simon and the effect this had on him and his family.  As soon as the company became aware that the DIY SOS team were involved we immediately wanted to help and after speaking to my Managing Director, Nick Braybrooke, we decided to do whatever we could. This story shows the generosity of people and it’s pleasing to see how willing so many people have been to give up their time and resources to help others in need.”

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL added: “This is a great example of local tradespeople and companies coming together to help give Simon the home that he deserves.

“We were delighted to be able to provide the adhesive and grout for this great project that will improve the life of Simon and his family.”

A date when the programme will be aired has not yet been revealed.

Full on performance with new BAL Rapid-Flex One

New from BAL, Rapid-Flex One is a high-performance S1 tile adhesive that provides fixers with superior qualities to get the job done on time and on budget.

Fast, strong and flexible, BAL Rapid-Flex One is an ultimate all-round adhesive with extended 30 minutes open time and 60 minutes working time – giving fixers speed but crucially all the control – and is still ready to grout in just 3 hours!

Formulated with FST for enhanced performance, a super smooth consistency provides easier and faster spreading.  With superb flexibility and just one white colour for use on any installation, it’s truly the Number One rapidset adhesive!

As well as a high-performance formulation, BAL Rapid-Flex One comes with BAL’s unique 25-year written guarantee. This means when used correctly, BAL Rapid-Flex One won’t let you down.

Every adhesive, grout, preparation product, sealant: every single product bearing the BAL name is guaranteed for a quarter of a century, subject to the usual ‘correct use’ conditions.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL said: “Replacing BAL’s stable of rapid-setting adhesives with just one white adhesive could be seen as a bold move – but BAL Rapid-Flex One ticks all the boxes as an all-in-one rapid-setting adhesive that gives fixers and contractors everything they need for perfect tiling at the great value cost of a standard grey flexible adhesive.

“With improved flexibility and deformability, BAL Rapid-Flex One really needs to be seen to be believed – so take it for a test drive today.”

Race Ahead With BAL

To celebrate the launch of BAL Rapid-Flex One, BAL are giving away great racing prizes and merchandise.

To see the great prizes, giveaways and other goodies visit www.bal-adhesives.com/win

BAL Pourable One

Now also available from BAL is Pourable One – the new and improved alternative to BAL Stone & Tile PTB.

With all the same great benefits; BAL Pourable One is also available as just a white adhesive – meaning that only one bag is needed – making it the perfect pourable solution for floor installations.

Suitable for internal or external use, it is perfect for large format and natural stone tiles and can be grouted in only three hours for fast track installations.

Highly flexible, it can be used with underfloor or undertile heating and at 25mm bed depth in one application – ideal for patch repair and uncalibrated stone.

The Ultimate Defensive Line-Up

 

Two great new preparations products from BAL

BAL tiling solutions have expanded their portfolio with two new preparation products to provide fixers, contractors and specifiers with strong and protected backgrounds for fail-safe tiling.

For the first time ever, BAL have introduced a new lightweight tile backer board for all internal environments. BAL Board is a moisture and water-resistant alternative to plasterboard and timber and helps tilers tackle problem walls and floors when fixing tiles. Easy to cut and install, it provides a solid base for tiling.

BAL is also introducing to its line-up BAL DPM – a new multi-purpose damp proof membrane, waterproofer and primer for use on walls and floors. BAL DPM is suitable for use on screeds with up to 98% RH readings (Hygrometer), or up to 87% RH on anhydrite screeds (or as per the screed manufacturers recommendations). BAL DPM provides a great defence against damp, moisture vapour and chemical attack.

BAL Board stands out from the scrum by being 15-35% lighter per m2 than similar cement-based products. No specialist cutting tools, fixings or screws are required for installations.

A specialist magnesium oxide tile backer board, BAL Board can proudly provide BBA approval and is manufactured under strict ISO approved quality control procedures to provide superior performance against all other backer boards.

Because it can be simply cut with a craft /utility knife or sharp blade, and then screw fixed with standard stainless steel or hot dipped galvanised screws (to timber studwork) – rather than using specialist tools – costs are significantly reduced.

What’s more, as well as ease of use, it provides Health & Safety benefits for the fixer with minimal dust when cutting.

BAL Board is water and mould resistant and will not swell, rot or degrade over time making it ideal for wetrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and wet areas in leisure facilities. It is also suitable for use with underfloor heating.

BAL Board is perfect for fixing large format wall or floor tiles. With a weight tolerance up to 100kg per m2, it’s the strongest board on the market with a superior weight tolerance than plasterboard or timber based sheets.

Available in 6mm and 12mm thickness, the 1200 x 600mm sized boards are easy to carry and transport.

New BAL DPM is a multi-purpose one-coat DPM, primer and moisture vapour suppressant that provides an impenetrable barrier against damp and moisture vapour on floors AND walls up to 98% Relative Humidity (RH).

BAL DPM is resistant to water, chemicals, grease and pollutants, and can be used internally or externally either as a DPM, primer, waterproofer or residual moisture vapour suppressant.

As a one coat primer with aggregate, it kicks into touch any problems with tiling onto difficult substrates as it aids adhesion onto steel, masonry and flooring grade asphalt.

New BAL DPM can be used on sand:cement screeds, power floated concrete and exiting tiles on walls and floor for basements below the water table. What’s more, it can also be used on anhydrite screeds with up to 87% RH, meaning less waiting and quicker tiling for fast track installations.

BAL DPM can also be utilised as an easy two-coat waterproofing system for walls and floors – perfect for use internally or for BAL external tiling systems.

As a residual moisture vapour suppressant, BAL DPM protects the floor covering from moisture and allows the controlled passage of moisture vapour protecting both the adhesive and the tiled surface.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “These two new products represent a real first for BAL and help fixers, contractors and specifiers tackle problem builds head-on.

“Both BAL Board and BAL DPM have been introduced after extensive trials with fixers to provide leading solutions.

“These two new systems are real game changer and further extend BAL’s full system solutions for tiling – all with a 25-year written guarantee – and the free BAL services of on-site consultancy, product support and industry-leading technical support.”

For more information on BAL Board and BAL DPM visit www.bal-adhesives.com/newproducts

BAL Product Support team named as top-10 flooring service

BAL’s team of Product Support Technicians (PSTs) have been named as one of the top-10 best flooring products or services in the UK following a public vote.

CFJ Awards Top 10

BAL PSTs were one of 50 products and services shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Contract Floors Awards 2017 after being nominated for the awards by readers of the magazine. It is the only product or service from the tiling industry that has made the Top-10.

