V&A gets artistic renovation

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Home to the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design, with a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects, the Victoria and Albert museum is one the most iconic attractions in London and the UK.

Founded in 1852 and with 145 galleries displaying art spanning over 5,000 years, the museum was due a well-deserved upgrade to account for the vast number of visitors. Since 2001, the museum has benefitted from a £150 million renovation programme which includes new galleries, gardens, shops and visitor facilities. As part of this programme, the museum floor was refurbished to provide an updated look whilst maintaining its historic appeal.

Steve Long, Director at Floorcraft Ltd, the chosen contractor for the project said: “The job at the V&A involved the removal of the original English heritage wood blocks which had to be resurfaced and treated before being re-fixed to the floor. We had to comply with strict rules, in keeping with the traditional décor of the museum.”

“When we removed the original floor we found hot pitch, also known as bitumen, which was used as a damp proof membrane when the floor was originally laid.  During the removal of the floor the bitumen was damaged and exposed the original concrete based.”

ARDEX Area Sales Manager, John Oliver said “Due to the age of the building, and the problems that occurred during the removal of the floor, a moisture control system needed to be put in place to protect the final floorcovering from ground bearing moisture.

ARDITEX NA is moisture tolerant, and was applied direct to the uneven damaged subfloor to create a smooth, flat surface, onto which to apply the damp proof membrane, ARDEX DPM 1 C R.

A final application of ARDITEX NA was applied direct to the ARDEX damp proof membrane without priming, before the original English heritage wood blocks, which had to be resurfaced and treated, were re-fixed to the floor with ARDEX AF 2510 Floorcovering Adhesive.”

The ARDEX products used to renovate the museum floor were:

  • ARDITEX NA – an ultra-rapid hardening latex subfloor levelling and smoothing compound.
  • ARDEX A38 – a rapid hardening and drying cement for floor screeds. Due to its rapid hardening properties, the floor was walkable in four hours and exceeded the minimum drying time of 28 days for traditional screeds of sand or cement.
  • ARFDEX DPM 1 C R– A one coat surface damp proof membrane and residual moisture suppressant which guaranteed the early laying of floorcovering and is walkable in 4 hours.
  • ARDEX AF 2510 – a two component polyurethane adhesive which has a high load strength, ideal for areas with high foot traffic.
  • ARDEX A 45 –A rapid hardening repair mortar that was used to fill large holes resulting from the removal of the original floor.