Sports centre floor reaches Olympic standard with F. Ball

Technical support and subfloor preparation products provided by F. Ball and Co. Ltd., has helped contractor, Oxden Floors, to overcome a flooring failure and deliver a high quality, durable finish for the installation of a 1250m2 sports hall floor at recently constructed Christ Church Sports Centre in Canterbury, Kent.

Located on the site of Barton Court Grammar School and operated by Canterbury Christ Church University, the new Christ Church Sports Centre features a large multifunctional sports hall, which provides students and staff with court space for a wide range of activities, from football and netball to volleyball and tennis. It is also being used as a pre-Olympic training facility for London 2012, specialising in basketball, badminton and fencing. A cushioned, vinyl sports floorcovering was specified for the floor, but before it could be installed, the contractor had to firstly ensure that the subfloor was smooth and dry, as well as strong enough to withstand the repeated impact the floor would be subjected to over its lifetime.

Challenging site conditions resulted in failure of the original installation, causing the smoothing underlayment used to level the subfloor to de-bond, which in turn caused the floorcovering to lift. Flooring contractor, Oxden Floors, therefore turned to F. Ball to help rectify the situation, inviting F. Ball’s Area Technical Representative to undertake a full inspection of the site, and to provide recommendations for reinstating the floorcovering.

F. Ball recommended the mechanical removal of all previously applied surface preparation materials, and proposed the specification of a compatible range of Stopgap products. The combination of these high performance products, including Stopgap 900 DPM-prep, Stopgap F76 waterproof surface membrane and Stopgap 300 HD smoothing underlayment, helped the contractor to ensure the subfloor was in sound condition before the floorcovering was reinstated.

Lee Fox, Director of Oxden Floors, comments on the success of the project: “We were off to a tricky start but with F. Ball’s expert advice and support we were able to put the job right, the project was handed over on programme, and our client was very happy with the final result. Importantly, F. Ball’s quick response and ability to deliver a vast amount of product to site very quickly helped us to reduce loss of time on the project.”

Relative humidity tests indicated that there was still a high level of construction moisture present within the subfloor. As it can take a considerable amount of time for new concrete floor slabs to dry out naturally, a protective waterproof barrier was required to isolate the problem from the floorcovering, to prevent any ensuing moisture damage.

Stopgap 900 DPM-prep was applied directly to the subfloor to create a smooth and even surface for the subsequent application of Stopgap F76, a one coat, solvent-free, epoxy resin system, which cures to provide a waterproof surface membrane in areas where relative humidity levels are up to 92%. In forming a waterproof membrane, F76 effectively suppresses excess moisture, thereby preventing moisture damage to the final floorcovering. For ease of use, Stopgap F76 is pigmented blue, which enables the user to visually control coverage uniformity.

Following application of Stopgap P131, a general-purpose neoprene primer, to promote adhesion of the smoothing underlayment to the membrane, Stopgap 300 HD, F. Ball’s market-leading heavy duty smoothing underlayment, was installed. The smoothing underlayment was specified for its high compressive and flexural strength, which enables floorcoverings to withstand the stresses imparted by heavy and repeated trafficking. The self-smoothing and fast-drying properties of the product also meant that the underlayment could be applied quickly, and the floorcovering re-laid without delay. Styccobond F45 vinyl flooring adhesive was used to secure the cushioned sports floorcovering to the prepared subfloor.

For further information on F. Ball and Co. Ltd. call 01538 361 633 or visit

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