Project of the month: Woodfield Secondary School, Surrey

Products donated by F. Ball have been used in the creation of an on-site 'enterprise centre' for children with special needs and learning difficulties.

Children with special needs and learning difficulties at a school in Surrey are getting a feel for the world of work thanks to F. Ball, who have donated flooring preparation products and adhesives for use in the creation of an on-site recruitment agency, bank and shop.

Students at the school are able to apply for jobs, including litter picking, car valeting and serving in the school’s café, at the recruitment centre, and work is rewarded with Acorns, the school’s own currency, which students can save to purchase items from the shop. The aim is to instil students with key skills relating to money and work to prepare them for later life. The school is not the first to have its own bank or shop, but it’s believed to be the first school to have its own currency. 

To install the flooring in the new enterprise centre at Woodfield Secondary School, contractors from Period Flooring in Surrey used F. Ball’s Stopgap 1200 Pro levelling compound, Stopgap P131 primer and Styccobond F46 pressure sensitive vinyl adhesive to install wood-effect vinyl planks over a total floor area of 50 square metres.

The first step was to lift old floorcoverings and mechanically remove old adhesive residues to reveal the concrete subfloor. A moisture test was then conducted to determine subfloor moisture levels. Where subfloor relative humidity (RH) levels are above 75%, a waterproof surface membrane should be applied to prevent excess subfloor moisture levels rising up to the level of floorcoverings, potentially causing complete floor failure. In this case, the moisture test indicated that subfloor moisture levels were well below 75%, so the installation could proceed without the application of a waterproof surface membrane.

F. Ball’s Stopgap P131 primer was then applied over the subfloor. When used over absorbent subfloors, such as concrete, Stopgap P131 prevents unacceptable rapid drying of applied floor levelling compounds. It also serves to reduce ‘pinholing’, caused by the escape of air from levelling compounds as they dry, which compromises the finished appearance.

Once dried, contractors applied F. Ball’s Stopgap 1200 Pro levelling compound to create a smooth base ready for the receipt of the new floorcovering. Stopgap 1200 Pro is a low odour, self-smoothing, two component levelling compound that is suitable for use over old adhesive residues, as well as a wide range of subfloor types, prior to installing new floorcoverings. Applied at a thickness of 2–5mm, an F. Ball spiked roller was used to smooth out trowel marks and dispel trapped air to further reduce the chances of ‘pinholing’ occurring.

Pine-effect vinyl planks, donated by Polyflor, were then installed by Period Flooring contractors. For this, they used F. Ball’s Styccobond F46 pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive, which is suitable for securing a wide range of vinyl sheet and tile floorcoverings. Styccobond F46 is formulated to deliver a high bond strength, which increases as the area is trafficked over the lifetime of the installation. Importantly for installing LVTs and planks, it also provides a permanent tack – helpful when creating intricate designs and patterns.

Commenting on the project, Martin Murray, Managing Director of Period Flooring, said: “I’m really happy to be able to contribute to such a worthwhile project, which will have a positive impact on many young people’s lives. The F. Ball products used in the job performed to the highest standards as usual, meaning we could quickly and easily achieve a high quality flooring finish that will retain its appearance for many years to come.”