All posts by In Spired

Instarmac 2016 Team Challenge – Win a home nation’s shirt of your choice!

Now’s your chance to play the role of Roy Hodgson!

In a one off event, our Instarmac brands are working together to create the ultimate football team for an exclusive 6 a side tournament, and we need your help in selecting our very best squad members.

Starting at the bottom of this post, follow clues, find our six team members (which you will find on product pages), collect their shirt numbers and submit in order for a chance to win a Home Nations shirt of your choice!

The competition will close on Sunday 10th July 2016 and our winner will be announced the following Wednesday.


How to take part in Instarmac’s 2016 Team Challenge

Starting with the clue below, simply click your answer, which will take you to the product page where (hopefully) you’ll find our first team player. Make a note of his shirt number – you’ll need it later on – and move on to the next clue which you’ll find on the same page.

There are six players to find, six clues to answer and six numbers to jot down!

Once you’ve found our complete team, head to any of our branded Twitter accounts – UltraFloor, UltraTile, Wondertex, UltraCrete, UltraScape, Granfix – hit follow, and tweet us with your team numbers. If you’ve got them all in the correct order, you’ll be entered into a prize draw for a Home Nations Football Shirt of your choice.

Scroll down to begin!

The first clue

England player, Wayne Rooney recently splashed out a whopping £150,000 on a brand new Clive Christian kitchen which includes porcelain mosaic backsplash tiles. Which of UltraTile’s ready mixed wall tile adhesives in off white would be ideal for fixing his mosaics in place in an intermittently wet area without the risk of mould and slippage?

Hint: It comes in a handy yellow tub for easy transportation!

A. ProStick BS

B. ProGrip HG

C. SuperWhite WR Flex

Good luck!

The Largest Public Realm Paving Scheme in Europe.

Media City in Manchester has recently undergone a £650 million landscaping development with the help of UltraScape’s BS 7533 Compliant Mortar Paving System.

Ultrascape was used in the recent renovation of Manchester’s Media City. The project was one of the largest public realm paving schemes in Europe.

MediaCity UK are committed to providing ‘a vibrant and sustainable environment’ and UltraScape’s products, with their fast-track use and high specification characteristics, were an ideal addition to the site’s development.

Over 2000 tonnes of Ultrascape Pro-Bed HS bedding mortar was applied in bulk silos which provided a perfect base for the stone to be laid on. Pro-Bed HS creates the ideal foundation for laying paving elements where a rigid or bound base is required and is specifically formulated to meet and exceed the strict demands of BS 7533. In order for a system to ‘actually’ be proven BS 7533 compliant, it must have undergone independent testing using UKAS methods.

Ultrascape’s Pro-Prime slurry primer and the innovative Ultrascape Flowpoint flowable rapid setting grout were also used throughout the development.

Flowpoint is the ideal solution for any sizeable scheme, enabling large areas to be grouted with this pourable material and simply washed away with no staining. It is synonymous with fast application, cost effective and robust jointing.

It enables paving to be open for foot traffic in just 1 hour and vehicular traffic in only 4 hours- which was an essential factor for such a busy city hub!

Our thoughts on Modern Landscaping

Modern landscaping is often created through an eye catching combination of open spaces, structured plants and high quality paving. Flagstones and pathways help to define and structure empty spaces leading up to a strong focal point.

The regeneration of Londonderry City Centre, designed by Civil & Structural Engineers BDP, is the perfect example. UltraScape Pro-Prime, Flowpoint and Pro-Bed HS transformed the heart of the city into a modern, urban landscape, increasing footfall and enhancing turnover for the surrounding areas!

The work, carried out by FP McCann contractors, included upgrading the drainage infrastructure, removing the old concrete block paving and renewing street lighting and pedestrian crossings. The extensive revival of Shipquay Place and Waterloo Square therefore required reliable materials that conformed to BS 7533 part 12, making UltraScape’s mortar paving system perfect for the job.

Our premium product range is fully BS 7533 compliant and has been specified for use with many public realm projects, boasting a full UKAS accreditation for its capabilities.

UltraScape Pro-Prime slurry primer is specifically formulated to provide an exceptional bond between all stone types, with its quick and easy application and blending making it an ideal solution for the large-scale Londonderry project, reducing long term maintenance costs and increasing the life expectancy of the paved area.

Our Pro-Bed HS fine bedding concrete was chosen for its long term durability and ease of use, supplied to the contractors in pre-blended 30 tonne silos that only require the addition of water. Its fast strength gain allows for a quick turnaround, is ready for foot traffic in as little as 12 hours and vehicular traffic in just 24.

UltraScape Flowpoint rapid setting flowable grout was poured over the top of the freshly paved area and simply washed away with no risk of stains, allowing the scheme to be opened to foot traffic after only one hour due to its fast setting formulation.

The completed landscaping project creates a clean, fresh finish to the area, teaming open paving schemes with a clean border of trees and concrete fixtures, drawing the eye towards the brand new 80 nozzle water feature with integrated lighting outside the Guildhall.

