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Hart & Hall Interactive Worm

During the upgrading of St Oswald’s Hospice, Newcastle, Hart and Hall tiling contractors, based in North Shields, were among a number of kind-hearted local businesses that volunteered their services to spruce up the outdoor space. This important resource is used by children up to the age of 18, and young adults aged 18 to 25, from across the North-East, who are battling life-limiting conditions.

Hart and Hall stripped the stone worm – based on the North-East legend of the Lambton Worm, which terrorised local villages of its previous, weather-worn green tiles before priming it with Palace Tilers Primer. The contractors then re-tiled it with stylish black, white and grey 300mm mosaic sheets using Palace Chemicals’ Trade-Flex Wall and Floor Tile Adhesive to stick the sheets to the two-metre wide structure. Palace Trade-Flex is ideal for fixing porcelain, vitrified and ceramic tile and stone to solid surfaces, where exposure to frequent rainfall and a wide range of temperatures is to be expected.

It is a fast-setting grey or white adhesive that allows joints to be grouted as soon as three hours after it sets to give a fully water-resistant, high early strength, bond suitable for locations that are subject to challenging weather conditions. Hart and Hall, which was founded in 1979 and has 14 members of staff and four subcontractors, has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Palace Chemicals, going back at least 20 years. The tilers were approached by a friend of a friend who was working on groundwork at the hospice and had recommended the firm. Hart and Hall’s Company Secretary, Donna Bradley, explains. “The worm had been there for quite some time. It was getting a little bit old and was in the garden that the kids go out into. We stripped the lead and retiled the worm’s head, did all the edging, and repaved around it. We gave it a fresh new look.” “We’re really glad to have been able to help,” continues Bradley.

The worm helps to cheer the children up. There is now a button that can be pressed to make its eyes flash.” It took a day for the contractors to complete. Alan Thompson, who is a Director and one of the tilers at Hart and Hall, along with Michael Oliver worked on the project. “We jumped at the chance to get involved in helping a local charity,” says Thompson. “It gives us great pleasure to be able to give something back to the community. “The children who use the hospice are really sick – most of them are not going to be going home. It’s great to be able to do something to help cheer up their day.” 

“We used Trade-Flex because it’s hard-wearing and a bit stronger than other adhesives,” notes Bradley. “It is flexible and helps us get around the corners. It helps us work a bit better and it’s frost-resistant.” She said the children at the hospice showed their appreciation by sending Hart and Hall an A4 card they had made, saying thank you for their new play area and revitalised worm, featuring their fingerprints, which they were ‘over the moon’ to receive. The mosaic sheets were donated to the project by Ceramic Tile Distributors for free. Jocelyn Thompson, Children and Young Adults Service Manager at St Oswald’s Hospice, said: “The gardens at St Oswald’s play such an important part of stays for children and young adults who come to us for short breaks and we pride ourselves on our beautiful gardens. 

Unfortunately our ‘Lambton Worm’ sculpture within one of our gardens was out of action for some time, but thanks to local businesses – including Hart and Hall – it has now been restored to its former glory!” “The children we care for particularly enjoy the interactive element of the worm, as it has flashing lights for eyes. This means that the worm is illuminated for the children and young adults to see at all times of day.” Charlie Clapham, Managing Director at Palace Chemicals, said: “We’re glad that our products have been used to help brighten up the lives of poorly youngsters, and proud to have such a long-established relationship with Hart & Hall, a community-minded company.”

Click here to learn more about Trade-Flex.

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Seagulls Reuse Community Project

It was all hands on deck when Seagulls Reuse (which amongst other things, delivers community arts projects) got more than 300 residents involved to work on a massive mosaic in west Leeds that represents the local area. The 12ft mural, which features the words ‘Armley’, along with colourful hearts and local organisations’ emblems, was unveiled at a special event. It was attended by Laticrete’s James Broadhead and other invited guests, including local councillors and the MP for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves, who scrambled up scaffolding for the occasion.

The artwork has been placed on the gable end of the St George’s Crypt charity shop, which helps the homeless, the vulnerable, and people suffering from addiction, in Town Street, Armley. The mosaic took months to complete, after going out to community consultation and Seagulls then drawing up the vibrant design. Cat Hyde, Project Manager at Seagulls Reuse, said: “The area suffers from a lot of anti-social behaviour and negative press and this was about creating something colourful and creative that people can be involved with to bring a sense of pride to the area. It was about community cohesion and bringing the people together.” Laticrete 254 Platinum was used in the creation of the mosaic. This is a patented, versatile, polymer-fortified adhesive designed specifically for the installation of adhered masonry veneer, stone, and thin brick.

