Educational establishments demand safe and durable floors. Flooring in these settings must be able to withstand years of wear – from students moving through corridors and queuing outside classrooms to chairs moving back-and-forth under desks.
Fortunately, floorcovering manufacturers have created an abundance of stylish options that meet these requirements, meaning client briefs can be achieved without having to sacrifice design for functionality.
Achieving a long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing flooring finish also necessitates proper subfloor preparation and the use of suitably high-performance products, including adhesives that are appropriate for the environment in which floorcoverings will be installed.
Case study: Hampton School
Specialist floor levelling compounds and adhesives from F Ball & Co were used to install a mixture of hard-wearing, stylish textile, and vinyl floorcoverings at Hampton School in southwest London, befitting of the independent school’s prestigious status. As part of the school’s ongoing development and investment programme, it was essential the installation was in keeping with the standards set by one of the country’s top educators for young people.
Starting in the sixth form areas, contractors from Teddington Carpet Centre made a feature of the long and narrow atrium by mirroring the footprint of the mezzanine floor overlooking the breakout area onto the floor below, using a 50/50-split of Calgary Cement and Grey Forbo Flotex carpets.
To achieve this, the old fibre-bonded carpet in the 250sq m room was first removed, revealing a sound, dry, concrete subfloor, which was primed using diluted Stopgap P131 general-purpose primer before the application of F Ball & Co’s Stopgap Green Bag levelling compound.
Says the company: ‘The fast-setting, low odour product was selected for its high strength, making it suitable for an area which will be subject to high levels of wear for years to come. Once the levelling compound had cured, Styccobond F44 acrylic adhesive was used to secure the PVC-backed carpet.
Over in the maths’ corridor, contractors had to remove fibre-bonded carpet tiles affixed to wooden parquet blocks, leaving behind old bitumen adhesive residues. To prepare the subfloor, F Ball & Co’s Stopgap 1200 Pro levelling compound, which is suitable for use of over old adhesive residues, including bitumen and carpet tile tackifiers, was applied.’
The company continued: ‘Once cured, Stopgap F77 waterproof surface membrane was applied as a moisture test had indicated the presence of excess subfloor moisture, with relative humidity levels exceeding the 75% threshold for the project to progress without a moisture management solution. In its absence, subsequently applied adhesives and floorcoverings would’ve been liable to attack from the excess subfloor moisture, potentially resulting in floor failure.
‘With the non-absorbent surface now in place, Stopgap P141 primer was used to promote the adhesion of a subsequently applied second layer of Stopgap 1200 Pro. Finally, the 100sq m area was finished with wood-effect luxury vinyl tiles, creating a warm environment, ready for eager students to traverse again.’
Robert Wilks, managing director at Teddington Carpet Centre, said: ‘Hampton School was a challenging project with several requirements, but with the support of F Ball & Co and their long-established products, we came out with a fantastic result.
‘We have a close relationship with our technical rep, Simon Jenkins, who has a wealth of knowledge and his expertise was invaluable, as were all the F Ball & Co products – anyone can probably tell: we’re big fans!’