Founded more than 20 years ago by the market-leaders for full tiling solutions, the PST concept is an integral focus of the many support services BAL provides to tilers, contractors and distributors. The nationwide team provide on-site consultancy and training, resolving any issues found prior to or during tiling work, as well as advice online and on the phone. They have many years of tiling experience between them and are highly regarded throughout the industry for their technical expertise.

The BAL PST service is completely free and available across the UK for tiling professionals. It is also one of the many support services available to members of BAL’s new partnership programme – YOU+BAL.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “To be named in the Top-10 is a fantastic recognition of the outstanding service that our Product Support Technicians provide to our partners – whether tilers, contractors, or distributors. The short-list and voting process is completely independent and based on reader’s votes and therefore highlights the benefit that the readers truly recognise from this service. Many congratulations to our fantastic team out there on the road.”

For more information on BAL’s Product Support Service visit https://www.bal-adhesives.com/contractors/support/

Building Adhesives attends UK manufacturing awards

Building Adhesives Ltd represented the tiling industry at a nationwide celebration of the best of UK manufacturing at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2016.

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The company, which manufactures tile adhesives, grouts, sealants and other ancillary tiling products under the BAL and Dunlop brands, was shortlisted in three categories for Sustainable Manufacturing, Supply Chain Excellence and Through-Life Engineering Services.

Building Adhesives took their place alongside internationally-renowned companies such as Caterpillar, McLaren Automotive, Siemens, JCB and Coca-Cola at the awards ceremony in Birmingham hosted by impressionist Rory Bremner.

David Hackett, General Manager at Building Adhesives Ltd, said: “It was an honour and a privilege for BAL to attend the awards ceremony again and represent the UK tiling industry alongside so many household global names with manufacturing in the UK.

“To be shortlisted in three categories was a tremendous achievement and highlights how we are committed as a company to not only maintaining but improving our high standards in manufacturing technology, sustainability and supply chain management.

“Still based at our original manufacturing site in Stoke-on-Trent, we continue to invest heavily in our manufacturing process to ensure as a company we are as efficient and sustainable as possible and also meet the needs of our customers. With multi-million investment in our facilities in the last 2 years we are committed to maintain our market-leading status for tiling solutions in the UK, and to also develop our credentials as a leading manufacturer in the UK, benchmarked against the very best manufacturers from all industries.”

It is was the third time that Building Adhesives have been shortlisted for a Manufacturing MX Award, winning the Business Development and Change Management category in 2014.

To make the shortlist, Building Adhesives went through a rigorous evidence-based process with judges making numerous site visits to the Stoke-on-Trent manufacturer and meeting the key decision makers.

With a combined heritage spanning four decades, The Manufacturer MX Awards was formed in 2015 by the merger of two of the industry’s existing awards programmes: The Manufacturer of the Year Awards, run by The Manufacturer and the Manufacturing Excellence (MX) Awards, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Building Adhesives Ltd appoint David Hackett as GM

Building Adhesives Limited – manufacturers of tile adhesives, grouts, sealants and ancillary tiling, flooring and decorating products under the BAL and Dunlop brands – has recently appointed David Hackett as General Manager.

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Formerly Sales & Marketing Director, David now takes full responsibility for the day-to-day running of the business.

As a founding pioneer of tile installation systems in the UK market, the significance of this heritage remains a key driver for the BAL and Dunlop businesses.

David said: “The market leadership that Building Adhesives enjoys is due to great people, innovative products and a fantastic customer base throughout the UK, all of which are continually evolving to suit the challenges of the day.”

The role of Sales & Marketing Director will remain under David’s control to continue an active day-to-day involvement in the customer facing side of the business.  Peter Bell will remain Managing Director of the ARDEX Group UK businesses.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr Bell said: “Brexit clearly makes for uncertain times, but the fundamentals remain strong in the UK.  I’m sure the high degree of focus from David as General Manager will continue to put Building Adhesives in a strong position to meet the needs of the market.”

BAL & YTC support literacy charity

BAL have provided a range of products to support the development of a new facility in Rotherham for Grimm & Co, a worldwide charity which aims to get children excited about literacy.

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The Rotherham outlet is the first for the charity in the UK outside London. Each store boasts a different concept to inspire the imagination of children, which they then take back with them into school.

The theme for the Rotherham facility focuses around “Master Graham Grimm”, a straight talking Yorkshireman who runs a thriving apothecary, supplying unnatural products and sought after services to magical beings. Jeremy Dyson, a writer and director best known as the non performing member of comedy group The League of Gentlemen is one of the charity ambassadors and has helped write the concept story.

Grimm & Co can be visited by children throughout South Yorkshire, with school classes able to take a workshop where they enter a magical apothecary, learn all about Master Grimm and are then encouraged to write about what they discover.

The charity is reliant upon donations but is also supplemented by an in house apothecary which not only makes a great background to the story but is somewhere you can buy bath salts but not as you know them, they may be called “pinch of happiness” for instance or “made from unicorns”.

The Yorkshire Tile Company, which has branches in Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Doncaster, supplied tiles for the potting shed (girls toilets), the tool shed (boys toilets) and also for the large writers room.

The concept here is that people do their best thinking on the toilet so the writing room has been given a toilet theme, complete with graffiti toilet doors made into desks, seating made out of toilet seats and completed with other quirky styling to finish the look.

Yorkshire Tile have donated more than 40m2 of tiles, with BAL supplying BAL Supercover Rapidset and BAL Green Star tile adhesive, BAL Micromax2 Smoke grout, and BAL Rapid-Mat uncoupling mat.

Hannah Wild, Brand Manager from The Yorkshire Tile Company said: “We’re thrilled to have collaborated with Grimm & Co a charity which truly makes a difference to local children.” “The completed rooms look truly enchanting with our tiles proudly on display and we’ve absolutely no doubt that children will enjoy using the newly revamped facilities for years to come.”

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “We were delighted to be able to support this fantastic charity by donating all the adhesive, grout and our uncoupling mat system for this new venture.

“All the rooms look absolutely stunning and I’m sure they’ll capture the imagination of school children from across the region and inspire them to go on their own literary journeys.”

Building Adhesives shortlisted for 3 manufacturing awards

Building Adhesives Ltd have been shortlisted in The Manufacturer MX Awards 2016.

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The company will now go head-to-head with manufacturers across the country in the Supply Chain Excellence, Sustainable Manufacturing and the Through Life Engineering category which looks for the  company that is delivering high value, long-life and outstanding products with the lowest life cycle cost.

