WHEN The Oval cricket ground recently underwent a major extension, Bostik was on hand to provide subfloor preparation products and technical advice to ensure the flooring could be installed to the highest possible standard in time for a high-profile event.
The iconic south London venue is home to Surrey County Cricket Club and frequently hosts international matches and tournaments. The Oval was seeking to add two new upper-tier decks that would increase its capacity by 4,000 seats, as well as a new hospitality area including lounges, a roof terrace, a retail space, a new ticket office, and more.
Northants Flooring was appointed by main contractor Buckingham Group to install the flooring as part of the £28m project. Their team turned to favoured supplier Bostik due to the trust they had in its technical expertise and first-class subfloor preparation products.
The pitch inspection
In the early stages of the project, Bostik’s technical experts visited the site to carry out initial inspections of the subfloor that would determine the best way to install the floorcoverings.
These revealed the subfloor was made up of calcium sulphate screed boards that were fitted over pedestals and glued together. The boards were 36mm thick, so offered good rigidity, but had become dusty and dirty. At the perimeters, they were fitted with a foam strip to enable movement to take place without affecting the flooring.
While dampness was generally not an issue owing to the space underneath the boards, there were several areas that exhibited moisture readings above 75% relative humidity (RH).
Based on their findings, Bostik recommended Northants Flooring use a damp-proof membrane (DPM) to suppress the residual moisture in the subfloor. To avoid any risk of compromising the adhesion of the preparation products to the floor, Bostik advised that the boards’ surfaces should be cleaned, with overspill of the existing adhesive mechanically removed.
Let play begin
Based on Bostik’s recommendations, Northants Flooring removed the protruding joint adhesive and ensured that the entire subfloor was dust and contaminant-free before starting to apply the preparation products.
In the few wet areas of the subfloor, the flooring contractor used Bostik HYTEC E570 ONE COAT, the company’s two-part, solvent-free, epoxy surface DPM, which contains the exact quantities of resin and hardener ready for mixing and has been developed to work with calcium sulphate screeds up to 87% RH.
Next, Northants Flooring primed the subfloor with Bostik GRIP A936 XPRESS, a water-based primer with high grip and a fast drying time. To aid identification of coated areas, Bostik GRIP A936 XPRESS is white in colour, meaning installers can easily see where it’s been applied, before it dries to a translucent finish.
The next step was to apply SL C500 ULTIMATE, Bostik’s two-part smoothing compound. Made up of a blend of cements and aggregates combined with special additives, the self-smoothing SL C500 ULTIMATE ‘provides excellent workability and flow characteristics and can be trowelled to a feather edge’. Finally, the flooring contractor applied Bostik’s FIX A320 TACK adhesive in the lounge area and the Prince of Wales Suite, ahead of installing the carpet tiles, as well as Bostik Roll adhesive tape for the capping and coving throughout the project.
Bostik’s advice and preparation products reportedly enabled Northants Flooring to install the floorcoverings on time and to specification. This enabled The Oval to host England’s one day international match against Sri Lanka in June 2021, which served as a government pilot event to test the return of large crowds to sporting venues post-lockdown.
Ross Holt, director at Northants Flooring, comments: ‘We’ve got a great relationship with Bostik, and our fitters love their products. Even though there were no major issues on this job, their advice was once again crucial to helping us install the flooring to the right standard. I’m also 100% sure that, had there been larger challenges, Bostik would have been there to assist us as usual. That kind of trust is invaluable, and is why we’ve used Bostik for many years.’
Noel Ryan, area sales manager at Bostik, adds: ‘This was a fantastic project to be involved with – not only because The Oval is such a famous and prestigious site, but because it ultimately played a role in the return of crowds to sporting events. Our products are well-suited for use on almost any flooring project, and our team takes pride in offering hands-on technical support to every customer we work with.’