Odhran takes home gold at SkillBuild 2018

Odhran Connelly from Southern Regional College in Northern Ireland was victorious at the SkillBuild 2018 National Finals in Wall and Floor Tiling.

Odhran beat off stiff competition from silver medallist James Ackland (Cardiff and Vale College), bronze medallist Mariusz Kanjecki (City of Glasgow College),

Callum Pearson (Highly Commended from Leeds College of Building) and four other competitors.

The finals of the national construction competition for apprentices and trainees took place at the NEC from 15 – 17 November as part of the WorldSkills UK Live exhibition.

Throughout the three-day, 18-hour competition, contestants were asked to tile a wall and floor based on a 3D building design and 150mm x 150mm ceramic tiles.

Competitors fixed the tiles with BAL Max Flex Fibre and BAL Rapid-Flex One and grouted with BAL Micromax2 Snow including BAL Micromax Sealant for all movement joints.

Dave Rowley, BAL training manager and lead judge for SkillBuild 2018 said: “Many congratulations to Odhran for winning a hard-fought final competition. The standard of fixing throughout the three days was exceptionally high which made adjudicating very hard.

“As a company we are committed to training the next generation of tilers to a high standard, so supporting the SkillBuild competition is a priority of ours. Competitions like these help raise standards and give trainees and apprentices a focus and standard to work towards.”

SkillBuild is now in its sixth year and is run by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board). The competition sees the very best students from Regional Heats compete in ten construction occupations, including tiling, to be crowned the overall SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade.

As a national SkillBuild winner, Odhran is eligible to compete at WorldSkills 2019 being held in the Russian city of Kazan.

For information about entering SkillBuild 2019 please contact Dave Rowley on drowley@building-adhesives.com

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

Need to renew your CSCS card?

Tilers in the industry who previously gained their CSCS cards via the Industry Accreditation (IA) route, as time served tilers, need to be aware that this route is no longer available.

This is in accordance with the Government’s aim to achieve a fully qualified workforce by 2020, stimulating the market by providing a route to qualification for experienced operatives via on-site assessment (OSAT). CSCS cards are required for all construction site workers no matter which trade.

As a result, further card renewals may not be accepted without the new NVQ qualifications. The TTA encourages those card holders to complete these qualifications via the EWPAR (Experienced Worker Practical Assessment Route) or OSAT route.

Experienced tilers who gained their CSCS cards via the Industry Accreditation route can achieve Level 2 NVQ following just one day’s assessment of their work on site or at BAL’s Innovation and Technology Centre.

The Assessor will also need all other supporting information concerning the candidate’s knowledge, which can be gathered verbally and through supporting documentation. Tilers who go down this route can carry on working, whilst being assessed to NVQ L2.

BAL has a CITB registered assessor and works closely with the TTA to support the qualification. BAL holds regular courses and assessments at its Innovation and Training Centre, with tiles, adhesives and grouts provided by the manufacturer.

Assessment costs at BAL are as following –

  • £500 + VAT per fixer, plus £68 CITB registration fee for TTA Members
  • £600 + VAT, plus £68 CITB Registration Fee. Independent Fixers will receive £100 refund on their first year’s membership – which is just £150 + VAT – if you join before the Assessment is completed.

Full cost of membership and benefits can be found on https://www.tiles.org.uk/member-registration/members-benefits/

Alternative arrangements can be made with BAL if you would prefer an on-site assessment – although this may incur additional costs as necessary.

BAL helps Grenfell Boxing club come off the canvas

In one of their most challenging builds, Nick Knowles and DIY SOS team recently built a brand-new gym for the Dale Youth Boxing Club which was previously housed in Grenfell Tower.

Grenfell 6 web
DIY SOS Grenfell 5 web
DIY SOS Grenfell 4 web
DIY SOS Grenfell 3 web
DIY SOS Grenfell 2 web

To support the build, Stoke-on-Trent-based BAL donated adhesive, tanking, grout and sealants with tiles donated by Walls and Floors (Kettering) Ltd.

Founded 60 years ago, Dale Youth Boxing Club had been based in the first floor of the Grenfell Tower since 1999. A valuable local resource, and one of the best boxing clubs in the country, the club has been credited with turning around the lives of many young people in the area.

Over the years, they have successfully nurtured more than 200 Amateur Boxing Association Champions as well as honing the skills of 2008 Beijing Olympic Gold Medallist James DeGale and current WBA Super-Middleweight champion George Groves.

Since the devastating fire in June last year, the club had been based in a car-park, but now it can flourish in a new custom-built facility on a site situated under the A40 Westway in West London.

The new facility took nine weeks to build and even had some royal help from Prince William, who took some time out of his busy schedule to help with some painting and meet volunteers and members of the community.

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 bring the new gym to fruition.

After hearing of the call, BAL kindly agreed to supply Single Part Flexible adhesive, BAL Tank-it waterproofing membrane, Micromax2 Grout Smoke and Micromax Sealant Smoke for changing rooms, toilets and a kitchen at the facility.