The competition has been exceptionally tough this year, with a 23% increase in the number of entries compared to last year’s programme.

Building Adhesives Ltd, which manufactures tile adhesives, grouts and other ancillary tiling products under the BAL brand, will now undergo the most rigorous judging process of any industry awards in the UK including a site visit in September where judges will witness the company’s manufacturing processes in action and carefully evaluate their findings against the criteria.

The process will conclude at The Manufacturer MX Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner, at The Vox in Birmingham on November 2. Here, manufacturing leaders and the wider industrial community will come together to celebrate the award winners. This is the biggest annual celebration in the industry’s calendar and attracted almost 1,000 attendees in previous years.

Past winners range from SMEs to OEMs and have come from a diverse range of industries, such as automotive, pharmaceutical, and aviation.

It is the third time Building Adhesives have been shortlisted for a Manufacturing MX Award, winning the Business Development and Change Management category in 2014.

Peter Bell, Managing Director at Building Adhesives, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted in three categories and are looking forward to the big event.

“Being shortlisted for a third year in a row is a testament to our investment in our employees, equipment and processes to ensure that we continue to be a forward thinking and sustainable manufacturer that leads the market in our industry.”

Nick Hussey, CEO of the Hennik Group, organisers of TMMX Awards said: “We are delighted to present such a robust shortlist of wonderful manufacturing businesses. In several categories, entries are double those of 2015, and the total number of companies entering is up by almost 25%, with many companies entering multiple categories. To me, this demonstrates the breadth of their all-round manufacturing excellence.

“All the shortlisted companies should be extremely proud that they have been selected against so much strong competition. The entry and shortlisting process is far more rigorous and evidence-based than any other industry awards programme and making it to the finals is a huge achievement. I’m looking forward to the site visits and meeting the individuals behind these extraordinary companies.”

Red Sky Thinking from BAL for fail safe external tiling

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BAL – market-leaders in full tiling solutions – have launched a new problem-solving external tiling system for balconies, roof terraces and ground terraces.

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Gutjahr System Technology from BAL offers designers and contractors innovative drainage, ventilating and uncoupling solutions to protect outdoor coverings against the unpredictable British weather and extremes such as rain, frost and heat.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “External tiling is a fast-growth segment in the UK as the trend for inside / outside living thrives. BAL are excited to confirm our new range of products for a proven system-solution in this sector are now available to the market.

“The new products represent a complete new range of solutions for the BAL portfolio and work as a system with current BAL preparation, adhesive, grout and sealant products. This means for the first time architects, designers and contractors are provided with a true ‘one-stop-shop’ for balconies, terraces and external ground floors.

“Beyond ‘blue-sky’ thinking, the new solution provides a proven and trusted system to avoid frost damage, staining and water damage when using tiles externally. The system can also reduce the weight loading on a balcony by utilising thinner assemblies, lighter materials and limiting water absorption and retention, which in turn reduces water loading.”

Gutjahr are a sister company of BAL, with a proven track record of delivering trouble-free coverings across Europe from large prestigious commercial projects including Amsterdam Library, The Palace of Hambach, and the Weimar National Theatre to smaller domestic projects over the last 25 years. Gutjahr are also the inventors of the passive capillary AquaDrain® surface drainage system. Complete with ProFin® edge profiles, AquaDrain® drain grates and ProRin® guttering, the patented systems are simple to install and provide rapid, immediate and high volume drainage of water.

By removing the water, you are taking away the biggest threat to the tiled assembly and protecting the long term integrity of the floor assembly and covering. Problems such as cracking due to the freeze/thaw cycle, staining, warping, efflorescence and even weed growth on loosely laid tiles or slabs is inevitable if surface water is able to penetrate below the tiled surface and is unable to be drained effectively.

Among the systems on offer from BAL include Thin Drainage Assembly for direct point adhesion for break-proof coverings, Standard Drainage Screed Assembly for the solid bed fixing of ceramic, porcelain and natural stone and concrete paving, and a Thin, Lighter Weight Drainage Screed Assembly with an epoxy screed for a strong but comparatively lightweight build-up compared to conventional systems.

Both the Standard Drainage and Thin assemblies include the AquaDrain® passive capillary drainage mat which has a unique permeable mesh, raising the complete surface and offering a higher drainage volume compared to other drainage mortar and mat systems.

With a collective 80 years of commercial tiling experience, incorporation of the Gutjahr range within the BAL portfolio ensures a guaranteed, full-system solution for external installations from the UK market-leader.
BAL is introducing a number of Gutjahr products to its portfolio, which combined with its full range of tiles adhesives, grouts and sealants, makes BAL the ONLY full system provider in the UK.

Now available to order or specify, Gutjahr System Technology represents new, innovative ideas – a vision shared by BAL.

Don’t feel alone – get free project support from BAL

BAL have a released a series of short videos about how tilers can get free on-site project support.

The new videos, available on BAL’s YouTube channel, or sent directly to YOU + BAL partners, highlight how BAL’s Product Support Technicians (PST) provide hands-on, personal support for all tiling industry professionals across the UK.

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Founded more than 20 years ago, the PST concept is unique to BAL, which has placed strong emphasis on support throughout its history.

The BAL PST service is available to for free across the UK for tiling professionals and is also one of the many support services available to members of BAL’s new partnership programme – YOU+BAL. As well as access to product support, YOU+BAL gives fixers and contractors a wider range of business development tools, business support tools, training and rewards.

Gary Knowles, BAL Product Support Manager, said: “When you’re out on a job, what you want most is the reassurance that the products you’re using won’t fail. At BAL not only can you trust our products, we back this up with complete product support on the phone, online and on the road at any stage of a project to ensure success. The BAL Product Support Team is available for fixers to benefit from a wider team whenever they need us”

“If you have experienced a problem on your installation, regardless of the product you are using, you can contact our PSTs to offer dependable advice for solutions.   What’s more, being at the forefront of the industry we can also provide training – at a BAL or partner location, or even on-site – on specific new technologies and systems to save time and cost, or guide you through more complex installations you may now be working on.”

The full range of BAL support can be seen with the new YOU + BAL partner programme. YOU+BAL welcomes any professional fixer or contractor to become a  BAL Partner with the opportunity to instantly benefit from the full support the company can offer, including access into BAL to develop the products and time-saving tools to help business development.

