Uncoupling mat solutions

BAL is launching two uncoupling mat solutions for problem floors. Following the launch of the ‘revolutionary and award-winning’ BAL Rapid-Mat in 2014, the Flexbone range is said to offer 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 ie the mat is truly uncoupled,’ says the company.

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 of residue, no removal of laitance and no priming of the surface is needed. This means 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 aren’t 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 is 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/sq m, when compared to laying bonded cavity mat systems, claims BAL.

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’s perfect for heritage projects where it’s necessary to protect historic, sensitive substrates, plus areas where the ability to change the floor regularly is a requirement – such as rental properties,’ says BAL.

‘BAL Flexbone VAried is a bonded mat system, with the same installation process as other fixed cavity mat systems in the market.’

The company continues: ‘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 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, says BAL. ‘It provides a waterproof layer, meaning no tanking is needed in wet areas such as bathrooms, showers and wet-rooms when BAL Flexbone VAried is installed.’

The bonded mat is suitable 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, the company continues.

‘Both mats are available in 20m rolls or easy to install 2x1m sheets (suitable for small bathrooms or wet-rooms) 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’ says BAL.

‘When used with BAL adhesives, grouts, and sealants, this provides a fully guaranteed tiling system.’

To find out more about BAL’s new uncoupling solutions, use the below contact details.