Laticrete 254 Platinum, formulated to be mixed just with water, has a long open time with unsurpassed adhesion and workability. It is excellent for interior, exterior, and submerged applications, as well as providing superior bond to exterior glue plywood (interior only) and concrete. It is billed as the ultimate thin-set for masonry veneer. “In the past we had discussions about the best adhesive to use,” said Hyde. “Laticrete 254 Platinum seemed to be the best choice, especially for durability. This mural won’t be going anywhere.” 

The design was created during community workshops involving residents of all ages, from elderly people to pupils from four local schools. According to figures from the End Child Poverty coalition, 38.4% of children in Armley are in low-income families and 2,400 youngsters are in child poverty. Giving her verdict on the mosaic, Hyde said: “I think it’s brilliant. We’ve had so much positive feedback – it’s been brilliant!” “We couldn’t have done it without Laticrete’s support,” she added.

Hyde says that there are plans in the pipeline for more mosaic schemes, including completing the second half of a rainbow mural at Leeds Market, as well as extending the project in Armley, as “it’s been so well-received.” There is no doubt that Laticrete will be involved in these ventures. Steve Ball, Commercial Director at Palace Chemicals / Laticrete UK, said: “We are delighted to have been involved with Seagulls in such a community-focused project that has helped all walks of life to come together to brighten up the local area and what’s even better, is that it will hopefully be there for generations to come.”

Click here to find out more about Laticrete 254 Platinum.

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Diamonds are a Grouts Best Friend

What would you expect to find on the world’s most expensive roulette table? Millions of dollars worth of diamonds, maybe? But Spectralock Pro Premium grout? 

In fact, the maintenance-free, easy-to-use, hard-wearing epoxy grout, along with some $4.5 million worth of diamonds, were the main focus in creating the amazing-looking roulette table that formed the centrepiece of a multi-million-dollar birthday cake made by one of the world’s most expensive designers. Mosaic artist David Arnott was approached by Debbie Wingham, who has previously created the world’s most expensive black diamond dress worth £3.5 million, the world’s most expensive abaya (a cloak worn in the Muslim world), costing £11.7 million, and the world’s most expensive cake, worth £48.5 million: a diamond-encrusted cake for an Arabian client.

This time, Debbie enlisted the skills of Manchester-based Arnott to come up with a piece that combined edible art, mosaics, and diamonds for a client’s son’s 35th birthday. The cake featured a look-alike of the son, edible roulette chips, a roulette wheel and a Gucci man bag stuffed with gold money. Arnott also created the table itself; a roulette wheel and a million dollar chip. The flawless gems included pink and black diamonds; while 35,000 24-carat gold tiles were used and bonded together using diamond dust mixed in with Spectralock Pro Premium. The piece was unveiled at an intimate family party at the client’s home. Using Laticrete products throughout the project, Arnott said: “Spectralock Pro Premium is definitely the only grout on the market capable of adding diamond dust, giving a rich shine to the piece.”

“After seeing my collaboration with Debbie Wingham on the world’s most expensive roulette table, I have had many people asking me where I get my materials from. I use Laticrete and Palace Chemicals for my adhesives and grouts. There’s a reason behind this: I only use the best of the best materials on any mosaic I create for stability. If anyone has any projects for mosaic or tiling coming up I would definitely recommend you use their materials. It’s top quality.” “I was honoured to be part of this project and to work with such expensive materials,” added Arnott. “It is very unique adding diamonds in to mosaics and being able to work on projects without many restrictions, although there is no room for error. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Available in 52 colours, Spectralock Pro Premium is a three-component system made up of a resin, hardener, and coloured sand. The three-component system means that the installer is always in control of the mixing and can decide how thick the grout is applied. It is also very easy to clean off of the face of the tiles, unlike other epoxy grouts on the market. Spectralock Pro Premium is designed for use on ceramic tile, glass tile, and stone applications, both residential and commercial. It can be used both interior and exterior on floors and walls. Spectralock Pro Premium is perfect for swimming pools, fountains and other wet area applications and provides a maintenance free solution to a grouting requirement. 