As a BAL Partner you can get access to;

  • BAL’s unique development programme to test new technology and services.
  • Free business development tools including web profile, homeowner leads, BAL sales aids, case study development and social media promotion.
  • Free business support tools including free specification tools, sample testing service, Apprentice Finder tool and exclusive Forum access.
  • Training courses, including one free course per partner per year at BAL’s Innovation and Technology Centre, local training and free business development workshops.
  • 24/7 technical support with industry leading Technical Advisory Service (TAS), and regional on-site Product Support Technicians.
  • Exclusive rewards and discounts at selected trade events, exclusive product promotions, and free merchandise.

Becoming a BAL Partner is easy, if you haven’t already, simply go to https://www.bal-adhesives.com/y-plus-bal-reg/ and register.

Registered users will receive a welcome pack including their BAL Partner card; their passport to a world of tools, support, training and rewards. The YOU+BAL Partner Card is also the mark of a professional tiler backed by the market-leader in full-tiling solutions.

Going forward, BAL will offer Partners the chance to have greater access inside BAL, enhanced tools and priority support services by becoming Certified Partners and Advanced Certified Partners.

BAL launches new and improved Easypoxy AG

BAL have launched a new and improved formulation of its hygienic waterproof BAL Easypoxy AG epoxy adhesive and grout for walls and floors.

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Chemical-resistant and solvent free, the new formulation provides end users with an epoxy that is much easier to mix, apply and clean-off during installations.

Now available in white, black and grey, BAL Easypoxy AG has an excellent set time of only 12 hours, compared to 24 hours with the previous formulation.

What’s more, the new formulation has an extended pot life of 45 minutes, giving users more time to mix and apply.

Recommended for commercial and domestic installations including kitchens, industrial/chemical plants, showers, swimming pools and other hygienic critical environments, BAL Easypoxy AG is perfect for ceramics, porcelain and fully vitrified tiles, mosaics and glass or translucent tiles including glass mosaics.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing, said: “BAL leads the UK tiling market with our continued focus on innovative solutions and leading performance for our end users. This focus ensures we develop new products with our customer base at the heart of this process.

“This new formulation will provide immense benefits for fixers, contractors and specifiers alike, producing significant time and cost savings and ensuring tiling installations are durable and resistant to the challenges of hygiene critical locations.”

BAL Level Max named as top-10 flooring product

BAL Level Max – the innovative new levelling compound from the market-leaders in full tiling solutions – has been named as one of the top-10 best flooring products in the UK following a public vote.

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The single part self-smoothing compound, which was launched in August last year, was one of 50 products and services shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Contract Floors Awards 2016.

BAL Level Max was nominated for the awards by readers of the magazine.

Formulated with innovative Fibre Strand Technology (FST) for extra strength and flexibility, BAL Level Max is an all-in-one leveller that boasts a maximum bed depth of up to 80mm in a single application – the largest depth in the market – meaning it can easily level backgrounds with varying heights.

What’s more, BAL Level Max only requires a bed depth of 3mm over timber, whereas many alternate products in the UK require a minimum bed depth of 10mm. This means BAL Level Max can provide over three-times more coverage than these products.

Self-smoothing with excellent flow, BAL Level Max has a protein free formulation and is pumpable for large commercial flooring projects.

Product performance recognition is so high with fixers and contractors that BAL Level Max has generated a like-for-like increase in demand of over 400% since launch, compared to all other previous BAL levelling compounds combined.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “For BAL Level Max to be named as one of the top-10 flooring products and services in the UK is a massive achievement, especially as BAL Level Max had only been launched for 3 months before readers selected their favourite innovations.

“The response to the product in the market place has been truly fantastic, and this vote is real recognition of the product’s outstanding features and benefits as an all-in-one product with maximum performance – and especially when considering readers vote for the best products across all flooring product categories, not just levelling compounds.

“Thank you to everyone who voted.”

In addition to outstanding performance, users of BAL Level Max also enjoy market-leading peace of mind on all installations with a complete 25 year guaranteed system solution and unrivalled technical support, including BAL Technical Advisory Service and on-the-road Product Support Technicians for project support from start to finish.

To find out more about BAL Level Max visit www.bal-adhesives.com/products/level-max/

Y+ IS YOU+BAL

It’s what everyone in tiling’s been talking about. It’s been the biggest tease since your teenage crush, but now the team at BAL can finally reveal the true nature of Y+.

Y+BAL is YOU+BAL. Simply, YOU+BAL puts fixers and contractors at the heart of a market-leading team. It’s not just “one thing” – it’s everything.

Since it was formed more than 50 years ago by the British Ceramic Tile Council, BAL have worked with fixers and other professionals in the industry to create innovative products and services to make everyone’s lives that little bit easier.

YOU+BAL is our way of welcoming all fixers and contractors to partner with BAL, because together is stronger.

It’s an even greater opportunity for everyone to be the heartbeat of BAL: to instantly benefit from the full support the company can offer, giving BAL Partners access into BAL to develop the products and time-saving tools to help business development.

As a BAL Partner get access to;

  • BAL’s unique development programme to test new technology and services.
  • Free business development tools including web profile, homeowner leads, BAL sales aids, case study development and social media promotion.
  • Free business support tools including free specification tools, sample testing service, Apprentice Finder tool and exclusive Forum access.
  • Training courses, including one free course per partner per year at BAL’s Innovation and Technology Centre, local training and free business development workshops.
  • 24/7 technical support with industry leading Technical Advisory Service (TAS), and regional on-site Product Support Technicians.
  • Exclusive rewards and discounts at selected trade events, exclusive product promotions, and free merchandise.

Becoming a BAL Partner is easy, if you haven’t already, simply go to www.bal-adhesives.com and register.

Registered users will receive a welcome pack including their BAL Partner card; their passport to a world of tools, support, training and rewards. The YOU+BAL Partner Card is also the mark of a professional tiler backed by the market-leader in full-tiling solutions.

Going forward, BAL will offer Partners the chance to have greater access inside BAL, enhanced tools and priority support services by becoming Certified Partners and Advanced Certified Partners.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “There are many points-based reward  schemes or prize-orientated campaigns, but YOU+BAL is different from all of these and very different to anything BAL have done before. Whilst there are rewards, offers and exclusive discounts given, this is only one small part of YOU + BAL. It is much bigger than this; it is a true partnership programme, bringing tilers, contractors and other professionals into the inner circle of the market-leaders with access to real business development tools and support as well as the chance to shape the future.

“Because with BAL you’re not on your own, and as partners we can work together to help shape the future of tiling with improved fixing results and where possible, an easier life.”

