Playing the field

Some manufacturers specialise in hitting sports flooring for six

THE cycling season is in sight – and spring is already in full-flow! So, it’s the perfect time to get ready for a fresh start. Think detox, healthy eating, getting back into sport and a wind of change blowing through your home.

Quick-Step says it combined all of this at an exclusive core stability training session. Together with professional cyclists Zdeněk Štybar and Julien Vermote, a select group of press and bloggers got to work intensively on fundamentals for the body and home. No concrete or cobbled surface this time, but the new Majestic laminate collection. A unique spring classic, the company says.

On 23 February, Quick-Step, manufacturer of designer floors in parquet, laminate and vinyl, joined forces with the cycling team of the same name at a sports hall in Ghent. The reason is clear: a good basis guarantees a strong end result, and that applies to both cyclists and floors.

First things first: Whether it’s an endurance sport such as cycling or a more intense but shorter sport session like a football match, a strong, well-trained basis is the secret to every top sports performance. And the Quick-Step Floors pro-cycling team says it knows this only too well.

Professional cyclists such as Zdeněk Štybar and Julien Vermote spend time every day working on their core stability: they perform exercises focused on the torso, because the centre of the body is where all movements originate. The muscles in your lower back form the main support for the spine, for example.

When you move, you constantly use their strength and stability. So training these muscles has a direct impact on your whole body’s performance. It makes you stronger and also reduces the risk of injury.

During the event, various journalists and bloggers had an opportunity to experience what happens at this kind of training session with the professionals, and just before the start of the spring classics too. Hard work!

The Majestic test: The fact that the core of the body is important is clear. But the role the core of your interior plays in your house shouldn’t be underestimated either.

Quick-Step says it believes the floors are the basis of how your home looks and feels. The floor supports other elements both literally and figuratively: from large and small pieces of furniture to decorative elements and details. So, choosing the right floor is very important.

Quick-Step reports that it’s created a floor for any room and any style: from light, sleek floors to warm, brown classics and even weathered floors with authentic knots and cracks.

But the qualities and technical properties of the floor are an important part of your final decision too. ‘To demonstrate the fact that Majestic, the latest laminate collection from Quick-Step, is a perfect fit for a room that stands up to the rough and tumble of real life, the training session was held on this brand-new floor,’ the company says.

Grand effect: Majestic is without doubt Quick-Step’s most spacious and luxurious floor to date, the company says, adding that the floor brings the warm feeling of wood into your home better than any other, but with all the advantages of a laminate as well.

‘Thanks to the ground-breaking technologies and a water-repellent Hydroseal coating in the joints, the floorboards have exceptional water resistance so you can lay the floor in the bathroom or kitchen with peace of mind.

‘The floorboards also offer good resistance to scratches and bumps, thanks to the Scratch Guard top layer, a patented Quick-Step technology that makes the floor extra scratch-resistant.

‘The unique extra-long and wide planks also provide a perfectly fitting structure that extends over the joints and brings aesthetic balance. The grand and luxurious effect will take your interior to the next level.’

Quick-Step Floors cycling team is a World Tour cycling team established in 2003 and based in Wevelgem, Belgium, a city that’s iconic for Flemish cycling.

The team is made up of 29 riders from 13 different countries. The Czech Businessman Zdenek Bakala took over the team at the end of 2010.

The team is managed by a Board of eight members. Patrick Lefevere, one of the most victorious managers in the history of cycling, is in charge of Sports
Management. The team focuses on its Belgian roots, but also strives to have an international impact.

Since its inception, the team has scored more than 550 victories, including 14 Monument Classics, four Road World Championships, six ITT Road World Championships, three TTT World Championships, two World Cups and an Olympic Title.

In 2016, Quick-Step Floors was the most successful team for the fifth year in a row, amassing 57 victories (56 on the road).

Current top riders for the team are sprinter Marcel Kittel (winner of nine Tour de France stage), Tom Boonen (four-time Paris-Roubaix winner), Niki Terpstra (winner of the 2014 Paris-Roubaix), Zdenek Stybar (2015 Strade Bianche winner), Dan Martin (winner of the 2013 Liège–Bastogne–Liège and 2014 Giro di Lombardia) and Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels, best young rider of the 2016 Giro d’Italia.