Steve Ball, Commercial Director at Laticrete UK, said: “What a coup for David Arnott and what an honour for the Laticrete brand. To be used in this expensive creation is a multi million-dollar endorsement for us and we thank David for being as supportive of the brand as we are of him. A fantastic piece of work to be proud of and we very much look forward to the next big project with David.”

Click here to learn more about Spectralock Pro

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Laticrete Keeps the Community Beating

An Industry-renowned mosaic artist has chosen Laticrete UK’s ‘solid-as-they-come’ products to make stunning new artwork commemorating the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

UK’s ‘solid-as-they-come’ products to make stunning new artwork commemorating the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Carrie Reichardt’s unique mosaic-based design was unveiled at its new home at the Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield Hospitals in London on 19th November 2018 as part of the NHS70: Thanks for Everything exhibition. Reichardt, a self-titled ‘craftivist’ of international acclaim, who makes ceramic tapestry, has incorporated hearts made by patients, families, and staff into one of the pieces. Queen of Hearts Princess Diana, a frequent visitor to the Royal Brompton, also features in the work. The hearts used, were all made from clay with help from community arts teacher and Carrie’s friend Linda Griffiths during workshops in the hospitals. Reichardt, who gets her tiles sent from Portugal, refired them and included them in the central piece. She used Laticrete’s Spectralock Pro Premium Grout and Latapoxy 300 Adhesive on the artwork. Latapoxy 300 Adhesive is a chemical-resistant epoxy adhesive that will bond to most sound and clean surfaces. It spreads easily, and cleans with water while fresh. 

Spectralock Pro Premium Grout is a patented, high performance, epoxy grout that offers excellent colour uniformity, durability, stain protection, and beautiful full grout joints, in an easy-to-use, non-sag, formula. Praising Laticrete, Reichardt, who lives in a mosaic-covered house in Chiswick, London, said: “I used them because I had to guarantee it would last and that stuff is solid-as-it-comes resin. As it will be going outdoors in a hospital courtyard, I used what I knew to be the best quality product.” It took Reichardt around a month to complete the three panels, which incorporated vast amounts of research from the hospital archives.

She added: “I was extremely proud and honoured to be able to make a piece. I think it’s really important – now more than ever that we are appreciative of the NHS because we could well lose it,” says Reichardt. “A lot of the imagery I have used shows people protesting over the years. I wanted to show we are thankful: the NHS is not a given, we’ve had to fight for it.” Paying tribute to Laticrete for its support and sponsorship, Reichardt said: “They have been fantastic. They are huge supporters of everything I have done. I met Steve Ball, Laticrete UK’s Commercial Director, at The British Association of Modern Mosaic conference in September. Laticrete has always been hugely supportive of creative mosaic artists. Thanks again to Laticrete for always helping and sponsoring me, and making sure that my work lasts.” 

Karen Janody, Curator at RB&H Arts, the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust’s dedicated arts team, said: “Carrie’s unique aesthetics and her passion for social heritage will make ‘NHS70: Thanks for Everything’ a perpetual emblem to the care provided by our staff – past, present and future – who are dedicated to caring for their patients. It will be a thought-provoking artwork that patients, visitors and staff can appreciate time and again, still discovering new layers of history.” Steve Ball said: “Just like our NHS, Laticrete’s adhesive and grouts are strong, resilient, and tough, so it is quite fitting that Carrie chose Laticrete to complete such a stunning piece for this prestigious exhibition.”

Click here to learn more about Spectralock Pro.

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THIRD PARTY ACCREDITATIONS – What they really mean:

Palace Chemicals Ltd have always been fully committed in securing the benefits of engaging with highly qualified, industry specialised auditors from the BSI routinely to carry out rigorous independent audits & assessments on all our processes, functions & activities. This disciplined approach applies expert scrutiny to validate that we are providing the required outcomes & improvements from all our management systems: Palace’s commitment is further demonstrated by the fact we remain one of the few companies within our sector holding compliance to all three Internationally recognised, Management Systems covering Quality (ISO 9001), Environment (ISO 14001) and Health & Safety (ISO 18001).

