Reaching the rooftops with Palace Chemicals  at £5 billion Bradford city centre development

Reaching the rooftops with Palace Chemicals at £5 billion Bradford city centre development

November 2018

Palace Chemicals continue to be a preferred supplier to all aspects of the tiling industry for over 40 years, and is now in the rafters after its products were used on a £5 million project in Bradford city centre, to turn a Grade II listed building into apartments.

The prestigious project known as ‘The Loft’ has seen the disused office building, formerly one of two large blocks of wool warehouses, transformed into 110 high specification, one- and two-bedroom apartments by Bridge Atlantic UK.

Originally a sandstone property built in 1864, the development between Church Bank and Currer Street will boast a 24 hour concierge, a residents’ gym, and community courtyard: all set to bring a new level of luxury living to Bradford’s city centre.

After holding a long term relationship with Spanish-owned Ceramica Tile & Bathrooms in Leeds, Palace Chemicals was delighted when partners Jayne Gil, her daughter Sarah Aparici Gil, along with brothers Jorge and Alberto Ballester, suggested that the developers use  Palace Easi-Mat, Palace Multi-Flex and Palace Colour-Lock Grout (in sterling silver and bright white), as part of the 110 bathroom installations.

James Broadhead, Area Sales Manager for Palace Chemicals, said: “I was delighted when Ceramica Tile and Bathrooms decided to recommend our products to developers at The Loft.  The products were not the cheapest option, but the quality speaks for itself.  In the end, we sent 26 pallets of Palace Multi-Flex, 40 boxes of Palace Colour-Lock Grout and 55 rolls of Palace Easi-Mat over to Bradford.  With 200 people already on the waiting list to get their hands on one of these properties, we cannot wait to see the end result.”

Alberto Ballester, Director at Ceramica Tile & Bathrooms, said: “We only use Palace Chemicals adhesive and grout products because they all work really well, and we have had great feedback from tilers.  The relationship between price and quality is excellent; the products are good and we are really happy with them.”

To effectively minimise the effect of any variances in the floor composition and structure, the initial preparation of all floor surfaces included the installation of Palace Easi-Mat un-coupling membrane, which was laid to protect against any lateral substrate movement or shrinkage that may cause the tiles to crack or de-bond.  All substrates have the potential to shrink or expand naturally due to humidity and/or temperature fluctuation and Palace Easi-Mat provides an ultra-thin-layer (0.7mm) low-profile, and easy to apply solution, which protects the tiled finish from any risk of dimensional change occurring within the sub-floor.

Palace Multi-Flex premium adhesive conforms to EN12004 C2FTE-S1 and has been used to fix both the Palace Easi-Mat to the substrate and then to fix the vitrified and porcelain tiled finish over it.  This is a rapid setting polymer-modified adhesive and is the ideal specification to use when fixing impermeable, vitrified and porcelain tiles over similarly challenging surfaces.  Palace Multi-Flex adhesive sets within three hours, allowing the tiles to then be walked over and grouting to proceed without too much delay, thereby enabling the full floor area in any given apartment to be fixed and grouted in the same day.

To give the optimum performance when grouting the joints, Palace Colour-Lock (which conforms to EN13888 CG2WA) was specified for its high early strength, resistance to water ingress in wet areas and, above all, it’s efflorescence-free properties, which guarantee a consistent, long-lasting, and uniform colour across all joints; free from the adverse effects of lime efflorescence found in more conventional Portland cement-based products.

As part of the planning application for Pennine House, it said: “Many office buildings in the city centre remain vacant and are being changed to residential apartments to avoid being left to deteriorate.  Rather than leaving it vacant and falling into disrepair, we have decided to introduce a fresh use.  The proposed plans will definitely improve the overall character and setting of Pennine House.”

Each of the apartments are just a stone’s throw from the Broadway shopping centre and the William Forster statue.  As the building is Grade II listed, developer Iqbal Singh has outlined certain architectural features that will be retained and renovated. These include an ornate spiral staircase in the building’s main entrance, roof lights in the attic space, and exposed timber roof trusses which will be incorporated into the designs of apartments.

Under the plans, the building’s courtyard will also be regenerated, creating a landscaped garden area, gazebo, shared community area and play area, along with changes to the access routes.  
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