New technology to be previewed at Surface Design Show

Building Adhesives Ltd (BAL) – the market-leading manufacturing of full tiling solutions including adhesives, grouts and ancillary products – is making a welcome return to the Surface Design Show.

BAL, which last exhibited at the UK’s leading surfaces and materials event in 2014, will be showcasing its products and services for the specification market on Stand 610 at this year’s event taking place from 9-11 February 2016 at the Business Design SDS
Centre in Islington, North London.

In 2015 the exhibition attracted more than 5,000 industry professionals and trade visitors to compare and specify the latest product in internal and external surfacing and architectural design.

Founded in 1963 and based in Stoke-on-Trent, BAL has history of providing full fixing solutions for any type of environment, background or tile and is trusted throughout the industry for its quality and lasting performance.

As well as launching a new, innovative product line at the show, BAL will also be highlighting some of its unique business tools for specifiers and architects including its free M40/M20 specification writing service, RIBA-accredited CPDs, and unique Sample Testing Service to help recommend the correct fixing products for new backgrounds and materials.

Alex Underwood, BAL Head of Marketing, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to the Surface Design Show after a year away to highlight our full range of products and services to support the design and build of quality tiling installations.

“We’re especially excited to be introducing a ground-breaking new product line to the market that will revolutionise the design and development of balconies, decking and external areas. The exhibition will give specifiers the opportunity to see the benefits of the range before the full market launch”

Visitors to the stand will also be able to meet members of BAL’s dedicated Specification Support Team, and find out about the tools available to them including Powerspec.com, BAL’s free online specification tool for concise, technically accurate and up-to-date specifications, and BAL Technical Advisory and Specification Service (TAS).

BAL Level Max shortlisted for industry award

BAL Level Max, the game-changing floor levelling compound from the market leaders in full tiling solutions, has been shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Contract Floors Awards 2016.

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BAL Level Max, which is formulated with innovative Fibre Strand Technology (FST) and boasts a maximum bed depth of up to 80mm in a single application, has been nominated by readers of the magazine which is distributed to more than 58,000 tilers, flooring contractors and architects.

All nominated products will feature in the Tomorrow’s Contract Floors Awards 2016 Guide, with an online readers’ vote opening in January.

BAL Level Max combines the benefits of BAL’s levelling expertise to provide users with a complete, all-in-one flooring product for preparing internal floor surfaces for the installation of tiles, natural stone, vinyl or soft furnishings.

Product performance recognition is so high with fixers and contractors that BAL Level Max has generated a like-for-like increase in demand of over 400% since launch, compared to all other previous BAL levelling compounds combined.

BAL Level Max also boasts a maximum bed depth of 80mm in a single application – the largest depth in the market – meaning it easily levels backgrounds with varying heights.

What’s more, BAL Level Max only requires a bed depth of 3mm over timber, whereas many alternate products in the UK require a minimum bed depth of 10mm. This means BAL Level Max can provide over three-times more coverage than these products.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “We’re delighted that BAL Level Max has been shortlisted for this industry accolade. What makes it even more special is the fact the product has been nominated by industry experts.

“Developed in conjunction with tilers and flooring contractors, we truly believe that BAL Level Max meets the needs of the market for an all-in-on leveller that delivers maximum performance without hitting customers in the pocket.

“In addition to outstanding performance, users of BAL Level Max also enjoy market-leading peace of mind on all installations with a complete 25 year guaranteed system solution and unrivalled technical support, including BAL Technical Advisory Service and on-the-road Product Support Technicians for project support from start to finish.”

To find out more about BAL Level Max click here

BAL named as Top-6 firm for sustainable manufacturing

Building Adhesives Ltd has been shortlisted as one of the top-six best performing companies in the UK for sustainable manufacturing.

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Building Adhesives Ltd, which specialises in the development and manufacture of tiling and decorating products, was named as a finalist in The Manufacturer MX Awards 2015, sponsored by the Natwest.

The national awards, run by The Manufacturer magazine and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, celebrated the best in manufacturing excellence across all industries within the UK at a special awards ceremony at The ICC in Birmingham in November.

To be shortlisted, Building Adhesives had to demonstrate a company-wide commitment and proven business case for sustainability.

Judges considered how the business has a sustainable approach to improve commercial performance, competitiveness, employee engagement, and customer and supplier perception. Judges also looked for innovative practices, future sustainability plans and a commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.

Peter Bell, Managing Director at Building Adhesives, said: “Being named as one of the top-six manufacturing companies in the UK for sustainability is a huge achievement for the firm.

“To be shortlisted is evidence of our investment in our employees, equipment, processes and external accreditation to ensure our business activities do not compromise the environment for future generations, and that there is a sustainable demand for our products that meet the needs of the customer (environmentally and in use).”

Nick Hussey, CEO of Hennik Group, publishers of The Manufacturer magazine and organisers of the awards said “It is an incredible achievement to have been shortlisted – these are the largest and most rigorously judged awards in the sector so any company being shortlisted will have provided evidence to the judges of a superior level of understanding of what makes modern UK manufacturing so vibrant and competitive.

“Manufacturing is very much alive and well and the shortlisted companies are exemplars of what advanced manufacturing looks like in terms of sustainability, innovation and world class competitiveness”.

BAL strengthens unique support network

BAL, the market-leading manufacturer of full tiling solutions, has appointed Rushden-based Alan Collins as its Product Support Technician (PST) for East Anglia, strengthening its nationwide technical support and training capability.

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The PST concept is unique to BAL, which has placed strong emphasis on support throughout its history.

Alan’s role focuses on practical training and advice for products and service tools, advising on specification, helping to resolve project issues as well as providing advice on all aspects of professional tiling to fixers, contractors and distributors.

In addition, Alan will provide sales support to distributors across the region increasing brand awareness and driving sales of BAL’s extensive range of tiling and preparation products which are all covered by a unique 25 year guarantee.

Alan has many years’ experience in the tiling industry and joins the company from James Hardie UK, where his role included supporting customers, technical training and sales. Prior to that, he held roles at large national and regional tiling distributors.

Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I’m delighted to join the market-leader in what is an exciting time for the company with the development of innovative products such as BAL Level Max, our new all-in-one levelling compound with FST.  Highly regarded throughout the industry, BAL’s PST network embodies what is good about the company – that is quality products backed up by the technical and practical support that can be trusted. It’s great to be part of that team.”

BAL Product Support Manager, Gary Knowles, said: “BAL was the first adhesive manufacturer to create a nationwide network of Product Support Technicians to provide hands-on, personal support for all tiling industry professionals.