This holistic approach requires the dedication of all staff & management in working towards achieving annual objectives for continual improvement, not only in terms of product quality & service delivery, but also ensuring the environmental impact of our processes & activities are monitored and progressively minimised, both in terms of waste minimisation & the development of more sustainable products & process systems.

Finally, the safety & welfare of our staff, operators, customers & end users is of paramount importance, as our health & safety management system continually seeks to reduce & minimise the risks that may arise from process, storage & application of our products.

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Trust Laticrete – Major improvements to Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens.

LATICRETE Spectralock Pro Premium Grout has been used successfully in the joints of a new granite water fountain at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester. The work was carried out by The Fountain Company Ltd, Derbyshire. For many years Piccadilly Gardens has been the heart of the city centre, it is a heavily used key public space with a footfall of around 310,000 people a week – around 16 million people a year. Under the new proposals there is 2 million GBP worth of investment in improvements to Piccadilly Gardens to make them more attractive and welcoming to families while deterring anti-social behaviour – back to ‘The Good Old Days’ The plans also include a new Pavilion building, introducing family restaurants and cafe bars, creating an opportunity to regenerate a prominent and well used space in central Manchester that is also a thoroughfare to other parts of the city. Having lived in Manchester all my life, I am proud to say Laticrete UK have been involved in creating what is fast becoming one of the most vibrant, exciting places to live, voted a ‘top 10 city in the world to visit’ (Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2016).
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#Laticrete in Manchester @ Stockport Museum.

Manchester mosaic artist Mark Kennedy was approached by Stockport Council to produce a mosaic art piece depicting local artists who recorded at Strawberry recording studios, Manchester. It is to be part of a year-long exhibition at the museum celebrating the success of the studios for over 25 years. Mark completed the mosaic using LATICRETE 254 Platinum Adhesive and Permacolour Grout. Many famous artists and groups have recorded at Strawberry Studios including, Sir Paul McCartney, 10cc, Inspiral Carpets, Simply Red, Neil Sedaka… The studio was used by Factory Records producer Martin Hannett who worked on music by Joy Division, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and Happy Mondays there. Other legendary groups who recorded at the studios were Godley & Creme, The Ramones, Buzzcocks, Bay City Rollers, New Order, and James. Strawberry Studios was one of the most important recording facilities in Manchester and one of the few in the UK outside London. The studios opened initially in a 20-foot square room in 1967 over a record shop in Stockport and was called Inner-City Studios. It was later taken over by Mindbenders guitarist and songwriter Eric Stewart and his former roadie Peter Tattersall. Under their management, it was reborn as Strawberry Recording Studios – a tribute to The Beatles’ hit Strawberry Fields Forever, the name incorporated into law and sealed in history in October 1967. A new site on nearby Waterloo Road, and additional backing from 10cc’s Graham Gouldman and music agent/promoter Kennedy Street Enterprises, turned it into the studio of the north for many artists and the home of 10cc until its closure in 1993. Fifty years on, the work of the studios is being celebrated with a year long exhibition at the Market Place Museum, Stockport, Manchester with mementos, memorabilia, and historic items that tell the tale of Strawberry Studios legacy and runs until January 28, 2018. Written by: Michelle Costigan, Laticrete UK Technical Product Manager.
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Crewe Lifestyle Centre

Crewe’s new Lifestyle Centre is a modern leisure facility and community hub. Opened in 2016, it will bring together in one place, modern adult social and leisure facilities.

The Centre will enhance the health and well-being of the people in the local area and help create a healthy future for Crewe.

The site chosen for the Lifestyle Centre was within the new, exciting Civic and Cultural Quarter of Crewe and is a key part of the wider regeneration of the town centre of Crewe.

Facilities include:
  • A 25-metre, 8 lane, local competition standard swimming pool with (disabled) accessible entry and exit lift and spectator seating
  • 17m small pool with (disabled) accessible entry and exit lift
  • Separate changing facilities for wet and dry leisure use with dedicated changing places facilities in the wet changing area for customers with disabilities
  • Café and pool viewing area
  • 2 floor library with community space
  • A multi-function sports hall with adjacent studio space which can be used as breakout rooms
  • Fitness suite and fitness studios
  • Specialist day service facilities – catering for adults with a wide range of needs including autism, sensory impairment and complex medical needs
  • Enhanced sporting opportunities for individuals; mainly young people, with physical, sensory or learning disabilities
  • Shared reception with communal facilities for use by other community groups for functions, parties and exhibitions.
LATICRETE’s expertise was focused in the wet areas where, where to the consternation of the applicator, a requirement for EPOXY GROUT was reluctantly deemed necessary by the architect; after technical demonstrations with both the contractor and tiler on site, LATICRETE SpectraLOCK Pro Premium was chosen as the grout of choice for its HIGH Performance and ease of application. This coupled with the LATICRETE ‘flagship’ adhesive, Platinum 254 provided the perfect solution.

