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Restore & Refresh

Floorcoverings are a key part of many refurbishments:

Altro Aquarius safety flooring was used in the shower and toilet area of a newly refurbished ward at Bristol Royal Infirmary. This new product, suitable for healthcare, is claimed to deliver guaranteed performance in wet or dry conditions for combined shoe and barefoot use – including hard soled, rubber and training shoes. A spokesperson from the estates team at the hospital commented: ‘The shower and toilet area on the ward incorporates a wet room. This means the floor is constantly going from wet to dry, which has serious safety implications. Patients can be frail and therefore unsure on their feet, often barefoot, or wearing slippers and the staff wear a range of soled shoes.’ In the shower and toilet areas, Aquarius was installed together with Whiterock hygienic wall cladding. Both products include integral Altrosan bacteriostat, which does not support the growth of MRSA and similar organisms. English County Contracts installed 210sq m of Aquarius alongside 250sq m of Whiterock wall cladding. AltroFix 19 Plus was used to fix the flooring. This is a solvent and water-free, two-part polyurethane adhesive designed to be resistant to water.

Ardex Arditex NA is a self-smoothing, protein free, latex levelling compound designed for use on almost all substrates. The absence of ammonia makes it suitable for sensitive environments that require even more care, such as hospitals, schools and other specialised buildings. Arditex NA also has rapid setting properties that enable floorcoverings to be applied after four hours. According to Ardex, it can be used with confidence over old adhesive residues, including bitumen and even ceramic tiling, as well as under damp proof membranes, to produce a smooth and flat finish. It is reportedly suitable for levelling concrete, cement/sand screeds, flooring grade asphalt, quarry tiles and even internal steel decks, and can be laid from a feather edge up to at least 12mm in a single application, and greater thicknesses with the incorporation of a suitable aggregate.

BASF describes Ucrete as a solution for fast-track flooring repairs. The product was recently applied in a refurbishment at a Cambridgeshire salad processing company by Ucrete licensed applicator Kemtile. It involved installing 100sq m flooring at an operating temperature of 5degC. David Priest of Kemtile, says: ‘Specifying Ucrete enabled us to shorten what would previously have been a 24-hour cure time to just six hours, after which we could get straight on with applying Ucrete RG to the covings.’ Robert Bentley, product manager for BASF Performance Flooring, adds: ‘Responding to shortening plant downtimes and increasing production, we optimised the curing times of all grades of Ucrete for fast, permanent repairs and refurbishment.’

F Ball and Co products were used to refurbish the floors of bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens in King’s College London’s student halls in Hampstead. The Hampstead accommodation features 431 self-catered single bedrooms with shared kitchens, bathrooms and TV rooms/lounges on each floor. Flooring contractor, Futura Contracts, removed the existing carpets and carpet tiles in the bedrooms with all remaining adhesive residues before installing new

Gradus carpet tiles to the subfloor using Styccobond F41 carpet tile tackifier. A solvent free, acrylic tackifier, F41 is designed to give a permanently tacky film which prevents ‘loose lay’ carpet tiles from moving under normal traffic but enables them to be lifted and replaced easily when required. New Polyflor rubber flooring was installed in the corridors and the small washroom area in each of the 431 self-contained bedrooms. Styccobond F58 rubber flooring adhesive was used to adhere the new covering to the subfloor. This acrylic emulsion adhesive is said to have high bond strength and be protected against bio-degradation. In the communal kitchen and bathroom areas, Styccobond F60 contact adhesive was applied to secure the new Altro vinyl floorcovering. Styccobond F60 is designed to withstand normal wet cleaning techniques. It is said to have an instant bond and fast drying properties.

Gradus supplied Genus carpet and Boulevard 6000 secondary barrier matting to Wetherby Methodist Church, as part of a refurbishment involving its entrance, main congregation area and staircases. The church’s main congregation area of the church was refurbished with Genus carpet in Ancient Ruby (red), chosen to complement the elegant and modern design of the interior. In the reception area, Genus carpet in Black Forest (grey) was installed. Boulevard 6000 secondary barrier matting in Shadow (grey) was installed in the entrance area, helping to remove tracked in dirt and moisture. The performance benefits of Boulevard 6000 secondary barrier matting are said to help prolong the lifecycle of surrounding carpet and maintain the building’s aesthetics. Karen Burman, product manager for Gradus Floorcoverings, says: ‘Our Genus carpet range is available in cut pile construction in tile, broadloom and impervious formats, in a wide choice of colours. It is not only easy to clean and maintain, but the chosen colours complement the interior of the church.’ Genus carpet is produced with Marquesa yarn, described as inherently resistant to staining and fading, not requiring any harmful topical treatments. The cleaning benefits of Marquesa are said to help reduce maintenance costs and improve the carpet’s lifecycle performance. The extended lifecycle performance helps prevent early disposal, reducing unnecessary waste sent to landfill, which as a result, benefits the environment and provides a more sustainable lifecycle plan. Genus carpet and Boulevard 6000 secondary barrier matting have been awarded the highest green guide ‘A+’ rating under the BRE’s certified environmental profile scheme.