Quick-Step describes itself as a quality flooring brand produced by Mohawk. It says ongoing research and innovation along with a strong focus on quality have made it one of the top players in the flooring industry.

The brand, known for its patented glueless Uniclic installation system, reports that it’s evolved from being an affordable alternative to wood to a category in its own right, bringing various design floors that are ‘swift and easy to install and maintain in every situation’.

Quick-Step ads that it’s a global engineered wood, laminate and luxury vinyl flooring brand active in more than 100 countries and a true leader in design, innovation and quality.
0283 0250477

F BALL & CO’s Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS vinyl adhesive, a development in temperature tolerant adhesives, has been used to install vinyl flooring, as part of the refurbishment of the Wellington College fitness centre.

Wellington College is a British co-educational boarding and day independent school in the village of Crowthorne, Berkshire. Wellington Health & Fitness Club is a leisure facility set within the Wellington College Estate. Its facilities include fitness classes, gym, swimming, tennis, squash and more.

Vulcan Flooring, based in Sandhurst, was contracted to install 70sq m of luxury vinyl tiles over a subfloor that was part sand/cement screed and part plywood raised platform.

After removing the existing floorcovering, contractors built up the raised platform with timber, chipboard and plywood and applied Stopgap 1200 Pro smoothing underlayment over the raised platform and the screed subfloor.

Stopgap 1200 Pro is a low-odour, fast-setting, fast-drying, two-component smoothing underlayment suitable for preparing sound internal subfloors prior to the installation of new floorcoverings. It’s particularly suitable for use over old adhesive residues (including bitumen and carpet tile tackifiers) without the need for priming.

Vulcan Flooring then used new Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS temperature-tolerant vinyl adhesive to adhere the floorcoverings. The adhesive proved to be suitable for the refurbishment and enabled contractors to install luxury vinyl sheet and wood effect planks.

Michael Gray of Vulcan Flooring said: ‘We use F Ball products on every refurbishment that we do and we always find them to be a reliable, good fit for the flooring that we are installing.

‘Styccobond F49 was no different – it enabled us to adhere the flooring successfully and easily and we’ll certainly be using it again in the future.’

The formulation of Styccobond F49 is said to limit movement and holds the floorcovering firmly in place when subject to extreme temperature variations. The adhesive also delivers the instant grab and extended open time associated with pressure sensitive adhesives, which, until now, hasn’t been available for temperature tolerant adhesives.

The pressure sensitive nature of the adhesive allows it to continue to build up strength following initial application.

As well as offering instant initial grab and high bond strength, the water-based adhesive has been developed for use in conditions, which are subject to extreme temperature fluctuations as low as -20deg C and up to +60deg C, such as conservatories or heavily glazed areas and is suitable for use over normal underfloor heating systems.

In addition, it’s said to provide an extremely strong water resistant bond, allowing it to be used in areas subject to water and high humidity.

Founded in 1886, F Ball and Co says it’s the UK’s leading manufacturer of flooring adhesives and floor preparation products for the contract flooring industry.

With a broad product portfolio including floor smoothing underlayments, repair compounds, waterproof surfaces membranes, flooring adhesives and primers, F Ball claims to deliver superior customer service through its network of more than 120 wholesalers throughout the UK and Ireland. In addition, the company’s ‘recommended adhesives guide’ (RAG) matches adhesives to more than 5,500 brand name floorcoverings from over 200 international manufacturers.

Extensive in-house testing facilities and research and development laboratories at the company headquarters in Cheddleton, Staffordshire, enable F Ball to continuously enhance the technology and quality of its product range.
01538 361633
HAVWOODS says it makes no secret of the fact engineered wood is its surface of choice for many applications, but that sports flooring is not one of them.

‘We remain convinced of the benefits of playing on a solid wood surface but have, of course, been aware of the stability, environmental and cost-efficiency arguments for engineered wood sports floors.
‘We’ve been looking for a system which utilises solid wood yet combats the weaknesses of the better-knows sports floors and we’re delighted to have found it; so delighted that we’ve launched it as our own.’