“……..it’s less about the cost of the product, much more about the opportunity for speed of application and the peace of mind that LATICRETE products give you; I am very impressed!”

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Tiling – Preparing Surfaces Prior to Tile Fixing.

Overcoming adverse surface conditions such as high porosity, dust, friability, exposure to moisture and inconsistent levels all require consideration prior to fixing & Palace have the products which help ensure the bond formed by any tile adhesive remains secure & long lasting.

Palace Tiler’s Primer is a multi-purpose concentrated copolymer emulsion which can be used over a range of dilutions for use to suit the level of surface porosity being fixed over, whilst Anhydrite sealer provides an effective barrier over gypsum based anhydrite floors before being tiled over with a cement based adhesive.

Tile fixing in wet-room areas should consider the long terms exposure of the receiving substrates to moisture migration and the Palace Wet-Room system gives the ideal solution to providing the perfect surface to fix over with excellent water resistance for the life-time of the installation.

Finally, uneven or inconsistently level floor surfaces must be restored to a flat even finish before tile fixing can be considered and the Palace range of floor levelling underlayments covers all foreseeable needs with respect to achieving the depth, strength & temperature tolerance needed to ensure the perfect finish & longevity of the tiling bonded to it.

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BBC CHILDREN IN NEED APPEAL 2016

Laticrete UK are proud and honoured to have sponsored one of the events held around the United Kingdom to raise money for the BBC Children in Need Appeal 2016.  
  • 1955: It all began with the gloved puppet ‘Sooty’
  • 1980: First ‘Telethon’ BBC Children in Need.
  • 1985: ‘Pudsey’ makes his first appearance.
  • 2016: Laticrete sponsor
The first televised appeal took place in 1955 and was called the ‘Children’s Hour Christmas Appeal’ with the yellow glove puppet ‘Sooty Bear’ and Harry Corbett fronting it. The Christmas Day appeals continued on TV and radio until 1979. It was in 1980 that the first Children in Need telethon was broadcast and it was devoted to raising money exclusively destined for charities working with children in the United Kingdom. At this point the BBC saw a dramatic rise in the donations due to the new format of the show and popular presenters, most famous being the much loved Sir Terry Wogan who made the BBC live appeal show his own with his unique charm and professionalism. In 1985 Pudsey Bear made his first appearance, created by BBC designer Joanna Ball, the name ‘Pudsey’ was taken from her home town name in Yorkshire. For the BBC Children in Need Appeal 2016 ‘Pudsey’ was transformed into a stunning mosaic piece of art by one of the many mosaic artists LATICRETE sponsor. David Arnott from Salford attended an apprentice tile fixing course at Salford College of Technology, his skill and excellent workmanship was soon recognised and he was presented with a ‘craft award’ by Ian Kershaw from Tiles UK, Salford and was the first tiler to win a craft award from City & Guilds. David now concentrates on his mosaic art pieces for commercial and private clients. David created the 6 foot ‘Pudsey’ mosaic in his work shop with the help of his apprentice, Lee Ratcliffe out of 2484 pieces of tile, each tile piece representing a project funded by Children in Need. At this point however the pieces were not fixed but were numbered on the back and the corresponding number wrote onto the mosaic substrate to be fixed on site. The event took place at the BBC MediaCityUK, Salford where the public were invited to own a piece of the mosaic and fix it into place for a £2.00 donation. The event raised £4,968 which went towards the record amount raised this year of £46.6m. The tile pieces were fixed with Laticrete 254 Platinum Adhesive and after the event the mosaic was grouted with Laticrete Spectralock Pro Premium Grout. The ‘Pudsey’ mosaic will become a permanent fixture outside the BBC Television Centre at MediaCityUK, Salford.   pudsey-makingpudseychldren-in-need