As well as providing materials, BAL also provided technical support to the tilers working on the project through Andy Oates, BAL Product Support Technician for the South East.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL said: “No one could have failed to have been moved by the terrible tragedy at Grenfell which claimed the lives of so many innocent people and devastated a community.

“The Dale Youth Boxing Club was an important community facility which was in desperate need of a new home after the fire.

“As the market-leader for full tiling solutions donating some adhesive and grout and the time of one of our support technicians was the least we could do for this fantastic project.”

Before completion of the project, Graham Gater, Chairman of the Dale Youth Club said: “After the Grenfell Tower fire, the club was in boxing terms knocked down but thanks to BBC DIY SOS and all the people who are volunteering and donating we are now able to beat the count, through their generous and immensely inspirational support. We are really looking forward to getting a new space.”

The DIY SOS team added: “We would like to thank the incredible generosity of the building companies, suppliers and volunteers who have helped on this huge project, without whom it would never have happened.”

The episode aired on Wednesday 5 September and is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

 

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.”

BAL supports Team UK at EuroSkills

BAL are proud to be sponsoring the UK wall and floor tiling competitor at EuroSkills 2018.

Daniel McBurney

Taking place in Budapest from 26-28 September, the members of Team UK will be taking on the best apprentices in Europe with the aim of being crowned champions in their chosen skills.

Representing the UK in wall and floor tiling is Mark Scott from City of Glasgow College. Mark won the SkillBuild National Final, run in partnership with WorldSkills UK, last year and is also part of the squad currently training with the aim of competing in WorldSkills Kazan 2019 along with Daniel McBurney from Southern Regional College in Northern Ireland.

Competitors in this year’s SkillBuild will be eligible to compete in WorldSkills Shanghai 2021 if they meet the competition criteria.

BAL has sponsored regional and national SkillBuild tiling competitions since 2004, while Dave Rowley, Training Manager at BAL, has acted as Lead Judge since 2009.

Dave said: “We are delighted to provide support and sponsorship to the Mark and City of Glasgow College as he prepares for EuroSkills in Hungary.

“At BAL we value training and innovation highly with more than 50 years of technological development and training experience behind us, so it is crucial to support competitions such as SkillBuild that help develop the skills of talented young tilers.

“Continuing professional development and training is key to ensuring the industry continues to meet the highest standards, which is why we invested in a state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Centre where we hold regular training courses.”

The 2018 SkillBuild competition has recently completed the Regional Qualifier phase, with the UK National Final taking place at WorldSkills UK LIVE in November at the NEC in Birmingham.

For more information on SkillBuild visit https://www.citb.co.uk/careers-in-construction/experience-it/skillbuild/

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.

A Robin with a Royal Twist

BAL – market-leaders in full tiling solutions – have supported award-winning mosaic artist Julie Vernon by donating the adhesives and grout to create a stunning robin sculpture for Hoodwinked 2018.

Hoodwinked 2018 Julie Vernon web 1
Hoodwinked web 3

“Royal Robin Redbreast” is one 33 statues – each with its own unique design – which will feature around Nottingham from July to September as part of the Robin Hood-themed art trail.

The project has been organised by Nottingham City Council in partnership with Wild at Art, which has delivered similar public art events such as The Big Sleuth in Birmingham last year.

Once the trail has finished in September, the statues will be taken away and put up for auction in September with proceeds going to Nottinghamshire Hospice.

Julie’s design, sponsored by Castle Rock Brewery, will be on display outside Nottingham Railway Station and is inspired by the history of Royal connections to Nottingham Castle.

Julie added: “William the Conqueror built the first castle in 1067 and Royal residents have included Henry II and Richard the Lionheart. It’s also where Richard III left to ride into battle at Bosworth. The mosaic design reflects the fact that each robin can be recognised by a unique breast pattern”.

“Thanks to BAL for supplying the fixing and grouting material free of charge. Their products are great for mosaics and always serve me well!”

BAL donated Single Part Fastflex – a flexible S2 elastomeric tile adhesive, BAL Bond SBR primer and admixture and BAL Micromax2 flexible wall and floor grout in Anthracite.

Alex Underwood said: “We were delighted to be able to support Julie for this fantastic sculpture trail that will transform Nottingham into the playground of Robin Hood – the city’s infamous outlaw.

“Julie’s Royal design is a fantastic piece of artwork that will welcome visitors and commuters into the city on a daily basis.”

Hoodwinked – A Twist in the Tale runs from 7 July to 30 September in Nottingham.

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.

BAL at Skills London

BAL have teamed up with CITB (Construction Industry Training Body) and The Tile Association to demonstrate the benefits of a career in wall and floor tiling and other trades at Skills London – the UK’s biggest jobs and career events for 15-24-year olds.

 

Dave Rowley, BAL training manager, was there in his role as lead judge of wall and floor tiling at SkillBuild – the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices.

BAL is a long-time sponsor of SkillBuild, providing tiling materials for regional and national competitions.

On the SkillBuild stand, visitors could learn how to get into construction as well as finding out about TTA and BAL training courses. They could also have a go at a fun Union flag mural game.

Dave said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to speak to college students and young people about wall and floor tiling and what a great career it can provide.