Since its completion, businesses in the areas have reported a 30% increase in turnover – proof that modern landscaping really can stimulate the local economy.



BS 7533 why run the risk of failure?

BS 7533 has developed over 20 years to offer clear, consistent and tested methods for designing and constructing paved areas, offering a minimum construction life of 40 years.

Ultrascape are surprised to hear, all too often, that BS 7533 is still being ‘considered’ and not automatically specified. Why is this?

The risks and potential costs of using a non-compliant system are huge and should be instrumental in ensuring BS 7533 is specified every time. Here we review the benefits of BS 7533 compliant mortar paving systems for your consideration.

In order for a system to ‘actually’ be proven BS 7533 compliant, rather than just ‘manufactured to meet’ or ‘manufactured in accordance with’, it must have undergone independent testing using UKAS methods, which in general ensures the following benefits:

  1. Can be used to design and build schemes in excess of 1000 standard axles per day
  2. Helps to protect professional indemnity insurance
  3. Reduces costly failures and resulting personal injury claims
  4. Trusted throughout the world
  5. Tried and tested methods of construction
  6. Removes the uncertainty of site batched mortars

Most significantly, the British Standard promotes professional results that can give a construction life in excess of 40 years, whereas a non-compliant system cannot offer any minimum life expectancy.

Although the initial outlay may in some cases be lower, the ongoing and life cost of a non-compliant construction is generally significantly higher due to ongoing maintenance. Overall, using a BS 7533 compliant system helps to protect your professional indemnity insurance by reducing the risk of costly failures during the life of the construction.

One of the often overlooked aspects of the British Standard is that all of the materials are tested in conjunction with one another, ensuring that they work in harmony. This is extremely important when specifying a full mortar paving system to include bedding, priming, jointing and sealing.

Lastly, BS 7533 sets technical and practical guidelines that help to minimise potential workmanship issues. It is evident that using a compliant system is the one and only assurance against costly repercussions.

Do you need any further justification? Please call 01827 254402, we’ll be more than happy to discuss BS 7533 with you.

UltraScape have a fully RIBA accredited CPD Seminar available on the benefits of BS 7533, and the intricacies of rigid and flexible paving.  For further information on this, please email


Wondertex takes the Crown!

All Crown Decorating Centres in the Midlands are now stocking the Wondertex range.  Please use the list below to locate your nearest store.  Each store stock products across our drylining, decorative texturing and coving ranges.  For more information, please contact the team on 01827 254438.

Crown Decorating Centres stocking Wondertex:

Birmingham, 0121 328 7413
Burton on Trent, 01283 534 554
Chesterfield, 01246 563 857
Corby, 01536 268 406
Coventry, 02476 552 017
Derby, 01332 297 350
Dudley, 0121 522 2467
Halesowen, 0121 585 6507
Leicester, 0116 266 2198
Mansfield, 01623 621 816
Northampton, 01604 621 037
Nottingham, 0115 970 0488
Stourbridge, 01384 379 162
Walsall, 01922 628 580
Wellingborough, 01933 273 474
Wolverhampton, 01902 457 614

For full Crown Decorating Centre addresses, please visit

Throughout the UK, Wondertex is available to order at all other Crown Decorating Centres, ask in-store for more information.

Wondertex launch all new filler and smoother

Wondertex the internal finishing brand from the Instarmac Group, is proud to announce the launch of prem fill & finish, their new plasterboard filler and smoother.  Formerly known as Premier Filler the product has been given a complete makeover and boasts a number of additional features.

Available nationwide now, prem fill & finish sports dramatic new look packaging, an improved formulation, new sizes and long life bag.  All of which distinctly set it apart within the marketplace.

The new look packaging has been designed for easy product identification and project suitability.  Featured on the front of the bag are symbols which indicate all jobs that the product may be used for e.g. jointing, filling, smoothing etc.  What’s more, the packaging offers greater protection and ensures complete freshness due to the addition of a polyethylene liner layer, which reduces moisture ingress.

The prem fill & finish formulation has been improved following a research and development project conducted in-house at the Wondertex premises, and in conjunction with industry feedback and advisors.  The product now boasts a working time of 60 minutes.  It dries quicker, ready for early sanding and overall allows for faster job completion.

The product’s texture has been enhanced resulting in a much smoother finish.  A softer more workable density has improved the product’s handling, allowing for easier application.  As a result the product’s coverage has improved, now achieving from 1kg, up to 8 linear metres of tapered edge plasterboard jointing.

Once application has been completed the product dries hard for a durable professional finish.

prem fill & finish is available in two new sizes, 7.5kg and 15kg ideally suiting the needs of both retailers and contractors alike.  The two sizes provide perfect job compatibility for either small, quick fix jobs or larger scale projects respectively.

Wondertex launch new look drylining range

Wondertex the internal finishing brand from the Instarmac Group, is proud to announce the launch of Wondertex prem filler and Wondertex prem finish, their new look drylining range.

Following the successful launch of Wondertex prem fill & finish in the spring, they have continued with their rebrand and would like to introduce the next exciting additions.

