Firm gets stuck into conservation

MODERN tile adhesive created by a Suffolk firm has been used as part of the multi-million pound restoration of one of London's most important landmarks.

MODERN tile adhesive created by a Suffolk firm has been used as part of the multi-million pound restoration of one of London's most important landmarks.

Restorers are carrying out £40million worth of restoration work on St Paul's Cathedral, repairing and cleaning Sir Christopher Wren's architectural masterpiece inside and out.

Tile adhesive and other products produced by Haverhill-based Ardex Ltd, which recently scooped the innovation award at the 2005 Anglian Business Awards, hve been used to reinstate glass mosaic work in the cathedral's Whispering Gallery.

The company was invited to a site visit with Martin Stancliffe Architects and Trevor Caley Associates Ltd, and recommended a range of products specifically designed to meet the rigorous demands of the project.

After the mosaics were removed, Ardex's one-coat tiling render was used on the exposed background, which had to be smoothed with a render of varying thicknesses which could set rapidly.

An advantage of the product was that the mosaics could be reinstated after two hours, compared to a curing period of at least two weeks for a traditional cement-based render.

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The mosaic below the Whispering Gallery is curved, and the reinstatement incorporated a stainless steel mesh reinforcement, which allowed the render to be mechanically secured.

The Haverhill firm's tile adhesive was used to secure the reconditioned mosaic tiles, which were then grouted using another of its products.

Gary Bricknell, of Trevor Caley Associates, was enthusiastic about the company's contribution to the work.

“The combination of proven product performance and outstanding technical support provided by Ardex was a pivotal factor in the completion of our restoration work on behalf of St Paul's Cathedral,” he said.