“We talked about the range of skills and knowledge required to be a tiler, from practical skills such as cutting and mixing, to an eye for detail, creativity and mathematics for complex
layouts and designs.

“We had a lot of interest in our training courses, so hopefully we’ll see some of them begin their tiling careers at BAL.”

Providing a stable background with BAL Board

When tiling a wall or floor it’s important to ensure your backgrounds are strong and stable to support your weight of tile.

One way of providing a safe and secure base is with the use of a tile backer board such as BAL Board – a new BBA-approved magnesium oxide board for internal tiling.

Easily fixed to either stud work, solid walls or floors, BAL Board can support a combined tile weight of up to 100kg/m2. This far exceeds the recommended tiling weight for plasterboard (32kg/m2), gypsum plaster (20kg/m2), wood base sheets (up to 30kg/m2) and foam-core tile backing board (up to 60kg/m2).

This means that with BAL Board you can install heavier tiles.

Many tile backer boards on the market are also suitable for use in wet areas. BAL Board for example is moisture and water resistant, meaning it won’t warp, rot or degrade over time even in the wettest conditions. Despite being water resistant, it is still recommended to tank water resistant boards with a waterproofing kit before tiling especially in installations such as showers, wet rooms or swimming pool surrounds.

As well as water resistance, BAL Board is also mould resistant, and because it is thermally resistantit provides a high-level tolerance during hot and cold cycles and is suitable for use with underfloor heating.

Unlike alternative cement-based boards, BAL Board is also extremely lightweight – in fact it is up to 35% lighter per m2 than cement-based boards. combining the lighter weight and the standard 1200mm x 600mm measurements, tile fixers can now transport and carry more boards in one trip, producing a number of savings, not least time.

What’s more, unlike leading cement-based boards, BAL Board is even easier to install – as there are no specialist cutting tools required. All you need is a simple craft or utility knife to score and snap – it’s that easy! Plus, with no specialist screws required namely standard stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanised screws only for studwork; the ancillary costs start to be reduced.

And because it’s available in 1200mm x 600mm and fixed at British Standard recommended 300mm centres, this means less waste for fixers.

Safe and secure for the environment

Some cement-based backer boards are recommended to be cut outside or use breathing protection to prevent harmful dust from being ingested.

This is thankfully not the case with new BAL Board as there is minimal dust created when cutting, and it won’t cause harm to the person or environment. Always refer to the BAL board technical data sheet for additional advice. What’s more the cold fusion, low carbon manufacturing process significantly reduces the CO2 output compared to other manufacturers processes.

Thanks to its environmental characteristics and build performance BAL Board comes with BBA Approval – this means it has been rigorously tested and certified as an “outstanding construction product”.

Fixer Approved

Tile fixers gave the BAL Board the thumbs up in pre-launch trials. Contractors and tilers rated BAL Board as far superior to the nearest equivalent leading cement-based boards in trials.

For example, 100% of all fixers trialled preferred BAL Board over equivalent cement-based boards, as well as scoring “excellent” overall, compared to “poor” for the leading cement-based board (scores based on ease of handling, cutting, application, stability and installation speed).

Leading Warranty

Because BAL Board is fully tested and approved by the BBA and manufactured according to ISO 9001 for quality control, it comes with BAL’s leading 25-year written guarantee (when correctly installed and used in suitable applications). This means that BAL Board will not let you down, and ensure your tiling lasts the test of time.

For more information including full fixing instructions visit www.bal-adhesives.com/products/bal-board/

BAL relaunches popular five-day training course

Following a surge in requests from tilers and contractors, BAL have relaunched their intensive five day wall and floor tiling course.

Held at BAL’s state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Centre (ITC), the course combines modern training techniques including presentation, workshops, demonstrations as well as “hands on” practical work in individual bays designed to reflect real life installations.

Dave Rowley, BAL Training Manager, said: “At BAL we believe that quality workmanship is just as important as high quality products, which is why tiling training is top of our agenda.

“Our five day wall and floor tiling was always a popular course so following a number of requests specifically tilers and tiling contractors we have decided to relaunch and bring this course up-to-date with modern standards, products and techniques.

“This course is great for tilers of any experience, from apprentices starting out in their careers, to experienced tilers looking to refresh their knowledge and skills.”

The five day course provides delegates with the skills and knowledge to use and mix professional adhesives and grouts onto realistic backgrounds.

Delegates with develop a full understanding of floor and wall backgrounds, identification and preparation and practice in the use of setting out, tile fixing, tile cutting, cutting tools, and tile trims.

Throughout the five days they will also develop an appreciation of the application and use of all types of adhesives and grouts, including epoxies and movement joints, both profile and sealants. Delegates will practice mixing, spreading, appropriate tool use, types and specifications.

The five day course costs £300 and is being held on dates throughout the year.

As well as practical training, the course also includes a tour of BAL’s world-class manufacturing facilities, R&D and Quality Control laboratories.

On completion of the course, delegates will receive a BAL Certificate of Attendance, literature and BAL product worth more than the cost of the course at average trade prices.

BAL training courses are endorsed by The Tile Association (TTA) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and have been highly commended by the National Training Association (NTA).