New plasterboard joint filler, prem filler, formerly known as Joint Filler, has an improved formulation, new striking look and long life bag.  Extensive market research was used to develop the product for the professional dryliner.

The product now boasts the following features:

  • Improved drying time for early finish coat application
  • Faster setting for quicker job completion
  • Harder when set for excellent durability
  • Enhanced adhesion to tapes and plasterboards for robust joints
  • A softer more workable density and smoother texture for outstanding product application
  • 60-90 minute working time

prem filler is available in 12.5kg bags nationwide and may be used for the bedding and filling of tapes, external metal angles and corner tapes, as well for repair work.

The renowned Wondertex Joint Finish has been given a makeover too, now known as prem finish.  This product’s formulation has not changed, it is still the same great product – looking more impressive!

Suitable for the finishing of all plasterboard joints and specially developed for hand and machine jointing, prem finish is available in 25kg bags.

Both new bags offer greater protection and ensure complete freshness due to the addition of a polyethylene liner layer, which reduces moisture ingress.

A choice of 3 jointing tapes complete the Wondertex drylining range.  There’s an everyday standard white, a tough metal angle tape and a time-saving self adhesive.  All 3 are compatible for use with both prem filler and prem finish.

UltraFloor Breathes Life Back Into Memorial Hospital

UltraFloor’s Level IT Smooth has been used to transform parts of Darlington Memorial Hospital in County Durham.

Aiken Flooring Contracts Ltd have recently finished subfloor preparation and flooring installation of Forbo Marmoleum throughout the Pathology corridors and A&E reception areas.

The work was carried out over a very tight time frame as the areas could only be closed off for one weekend. The concrete substrate was prepared and then primed with an UltraFloor moisture tolerant, water -based acrylic primer. Priming helps to stabilise and seal the surface, minimising pinhole formation.

Level IT Smooth high performance, fine flow smoothing underlayment was then trowel applied to the prepared areas. It was developed to give the smoothest possible finish and is particularly suited therefore to installations of vinyl, rubber and linoleum where imperfections in subfloor preparation can result in poor aesthetics.  Its flawless finish provided an ideal foundation for the bonded Forbo Marmoleum.

Level IT Smooth can be applied from 2-10mm, sets to walk on in 2-3 hours and is ready to receive a decorative floor covering after 12 hours. It can also be pump applied – perfect for projects where large areas are available to the contractor. It achieves a high compressive strength of 35N/mm² and is ideal for use in areas subject to heavy traffic such as hospital corridors and sports halls.

Aiken Flooring commented ‘the finish that was achieved was excellent and our customer noticed a visible improvement to the floor.’ The work completed on time and the customer was delighted with the turnaround.

UltraFloor Features at Famous Waterfront Attraction

UltraFloor’s Level IT Two has been used to refurbish office premises at Liverpool’s famous waterfront attraction, Albert Dock.

Liverpool based flooring contractor, Carpet Design and Flooring have recently finished sub-floor preparation and Hospi-Loop II pile carpet installation of 200m² of office area using products from the UltraFloor range.

The work was carried out over a 2 day window while the office was closed to facilitate a speedy installation.

Existing floor covering and adhesive residue was removed before an UltraFloor primer was applied to the concrete substrate. Priming helps stop the moisture from the wet underlayment passing through to the porous subfloor which can cause pinholes, prolonging the life of the installation. It was used to prepare the area prior to levelling with Level IT Two.

Level IT Two is UltraFloor’s recently enhanced two-component smoothing underlayment. Reputed to be the ‘easiest’ latex to apply, it offers superior flow and handling. It is now 30% faster and can be overlaid in just 12 hours – perfect for this project’s time constraints. Once smoothed and cured it was ready to receive the bonded Hospi-Loop II carpet.

Carpet Design and Flooring were pleased with the results and completed the job within the allotted timeframe, and commented that they chose Ultra Floor because it is a ‘trusted brand.’

UltraFloor Flying High at Manchester Airport

UltraFloor’s Level IT Two, high flow smoothing underlayment been used to transform part of the Premier Inn at Manchester Airport.

The work was carried out over a three day window by flooring contractor, Aspire Flooring Ltd, based in Lancashire, who completed 250m² of subfloor preparation and Amtico floor covering installation throughout the hotel’s Thyme restaurant and kitchen areas.

The concrete substrate was primed prior to the application of Level IT Two to help stop any moisture from the wet underlayment passing through to the porous subfloor which can cause pinholes. Level IT Two was then applied by trowel to the prepared area to a depth of 8mm.

Level IT Two is a two part smoothing underlayment with exceptional flow characteristics which makes it very easy to apply to most common substrates in both commercial and domestic flooring projects. The cured product has excellent surface strength and will tolerate foot traffic with minimal damage, making it ideal for both small and large projects where floor coverings may not be installed for several days after application. Once smoothed and cured it was ready to receive the bonded Amtico flooring.

This project is one of several that Aspire Flooring Ltd have completed using UltraFloor’s Level IT Two. Martin Spencer, Managing Director, commented ‘we are always happy to use Ultra Floor products because of their excellent quality and finish.’