web analytics
Home> Palace Chemicals <HMRC office conversion“not taxing” with Palace Chemicals

HMRC office conversion“not taxing” with Palace Chemicals

A former HMRC building in Sheffield has been converted into a 95-apartment residential scheme called Iron Yard.

Leeds-based TileLife explains here why it turned to Palace Chemicals to assist the “mammoth” task of tiling the 135 bathrooms and a reception floor.

The upmarket residential development, aimed at young professionals, consists of 95 one- and two-bed apartments as well as a 100sqm ground floor reception area with a gym, work space and residents’ lounge.

With that quantity of rental apartments comes a lot of bathrooms – in this case 135 – which also means a big tiling project. TileLife, which has branches in Seacroft and Holbeck, was contracted to undertake the six-month task, involving a daily average of four tiling professionals throughout.

Ian Reynolds, technical director for TileLife, said: “It was a fantastic project to be involved in. On the face of it, it appeared to be quite a repetitive task as all bathrooms were essentially the same. But, because it is an older building, each room had tiny differences, so we had to slightly vary the set-up for each one, which kept us on our toes.”

Each of the 135 bathrooms at Iron Yard has been fitted with 60x30cm anthracite grey, matt porcelain floor tiles and 10x20cm white metro tiles on the walls. To ensure the high specification brief was carried out fully, Reynolds’ team turned to Liverpool-based Palace Chemicals for its adhesive and grout.

The tiles were fixed with Palace Multi-Flex, a cement-based, high polymer modified, thin-bed ceramic tile adhesive. Multi-Flex is said to be suitable for all types of ceramic and porcelain floor and wall tiles. With a rapid-setting, high early strength, Palace says, the product provides improved flexural strength, water-resistance and is ideal for applications over sub-floor heating.

The tiling work was completed with the company’s Anti-Mould Grout, which contains a fungicide that prevents the growth of black spot mould, making it suitable for bathroom areas.

Reynolds said: “Palace products are great because they are tried and tested. They are the best value products out there and always high-quality materials that you can always trust. We didn’t need to look anywhere else for a top-end project like Iron Yard, and Palace products meant the conversion of this former HMRC office was not nearly as taxing as it might have been.”

TileLife was also reportedly grateful for Palace’s expertise when it came to tackling the 100sqm reception floor. The floor, which includes a concierge area, was to become the building’s grand entrance and, with its expected busy footfall, needed to be both robust and aesthetically perfect.

Reynolds’ team covered the entire area with large format (1x1m), matt grey porcelain tiles also using Multi-Flex. But the tricky part came with the preparation before that, as the ground floor of the Iron Yard was unusually built with raised metal flooring. This type of structure could potentially have caused excessive lateral movement, dislodging or cracking the tiles.

To avoid these future issues, Palace Chemicals therefore supplied its Easi-Mat anti-fracture. Easi-Mat, which is supplied in 30sqm rolls, is a lightweight uncoupling mat designed for internal floors. It provides an isolating layer when tiling onto floors where there is a risk of shrinkage or lateral movement, by forming a tension reduction layer, inhibiting the transfer of shear stresses, and accommodating movement. At 0.7mm thick, Palace says Easi-Mat can be installed beneath any type of tiling and is often used where sub-floor heating is installed. Due to its thickness and construction, it could potentially save up to 30% adhesive compared to conventional cavity mats.

“We don’t come across many raised metal floors,” said Reynolds. “It’s quite rare, so we needed to take our time to work out the best way to manage it and avoid future damage to the large floor tiles. Fortunately, Palace had the perfect solution with Easi-Mat. It was easy to cut and roll into the areas we needed to. Now the tiles won’t be at risk of cracking.”

TileLife worked on the £8m Iron Yard scheme between August 2022 and early March this year. The entire scheme was due for completion shortly afterwards.

Please click to view more articles about

Popular articles