The performance of a sports floor is dependent on the interaction between the floor surface and its resilient sub-construction, the company says, adding that Havsport floors comprise of 22mm thick solid hardwood planks, in a choice of timbers, and a high-performance range of batten systems customised to suit various sub-floor conditions and construction heights. All are fully compliant with BS EN14904:2006.

‘The 2-strip planks are currently available in beech from Germany, white oak from France (both PEFC certified) and hevea, an under-utilised timber that is a stable as teak yet reaches maturity in just 20 years.’
They are kiln dried, ensuring more even drying; the backsides are lacquered, the edges treated and the ends sealed for optimal moisture resistance, the company says. ‘The stave ends are finger jointed and these and the centre joints are glued.

‘The result is a plank that is exceptionally stable and moisture resistant, and will not show the evidence of moisture damage so often associated with older wooden sports floors.’

Finally, says Havwoods, they’re sealed with an anti-scratch lacquer, vastly improving wear-resistance. ‘This lacquer is designed not to require a final coat onsite, and for water-based line marking paint to be applied directly to the floor without need for further sealing afterwards, all of which results in a considerable cost saving.’

Four sub-structure systems are available, providing sports flooring suitable for everything from dance, fitness and small multi-purpose applications (multi-clip) to large arenas (Pro 1 and Pro 2 systems both meet FIBA requirements).
020 79400000

IF you’re looking for safe and easy access to concealed services located under sports flooring Howe Green says it can help.

It describes itself as a leading manufacturer of floor, wall and ceiling access covers, panels and hatches with a reputation for innovative and cost effective access solutions.

Howe Green covers provide access to essential building services such as power, heat and communications and can be used to cover anchorage points required to secure equipment, posts and rebound boards, the company adds.

Its sporting facilities projects include a gym in Indianapolis, Old Trafford, Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Ricoh Arena, London Aquatics Centre and hundreds of leisure centres throughout the UK.

Standard size and load-bearing access covers are available from stock. If a custom size or load bearing is required these can be precision engineered to suit your exact specification, the company says. All covers are designed to fit 100% flush with the sports flooring, removing the hazard of slips and trips.

Howe Green says its floor access covers offer a robust, safe and unobtrusive solution to the challenge of accessing concealed services in internal or external environments and are suitable for hard or flexible floor finishes.

‘When it comes to the specialised area of sports flooring Howe Green has it covered!’
01920 463230

JUNCKERS says its sports floors are made in solid hardwood, adding that this is one of the most durable surfaces available and virtually unbeatable in terms of lifecycle costs.

As well as complying fully with EN 14904, Junckers sports floors now reportedly comply with Sports England and Sport Scotland’s guidance for Affordable Sports Floors, both Category A3 and A4 systems, exceeding Sport England’s minimum performance requirement.

Every floor finish, including synthetics, will become damaged over time and maintenance and longevity is an important factor. The difference with a Junckers solid hardwood sports floor, the company says, is that it can be sanded and re-finished eight to ten times during its life.

‘With 12-year intervals between sandings, a typical lifespan of 60 years will comfortably be exceeded. Compared with a typical 15-year life of a synthetic or ‘engineered’ floor there really is no comparison in terms of lifecycle cost.’

Specifiers and decision-makers are increasingly concerned about environmental factors, Junckers says. ‘A hardwood floor is one of the most environmentally friendly sports floor finishes you could hope to find. A solid wood sports floor from Junckers now comes at a price which falls comfortably within Sport England’s criteria for Affordable Sports Floors.’
01376 534700

DEVELOPED for sports and leisure activities, Kährs Activity Floor is an ‘all-in-one’ system designed for floating installation, the company says.

Integral shock-absorption and reinforcement properties eliminate the need for battens and fittings, providing the high performance of a traditional sports floor and cutting installation time by a half.
Kährs Activity range includes Beech, Hard Maple and Oak designs, which are each crafted from even grained timber, with full FSC chain of custody on request.

All boards feature the popular three-stave design and benefit from a durable satin lacquer pre-finish. Kährs glueless Woodloc 5S joint provides a fast installation and eliminates gapping. Boards can also be unlocked and relaid, if required.

