TECHNICAL recommendations and quality subfloor preparation and adhesive products from Bostik have played a key role in the successful installation of the flooring at the newly opened Katherine Warington School in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.
Construction of the new secondary school – built to meet increased demand for school places in the town – was divided into three phases. First, a temporary teaching building was created, featuring communal areas, a dining hall and shower blocks. Second, the main school was constructed. Finally, phase three of the project saw phase one converted into a sports hall.
Main contractor Kier entrusted Westcotes Flooring to install about 9,000sq m of floorcoverings throughout the school, including safety vinyl, carpet tiles, entrance matting, and specialist sprung timber sports flooring. To ensure it prepared the subfloors correctly, with the right methods and products, Westcotes Flooring approached Bostik.
‘We’ve got a great relationship with Bostik based on their excellent technical back-up and products, and they have become a key part of our supply chain for these reasons,’ explains Carl Harper, managing director – London at Westcotes Flooring. ‘This was a big project for us, and we didn’t hesitate to approach Bostik again.’
Once enlisted by Westcotes, Bostik’s technical team visited the site on several occasions, assessing the conditions and determining the moisture levels in various areas of the site as construction continued. They’d then compile their findings into recommendation reports and supply these to Westcotes.
For example, one challenge was that the concrete subfloors presented a highly polished and dense surface that was initially unsuitable to receive a damp proof membrane (DPM). Bostik advised that these areas required mechanical preparation before any DPM could be applied.
‘As ever, there were no problems that Bostik hadn’t seen before, and their recommendations were prompt and on the money every time,’ continues Carl. ‘Owing to the nature of the project, they had to make multiple visits to the site, and again this was no issue – they were there every time we needed them, often at short notice.’
Preparing for success
Based on Bostik’s recommendations, Westcotes treated the wet areas of the subfloor – now mechanically prepared – with a single coating of Bostik Screedmaster One Coat Membrane to suppress the residual moisture within them.
This was followed by the company’s multipurpose Universal Primer, which reportedly delivers what is described as excellent coverage rates and is suitable for use on power-floated concrete. For the parts of the subfloor exhibiting less than 75% RH, Universal Primer alone was sufficient.
Westcotes then prepared most of the subfloors using Bostik Screedmaster Flow smoothing compound, which provides what is described as excellent flow characteristics and easy trowelling. For the main hall and dining areas, Screedmaster Smooth was used to ensure an especially smooth finish was achieved. To apply capping to the walls in areas that were due to receive coved vinyl skirting, Westcotes used Bostik Roll.
Says the company: ‘An effective alternative to water and solvent-based adhesives, Bostik Roll is a double-sided adhesive tape that provides an extra-strong, lifelong bond on contact, and also resists plasticiser migration. Available in convenient, ready-to-use rolls of 25mm, 50mm, 85mm or 240mm, Bostik Roll is also entirely solvent-free, meaning it has less impact on installers and building occupants.’
‘Once again, Bostik played a key role in an important project for us and we were delighted with their contribution,’ concludes Carl Harper at Westcotes Flooring. ‘Every product they recommended was right for the application, and we could always make a call and know Bostik would deliver what we needed, when we needed it. You can’t ask for more than that, so I’d heartily recommend Bostik to all other flooring contractors out there.’