“Alan has a wealth of experience in the tiling industry and his appointment underlines our commitment to investing in leading industry support.”

BAL helps protect 3,000 Amazonian villagers

Nearly 3,000 indigenous villagers and 80,000 trees in the Peruvian rainforest have been protected thanks to a partnership between BAL and Cool Earth – Europe’s fastest growing environmental charity.

Cool Earth works with villagers in South America to prevent rainforests from being cut down. Funding a local trust, Cool Earth makes the local community the legal custodians of the land, and uses community rangers and satellite imagery to monitor and protect the rainforest 24/7 from illegal activity.

Supported by celebrities such as Vivienne Westwood, Ricky Gervais, and Kate Moss, and backed by leading environmentalist such as Sir David Attenborough and Sir Nicholas Stern, the charity institutes sustainable employment programmes, and supports schools and clinics, so that indigenous rainforest communities do not suffer from lost logging income.

As part of its partnership with Cool Earth, BAL funds the protection of one square metre of rainforest in for every square metre of BAL’s tile adhesive range used.

Since partnering with Cool Earth, BAL has helped protect 333 acres and 79,920 trees – locking in 86,580 tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere contributing to global warming and climate change.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL – the UK’s market-leader in tiling solutions – said the company was proud of its environmental commitment and partnership with Cool Earth.

“BAL is proud to be the only company in the tile industry to have become a partner of Cool Earth where fixers, contractors and specifiers using our products are making a measurable difference to protecting the rainforest.

“Thanks to our partnership, 16 indigenous Ashaninka villages in Peru’s Ene Valley have been linked together to shield millions of acres of neighbouring forest from illegal logging and coca which is destroying the forest.

“As well as protecting the local populace, Cool Earth’s ground-breaking work has helped protect 19 endangered species and shelter more than 8,000 species of animal at risk.

“Our partnership with Cool Earth is just part of our commitment to the environment, which also includes setting the highest standards in environmental management through the product life cycle from raw materials sourcing, product manufacture and consumer use.”

So far Cool Earth has already saved over 541,000 acres from deforestation – an area larger than Greater London. Protecting some 129 million trees has prevented over 140 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

To find out more about BAL’s partnership with Cool Earth visit www.coolearth.org/bal

Introducing BAL Micromax2 Anthracite

BAL, the market-leader in tiling solutions, has introduced a new Anthracite shade to extend its Micromax2 range of super-fine, flexible wall and floor grouts. The new Anthracite shade is available in 2.5kg, 5kg and 10kg bags and is also supported with the launch of a colour matched silicone sealant.

The ashen-hued grout is the perfect match for darker tiles that don’t quite pair with Ebony, the darkest shade of the BAL Micromax2 family. As trends for ‘different shades of grey’ grow, the BAL Micromax2 range now offers a full colour spectrum within its pallet of colours.

BAL Micromax2 was developed with fixers and contractors across the country to create the ultimate grout for tiling; a grout that meets every demand of a tiler and their customers.

It’s technologically enhanced formulation ensures enduring good look and consistent colour with no efflorescence, patchiness or shading, even across the largest areas. What’s more, its super smooth formulation allows for easy application into gaps as fine as 1mm, while its super strong and flexible characteristics mean it is suitable for joints as wide as 20mm.

BAL Micromax2 comes with built-in Microban® protection to stop the growth of bacteria and unsightly black mould, to further ensure that perfect results last the lifetime of your tiles.

As well as top product performance, fixers, contractors and specifiers can enjoy the benefits of BAL’s 25 year guarantee, on and off-site project support and expert technical advice to give them peace of mind that their projects will last the test of time.

BAL Micromax2 is also available in White, Manilla, Jasmine, Pebble, Chocolate, Gunmetal, Smoke, Ebony and Cocoa, as well as the new Anthracite.

Get ultimate waterproof protection with BAL Tank-it

Suitable for internal or external waterproofing, BAL Tank-it is the new, ultimate tanking system formulated with innovative technology from the UK’s market-leaders in tiling solutions.

Highly polymer-modified, BAL Tank-it is a two-part, rapid-setting product which provides complete protection and can be tiled after only 90 minutes.

Easy to use, BAL Tank-it can be applied by either simply using a standard 4mm notched trowel and float, brush or roller. As it conforms to BS EN 14891 classification it can also be applied outside for projects including terraces, balconies and fountains. Furthermore, BAL Tank-it is perfect for waterproofing areas of total immersion such as swimming pools, hydrotherapy pools, spas and hot tubs.

With BAL Tank-it no priming is required, producing significant time and cost savings on key installations for tilers and contractors.

BAL Tank-it components – 5kg powder, 5l liquid and 20m scrim tape – are each sold separately allowing ease of use on larger commercial and domestic products.

As well as providing ultimate all-round performance, ultimate workability and ultimate versatility, BAL Tank-it comes with a complete 25 year guarantee when used as part of a full BAL system solution providing market-leading peace of mind on all installations.

Users can also rely on BAL for complete project support. No other brand can offer so much experience and expertise including free technical advice, free on-site consultancy, free training and free specification service.

Now available in stockists nationwide, BAL Tank-it is the revolutionary new waterproofing system for complete protection in any environment, ensuring your projects look great and last the test of time.

Discover more here

Introducing BAL Level Max – the new all-in-one leveller

With innovative Fibre Strand Technology (FST), bed depths up to 80mm in a single application and suitable for use over most bases including timber at 3mm, BAL Level Max levelling compound is the latest innovation from the market-leader in tiling; BAL.

Already received with great acclaim by tilers and flooring contractors, BAL Level Max combines the benefits of BAL’s levelling expertise to provide users with a complete, all-in-one flooring product for preparing internal floor surfaces for the installation of tiles, natural stone, vinyl or soft furnishings.

With a max bed depth of 80mm in a single application – the largest depth in the market –BAL Level Max easily levels backgrounds with varying heights.

Competitively priced, BAL Level Max reduces overall project costs and duration significantly with easier and faster installation. With an outstanding flow rate and 30 minutes working time it is easy to screed, while it accepts foot traffic in three hours and can be tiled after only four hours.

What’s more, BAL Level Max only requires a depth of 3mm over timber, whereas many alternate products in the UK require a minimum bed depth of 10mm. This means BAL Level Max can provide over three-times more coverage than these competitor products.

As seen here  BAL Level Max is suitable for levelling most backgrounds and provides superior performance with key features including added flexibility and strength, self-smoothing capability, low shrinkage and a protein free formulation.