To book a place on the course:

Tel: 01782 591120

Email: training@building-adhesives.com

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

As part of the launch BAL are also giving fixers the chance to win rugby prizes including match tickets, shirts and other great merchandise.

To see what great prizes are on offer visit www.bal-adhesives.com/win

BAL backs The Big Sleuth 2017

BAL – market-leaders in full tiling solutions – have lent their backing to a mosaic artist taking part in a fund raising art project in Birmingham.

Caroline Jariwala The Big Sleuth 2017 Sweet William (1) WEB MAIN

The Big Sleuth is a fund raising initiative organised by Wild in Art and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. More than 200 large and small fibreglass bears are currently being decorated by artists, schools and community groups across the West Midlands.

Caroline Jariwala, a member of the British Association for Modern Mosiac (BAMM), has created “Sweet William Bear” – inspired by flowers quoted in Shakespeare’s writings.

After attending two mosaic mural training courses at BAL – Caroline has fixed the mosaics with BAL Max Flex Fibre tile adhesive and has grouted the bear with BAL Micromax2 Ebony donated by the company.

Sweet William Bear will be displayed in front of Birmingham Cathedral from July 11th as part of an art trail throughout the city. Each bear will be sold off in a charity auction in the autumn to raise money for the children’s hospital.

The Big Sleuth follows on from The Big Hoot in 2015, where 85 large owl sculptures were auctioned off, raising more than £5 million for the hospital.

Caroline said: “The mosaic features ceramic tiles, porcelain and broken vintage crockery and draws inspiration from Shakespeare’s love of flowers used in his plays and sonnets. The Sweet William flower is said to been named after the Bard himself! A fitting name for a flora related bear! I have I have been using BAL Max Flex Fibre which has been wonderful to use and BAL Micromax2 Ebony grout. The texture, durability and true black finish of the grout is perfect to complete the project.

“I am hoping that Sweet William will have a real “wow” factor, especially as it is located in front of Birmingham Cathedral.

“Thank you to BAL for supporting me on this project and their support for mosaic artists with their training courses and technical advice.”

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL said: “Caroline only had the ‘bear’ necessities to complete this project, so we were all too pleased to donate our Micromax2 Ebony grout.

“Sweet William looks absolutely stunning and I’m sure it will create tremendous interest on the art trail. We can’t wait to see it proudly on display in front of the cathedral!”

For more information about the project visit www.thebigsleuth.co.uk

Caroline’s website is: www.mangomosaics.co.uk

BAL provides a number of training courses for mosaic artists, professional tilers and contractors including:

  • Introduction to screeds and subfloor preparation
  • Preparing and tiling timber floors
  • Introduction to adhesives and grouts
  • Preparing and tiling to anhydrite screeds
  • Preparing and tiling to under tile heating systems
  • Preparing and tiling wet rooms
  • Preparing and tiling mosaics
  • Preparing and tiling external areas with BAL External Tiling Solutions.

For more information visit www.bal-adhesives.com/training.


Snow is here this summer!

But don’t worry, there’s no need to wrap up – it’s just BAL’s new brilliant white shade of Micromax2 Grout!

MM2 Snow Web

Formulated with the same built-in Microban antimicrobial protection for walls and floors, BAL Micromax2 Snow is highly flexible and rapid-setting in only 3 hours.

Available in 2.5kg, 5kg and 10kg bags and supported with a colour-matched silicone sealant, BAL Micromax2 Snow provides the perfect match with white tiles, or to contrast darker shades.

The new brighter shade of white extends the Micromax2 core colour palette to 11 including its original shade of White, plus Manilla, Jasmine, Gunmetal, Pebble, Ebony, Smoke, Chocolate, Cocoa and Anthracite.

Designed and developed with fixers, BAL Micromax2 provides ultimate all-round protection against mould and is recommended for domestic and commercial installations due to its enhanced durability and flexibility.

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.

Because of its durability and flexibility, BAL Micromax2 is perfect for power showers, wet rooms, heated floors and timber screeds in a wide variety of projects ranging from domestic bathrooms to leisure centres, shopping centres, changing rooms and restaurants.

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.

Micromax2


Strongman Steven flexes with BAL

BAL – market leaders in full tiling solutions – have lent their support to part-time tiler and strongman Steven Stevens.

ste stevens web2
ste stevens3 web

26 year-old Steven from Blackpool is currently preparing for the Monsters Ball Strongman Competition in August.

Steven will compete in iconic strongman events such as the Atlas Stones, Log Lift and Tyre Flips against strongmen from across the UK.

Steven, who is also living with Ulcerative Colitis – a chronic condition causing inflammation of the colon – has been hard in training lifting 120kg logs, flipping 400kg tyres and bench pressing 200kg as he aims to eventually join the senior men in competition.

BAL are supporting Steven with branded training and competition gear which he will wear at the events he is taking part in throughout the year.

Steven said: “I’m a BAL Partner through BAL’s YOU+BAL programme and always use BAL gear on jobs, so I thought it would be great to promote BAL at strongman events across the UK.

“BAL are a great company and their products are brilliant to work with, so I’m delighted that they have agreed to sponsor me.

