F Ball - Sports flooring

FLOORING installations in sports facilities must be able to withstand high levels of foot traffic, and must offer the best in safety and hygiene. To avoid floor failure, it is imperative that optimum floor preparation products are used in order to deliver long-lasting, high quality floors in these environments.

Such was the case at Christ Church Sports Centre in Canterbury, Kent, where technical support and subfloor preparation products provided by F Ball and Co reportedly helped contractors from Oxden Floors to overcome a flooring failure and deliver a high quality, durable subfloor finish for the installation of a 1250sq m sports hall floor.

Located on the site of Barton Court Grammar School and operated by Canterbury Christ Church University, the new Christ Church Sports Centre features a large multifunctional sports hall, which provides students and staff with court space for a wide range of activities, from football and netball to volleyball and tennis.

A cushioned, vinyl sports floorcovering was specified for the floor, but before it could be installed, the contractor had to firstly ensure that the subfloor was smooth and dry, as well as being strong enough to withstand the repeated impact the floor would be subjected to over its lifetime.

Challenging site conditions resulted in failure of the original installation, causing the levelling compound used over the subfloor to de-bond, which in turn caused the floorcovering to lift. Contractors from Oxden Floors turned to F Ball to help rectify the situation, inviting F Ball’s area technical representative to undertake a full inspection of the site, and to provide recommendations for reinstalling the floorcovering.

F Ball recommended the mechanical removal of all previously applied surface preparation materials to ensure the subfloor was in sound condition before the floorcovering was reinstated. Relative humidity tests indicated that there was still a high level of construction moisture present within the subfloor. This was likely because it can take a while for new concrete floor slabs to dry out naturally. Therefore, an F Ball waterproof surface membrane was required to isolate floorcoverings and prevent any ensuing moisture damage.

Following the application of Stopgap P131 general-purpose primer to promote adhesion of a levelling compound to the waterproof surface membrane, Stopgap 300 HD, F Ball’s heavy duty levelling compound, was used to create what was described as a perfectly smooth finish ready for the receipt of floorcoverings. Stopgap 300 HD was reportedly specified for its high compressive and flexural strength, which enables floorcoverings to withstand the stresses imparted by heavy and repeated trafficking.

Said to be suitable for both absorbent and non-absorbent surfaces, Stopgap 300 HD’s self-levelling properties reportedly ensure a completely smooth and even base for the installation of LVTs, and its fast-drying and protein-free formulation make it suitable for use in biologically sensitive areas such as hospitals or schools, allowing the floorcovering to be installed without delay, F Ball says.

F Ball’s Styccobond F45 vinyl flooring adhesive was then used to secure the cushioned sports floorcovering to the prepared subfloor. A reportedly non-staining co-polymer emulsion adhesive, F Ball says Styccobond F45 has excellent resistance to PVC plasticisers that will also withstand normal wet cleaning techniques, as well as be protected against bio-degradation.

Sports environments will often present flooring contractors with the necessity for hardwearing, durable floors that are easy to clean. Selecting the optimum subfloor preparation products will give flooring contractors the advantage that they need to deliver long-lasting, high-quality floors in such facilities.

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