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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.