Sandwell College, West Bromwich

Project: Sandwell College, West Bromwich

Tile installations in the atrium of a brand new multi-million pound West Midlands college campus will be safe from the thousands of pairs of feet that will be passing over them after top-of-the-class products from Schlüter-Systems were installed there.

The new £77m central campus at Sandwell College, in West Bromwich, houses the college and sixth form and provides top quality education and training across the region to its 10,000 full and part-time students and 600 staff.

With so many people passing through the atrium every single day it was vital to ensure the tiled surfaces were properly protected so Schlüter®-DITRA matting, the world’s leading uncoupling membrane which neutralises cracks and prevents movements from the screed being transferred to the tiles, was installed here.

Products from the Schlüter®-DILEX range of movement joints, which offer secure protection for surfaces subjected to high mechanical stresses caused by continuous use and finishing threshold strips from the Schlüter®-SCHIENE range, which finish tiled surfaces and protect the outer edges of ceramic and natural stone floor coverings from mechanical impact, were also installed by Schlüter customer Cladding Components, based in Leamington Spa.

Ian Knifton, Divisional Manager at Schlüter-Systems, comments, “With 10,000 students due to regularly walk through the atrium of this impressive new college campus it was vital that the tile installations could stand up to the pairs of feet passing by. One of the many positives about our Schlüter®-DITRA matting and Schlüter®-DILEX and Schlüter®-SCHIENE profiles are their suitability for areas with a large footfall such as sporting arenas, international airports, shopping centres and college atriums such as this, all of which experience high levels of mechanical stress.

He added, “Whilst invisible beneath the surface we know that these products will be working to the best of their ability and the tile installations will therefore look a class above.”

Schlüter®-DITRA has been a proven solution for uncoupling and bonded waterproofing for over 20 years and remains unique to the market due to its geometry which allows for the absorption of lateral movement in each direction. The uncoupling effect that it provides neutralises tensions between surfaces, whilst also providing a high load resistance. It’s also waterproof, with the added benefit of interconnected air channels to help moisture evaporate from the substrate.
Movement joints from the Schlüter®-DILEX range offer secure edge protection and maintenance free solutions for surfaces exposed to continuous pedestrian and vehicular traffic, making them particularly important within this new community facility which will be used heavily on a day-to-day basis. All profiles are installed at the same time as the tile covering and a wide variety in various material combinations are available, depending on the mechanical or chemical stresses expected on the covering.

Schlüter®-SCHIENE is the original finishing threshold strip and offers the perfect protection. It finishes tiled surfaces and protects the outer edges of ceramic and natural stone floor coverings from mechanical impact. The threshold strips of the Schlüter®-RENO series create a smooth transition before adjoining floor coverings at different heights, protecting the exposed tile edge. All profiles are available in a range of heights and finishes such as brass, aluminium, anodised aluminium, stainless steel V2A and brushed stainless steel and contribute to the aesthetic and lasting appearance of the floor covering.

Facilities at the new Sandwell College will include an automotive centre, beauty and hairdressing salons, computer suites, engineering laboratories, a sports hall, theatre, fashion and photography studios, restaurant kitchen, construction workshops, imitation dental surgery and even a mock aircraft cabin. To learn more please visit

Established in 1968 Cladding Components is a longstanding, reputable tile supplier and is dedicated to providing unrivalled quality. It offers an extensive selection of floor and wall tiles, in a range of materials, colours and sizes, with basic and luxury tiles available for all budgets. For more information please call 01926 420 825, visit the showroom at 17 Trinity Street, Leamington Spa, CV32 5RH between Monday and Friday, 8am to 5.30pm. Alternatively you can go online to