BAL Level Max is extremely versatile making it suitable for domestic and commercial projects as it is pumpable and achieves excellent coverage of 5m² at 3mm bed depth.

Available in 25kg packs, BAL Level Max is perfect prior to the installation of tiles or floor coverings even on key installations such as Under Floor Heating.

In addition to its outstanding performance, users will also enjoy market-leading peace of mind on all installations with a complete 25 year guaranteed system solution and unrivalled technical support, including BAL Technical Advisory Service and on-the-road Product Support Technicians for project support from start to finish.

Now Available through hundreds of stockists nationwide, BAL Level Max is the ultimate, high-performance leveller giving you the perfect start to your flooring project.

Prestigious award for BAL training manager

BAL Training Manager Dave Rowley has been recognised with a prestigious industry award for playing a vital contribution to the development of skills and knowledge throughout the tiling industry.

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Dave, who joined BAL in 1992 after completing an apprenticeship in wall and floor tiling, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Industry award at The Tile Association Awards 2015.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing, said: “Dave has been instrumental in helping to raise standards across the industry, developing and delivering modular introductory courses for new people entering the industry as well as structured and bespoke training courses on advanced techniques and product knowledge.

“Since joining BAL, Dave has personally trained in the region of 10,000 people, helping to position BAL as the leading manufacturer for training excellence. Most recently he was at the forefront of the development of the company’s new state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Centre which provides outstanding facilities to deliver innovative training courses for distributors, retailers, contractors, specifiers and tilers.”

Over many years Dave has developed and updated NVQs/SVQs and EWPAR qualifications and is a qualified assessor and internal verifier in wall and floor tiling. He also works with colleges and independent training providers to oversee product training in line with qualification structures.

Since 2009 Dave has been the lead judge for the national SkillBuild finals for wall and floor tiling. Organised by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), SkillBuild provides an important showcase for trainees, and helps to improve workmanship and increase standards across the industry.

Dave is an active member of the TTA Fixer Training Committee and is Chairman of the TTA Supply Chain Committee where is currently involved in a new initiative to standardise training for the supply chain, with a pilot project set to being in the near future.

On receiving his award Dave said: “I am extremely passionate about training, which I believe is vital to the continued success of the company and the tiling industry in general.

“Maintaining high standards and fixing techniques helps to prevent poor practices and incorrect specifications which can have a negative impact for all in the industry including manufacturers, distributors, specifiers, contractors and fixers.

“At BAL training is a key priority, which is why we have invested in our high spec Innovation and Technology Centre to give everyone in the industry the opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and installation practices to enhance their skills.”

 

BAL Rapid-Mat wins award for innovation

BAL Rapid-Mat, the revolutionary new uncoupling solution, has been voted by industry experts as “Best Innovation” at The Tile Association Awards 2015.

TTA Awards 2015-Best Innovation-L to R-Joe Simpson

One of the most significant innovations in the uncoupling mat market for more than 15 years, the BAL Rapid-Mat is a new solution to accommodate lateral movement for tile installations encountered by fixers, contractors and specifiers.

What’s more, BAL Rapid-Mat is the only uncoupling system on the market that is fully guaranteed for 25 years by the suppliers.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, commented:  “Being named as the Best Innovation by industry experts is proof of Rapid-Mat’s position as the cutting-edge solution in the uncoupling mat market. Delivering a number of unique benefits compared to traditional cavity mat systems. BAL Rapid-Mat gives fixers and contractors peace of mind that their projects will stand the test of time.

“Thinner, lighter and faster – the BAL Rapid-Mat has been highly engineered by our team of technicians and scientists to transform the uncoupling mat market and help meet the needs of the tiling industry.”

Designed in conjunction with fixers, contractors and installers, BAL Rapid-Mat is designed for problematic floors, such as those that may be subject to lateral movement stresses. It is perfect with underfloor heating, timber substrates and other challenging backgrounds.

Furthermore, it helps reduce project costs and duration, requiring 20% less adhesive than traditional cavity uncoupling mats, which need almost “an extra layer of adhesive” to fill the surface cavities or dimples. The saving amounts to using 1.5 kg less adhesive per square metre, a major saving of 45 kg adhesive per 30 metre roll.

BAL Rapid-Mat saves more time on-site by being faster and simpler to lay than other mats, due to its lightweight profile and printed cutting guidelines. In addition it can be laid either side uppermost, unlike cavity-based mats which require cavities to be on top. Each piece of BAL Rapid-Mat is simply butt-jointed to the next, without the need to buy and apply additional tapes.

Being only 1mm thick, compared to 4mm for other traditional cavity systems, means it also occupies less storage space. A full 30 metre roll also weighs just 8.5 kg, making it easy to transport and carry around the site. The slimness also makes it ideal for laying over existing tiling, as it offers a minimal increase in floor height.

BAL Rapid-Mat is available through hundreds of stockists nationwide and can be purchased by the roll or by the metre.

The annual TTA Awards are the most prestigious awards in UK tiling industry, recognising excellence throughout the industry. This award is the latest in a long series of TTA successes for BAL, the long-established market leader in professional tile adhesives and grouts.

 

BAL launches new training courses at newly opened centre

BAL, the market leader in tile adhesives, grouts and ancillary products, has launched a host of new training courses at its newly opened Innovation and Technology Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

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A range of practical and theoretical day courses are available, led by Dave Rowley, BAL Training Manager and members of BAL Technical Advisory Service.

“Training is a key priority at BAL, and we believe it is pivotal for everyone in the industry  – professional fixers, contractors,  retail and distribution staff, specifiers and students – to have the opportunity to learn about our the latest technologies and installation practices to  enhance their skills,” commented Mr Rowley.

“All training takes place at our state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Centre with its practical training bays, demonstration auditorium and conference rooms providing the perfect training facility for all our courses.”

Fixers and installers can take advantage of a number of courses, whether they are new to the trade, at college, or have many years’ experience.

Courses include:

  • An introduction to adhesives & grouts
  • An introduction to screeds and subfloor preparation
  • Preparing and tiling timber floors
  • Preparing and tiling to anhydrite screeds
  • Preparing and tiling to under tile heating
  • Preparing and tiling to acoustic systems
  • Tiling and grouting for hygiene or chemical environments
  • Preparing and tiling wet rooms and external balconies

Training techniques include presentations, workshops, demonstrations and hands-on practical experience within individual working bays with mock-up windows, pipework and toilets for example,,  to reflect real life installations.
All courses cost £50 (including VAT), bar the Introduction to Adhesives & Grouts Course which is free. On completion, delegates will receive a BAL certificate of completion, £75 worth of free product (at average trade price value), and a goody bag.