Heckmondwike Supacord carpet tiles were installed in the refurbishment of Malcolm Arnold Academy, Northampton. A range of Supacord colours were used to define different sections of open spaces. ‘The project brief called for a carpet durable enough to withstand high volumes of foot traffic and survive in a demanding environment, but without losing its appearance,’ comments Heckmondwike area manager, David Stephens. The company reports having supplied its Supacord carpet to hundreds of school and college projects over recent years. The rugged construction also enables Supacord carpet to be cut on site, to create individual flooring designs without risk of the carpet fraying or unravelling. With choices of 2m and 4m wide carpets, as well as a carpet tile option, Supacord range is equally suited to other types of application, including retail, office and accommodation projects. A new sample card has been produced to help architects, designers and contractors in the specification process.

InstaFloor has designed its InstaLay rubber crumb Peel & Stick underlays for refurbishment projects, where floor heights can be critical. InstaLay is said to provide a slim sound insulation system. This is important if a hard floorcovering is being installed where carpet had been used previously, creating an increase in impact sound that must be controlled by means of a high performance acoustic underlay. The product is also said to mask imperfections in the existing subfloor, reducing preparation requirements and overcoming the problems sometimes experienced when laying LVTs or sheet flooring. It also avoids the need for mechanically fixing down solid wood floors. InstaLay, with no carpet grippers or adhesive needed, is reported to provide a good single stick application for carpets and wood floors that avoids any damage to the subfloor, preserving ornate wood or tiled floors in historic or listed buildings. The product is also described as very quick, clean and easy to install and greatly speeds up contract times, always important during refurbishments projects.

Mapei supplies a range of products said to meet the challenges of refurbishments. Topcem is described as a fast-drying screed, suitable for rapid reinstatement programmes. It can be placed internally and externally and is designed to receive installation of ceramic tiles after only 24 hours, stone materials after two days, and resilient and wood floorcoverings after four days. It is said to be suitable where subfloors have been penetrated with oil, chemicals or acidic liquid contamination which is impossible to remove from the cementitious floor. Topcem ensures the floorcovering is not stained by subfloor contamination, says Mapei. Where the subfloor is stable, but moisture is an issue and a surface dpm is required, Mapei offers Mapeproof 1K Turbo, a rapid drying, solvent-free polyurethane surface dpm. As a single-component, there is no requirement for mixing and no waste. The product can be applied to cementitious subfloors and within 40-50 minutes, dependent upon ambient conditions, will be sufficiently dry enough to be overlaid with a second coat, a primer or alternatively a polyurethane adhesive to receive wooden flooring direct. Ultraplan renovation screed, developed for refurbishment, is said to be applicable on all types of new subfloors. The fibre reinforced levelling and smoothing compound is considered suitable for subfloors in commercial and domestic installations and can be applied between 3 to 30mm. Mapeproof 1K Turbo and Ultraplan renovation screed have low emissions of VOC’s and carry GEV Emicode EC1 accreditation.

nora says its new norament 975 LL loose-lay rubber flooring with nora Quickfix dry adhesive system is suited for refurbishment, because the tiles can be installed quickly and cost effectively, avoiding extensive subfloor preparation. The tiles are also re-usable with residue-free removal and can be supplied pre-taped for permanent fix. It is said to be dimensionally stable due to its three layer technology, so no joint sealing is required. The product is described as easy to clean with no coating required. It comes in a hammer finish with granule design and a slate effect design.

Osmo UK says its Wood Filler is designed to remove abrasions on wooden floors, helping to achieve an ‘as-new’ appearance. The product is described as a multi-purpose, easy to use, fast drying solution for interior floors to remove scratches and dents in the wood. It can also act as an edge filler, wood putty, crack filler and sanding sealer, eliminating the need for several different products, according to Osmo. The product is said to have an unlimited lifespan and is also described as safe and environmentally friendly. It is made from natural materials, is non-acrylic, non-toxic and compliant with recent and 2010 VOC legislation. Available in 14 colours and designed to be used across a range of wood surfaces, there is no reason for inconsistency of colour on the floor. Wood Filler can reportedly even be mixed with any suitable tint or stain to achieve a custom colour. Suitable for both commercial and residential applications, it is described as durable, resistant to heat and freezing temperatures and will not shrink, sink, crack or fall out once applied.