“I’ve really stepped up my training in the last couple of months as I work towards my next competition and I’m feeling really confident that I can do myself justice.

“My ultimate goal is to one day compete in the UK’s Strongest Man competition. Last year I competed in the UK’s Strongest Man novice competition, and it was  a really valuable experience.”

Alex Underwood, head of marketing at BAL, said: “Steven is renowned for his strength and flex – just like our products – so sponsoring him was a natural fit!

“It’s great to be able to support one of our partners like this and we look forward to following his strongman training and competitions throughout the year!”

BAL will be following Steven throughout the year and reporting on his training and achievements – and you can follow Steve’s exploits on Twitter @SteStevens or through @BALTiling.

BAL helps mosaic artist transform school hall

BAL have helped mosaic artist Tamara Froud transform a primary school dining hall with installations designed by pupils and taking inspiration from the school’s values.

Richard Alibon3 web
Richard Alibon4 web
Richard Alibon6 web

A fixing solution of BAL adhesive and grout provided Tamara with the perfect materials to permanently fix ornate Cinca ceramic mosaics to a 6-sided, T-shaped concrete pillar at Richard Alibon Primary School in Dagenham, Essex.

Tamara was commissioned by the school to work with pupils to create designs based on the school’s values of confidence, perseverance, ambition, curiosity, respect and happiness. She visited the school to lead a design day before creating the final design – based extensively on the children’s drawings – at her studio in Catford, South London.

Tamara then returned to the school for two weeks of learning workshops where she worked with the students and taught them the basics of mosaic tiling so they could be involved in the fabrication of the mosaic. She completed the project during the school holidays.

During the installation, Tamara used BAL Max Flex Fibre tile adhesive to fix the mosaic tiles onto a mesh background. Max Flex Fibre is highly flexible and is enhanced with Fibre Strand Technology meaning it withstands movement, plus its extended open time allows for larger areas to be fixed in one mix – perfect for large mosaic installations. The project was completed with BAL Micromax2 grout which provides a smooth and clean finish with protection against efflorescence to minimise the risk of discolouration. Highly flexible, BAL Micromax2 also has enhanced durability making it suitable tiling projects on most backgrounds.

Commenting on the installation she said: “It was fantastic to work with the pupils to create this mosaic based on the school’s values and help bring their ideas to life in their dining and assembly hall. The mosaic has transformed the pillar, which was a real eye-sore, and will be enjoyed by teachers and pupils for years to come.”

Tamara used the BAL products after attending at Mosaic Tiling training course at BAL’s Innovation and Technology Centre (ITC) in Stoke-on-Trent organised by the British Association for Modern Mosaic (BAMM).

“As a member of the BAMM committee I’ve always wanted to push training to help standardise best practice amongst our members, so teaming up with BAL for specialist training has been a real boost,” said Tamara.

“It’s up to all mosaic artists to be fully versed on the correct preparation and installation techniques. What we don’t want are installations to be falling off walls and giving our art a bad reputation. Training courses like those provided by BAL are great for mosaic artists and benefit everyone.”

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/

Win a van competition winner announced

Dundee-based tiler Gordon Mitchell has taken delivery of his new van after winning Ceramic Tile Distributors (CTD) and BAL’s Win a Van Competition.

Gordon Mitchell in his new van WEB
image3 web 1

The 60-year-old is a regular customer at CTD’s Dundee branch and started tiling 40 years ago after completing a four-year tiling apprenticeship.

Gordon and his team of fixers work throughout Tayside and Fife primarily with housebuilders on new build developments and is a regular user of BAL tile adhesives and grouts.

He said: “I’m a big fan of BAL and have been using them for a long as I can remember. I use BAL Rapidset Flexible and BAL Superflex grouts – and I’ve never experienced a problem, it’s always good gear.

“When Kenny McCracken the Branch Manager at CTD Dundee told me I won, it came as a complete surprise as I never expected to win just through buying BAL.

“Winning the new van will ensure my team are fully up-to-speed and can continue to provide the very best service to our customers. I’d like to thank BAL and CTD for this fantastic prize.”

The Ford Transit Connect was presented to Gordon by Allan Mann, CTD Scotland Operations Manager and Craig Sinnamon, BAL Area Sales Manager for Scotland.

To be in with a chance of winning the van, fixers had to spend £150 on BAL products at CTD in three consecutive months. CTD Trade Loyalty Card Holders got double entry into the competition, while members of BAL’s YOU+BAL Partnership Programme were given three entries.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing for BAL said: “We are delighted to continue our backing for distributors and fixers through competitions like this one. It’s great to be able to support tilers and help add value to their businesses, while helping the distributor to engage and reward their loyal customers.”

Congratulations also to the five winners of a £250 bundle of BAL products:

CF Jones & Sons – Chester, Scott Pearce – Bristol, 100% Tiling – Edinburgh Temple Park, C P S Ceramic Tiling – Norwich, Andy Richardson Floor & Wall Tiling – Cambridge 
Each qualifying branch that had customers who spent £150 in 3 consecutive months also had 1 winner who won their weight in adhesive.

