A clean bill of health

Altro Whiterock is often specified for commercial kitchens and for wet environments because it’s impervious, hygienic, easy to clean and looks great. When chosen for refurbishments, there’s a good chance that the wall sheet will be replacing tiles, which are prone to cracks and can harbour dirt in the grout. The good news is that there’s no need to remove the tiles – it’s fine to install Altro Whiterock over the top, in fact tiles can be better to install over than what might be underneath them.

Don’t worry about whether the tiles are glazed, unglazed, large, small, grout lines or no grout lines, it’s all fine. Just note that loose tiles need to be removed and replaced with comparable thickness plywood or other dry lining materials. If the tile is heavily contaminated or painted, it can be abraded with a diamond disc grinder.

When working in a commercial kitchen, downtime can be a major issue for the business or service using it so installing over tiles can save valuable time. There’s just one thing that can cause you to come unstuck – literally – when doing this, and it’s such a simple thing. Those tiles have to be clean!

Ditch the dirt

When I say clean, I mean scrupulously clean. There’s a good chance that kitchen tiles will have grease or food residue and in bathrooms, there’s shampoo, conditioner and yes, I have to say it, body fats. In some places it will be obvious – around the hob, near the plug hole but splatter means that any area could be contaminated. If the contaminants aren’t removed, the adhesive that has been spread on the wall sheet won’t stick to the tiles. The result of this is that, at some point, the wall sheet will come away. The telltale sign is a slight bulge in the sheet. If you take it off, you will see that it’s not an issue with the adhesive – it’s sticking to the sheet no problem - it hasn’t adhered properly to the tile.

A simple solution

Luckily, the cleaning doesn’t require any special equipment, in fact, domestic products work best - solvents tend to evaporate so quickly that they don’t have a chance to do the job. I recommend you clean a few times and rinse off the residue from the cleaning products between cleans. Clean methodically, in sections – I’ve noticed that the problem can be in the lower and higher parts of the wall, where you have to bend or stretch to clean. It doesn’t have to take long as long as it’s thorough.

So what if this has happened in your installation? If one panel is affected, it will be a straight replacement, if it goes across more than one, it’s obviously a bigger job – in both cases it’s disruptive to the end user and you have to deal with removing the adhesive in order to start again so avoiding the situation is best.

As always, please be aware of the health and safety procedures; carry out the right risk assessment, always use the correct personal protective equipment and ensure adequate ventilation when using adhesives and cleaning products.

If you need any guidance on this, or any other aspect of installing our walls sheets, please get in touch. You can also visit our website for guidance.

Until next time, Roger out.

Posted: 28/01/2019 08:00:00 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments