The New Waterproofing Regulations & What They Mean To You

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has now released its latest codes of practice for BS 5385-1 (wall and floor tiling in normal internal conditions), and there’s been a step-change in regulations overseeing works in wet areas. Under the new revision, all substrates should be waterproofed before tiling, even in domestic locations. It’s a positive leap forward that will improve the standards of workmanship for clients across the UK, but what exactly does it mean for you, the professional tiler?

Why Waterproofing Has Always Been So Important

A wet area is any bathroom, wet-room, shower area or steam room, or any other location subject to frequent water contact. Though they tend to be tiled, the substrates being fixed to are often moisture-sensitive (plasterboard, plaster and even some proprietary backer boards); and British Standards advocate the use of tanking membranes to protect them.

This is because the tiles alone are not enough to stop water getting to the them. Cementitious adhesives and grouts are the popular choice for fixing them, and their porous nature allows moisture to pass through. Over time, water is absorbed through the grout joints and adhesive bed and then into underlying substrates.

If the substrate is not protected, it can cause damp and mould issues; and as time progresses, this can even transfer to adjoining rooms and/or cause the tiles to de-bond! Ultimately, you’re left with an unsightly and costly situation to fix.
It is a common misconception that cementitious adhesives and grouts are waterproof. Most are only water resistant, meaning they do not prevent the passage of water, but instead allow water to pass through without being affected.


Changes to British Standards

British Standards already advocated waterproofing in commercial wet areas. However, under the new BS 5385-1:2018 clause for Tanking, it will now also be a recommendation for domestic locations. So, whenever you’re tiling any bathroom, shower or other wet area, remember to apply a suitable proprietary tanking membrane system first.

By not following the BSI guidance, the consequences can be costly, not only in terms of your personal reputation but financially too. With the new standards in place, you could be as liable for repairs in domestic areas as you are for commercial locations; and not just for the tiled wet area, but in adjoining rooms as well.

Waterproofing is Quick and Easy with ARDEX WPC!

Fortunately, tanking a wet area doesn’t have to add much extra time, effort or cost. ARDEX WPC Rapid Drying Waterproof Protection Coating is easy to apply and allows tiling to commence after just 90 minutes! It even comes as a kit with a FREE roller sleeve and scrim tape for added convenience. To find out more about ARDEX WPC, and to watch a video of it in action, visit the product page here.

For The Perfect Floor Issue 8

View the ARDEX Quarterly Newsletter covering:

– FREE LVT Installation Courses

– The Best of social media – Your projects featured!

– Home Bargains refurbishment case study

– Upcoming national training events from ARDEX

Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

For over 200 years, the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI), has played a major role in medical education and training in Ireland. Founded in 1784 to train surgeons, today the College provides extensive education and training in the healthcare professions at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Henry J Lyons Architects in Dublin required a seamless floor for the RCSI campus refurbishment, which included the entrance, lobbies, stairway, and lecture rooms.
PanDOMO® TerrazzoPlus white was selected for this project, with 3-9mm white cararra marble added to create a stylish, fast track alternative to traditional terrazzo flooring.

Products used: ARDEX A 38, ARDEX K 15, PanDOMO® TerrazzoPlus

ARDEX WPC Now Available in White!

ARDEX WPC Flexible Rapid Drying Waterproof Protection Coating was first launched in the 1970s, and to this day is still a favourite amongst fixers due to its easy to apply formulation and rapid 90-minute tile-on-time.

It’s now available in a new White version which, due to its light colouring, allows fixers to see their setting out lines between the adhesive ribs, making tile placement easier and more accurate. It’s also ideal as a waterproof background for fixing light and translucent coloured mosaics.

Like its Grey counterpart, ARDEX WPC W creates a protective waterproof coating that stops moisture migrating from wet areas through to any adjoining rooms, and prevents any costly and unsightly water damage that could happen as a result. A recommendation under British Standards (BS 5385), any installation subject to frequent water contact should have the underlying substrate tanked; ARDEX WPC and ARDEX WPC W are the ideal solutions to ensure you’re working to these standards.