All designs comply with both DIN and new EN Standards, and boards measure 2423x200x30mm. The range also includes installation and maintenance accessories.
023 92453045

TO enhance and increase Nottingham University’s standing in sport and to deliver a key requirement to underpin the emerging strategy to deliver a new ‘Vision for sport’ the department of sport chose Kier Construction in connection with David Morley Architects to design and build the new £40m sport centre including the largest university sport hall of 3,840sq m. Other facilities included seven new glass fronted squash courts and a fitness suite.

More than 4,800sq m of FSC-certified Boen sports floors were installed throughout the new centre. Boflex Stadium Oak which has a finished floor height of 28mm and built in resilient strips was chosen for the main sport hall. Boen Arenaflex Stadium 23mm Oak was installed over the Boen Elevation System in the fitness suite.

For the new all glass squash show court Boen Arenaflex Stadium Oak Noir Squash featuring the almost black surface was chosen.

Senior project manager at Kier Construction Chris Thompson said: ‘It was acknowledged during the tender process that the flooring to the hall would be the centre point of the scheme. With this in mind, Boen and Pica Floorings were selected as their track record in schemes of this nature is impeccable.

‘The finished product is a testament to the quality of Boen products and the workmanship and experience of the Pica installation crew. I look forward to the opportunity to working with both parties again.’
Visit Boen Sport UK on Facebook to see the installation timeline and see more references and product guides.
0800 6525280

NEW figures from the recent Sport England Active People Survey showed that 15.83m people over the age of 16 played sport in the last year.

Keeping fit and going to the gym remain hugely popular, with the number of people doing this every week it is breaking the seven million mark for the first time. Exercise classes, like spinning and box-exercise, continue to attract large numbers of people, especially women. It’s a healthy trend that international flooring and interiors specialist Gerflor says it’s well-placed to assist.

Taraflex vinyl sports flooring from Gerflor has been used in many international and local sporting events and is available in 17 colours and three wood-effect designs, the company says.

It’s available in various solutions meeting different levels of the EN 14904 Standard delivering the full scope of indoor sports surfaces from P1 to P3 shock absorption solutions.

Taraflex is recognised for providing durability, safety and comfort without impairing performance. A unique value proposition, the Comfort range offers greater than 45% force reduction, making it unrivalled in the marketplace in terms of offering comfort for users lowing the risk of long-term injuries.

Taraflex meets the EN Standard of 22196 for anti-bacterial activity (E coli - S aureus - MRSA) returning >99% levels of growth inhibition. The product is also treated with Protecsol, which renders polish redundant and is triple action meaning no polish is ever required, it’s easy to maintain and is anti-friction burn and slide/grip.

Taraflex has a double density foam backing and with another bonus, it’s environmentally friendly. Gerflor offers several installation solutions for Taraflex including the Eco-Fit System which is a fast, free-floating installation and it’s versatile enough to be used in various multi-specialist applications.

The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1897 with the primary purpose of promoting the motor car and its place in society.

Today, the Royal Automobile Club is one of the foremost private members’ clubs in the world with two beautiful and unique clubhouses, alongside first-class accommodation, dining and sports facilities.

In a recent refit of their fitness centre in London’s Pall Mall club they’d turn to Gerflor to supply the solution. In consultation with Dan Wise, the gym manager at the Royal Automobile Club, about 70sq m of Taraflex Multi-Use 6.2 in Wood and Black colours would be specified for a host of areas including their ‘stretch’, ‘rower’ and ‘functional’ zones.

Dan Wise commented, ‘We needed something hard-wearing and durable but that also fitted in with the club’s high design standards. The finished product looks far better than I could have ever imagined.’

In 2015 Gerflor announced its acquisition of Connor Sport Court International in a move that subsequently expanded the company’s global market reach and sports product range portfolio. Connor Sport Court International says it’s the US market leader in sports surfacing and has built systems for many elite associations including the NBA, NCAA, FIBA, USTA, FIVB, US Youth Futsal, and USA Volleyball.

Gerflor has introduced four systems from the Connor Sports family providing hard wood sports flooring solutions for a myriad of markets. Available now are NeoShok, Rezill Sleeper and Alliance, with stock levels held in France.

