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Keeping tilers and contractors fixed up with the latest techniques

November 2018

As the first adhesive manufacturer to open a specialist training centre in 1992 for standards and fixing techniques, BAL understands that quality workmanship is paramount to an installation.

Since it began to offer training courses to help tilers and flooring contractors maximise their skills, more than 100,000 people have received training from BAL with more than 16,000 people trained at a BAL training centre.

Three years ago, BAL opened a new Innovation and Technology Centre (ITC) training facility in Stoke-on-Trent. Since then nearly 5,000 people have been trained on-site at this new facility alone.

Complete with 40-seat auditorium (with standing viewing platforms), practical training bays, breakout areas and meeting rooms, the new facility leads the way in training and development in tiling and flooring – hosting tilers, contractors, distributors and specifiers.

Leading BAL’s training programme is Dave Rowley, Training Manager at BAL and TTA Board Member. Dave has over 28 years’ experience in tiling, having joined the industry upon leaving school and gaining a City & Guilds Advanced Craft qualification in wall and floor tiling through an apprenticeship. He is also Lead Judge for the wall and floor tiling section of SkillBuild, the national construction competition for apprentices run by the CITB.

“I believe that training is vital to the continued success of the company and the industry in general,” said Dave.

“Maintaining high standards and fixing techniques helps to prevent poor practices and incorrect specifications which can have a negative impact for all in the industry including manufacturers, distributors, specifiers, contractors and fixers.

“At BAL training is a key priority, which is why we have invested in our Innovation and Technology Centre to give everyone in the industry the opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and installation practices to enhance their skills.”

BAL provides a full range of training courses for apprentices, fixers, contractors, and distributors. BAL’s training is endorsed by The Tile Association (TTA) and the company has also been highly commended by the National Training Association (NTA).

BAL’s training courses aim to cater for a wide range of needs, from experienced  professionals looking to up-skill with new techniques, to inexperienced professionals or apprentices. Key courses include:
Five Day Floor and Wall Tiling Course – introduction to preparation, setting-out, fixing and cutting of wall and floor tiles and including grout and finishings.

Introduction to Adhesives and Grouts – foundation level course on cementitious and ready-mixed adhesives and grouts, basic fixing techniques for inexperienced tilers/apprentices.

Introduction to screeds and subfloor preparation – a practical course on preparing, laying and rendering floor screeds.

Preparing and tiling to under tile heating – practical and theoretical demonstrations on preparing and tiling to undertile or under floor heating systems.

Preparing and tiling wetrooms – in-depth course on waterproofing/tanking wet rooms, fixing, grouting and essential products.

Preparing and tiling mosaics – a practical course on preparing and fixing mosaics.

Preparing and tiling with BAL External Tiling Solutions – in-depth training course on BAL’s new external tiling products for balconies, terraces and patios

Cutting and Installing of large format panels – One-day course on cutting, carrying and installation techniques with large format tiles and panels.

BAL works with a number of partners, including Sigma and WarmUp,  to deliver the courses while it can also provide bespoke course to suit individual training needs to suit a particular installation for example.

In January BAL are launching a new masterclass on Uncoupling and Anti-Fracture Systems, where Dave Rowley will explore BAL’s uncoupling options including:

BAL Rapid-Mat – the award-winning lightweight and thin uncoupling mat with minimal height build-up and high compressive strength

NEW BAL Flexbone VAried – a high performing waterproof fixed uncoupling system with patented GripLock technology for 30% faster spreading on the mat surface

NEW BAL Flexbone 2Easy – a unique floating mat system requiring no preparation, half the installation time, significantly less adhesives and allows fast-track tiling onto bitumen, anhydrite & new cement:sand screeds

BAL Single Part Fastflex – a one-part S2 elastomeric tile adhesive with anti-fracture and sound-deadening properties

The following dates have been allocated on; 18th January, 25th January and 1st February 2019.

The next Five Day Floor and Wall Tiling is taking place from 7th – 11th January with spaces still available.

To book on any BAL course, please email training administrator Janet Webster on or call 01782 591100.

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