The new FIX A320 TACK adhesive was among the Bostik products that – combined with the company’s technical expertise – recently enabled the installation of the flooring on the large site of the new Grange University Hospital in Wales.
The state-of-the-art £350m Specialist and Critical Care Centre in Llanfrechfa Grange, Cwmbran is the first major hospital to be built in Wales in more than two decades. It has 2,612 rooms and provides more than 40 specialist services, supported by 3,000 staff.
Main contractor Laing O’Rourke was appointed to carry out construction of the hospital, and turned to a flooring contractor to install the floor coverings and accessories throughout the facility. The contractor then turned to Bostik for the company’s expert advice and products to help it prepare the subfloors.
Laying the groundwork
From the early stages of the hospital’s construction, Bostik’s technical experts visited the site on several occasions to inspect the subfloors and make recommendations for how they should be treated.
For example, there were localised undulations to the subfloor, leading the Bostik team to recommend that these areas be prepared to return the subfloor to a strong and sound base through mechanical abrasion ensuring the required datum levels were maintained.
“This was a large site, with a lot to take into account before the floorlayers could get to work, so our inspections were key in the early stages,” says Marc Rees, Business Development Manager – South at Bostik. “Thankfully, our technical team are sharp-eyed and have seen most things before. Their recommendations will have saved any number of difficulties further down the line.”
The best products for the job
Once the subfloors had been treated where necessary and vacuumed to create a dust-free surface, the flooring contractor was able to prepare them to receive the floor coverings using a variety of Bostik products, each one carefully tailored to the needs of the application.
First, the floorlayers applied Bostik Screedmaster One Coat Membrane, an epoxy damp proof membrane, to suppress the residual construction moisture in the subfloors, before allowing it to cure into a glossy and tack-free film overnight. Next, they thoroughly primed the cured membrane using Bostik Screedmaster Universal Primer. For a large-scale, fast-turnaround project like this, the primer’s excellent coverage rates and fast drying time made it ideal.
With the subfloor thoroughly primed, the next step was to apply Bostik smoothing compounds to bring the subfloors to the required level. For most areas of the building, the floorlayers used Bostik’s self-smoothing Screedmaster Flow. This incorporates a blend of cements and aggregates combined with special additives to offer excellent workability and flow characteristics, and can be trowelled to a feather edge.
Where the subfloor required reprofiling, such as in the wet room, they instead used the high-strength Bostik Screedmaster Deep smoothing compound, which can be applied up to 50mm in a single step, making it ideal for smoothing highly uneven surfaces.
Then, with the smoothing compounds dry, it was time to apply a variety of Bostik adhesives to bond the floor coverings. Carpet tile installations, meanwhile, were achieved using FIX A320 TACK, Bostik’s non-staining tackifier that’s designed to provide a permanently tacky film when dry to facilitate the easy removal and replacement of carpet tiles.
Finally, for the installation of the skirtings, capping strips, and other accessories throughout the hospital, the installers used Bostik Roll, the company’s reinforced, solvent-free adhesive tape that is supplied in ready-to-use, dry adhesive rolls. As Bostik Roll is dry, there is no curing time required, meaning no waiting around and the area remains free from overspill.
“The floor contractors’ installation went smoothly and I know the contractors and the end-user were both extremely happy with the final result,” concludes Marc Rees. “It’s always satisfying to help our clients achieve the ultimate floor finish – which is our goal on every project we undertake.”