F. Ball subfloor preparation and adhesives products lie at heart of community project ..

High performance subfloor preparation products and adhesives from F. Ball and Co. Ltd. have been used to install floorcoverings as part of a refurbishment to transform a 19th century school into a community centre incorporating a planetarium, pottery studio, and a gin distillery.

Johnston School, in Kirkcudbright, had fallen into disrepair since its students relocated over a decade ago. Now, a charitable renovation project managed by the Kirkcudbright Development Trust has brought new life into one of the town’s most beloved buildings. The refurbishment houses a nursery, conference rooms, facilities for youth groups, as well as a gin distillery and the project’s main attraction, the Dark Skies Visitor Centre.

A&H Flooring Ltd. were commissioned to install floorcoverings as part of the project. At the start, contractors were faced with a plywood subfloor in the former main hall of the school and a stone base throughout the rest of the building. Work commenced with a moisture test for the stone subfloor to determine subfloor relative humidity (RH) levels. As results found RH levels to be above the 75% maximum threshold for installing floorcoverings without a moisture management solution, F. Ball’s Stopgap F77 waterproof surface membrane was chosen to provide a barrier to stop excess subfloor moisture attacking adhesives and floorcoverings, thereby preventing potential floor failure.

To facilitate this, contractors used F. Ball’s Stopgap 1200 Pro, a high-performance, fast-setting, fast-drying levelling compound, to create a smooth base for the application of the waterproof surface membrane. Once the waterproof surface membrane had cured, the subfloor was primed before a further application of the levelling compound was made prior to the installation of floorcoverings. The primer is designed to create a textured finish and provide enhanced bond performance between subfloor and levelling compound when applied over non-absorbent surfaces, including epoxy waterproof surface membranes.

For the plywood subfloor in the main room, F. Ball’s Stopgap 700 Superflex fibre-reinforced levelling compound was applied to create a smooth base for floorcoverings. Movements in flexible subfloors, including plywood and metal, can cause other levelling compounds to crack, leading to visible fissures showing through the floorcovering, and potentially cause floor failure. Stopgap 700 Superflex is reinforced with tiny fibres that maintain the integrity of the levelling compound and prevent any cracks from showing through the floorcovering as a result of subfloor movement.

Having prepared the subfloors, contractors were able to proceed with installing a combination of vinyl sheet floorcoverings and carpet tiles throughout the building.

F. Ball’s Styccobond F46 pressure sensitive acrylic flooring adhesive was used to install a dark grey colour Surestep safety vinyl sheet in the main visitors’ centre, as well as in the gin distillery and corridors. Styccobond F46 was selected to reduce the incidence of trowel serrations shadowing through thin vinyl flooring, whilst also providing a strong initial tack to assist flooring contractors when positioning floorcoverings. The adhesive’s strength builds to firmly secure the safety vinyl floorcoverings, for which a rustic oak effect added warmth to pottery studio and a light grey version was installed the nursery and youth club rooms.

In the conference rooms and offices, Tretford carpet was adhered using Styccobond F3 adhesive. The product was chosen for its wet grab and early build-up of strength which provided the necessary bond to secure the carpet in place. The adhesive will last for the lifetime of the floorcoverings, withstanding day-to-day wear in the busy office environments.

Commenting on the project, Roy Henderson, Managing Director at A&H Flooring Ltd., said: “The Johnston Centre was a substantial refurbishment project, with high expectations from the local community. Therefore, we knew we had to select the best products, which would not only achieve a stunning floor finish but enable the floor to withstand thousands of visitors and people to make the most of the building for many years to come.”

To find out more about F Ball’s subfloor preparation and adhesives click here.

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