Bespoke training days can also be created by delegates by selecting specific modules for their training day, ensuring their training experience is tailored exactly to their needs.

BAL training for retailers and distributors is also available, providing the skills and knowledge to sell adhesives, grouts and other products with confidence and gain qualifications along the way.

Courses include:

  • TTA Retail Apprenticeship Material Training Programme
  • Product Champion Programme
  • Bespoke Training

All courses for retail staff are free and include practical and theoretical training on tile types, background preparation, fixing methods, products and more.

“Thanks to our flexible approach, tilers, contractors and retailers can build their courses as they please to meet their own individual requirements,” added Mr Rowley.

“Contact us now to discuss all the options available.”

For more information on course dates and availability call 01782 591120 or email training@building-adhesives.com

BAL breaks new ground with launch of high spec training centre

A state-of-the art £300,000 Innovation and Technology Centre (ITC) has been officially opened by the leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council Councillor Mohammad Pervez at Building Adhesives Ltd in Trentham.

ITC OD22

Councillor Pervez opened the Centre alongside the Company’s Managing Director Peter Bell at a special launch event on March 11th.

Founded in 1963, Building Adhesives Ltd is the market leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of tile adhesives, grouts, sealants, and associated building products through its BAL and DUNLOP brands.

Revolutionising training in the tiling sector, the purpose-built ITC delivers a significant upgrade on the firm’s current BAL Training Academy and features a state-of-the-art demonstration auditorium, practical training bays and meeting rooms.

Providing the perfect platform for training in tiling techniques, skills and product use, the multi-use venue is available to a range of people in the tiling and construction industries including apprentices, installers, architects, specifiers, distributors, retailers and colleges.

A full programme of courses is available at the ITC, helping to raise standards across the industry and support vocational qualifications. Bespoke course are also available to suit individual requirements.

Mr Bell said the investment in the new facility was part of the company’s overall strategy as the market-leader to increase its training provision and help raise standards across the industry.

“The opening of the Innovation and Technology Centre is proof that we are committed to not only providing the best products, but also the complete package of support for our customers, distributors and suppliers including technical support and training,” he said.

“Building Adhesives Ltd was founded in the city in 1963 as the development centre for the British Ceramic tile industry and we were the first adhesive manufacturer to offer industry training – and the first to open a training centre – so training and development has always been fundamental for us.

From our highly qualified team of scientists, to our technical advisory team, customer support teams, marketing and administrative departments, we are dedicated to leading the industry in innovation and training. The Innovation and Technology Centre provides another milestone in the construction industry and cements our place as the market leader.

“The construction of the Innovation and Technology Centre is also evidence of our continuing commitment to manufacturing in the city of Stoke-on-Trent and providing the community with a superb training facility to develop skills and support industry qualifications.”

Dave Rowley, BAL Training Manager, who has been leading training at the company for more than 20 years, added:  “The Innovation and Technology Centre provides a significant enhancement of our training facilities and allows us to cater for a larger number of delegates than ever before.

“The large auditorium provides seats for 40 delegates with a total capacity for 100 delegates and features high spec A/V and projection facilities and removable training bays for high impact practical demonstrations and theoretical presentations.

“We can also provide CPDs and presentations in our state-of-the-art meeting room, while our practical training bays can be altered to provide realistic environments as the training course requires.”

A number of college students have already taken part in training at the centre, and bookings are now being taken for upcoming courses.

For information on BAL courses at the ITC contact Janet Webster , Training Administrator on 01782 591120 or email training@building-adhesives.com

Everything for tiling – properly guaranteed

Tilers nationwide can now source everything they need from a single supplier, all covered by a 25 year guarantee, thanks to BAL. The market leader in professional tile adhesives and grouts fully guarantees everything bearing its name, including BAL Rapid-Mat, its remarkable new uncoupling solution. This has taken the market by storm, being the UK’s first and only uncoupling mat fully guaranteed for 25 years by the supplier.

BAL Rapid-Mat in action

BAL Head of Marketing, Alex Underwood, said, “We understand how important a proper guarantee is to professionals and their customers. Everything we supply comes with a formal 25 year guarantee, so that fixers can have complete confidence in their first-choice tile adhesives, grouts, uncoupling solutions, levellers, primers and preparation products, sealants, admixtures and more. BAL has always believed that if a company really has faith in what it supplies, it will back it with a written guarantee.”

Dave Stott, winner of the TTA Tiler of the Year award 2013, said, “Fixers do not want vague assurances from suppliers. We expect a clear, written guarantee so that we know where we stand with products. BAL is the only manufacturer to offer a straightforward 25 year promise, which it puts on its web site for everyone to see. Apart from the guarantee, which is even printed on the mat, BAL Rapid-Mat is so much better in every way than anything else. It is thinner, lighter and needs a lot less adhesive. Once you have tried BAL Rapid-Mat, you do not want to use anything else.”

BAL Rapid-Mat is designed for problematic floors, such as those that may be subject to lateral movement stresses. It is perfect with underfloor heating, timber substrates and other challenging backgrounds. It reduces project time by being faster to install, as demonstrated here. It also delivers major cost benefits by using over 20% less adhesive than cavity-based uncoupling mats.

BAL Rapid-Mat is available through hundreds of stockists nationwide and, unlike other uncoupling mats, is covered by BAL’s full 25 year guarantee.

Building Adhesives Ltd business excellence recognised

Building Adhesives Ltd have been recognised for business excellence by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as part of their Manufacturing Excellence Awards (MX). MX is a business improvement and awards programme designed to support and promote UK manufacturers in ensuring industry productivity and worldwide competitiveness. Building Adhesives Ltd were shortlisted in the first ever Regional MX Awards, as ImechE cited Building Adhesives for, “various business improvements and introducing a programme to improve working relationships.”

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Building Adhesives entered the MX Awards as a means of assessing its performance in comparison with the best manufacturing organisations. The aim was to identify best practice and, where appropriate, change its operating methods to compete with the very best UK companies.

David Shepherd, BAL Operations Director, said, “MX looks at all areas of a business and does not simply focus on manufacturing.  It covers such areas as new product development, employee development, sales and customer service, environmental performance, finance and more. It assesses performance in each area, so that any improvement plan identified can be focused as appropriate. We are delighted to be shortlisted for the Midlands area, and considered in respect of overall performance.”

BAL will now proceed to the IMechE National Awards, where entries are considered by category.