Pallmann renovation products, including the filler Pall-X Kitt, primer Pall-X 325 and lacquer Pall-X 98, were used for the refurbishment of Hohenkammer Castle, an established event centre with restaurants and hotel. Pallmann renovation products were used on 700sq m of wood flooring in the dining room and seminar centre stairs. The two-component lacquer Pall-X 98, with its scratch and wear resistant properties, was used to protect the oak parquet with mosaic effect.

Polyflor SimpLay Loose Lay vinyl tiles in wood effect planks have been installed in the staffroom at North Hertfordshire College, Stevenage. Featuring a Natural Oak finish, the planks don’t require adhesive and were laid straight over the existing flooring by MG Flooring, Hertford, facilitating a rapid installation and minimal disruption. Brian Sapsed, head of estates and facilities, comments: ‘By taking adhesive, and in this case subfloor preparation out of the equation, installation time and disruption are significantly reduced.’ SimpLay, with a 5mm gauge and 0.7 wearlayer, features a PU surface treatment to assist ongoing maintenance and reduce life cycle cleaning costs. It is available in eight wood planks, six natural stone tiles and two weave pattern tiles. The product is said to allow easy access to underfloor heating and cabling while the thicker 5mm gauge facilitates a 9dB sound impact reduction, an added benefit for offices, educational environments and multi-level commercial buildings.

Ronacrete screeding products were used in the refurbishment of student accommodation in Islington, North London. Contractors CCS Drywall installed nearly 1,000sq m of Ronafix pre-packed screed. The scheme included 125 bedrooms, bike storage, common rooms and 1200sq.ft of commercial space. Robert Birch, md, CCS Drywall: ‘Our works were part of a refurbishment project to replace and repair existing screeds on a tight programme so that a wide range of floor finishes could be laid shortly afterwards. We used Ronafix floor screeds to ensure that a quality hard wearing surface with rapid drying properties was achieved.’ CCS pumped the screed across the seven storey building using a Putzmeister M760DHB screed pump. Screed thicknesses ranged from 10-50mm across the site and were laid bonded with Ronacrete Standard Primer.

Ultra Floor DPM IT one coat, Prime IT N and Level IT SmoothFlow were used to transform part of the 3 star Travelodge at Gatwick Airport. CFA member, T C Carpets & Flooring, completed 700sq m of subfloor preparation and Amtico flooring installation in the hotel’s restaurant and kitchen areas. DPM IT is an epoxy resin damp proof membrane system available as a one coat or two coat with an optional accelerator additive. The product is said to cure to provide a waterproof surface membrane that allows fast installation of cement-based surfaces. The one coat version, said to strengthen the surface of almost all substrate types, was used on this project before priming with Ultra Floor Prime IT N. This is a polymer emulsion primer designed to promote the adhesion of Ultra Floor smoothing underlayments to smooth non-porous substrates with a relative humidity of up to 92%. It was applied to the treated substrate and left to dry for up to an hour before levelling with Level IT SmoothFlow single part concrete floor leveller. The product contains a blend of specially graded fillers, fine cements and polymers for smoothing and levelling uneven internal floors, before the application of decorative floorcoverings. Level IT SmoothFlow is designed for trowel application, yet formulated so excellent flow can be achieved when applied by pump, maximising usage. Optimum coverage, of up to 5.5sq m at 3mm thickness is claimed, resulting in a thin, strong and level underlayment. This project is one of several that T C Carpets has completed at Gatwick Airport using Ultra Floor products. Ultra Floor is a brand of the Instarmac Group.

Uzin has launched L3 Gold moisture control system, developed to improve Uzin L3 Gold in areas of high moisture, up to 90% RH. With the moisture control system, fitters just have to prime the floor with one coat of L3 Gold system primer and then mix the bag and bottle components L3 Gold Powder and the new L3 Gold moisture control liquid, before installing the levelling compound. The rapid L3 Gold system primer is designed to dry in one hour, while the L3 Gold moisture control levelling compound is ready to accept most floorcoverings within two hours, meaning the installation process takes less than four hours. This rapid system is described as being not only affordable when compared to the traditional system at price per sq m, but also saves time and money on labour costs. The L3 Gold products, being ammonia and latex free, are said to be suitable for use in sensitive environments such as hospitals. L3 Gold moisture control system can reportedly also be applied over old waterproof adhesives residues. It is said to be easy to sand down, flows exceptionally and has a high compressive strength of 25 N. CFJ

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at