For more information, visit the ARDEX WPC page here or watch it in action in our video.

ARDEX WPC W is available to purchase now, and you can use our online stockist locator to find your local distributor.

For the Perfect Floor Issue 7

View the ARDEX Quarterly Newsletter covering:

– FREE LVT Installation Courses

– The Best of social media – Your projects featured!

– Beccles Carpet & Rug Centre refurbishment case study

– Upcoming national training events from ARDEX

– Classic designs recreated with LVT by Shaun Baston of Total Flooring

Professional Builder Live Exhibition, Event City, Manchester – 15th/16th March 2018

Get hands on with ARDEX products at The Pro Builer Live Show, with screeds that can dry in as little as 4 hours, regardless of thickness, to adhesives that can glue tiles even under water, you’re guaranteed to find a product that can help you get a reputation for high quality jobs, turned around in no time.



M41 7TB

Thursday 15th & Friday 16th March 2018
10am – 4pm

Click here to register now and beat the queue on the day

The ARDEX Natural Stone Range

Eliminating the Risks of Water Staining, Curling and Warping in Natural Stone Installations

Natural and agglomerated stones such as granite, marble and limestone are naturally durable materials that can last a lifetime. However, like any product, problems may occur if they are not installed properly.

The main issue associated with natural stone is determining whether the stone is moisture sensitive or not and, following that, using the correct products to fix it. In most instances natural stone tiles will not have a sensitivity to moisture, and non-specialist products can be used with confidence; however, using such products to fix moisture sensitive stone can lead to permanent defects in the finished result.

Typically occurring during the bedding and grouting process, moisture from traditional adhesives and grouts can migrate into the stone and cause discolouration, staining and even warping.

For tile fixers using moisture sensitive natural stone or agglomerated stone, or for those who are unsure, ARDEX has developed a system of products specifically designed to eliminate these problems, helping to ensure a risk free installation every time.

ARDEX natural stone products incorporate our unique ‘RAPIDRY FORMULA’ technology and ‘lock’ the mix water within the mortar, virtually eliminating the risk of water staining, curling and warping.


Microtec Natural Stone Wall and Floor Tile Adhesive

  • No admix required
  • Grout after 2 hours
  • 60 minute pot life


Microtec Semi-Pourable Natural Stone Floor Tile Adhesive

  • No admix required
  • Ideal for solid bed fixing large format floor tiles and slabs
  • Grout after 2 hours
  • 60 minute pot life


Marble and Natural Stone Tile Grout

  • Walkable after 90 minutes
  • For tile joints up to 8mm
  • Available in 5 colours


Elastic Silicone Sealant

  • Excellent resistance to weather, UV-radiation and commonly used cleaning chemicals and disinfectants
  • Contains fungicide to combat mould growth
  • Available in 13 colours and Transparent

Council House Refurbishment

In 2014 Wrexham council started a refurbishment program for all their council houses built in the 1960s. The existing subfloors were a mixture of quarry tiles or concrete, and following moisture testing, the R.H (Relative Humidity) readings were over 85%, which was probably the result of an absent or ineffective damp proof membrane.

ARDEX UK is a system solution provider of high-performance speciality building materials, and the brand choice for installers and distributors throughout the construction industry.

ARDEX products used on the project:

  • ARDITEX NA – Ultra Rapid Setting Subfloor Latex Levelling and Smoothing Compound
  • ARDEX DPM 1 C – One Coat Surface Damp Proof Membrane

Around 5,000 properties will be refurbished each year, with another three years to go on the project. ARDEX are working in partnership with Tarkett, using Safetred Spectrum Vinyl Flooring.

For The Perfect Floor You Need the perfect subfloor

Established in 2009, House to Home Furnishers, based in Stranraer, Wigtownshire, is a family run business offering a complete home furnishing service. Since opening, they have continually strived to bring their customers the best in quality home furnishings and fitting services, from new flooring installations, furniture and more, along with a customer service which is second to none.