For more information on CTD visit www.ctdtiles.co.uk

To sign-up to YOU+BAL Partnership Programme CLICK HERE.

Thousands of self-employed tilers to be hit by NIC rises

The tax advantages enjoyed by the UK’s millions of self-employed people – including tilers – will be dramatically reduced following a series of major changes in the budget.

Hammond Budget

Appearing to reverse a Conservative party manifesto pledge from 2015, Philip Hammond risked irking his backbenchers and party supporters by announcing he is to close tax benefits that are “no longer justified” by increasing the national insurance contributions (NICs) for self-employed people earning more than £16,250 a year.

Announcing his changes, the chancellor said an employee earning £32,000 a year currently faces an NI bill of £6,170 along with their employer, while the bill for a self-employed person earning the same salary would be £2,300.

“Historically, the differences in NICs between those in employment and the self-employed reflected differences in state pensions and contributory welfare benefits,” he said.

“But with the introduction of the new state pension, these differences have been very substantially reduced.”

Hammond told MPs the changes would raise £145m a year after taking into account George Osborne’s abolition of a separate class of self-employed national insurance contributions, class 2.

He said class 4 NICs for the self-employed would rise from 9% to 10% in April 2018 – and then to 11% in April 2019 – on income up to the higher rate threshold of £45,000. The new rates are still lower than for employees who pay NI at 12% on the same income levels, while both groups will continue to pay at 2% on income above the higher rate threshold.

However, some self-employed people appeared to have been insulated from another of the chancellor’s new initiatives.

The changes to the taxation of dividends was criticised for “leaving the door open to massive tax avoidance” by wealthy people working for their own companies. New data published by the Office for Budget Responsibility showed that a previous increase in dividend taxes resulted in much of the benefit falling to “just 100 individuals who were able to withdraw dividends averaging £30m each from their companies before the higher tax rate took effect”.

The increase has triggered criticisms that the Conservatives are reneging on a 2015 manifesto pledge that committed the government “to no increases in VAT, income tax or national insurance” – while the reception from the business community was less than positive.

Labour said it would oppose the policy, with the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, saying: “Labour will oppose the £2bn Tory tax on self-employed lower-middle earners.”

Chris Leslie, former Labour shadow chancellor, said during the Commons debate on the budget: “On the point about the increase in national insurance contributions for the self-employed, don’t you think that the chancellor needs to explain why he’s breaking a manifesto promise made in the 2015 general election manifesto on that?”

[SOURCE: www.guardian.co.uk]

BAL’s Product Support Service nominated for industry award

BAL’s Product Support Service is up for a top flooring award after being recognised by industry professionals.

BAL PST SERVICE YOUTUBE SCREEN SHOT WEB

Introduced by BAL to provide further support to the tiling industry the Product Support Technician (PST) concept has been shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Contract Floors Awards 2017.

It is one of 50 products and services that have been nominated by readers or which have featured in the magazine over the last 12 months.

All featured products and services have been put out to a public vote at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MG7RWMP with the top three presented with a trophy later in the year.

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

When fixers or contractors are out on a job, what they want most is the reassurance that the tiling installation won’t fail and the results will exceed the client’s expectations. To ensure fixers and contractors are supported throughout  any project; domestic or commercial , BAL’s PST team provide complete support on the phone, online and on-site at any stage of a project to ensure success.

BAL’s team of six Product Support Technicians are available nationwide to fixers and contractors whenever they need them. All experienced tile installers, the PST’s can provide real insight for any tiling application.

Regardless of the brand of product being used, tilers or contractors can contact the PSTs for dependable advice for solutions prior to work starting, or if issues have been found on-site.

Gary Knowles, BAL PST Manager, welcomed the shortlisting as proof that the service is valued by professional tile fixers and contractors throughout the country.

He said: “We’re delighted that the service has been recognised by readers of the magazine, many of whom rely on expert advice and support for their floor tiling projects.

“All of our PSTs are all experienced tile installers so know the issues that are faced by contractors on site and can offer dependable advice that is trusted throughout the industry.

“A completely free service, it is unrivalled in the industry, and helps provide complete peace of mind to installers on complex installations or specific new technologies on systems.

“It would be great if our loyal customers could vote for us and get us in the top three!”

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

BAL products specified for luxury spa complex

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Project Name: Brimstone Spa,

Location: Langdale Estate Hotel, Langdale, Cumbria

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

BAL products used:

LEVELLING: BAL Level Max

WATERPROOFING: BAL Tank-it

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

GROUT: BAL Micromax2

OTHER: BAL Micromax Sealant, BAL Prime APD

Tiles:

Tile Ceramic International Amazzonia Dragon Green 900 x 450mm & 600 x300mm

Tile Ceramic International Amazzonia Dragon Brown

Newood Outdoor Brown Porcelain

Newood Brown Porcelain

Marazzi TreverkWay OLMO 150x900mm MLA5 OLMO Porcelain

Project Partners:

DESIGN: Mark Green, Curveline Design

ARCHITECT:  Jez Marvin, Unwin Jones

TILING: Ceramtek Ltd

MATERIALS: Ceramic International

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.

sustainable-manufacturing

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).