The fourth available product is the QuickLock portable system, also held in France and is suitable for temporary use in a multitude of sporting events. All the systems can be finished in three different grades of 57mmx20mm North American Hard Maple strip.

The Prince William of Gloucester barracks in Grantham was established on the site of the former RAF Spitalgate airbase in October 1976 as the new Central Volunteer Headquarters for the Royal Corps of Transport.

It’s now a large TA training centre. When the assigned MOD supply chain company wanted to upgrade the existing gym at the Prince William of Gloucester barracks they would specify some 1,800sq m of Gerflor’s Connor Maple sports flooring to meet the military requirements.

Richard Darby from the appointed installer Reflex Sports said, ‘Gerflor really pulled out all the stops to ensure that the project was completed on time and to the client’s satisfaction.

‘We have had very positive feedback from all of the users of the facility.  In fact, moving forwards we are actively working on other specifications for Connor products.’

Also, sitting very comfortably in the Gerflor stable of products, the company says, is the safest outdoor court in the world. PowerGame from Connor Sport Court features the lowest skin abrasion of any outdoor court surface and is made of the highest quality materials and UV stabilisers, according to Gerflor.

When the mother of global tennis star Sir Andy Murray decided she wanted to actively do something about tennis at the grass roots level in Scotland - ‘Tennis on the Road’ was ‘born’. This programme has enabled Judy Murray to bring tennis to a whole new generation of kids.

The programme would need the very best playing surface for the coaches and children to play on.

Their choice? ‘PowerGame from Sport Court,’ says Gerflor.

01926 622600

THE CreteAngle Multiflow Forced Action Pan Type Wet Pour Mixer Mixer Model ‘L112’ has been designed for rubber crumb, wetpour, rubber mulch and other low density lightweight materials, for sports stadiums and running tracks etc.

It has a complete and rapid mixing action achieving what’s claimed to be ‘an amazingly high output’, a complete mix being completed, the company says, in one minute or under.

The Model ‘L112’ is fitted with a Pan Tipper, which enables the materials to be discharged into a wheelbarrow or onto the ground.

The Model ‘L112’ can be supplied with Hatz diesel or Honda petrol engines (with electric start options).

Spare parts, such as replacement blades and pans are readily available from stock, the company says. The supplied heavy duty pan is said to ensure a long-life.

The mixer is easy to operate and maintain as the materials and components used are said to be of the highest quality. With their proven reliability CreteAngle Pan Mixers ae said to give consistent results, long life with minimum maintenance.

We also manufacture ‘inhouse’ Resin Rollers in three roller widths, that complement our hand-built Forced Action Pan Mixers.

CreteAngle says its mixers provide key advantages: consistent mix, high productivity, design flexibility, high output and robust design.
01903 241349

ENVIROSTIK says it’s the expert in the manufacture of performance adhesives for the installation of artificial grass surfaces for sport and leisure activities.

The company says it’s known for innovative, trusted products, formulated to last the lifetime of the surface.

Part of the Sandmaster Group of companies, based in Stafford, EnviroStik formulates, manufactures and supplies a range of structural adhesives for synthetic grass project installations worldwide.

EnviroStik also says it delivers bespoke professional adhesive solutions to customers worldwide. The company can offer customers best practice installation guidance and technical support from its technical team which has more than 25 years’ experience in the synthetic turf industry. Members of the customer services team are always on-hand to answer enquiries, the company says.

The company says it offers a range of different carpet jointing systems, designed to meet the requirements of artificial playing surfaces for all major field sports, including football, rugby, hockey, tennis and cricket.
The systems are said to provide a major component in the installation process that maximises compliance with the stringent requirements of all governing bodies of the respective sports.

Today the use of synthetic grass for leisure, play and landscaping surfaces is accepted as a means of achieving easily maintained areas with smart appearance and good levels of comfort, the company says, adding that this has led to the development of a secondary range of products for this market. ‘We lead the field in offering smaller pack, easy-to-use adhesive systems,’ the company says.

Recent prestigious projects have included a synthetic pitch upgrade at Allianz Park, home ground of Rugby Union Premiership side Saracens.
01889 271751