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

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

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

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.”

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


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

Caroline’s website is:

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

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, 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 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.

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

Introducing BAL Micromax2 Anthracite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get ultimate waterproof protection with BAL Tank-it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discover more here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prestigious award for BAL training manager

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


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 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.


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

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.


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

BAL supports SkillBuild finals

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


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.