High performance tile fixing products by Saint-Gobain Weber have been specified in the extensive renovation of a hotel and spa on the Chesters House estate in Northumberland. This boutique country house hotel near Hexham nestles in a 100 acre site on the edge of the Northumberland National Park. The 18th Century Grade II listed Georgian hall has undergone an 18 month, multi-million-pound rejuvenation that blends the very ultimate in comfort and elegance offering guests a unique and luxurious experience with exceptional modern design detail.
The project has been faithfully curated by the owner and incorporates architectural design by an award-winning conservation and restoration specialist, as well as a talented team of interior design consultants, both of Hexham. The main contractor was D P Builders of Amble, Morpeth, who contracted W Rodgerson & Sons for the tiling work; the company’s largest individual contract in their 48 years of business.
Tiling features prominently in both the interior and exterior enhancements of the project. This was integrated with the stylish decor of the hotel’s grand entrance hall and public areas, en-suite bathrooms and kitchens, as well as the pool surrounds and spa complex. In contrast to the heritage of the building, the spa is truly a modern architectural wonder located in a glass pavilion within the hotel’s private walled garden.
Weber tile fixing products were used exclusively. The grand entrance has been tiled with marble although the existing underfloor heated screed was found to be up to 35mm out of level. “This was corrected by applying a coat of weber PR360 primer followed by (60 bags of) weberfloor flex to achieve a smooth, durable and level finish ready for tiling,” says Neil Rodgerson of W Rodgerson & Sons, with an uncoupling membrane fixed with weberset SPF.”
weberfloor flex is a fibre-modified, self-smoothing renovation screed that can be used up to 50mm, is rapid setting and ready for light foot traffic in one to two hours. It is used for correcting surface irregularities on difficult surfaces, including wood, in interior situations. The benefit of the Low Dust Technology formulation ensures a more comfortable and cleaner working environment with less wastage.
weber PR360 is a multi-purpose styrene acrylate primer that regulates the porosity of substrates, improves adhesion and the flow of levelling compounds, and reduces bubble formation. It is suitable for most building substrates including wood, anhydrite, plaster and cement/sand screed.
The large format 600 by 600 by 20mm Octagon tiles, with inset Italian polished marble, were fixed with weberset SPF in white. This is a polymer-modified, flexible floor and wall tile adhesive that will accommodate limited movement from heated screeds and even over-boarded wooden floors. It has standard 24 hour setting attributes and is ideal for fixing ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles.
Underfloor heating was installed in the 10 beautifully appointed ensuite bathrooms requiring 10mm insulation board, fixed with weberset SPF, to carry the underfloor electric heating. This was screeded with weberfloor flex, the uncoupling membrane applied, and then tiled with 900 by 150/220mm porcelain wood-effect tiles.
“Using Weber products removes any concerns about effective performance, as we know from experience that every Weber product will work perfectly, whatever the job,” says Rodgerson. “Our challenges at the hotel included levelling floors and fixing the giant 1,000 by 600mm marble tiles. The pool building was a major challenge and we are delighted with the outcome.”
The spa complex visitors boasts double treatment rooms, pavilion pool, steam room and hot tub, all sited within the private walled garden. A state-of-the-art gym and exercise rooms complete this beautiful facility where 130 sq. metres of primed walls have been tiled with 660 by 300mm porcelain tiles. The walls have 50 by 50mm inset mosaic soap recesses, while 100 sq. metres of flooring has been finished with 1,200 by 200mm porcelain, wood-effect tiles and specialist pool edging tiles.
The swimming pool build was W Rodgerson & Sons’ greatest challenge. Here 1,200 by 200mm tiles were applied to falls; around nine inspection chambers; 15 air conditioning ducts, and 28 120mm diameter LED light recesses. “It was essential to keep ahead of the following trades in order to meet the official opening date, and this included working until the early hours of the morning on some occasions,” explains Rodgerson.
The final phase of renovation involves the stable complex which is being converted into luxury holiday accommodation.
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