14,000 handmade porcelain tiles were fixed with ARDEX products

ARDEX Return for V & A Museum Expansion

A full ARDEX system was used in the new exterior courtyard, as part of a £53.5million expansion project

ARDEX Return for V & A Museum Expansion

Two years after being specified for the V & A Museum’s interior flooring refurbishment, ARDEX were back this summer to be a part of its £53.5million expansion. Its largest in 100 years, the project created an extra 6,400m2 of gallery and entrance spacing to serve the 3.3million visitors that the iconic London venue receives every year.

Sitting above this new area is one of the project’s most impressive features, a brand new courtyard for the museum visitors and its café-goers to use, as well as further space to display sculptures and artworks. Covering the 1200m2 area are over 14,000 handmade porcelain tiles, which were installed by Stonewest using the following ARDEX products:

  • ARDEX A 38 Ultra Rapid Drying Cement for Internal & External Screeds
  • ARDEX A 38 MIX Pre-Blended Ultra Rapid Drying Cement for Internal & External Screeds
  • ARDEX MICROTEC X 77 Flexible Wall & Floor Tile Adhesive
  • ARDEX MICROTEC X 78 Flexible Semi-Pourable Floor Tile Adhesive
  • ARDEX DGR Degreaser
  • ARDEX R 3 E Moisture Tolerant Epoxy Primer
  • ARDEX Fine Aggregate

Len Sales, Project Manager from Stonewest, explains why he chose to work with ARDEX for this prestigious development: “Prior to starting the project, it was important for me to understand the products we’d be using, so ARDEX arranged for me to see a demonstration of ARDEX A 38 being laid. This categorically proved that its rapid drying qualities would be the key to us maintaining our programme timings, and would allow the tiling contractor to continue their work as quickly as possible. For fixing the tiles, we chose ARDEX MICROTEC X 77 and ARDEX MICROTEC X 78 due to their 3 hour pot lives; and with its semi-pourable consistency, ARDEX MICROTEC X 78 was particularly effective for solidly bedding the large format porcelain tiles we were installing.”

Commenting on his involvement in the project, Paul Forrester, Business Development Manager for ARDEX, said: “The architects, AL_A, were already aware of our screeding and tiling experience through our work with London Underground and Crossrail, and initially approached us for this project back in 2012.

“Following our meetings, we put forward ARDEX A 38 for the screed because it would meet the demanding requirement of the project, namely its suitability for external use; its shrinkage-compensated formulation which minimises the risk of cracking; its high compressive strength which could bear the expected loadings; and, above all, its ultra-rapid drying characteristics which would allow tilers and other trades access and workability as soon as possible.

“For the next stage, we recommended ARDEX MICROTEC Tile Adhesives. Their long open times and pot lives gave the fixer time to position the tiles in the intricate layout required, whilst avoiding costly waste of unused adhesive.

“With over 30 years’ experience of projects with similarly demanding site requirements, we were able to take our knowledge and proven products to develop a specification that gave all parties confidence from concept through to completion.”