Get more work with a YOU+BAL web profile

BAL is encouraging tilers and contractors to create their own free web profile and get real job leads as part of the manufacturer’s online “Find a Tiler” facility for homeowners.

homeowner-front

Available by signing-up to BAL’s YOU+BAL partnership programme at www.bal-adhesives.com/y-plus-bal-reg, tilers and contractors can create a company profile, post project pictures, upload videos, add social media and contacts and advertise their skills, experience and qualifications to potential clients.

Homeowners looking for a tiler can select up to three local fixers on the search facility and ask them to quote directly for the job using the online form. The homeowner can then select the best quote, with each fixer notified whether they’ve won or lost the job.

BAL Partners can also collect reviews, with customers leaving their feedback online and rating the tiler using a five star system. These are then published on each tiler’s web profile (subject to approval by BAL).

To encourage homeowners to review their tiler, BAL is also giving them the chance to win back the cost of their tiling work (paid for by BAL) every month by simply submitting their review through the web or the Homeowner Tiler Review form available to all BAL Partners. The winner is simply picked at random from all the reviews submitted that month.

BAL is also re-introducing their popular “Tiler of the Month” competition. Each month BAL will select a winner from the company’s list of BAL Partners based on job reviews received from homeowners, experience and skills added, profiles updated and project galleries.

The chosen tiler will receive publicity in their local press and on the BAL Homeowners page.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL said: “At BAL we’re always looking at ways to help our customers get more work – whether it’s through innovative products or market-leading project support – which is why we’ve re-launched our Find a Tiler facility, previously found on Tilerworld.com.

“Now part of our YOU+BAL partnership programme, the free web profiles gives tilers and contractors the chance to showcase their work to potential homeowners looking for tilers in their local area and crucially get tangible job leads.”

Launched in February, YOU+BAL is BAL’s way of welcoming all fixers and contractors to partner with BAL.

Signing up to YOU+BAL gives BAL Partners an even greater opportunity to be at 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.

Tools, rewards and services available to BAL Partners included access to the BAL Forum, free sales aids and merchandise, case study development and social media promotion, free specification tools, training courses, 24/7 industry leading technical advice and project support and exclusive rewards and discounts at selected trade events.

To sign-up as a BAL Partner through YOU+BAL simply go to www.bal-adhesives.com/y-plus-bal-reg/

 

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.

the-writers-room-web2
the-tool-shed-web
the-potting-shed-2-web
grimmco4-web

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.”

Join the conversation with the new BAL forum

BAL – the market leaders in full tiling solutions – have launched a new online forum for tiling professionals.

discussion_forum

Available to registered YOU+BAL Partners, the forum gives tilers, contractors and specifiers the opportunity to discuss the latest products, fixing techniques and services, as well as getting technical help from BAL staff, share site stories and lots more.

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “The new BAL forum replaces our old Tilerworld forum which was extremely popular with fixers and contractors alike.

“We’ve relaunched the forum to help fixers and contractors feel closer to BAL. It’s a great way of connecting with our customer base and giving them another avenue to speak to us directly, whether it’s for product or project advice or simply to share their latest project.

“Our team will be monitoring the website through the day and evening so users can be sure of quick response to any query.

“So get posting and join the conversation today!”

Accessible via BAL’s YOU+BAL portal or directly at www.bal-adhesives.com/forum, all BAL Partners and those registered on BAL’s website are automatically members, meaning they can simply log-in with their username and password and get posting!

If tilers would like to access the forum, they can sign up to YOU+BAL at www.bal-adhesives.com/y-plus-bal-reg/.

Launched in February, YOU+BAL is BAL’s way of welcoming all fixers and contractors to partner with BAL.

Signing up to YOU+BAL gives BAL Partners an even greater opportunity to be at 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 well as access to the Forum, BAL Partner’s 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.

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. This will include access to exclusive areas on the forum.

Alex added: “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

Red Sky Thinking from BAL for fail safe external tiling

BAL YPlus A4 2pp A4 SDS Flyer v4a.indd

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

9020a-Terrasse-AD-EK_ WEBSITE
9020h-Terrasse-AD-T_TM-neu3 WEBSITE
Gutjahr Palace of Hambach (Hambacher Schloss) WEBSITE
BALCONY WEB
PF_AquaDrain_EK WEBSITE
LUCAE FOUNTAIN WEB

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.

BAL PST SERVICE YOUTUBE SCREEN SHOT WEB

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.

Cheshire mansion transformed with BAL tiling solutions

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

Hale Guest Ensuite stunning mosiac tiled wetroom in attic room 1
Hale Ensuite 1 Intricate Hexagonal Tiling
Hale Master Ensuite Book-Matched Marble Walk-In Shower Room
Hale Ensuite 2 brick effect tiling
Hale Top Ensuite2
Hale Top Ensuite3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

easypoxy ag black 4kg
easypoxy ag grey 4kg
easypoxy ag white 4kg

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.

level max web

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/

BAL previews external tiling systems at the SDS2016

BAL have made a successful return to the Surface Design Show in London to offer a preview of the new Gutjahr range to architects, designers and specifiers.