House to Home Furnishers regularly install Luxury Vinyl Tile floorcoverings using ARDEX products, and Jamie Nelson, owner, commented “We have a great relationship with our local ARDEX Area Sales Manager, Morris Pate, who introduced us to ARDEX K 39 last year. Since then we always carry it in stock as one of our preferred levelling compounds.”

“ARDEX K 39 has amazing flow; it’s super smooth! Other levelling compounds leave joint marks and ridges, which usually means additional prep work and rubbing down the next day. ARDEX K 39 guarantees a perfect subfloor, and gives me peace of mind that, when I come back the next day, I’m ready to fit the floorcovering with no delays.”

In this particular installation, Jamie used the following ARDEX products:

  • ARDEX MVS 95 – One Component Residual Moisture Vapour Suppressant
  • ARDEX K 39 – Extended Workability, High Flow Levelling and Smoothing Compound
  • The hall and front porch were fitted with Neobo, Amber Glaze Parquet. The kitchen and dining area were fitted with Karndean Art Select Melbourne.

Tottenham Court Road Underground Station Refurbishment

Tottenham Court Road Underground Station opened as part of the Central London Railway (CLR) on 30th July 1900. Today, its location in the capital means it connects over 150,000 passengers daily; a figure that is expected to increase to over 200,000 when Cross Rail serves the station in 2018.

Throughout 2015 DMC Contracts Ltd, a main contractor for refurbishment works on London Underground, working alongside Taylor Woodrow BAM Nuttall (TWBN), used ARDEX products to complete the Central Line’s Tottenham Court Road Station upgrade.

Dave McCartney, Chief Executive of DMC Contracts Ltd commented “We have a long standing relationship with ARDEX UK, having worked for many years with their team, developing designs and completing a number of major projects across the UK to the satisfaction of our clients”

The design required DMC Contracts Ltd to complete a full wall and floor tiling installation that included the bespoke production of pre-cast skirtings and treads for the stairs and walkways, and breaking back to the existing substrate, making repairs using ARDEX Fast Track Repair Mortars and Screed Cements.

London Underground Ltd recommend the use of EXPAMET 267 Stainless Steel Rib Lath. The metal sheets provide a solid, secure background, and are ideal for use in the refurbishment of damaged, old and deteriorated walls; commonly found in the underground environment. ARDEX AM 100 Tile Render was applied to the Rib Lath, which were profiled to suit the natural curve of the walls. ARDEX AM 100 provided a smooth surface, which was ready for tiling in the shortest possible time, just two hours after application, meaning the area could be opened up to public access without additional hoarding.

ARDEX MICROTEC® X 78 was specified to fix the floor tiles because of its extremely high bond strength. Additionally, the semi-pourable consistency of the product helped the tile fixers quickly and easily achieve solid bed fixing, speeding up the installation process.

Due to the demanding environment of the underground, ARDEX MICROTEC® X 77 was specified on the walls. The adhesive is resistant to moisture ingress and has a high bond strength, meaning it can cope with both the vibrations from passing trains, and heavy trafficking of the passages and platforms.

The following products were specified for use in this project:

  • ARDEX A 38 – Ultra Rapid Drying Cement for Internal & External Screeds
  • ARDEX AM 100 – Rapid Hardening Tile Render
  • ARDEX A 46 – Multi-Purpose Repair Mortar
  • ARDEX MICROTEC® X 78 – Flexible Semi-Pourable Floor Tile Adhesive
  • ARDEX MICROTEC® X 77 – Flexible Wall & Floor Tile Adhesive
  • ARDEX FLEX FL – Rapid Setting Flexible Tile Grout

Paul Forrester, ARDEX Business Development Manager, commented “Since its opening the station has seen many modifications over the years, and this project has been the biggest yet. The main benefits ARDEX offered DMC Contracts Ltd were, not only the rapid drying times and strength of the finished products, but the technical and onsite support at every stage of the project.”

For further information please visit: