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F Ball products ensure high-performance flooring in Nottingham central library

F BALL products, including dual-purpose Stopgap Fill and Prime thixotropic primer and Stopgap 1200 smoothing compound, have been used to create a large-scale, high-performance flooring finish in the new Nottingham Central Library as part of a £4bn regeneration project.

The Commercial Flooring Company was subcontracted by Overbury to install more than 2,000sq m of vinyl sheet flooring over three floors of the Library, which contains more than 180,000 books and reference materials spread over nearly 2km of shelving, including in the ground-floor café and reception, meeting rooms and an exhibition space.

Contractors used F Ball’s Stopgap Fill and Prime and Stopgap 1200 smoothing compound to prepare metal raised access panels in all areas, creating what’s described as a perfectly smooth surface for floorcoverings.

Says the company: ‘Stopgap Fill and Prime is a cement-based primer with a thixotropic consistency, meaning it is easily applied by hand but thickens to a gel-like consistency on standing, allowing it to fill gaps at joints between panels, preventing depressions resulting from a subsequently applied smoothing compound sinking into them while setting.

‘Once the primer had cured, F Ball’s Stopgap 1200 smoothing compound was applied to create a perfectly smooth base for the installation of floorcoverings. The product is a fast-setting, fast-drying, two-component smoothing compound for preparing sound internal subfloors. It can also be used over old adhesive residues, without the need to prime subfloors beforehand.

‘Contractors then used F Ball’s Styccobond F46 pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive to install Gerflor safety flooring in all areas where subfloors had been prepared, with multiple colours used to demarcate different areas, such as breakout zones.

‘Styccobond F46 provides instant grab, preventing floorcoverings from sliding when placed, helping with the positioning of sections of flooring. The adhesive is also formulated to minimise the incidence of trowel serrations showing through thin vinyl flooring potentially affecting the finished appearance of installations.

‘The adhesive was also used to adhere vinyl to the steps of one of the building’s staircases, with F Ball’s Styccobond F60 contact adhesive used to attach vinyl to the risers.’

Forbo Coral Classic entrance matting was also installed at the main entrance to the building using F Ball’s Styccobond F45 adhesive, which is designed for securing highly plasticised vinyl floorcoverings and PVC-backed carpets.

Speaking of the project, Kane Tunaley, director at The Commercial Flooring Company, said: ‘This was a huge undertaking that came with a number of challenges, requiring over 540 units of Stopgap 1200 and 58 buckets of adhesive. The lifts in the building weren’t operational when work was taking place, so rolls of vinyl sheet, each weighing over 100kg, had to be winched to the upper floors.

‘Certain features of the flooring, such as steep ramped areas, weren’t completed until the last minute, after the removal of scaffolding used for high-level works. However, high performance products meant that we could complete stages quickly and work around other trades when we were able to, avoiding delays.’
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