9020a-Terrasse-AD-EK_ small

The exhibition, which was held from 9-11 February at the Business Design Centre in Islington, attracted more than 6,000 industry professional and trade visitors to compare and specify the latest products in internal and external surfacing and architectural design.

Launching to the market this Spring, the Gutjahr system technology from BAL specialises in drainage, ventilating and uncoupling solutions for balconies, patios, terraces and on facades and interiors.

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

Gutjahr is the inventor of the passive capillary surface drainage system. The patented system is simple to install and will protect coverings of ceramic tiles and natural stone. It has even become standard in Germany since 2002 being incorporated into the standards for external floor coverings of the German Construction Industry Association (ZDB).

Alex Underwood, Head of Marketing at BAL, said: “The Surface Design Show is one of the premier specification events in the UK to showcase products and services, so we were delighted to return with our new innovation which was positively received by visitors to the stand.

“Gutjahr systems technology represents new, innovative ideas – a vision shared by BAL. We are proud to incorporate Gutjahr’s product range exclusively within the BAL portfolio as a further development of a full system service from the UK market-leader for tiling.”

As well as introducing Gutjahr at the show, the team at BAL also highlighted some of the firm’s  unique business tools for specifiers and architects including its free M40/M20 specification writing service, RIBA-accredited CPDs, and unique Sample Testing Service for new materials and backgrounds for use in tiling installations.

For more information on Gutjahr System Technology exclusively from BAL, please speak to a member of the BAL Specification Support Team on 01782 591120.

BAL YPlus A4 2pp A4 SDS Flyer v4a.indd

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.

TCF Awards 2016 Finalist Logo

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.

Sustainable Manufacturing Finalist - TMMX Awards 2015 small

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.

Alan Collins

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.

BAL specified for Huddersfield Leisure Centre

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

Huddersfield Leisure (10)
Huddersfield Leisure 1
Huddersfield Leisure 3
Huddersfield Leisure 4
Huddersfield Leisure 5
Huddersfield Leisure 7
Huddersfield Leisure 8
Huddersfield Leisure 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

TTA-Awards-2015-Outstanding-Contribution-to-Industry-Award-Dave-Rowley

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.

BAL Demo PR IMAGE

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

BAL supports SkillBuild finals

BAL has continued to support SkillBuild – the UK’s biggest construction skills competition – in its most successful competition to date.

SB1

SkillBuild is now in its third year and is run by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board). The competition sees the very best students from Regional Heats compete in ten construction occupations, including tiling, to be crowned the overall SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade.

The SkillBuild 2014 National Final was held in front of more than 74,000 people at The Skills Show 2014 at Birmingham’s NEC from 13 to 15 November.

Competitors were judged on their tiling techniques and ability over the three-day event, which saw students being set tiling challenges including a complex design incorporating the Brazilian flag and a visual depiction of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro statue.

BAL provided materials and sponsored the 3rd place prize, while Dave Rowley, BAL Training Manager, acted as Lead Judge at both the Finals and the 8 Regional Heats throughout the year.

Winner of the overall wall and floor tiling competition was Armondas Tamulis from Southern Regional College in Northern Ireland, with Malcolm Worley from St Helens College taking home the silver medal and Paul Walker, a tiling student from Cardiff and Vale College, who won the bronze medal.

Armondas and Malcolm will now go onto the International Shortlist and compete for a chance to represent Squad UK at the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Unfortunately Paul is above the age threshold to represent the UK at WorldSkills.

Les Inkpen, SkillBuild Project Manager, commented: “The standard at the event was extremely high, with many talented tilers proving that the future of the profession is in good hands.

“Armondas, Malcolm and Paul proved worthy medallists, with their tiling skills being rated significantly higher than the scoring threshold to represent the UK at WorldSkills.

“We had nearly 100 tilers enter the competition at the Regional Level , which is a significant increase from a few years’ ago, however  we are always looking to boost the number of competitors.

“ I would like to thank BAL for their support over the years, and it is fantastic that they are involved again this year.”

BAL has sponsored regional and national SkillBuild tiling competitions since 2009, while Dave Rowley has acted as Lead Judge since 2003.

Commenting on the final, Dave said: “We were delighted to once again provide support and sponsorship at the SkillBuild 2014 National Final and to take such an active part in judging the competition, while we are looking forward to supporting the 2015 competition.

“It was extremely hard to judge as all the competitors had been trained to a very high standard and performed exceptionally well under such difficult and tense conditions.

“At BAL we value training and innovation highly with more than 50 years of technological development and training experience behind us, so to lead the judging at the SkillBuild was a real honour.

“Continuing professional development and training is key to ensuring the industry continues to meet the highest standards, which is why we have invested in a state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Centre which is due to open in March 2015.”

For more information on the Innovation and Technology Centre and upcoming courses call 01782 591120.

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.”

Manufacturing%20Excellence%20Awards%202014_jpg

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.

Outstanding contribution 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.

TTA-Awards-2015-Outstanding-Contribution-to-Industry-Award-Dave-Rowley_HIP6708_NEF_  testDave, 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.”