Knauf Aquapanel is the latest in a long line of top performers to pass through the doors of one of London’s most famous hotels, the Savoy. The iconic hotel – a favourite of many showbiz stars – celebrates its 120th anniversary this year at the end of a massive 18 month restoration that includes installation of Knauf Aquapanel in the new bathrooms of its 268 luxury rooms and suites. Subcontractor Drywall Technologies Limited (Drytech) is fitting the market leading tile backer board to ensure a long lasting support for expensive finishes.

The Savoy originally opened in 1889, and was built by impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, adjoining his Savoy Theatre. The hotel, now managed and operated by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, closed in December 2007 for a £100 million restoration, scheduled for completion later this year. It has always been one of London’s most opulent hotels, and the latest refit continues the tradition, combining modern materials and finishes with leading edge building technology and environmental practices – while respectful to its classic Edwardian design and Art Deco influences.

London-based specialist hotel architects Reardon Smith specified Aquapanel for the re-planned guestroom levels, which feature enlarged five-fixture bathrooms.

Drytech Director Tommy McDermott says Aquapanel lines each bathroom fully from floor to ceiling at the Savoy. “The Aquapanel system overcomes difficulties traditionally associated with tiled plasterboard in bathrooms, especially near showers. We have used Aquapanel on a number of projects – it’s easy to work with and we’ve been pleased with the results.”

Recognised as the UK’s leading system for tile backing, Aquapanel from Knauf Drywall is a glass fibre reinforced 12.5mm cement board that interfaces seamlessly with plasterboard systems to make drywall construction feasible in wet and humid areas. Because it does not rot or warp, Aquapanel is ideal for showers, bathrooms, changing rooms, swimming pool areas and similar locations which are tiled and subject to splashing.

Mark Sandford, Knauf Drywall’s Aquapanel Business Development Manager, says: “Aquapanel is proving popular with specifiers and contractors because of its immense strength, even when fully immersed in water. It can support tiling up to 50kg/m2, which makes it the perfect choice where heavy ceramic or stone finishes are required for a luxury décor specification. With its natural keyed surface, Aquapanel will ensure that tiles remain firmly in place, even if moisture seeps into the grouting between tiles.”

Aquapanel is available in 900mm x 1,200mm and 900mm x 2,400mm boards which can be cut using the score and snap technique, and are installed in the same way as plasterboard on light gauge steel stud or timber. Aquapanel branded alkaline resistant joint tape, joint adhesive and ceramic coated screws should be used.

Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, dry flooring, drywall accessories, and metal sections for domestic, commercial and public sector applications. Knauf Drywall pioneered carbon neutral plasterboard in the UK with Knauf Futurepanel. Knauf Drywall also actively promotes recycling from building sites and has a zero waste policy in its energy efficient factories at Sittingbourne in Kent and Immingham on Humberside.

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