Preparation time was reduced dramatically with the use of BAL’s new floating uncoupling mat – Flexbone 2Easy – on a prime redevelopment in County Durham. The 200m² problem screed to be tiled had two days of preparatory work scheduled before installation could even begin, but this was reduced to just half a day using BAL Flexbone 2Easy.
Tile installation was onto a new pumped concrete screed, which had hairline cracks, residue and laitance on the surface. To fix tiles in a traditional manner – direct to the screed or using a bonded uncoupling mat – would have required the screed to be abraded to remove the laitance and significantly primed at considerable time and cost.
The use of BAL Flexbone 2Easy floating uncoupling mat alleviated the need to abrade and prime the screed, as the only preparation required was a quick sweep of the surface.
The mat was simply rolled out onto the screed, with the self-adhesive mesh bonding the mat edges together. Roll ends were secured with BAL AquaDrain ST-10 tape.
800mm x 600mm 10mm thick stone-effect porcelain tiles were then laid directly onto the matting and adhered with BAL Pourable One flexible tile adhesive and grouted with BAL Micromax2 Smoke.
Karl Fortune, tiler at Fortune Tiling, said: “The mat was incredibly easy to use and saved me significant time and money on preparation and materials.
“The use of Flexbone 2Easy has saved at least a day and half of preparation time, plus cost savings on primer and adhesive.”
BAL Flexbone 2Easy is a unique mat to the UK market which is truly uncoupled, protecting floor tiles from lateral movement.
No removal or residue, no removal of laitance and no priming of the surface is needed. This means that contaminated and stained floors, wooden floors, cracked screeds and mixed substrates can be tiled immediately – as long as they are flat, level and rigid.
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/m², when compared to laying bonded cavity mat systems.
Time trials indicate the removal of subfloor preparation for installations provides a minimum 50% time saving.
Lengthy waiting times on new screeds are avoided as Flexbone 2Easy can be laid on new sand:cement screeds when they are ready to be walked on, or new anhydrite screeds that aren’t fully cured (up to 1.5% CM residual moisture). This means no more projects on hold for weeks on end waiting for the screed to dry!
Fast-track installation is possible as any residual moisture in the substrate is distributed evenly through a system of perforations and channels in the mat, meaning the screed can fully cure under the tiling with no issues.
BAL Flexbone 2Easy also featured 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.
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
“I would definitely recommend the use of this product, particularly if there are issues with the substrate,” added Karl.
“It’s a radical solution, but because it’s from BAL and comes with a 25-year guarantee, it is certainly a solution I trust.”
To find out more about Uncoupling Mats by BAL, click here