Events & Seminars

Design and Installation of Natural Stone Floors

This is the perfect opportunity for you and your operatives to learn from experts at first hand how to design and install natural stone floors.  The speakers have between them many years experience and can share their wealth of knowledge with delegates.  

Latest guidance and advice covering all aspects of stone selection, design, installation and maintenance will be explored and the course sets out details of the latest British and European Codes and Standards.   The requirements of the Building Regulation parts M,K & L and the constraints imposed by Regulation 12(2)(a) Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations will be covered and CIRIA Publication Safer surfaces to walk on - reducing the risk of slipping and the introduction of the slip Assessment Tool (SAT) will also be discussed.  

The speakers will form a technical panel at the end of the seminar to answer questions and those attending will receive a certificate of attendance and a complimentary copy of the Code of Practice for the Design and Installation of Internal Flooring (usual price to members £30).

Stone Federation members gathered on 5th July 2011 at The Strand Palace Hotel in London to attend the Stone Federation’s Technical Seminar on the Design and Installation of Natural Stone Floors.  The seminar is an annual event, which provides a unique opportunity for delegates across the industry to learn from Stone Federation technical expert how to design and install natural stone floors.

The seminar was chaired by Alex Stables, Stone Federation Past President and Director of Stone Productions Ltd, who warmly welcomed delegates. Included in the course pack was a free copy of the Stone Federation’s Code of Practice for the Design and Installation of Internal Flooring, this document is the definitive guide to flooring and, as Alex pointed out, is produced by industry experts as well as being  packed full of useful information. 

Peter Harrison, Deputy Chairman of the Federation’s Technical Committee and Director of Harrison Goldman Design Consultants gave a presentation on BS EN Harmonised Product Standards, (including BS 8000 and European Standards).  He also explained that the Construction Products Regulation (formerly Construction Products Directive) means that by approximately mid 2013 all products covered by Product Standards will have to be CE marked.  He went on to give a comprehensive overview of all relevant codes and their impact on areas such as manufacturing tolerances, tiles, slabs and testing requirements.

Alex Stables then gave a presentation on the contractor’s experience of laying stone, using his considerable on-site experience to explain the importance of using the correct adhesives on screed.  He impressed that adhesives are ‘operator sensitive’ and stressed the importance of contractors choosing the right adhesive and ensuring that operatives are able to use it correctly.

Alex also described the situations that contractors are often faced with on-site and acknowledged that everything in the “real world” was not ideal in terms of the expectations of clients and architects and practical reality.  He also explained the importance of ensuring that the substrate the stone is to be laid on is correct and went on to say stated that it is important for contractors to keep up to date with product knowledge.   A lively question and answer session followed.

From the manufacturing side, Cyril Potter, Chief Chemist of Ardex UK Ltd gave a detailed presentation which updated delegates on developments with the company’s products and their suitability for working with different types of stone. Cyril stressed the importance of identifying the correct type of adhesive to use and also the value of working closely with contractors within the industry.

Ian Knifton, Technical Manager of Schlüter-Systems Ltd’s contribution was a presentation on de-bonding membranes with underfloor heating over timber substrates. Ian explained how Schlüter-DITRA serves as a waterproofing membrane, a vapour pressure equalisation layer to accommodate moisture occurring at the underside of the substrate and an uncoupling layer for problematic substrates. His presentation included animations which demonstrated DITRA in action.   After a very pleasant lunch, Andrew Thomson from Hermann Otto GmbH presented Otto-Chemie’s colour matched silicon sealants and gave advice on choosing the correct non-staining silicone for use in expansion joints with natural stone. He also covered the use of smoothing agents and avoiding migratory staining. This was accompanied by a practical demonstration. Andrew also explained how staining could be removed should the wrong product be used, which provoked considerable discussion from delegates. 

Peter Harrison then gave a presentation on design and installation of natural stone floors. This included structural design, building regulations, movement joints and surface treatment.  He also clarified the importance of using the correct names of stones under BS EN 12440 Natural Stone Denomination criteria.

John Houston from BRE Ltd then presented the latest requirements for slip and the CIRIA publication and its influence on design and selection. His presentation included some interesting statistics on slips, trips and falls and explained how slip risk is calculated. John also described anti-slip surface treatments that can be used to reduce slip risk.  He also explained the importance of stone floors being fit for purpose when laid. 

Alex Stables reminded members of the importance of using the Stone Federation’s Code of Practice for the Design and Installation of Internal Flooring. He also advised that members have the Technical Helpline available for problems or guidance.