BAL & the Kirklees Estate

BAL have worked in partnership with CJ Ceramics and English Heritage for the renovation of a Grade-1 listed 16th Century gatehouse on the site of ‘Robin Hood’s’ Grave.

Located on the historic Kirklees Estate in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, the Gatehouse is a now located on private land and used as a luxury rental residence.

According to local legend, Kirklees Hall is said to the final resting place of Robin Hood who was allegedly murdered on the site and buried nearby.

Craig Sellars from CJ Ceramics was commissioned to tile the interior of the gatehouse in Modena marble-effect porcelain supplied by Yorkshire Tile Company.

Because of the historic nature of the building including fragile lime render, Craig called on BAL product support manager Lewis Lupton to provide a technical specification for fixing materials.

‘As soon as I was commissioned for this project, I immediately called on Lewis to provide specification and product support as I would be tiling onto sensitive backgrounds,’ said Craig.

‘In conversation with English Heritage and the owner, we agreed upon a fixing solution to ensure that the original fabric of the building was not compromised in any way.’

Original floor joists were protected with 12mm plywood over-boarded with 6mm BAL Board to create a base to tile onto.

Recently launched, BAL Board is a lightweight tile backer board that is 15-35% lighter than traditional cement-based boards. BAL says, because no specialist cutting tools are required and the product produces minimal dust when cut, it is a suitable product for sensitive heritage backgrounds and environments.

Following installation of the BAL Board, the surface was levelled with BAL Level Max as there were areas which had dropped 30mm due to subsidence in the historic building.

The 800sq mm tiles were then fixed with new BAL Rapid-Flex One, an all-white S1 adhesive with reportedly improved flexibility and strength. Because of its formulation, BAL Rapid-Flex One has an extended open time of 30 minutes and working time of 60 minutes, while it can still be grouted after only three hours, BAL continues.

Where necessary, Craig tanked backgrounds with BAL Tank-it – a rapid-setting tanking system which can be tiled on only 90 minutes with no priming needed.

To tile onto the historic lime render, Craig removed any surface efflorescence before priming with two coats of BAL Prime APD followed by a skim coat of flexible adhesive. Following another priming coat, the tiles were fixed with BAL Single Part Flexible.

Following installation of the tiles, they were grouted with BAL Micromax2 in White with edges and corners sealed with colour-matched BAL Micromax Silicone Sealant.

‘It was a fantastic job to be involved with in such an historic building. Thankfully I had the support of BAL to ensure the right fixing solution was found,’ said Craig.
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