London City Airport


F. Ball’s Stopgap 700 Superflex smoothing underlayment and range of high-performance flooring adhesives have been used to refurbish the stairways and departure and arrivals lounges at London City Airport.

Built in 1987, London City Airport is the UK’s leading business airport, and the only airport to be based in the centre of London. Located on the doorstep of London’s financial district, the airport has been designed with the business traveller in mind. With thousands of travellers arriving and departing from the airport every day, the floors in the main walkways of the airport are subjected to heavy traffic and, as a result, considerable wear and tear.

Working on the departures and arrivals lounges, as well as three stairwells and four additional lounges, flooring contractors, The Flooring Co (UK) Ltd, who are based in Croydon, were required to remove the existing floorcovering and install a floor smoothing underlayment to ensure the subfloor’s surface was smooth and even before the new floorcovering was installed.

To begin the installation, The Flooring Co (UK) Ltd applied F. Ball’s Stopgap P131 general purpose neoprene primer to the subfloor to promote the adhesion of Stopgap 700 Superflex smoothing underlayment, which was applied at a thickness of 3mm to the 1500m² surface area.

Stopgap 700 Superflex is fibre-reinforced and offers increased flexibility to accommodate the natural movement associated with plywood and steel substrates. Using the latest cement technology, Stopgap 700 Superflex is designed to offer better crack resistance and provides a 60 minute walk-on time.

Its excellent self-smoothing properties and fast drying time make it the ideal product for fast-track installations, such as London City Airport, where the work was required to be completed quickly to cause minimal disruption to passengers. Installed over existing plywood, which was primed with Stopgap P131 neoprene primer, the smoothing underlayment optimised the integrity of the installation, and enabled the delivery of a safe, smooth and durable subfloor surface, which can withstand high levels of traffic.

Finally, in the stairwells, F. Ball’s Styccobond F44 acrylic adhesive was applied to adhere the vinyl Altro Suprema floorcovering to the finished subfloor. Styccobond F44 has a high bond strength, making it ideal for heavy duty areas such as the airport, which experiences frequent foot traffic on a daily basis. In addition, F. Ball’s Styccobond F41, carpet tile tackifier adhesive was used in the airport lounges to adhere the carpet tiles to the finished subfloor.

A fast-drying, acrylic tackifier, F41 is designed to provide a permanently tacky film which prevents loose lay carpet tiles from moving under normal traffic but enables them to be lifted and replaced easily. Its solvent free properties enabled the areas to be opened up to passengers shortly after its installation.

Steve Jones, Contracts Manager at The Flooring Co (UK) Ltd, explains: “Allowing resilient floorcoverings to be installed in as little as three hours, Superflex was the ideal product for use in the airport. Its lightweight formulation facilitated easier manual handling, which is key on a large project such as this. I was very pleased with the results.”