All posts by Sarah Instarmac

Coronavirus Update: Business as usual

As COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to expand globally, we want to communicate our commitment to business continuity. First and foremost we are closely following the latest government guidelines to maintain the health and safety of our employees, customers and suppliers.

We have invested heavily in our disaster recovery procedures which means we are more than prepared to process all customer orders and deliver them as and when required.

Our Senior Managers and sales staff are equipped to work from home with full remote access.

Finally, we have also implemented preventative measures at our manufacturing site to ensure our products can be produced as normal, ensuring continuity of supply.

Our teams remain here for you and we will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with further updates accordingly.

We wish you all good health and thank you for putting your trust in us. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us by calling +44 (0) 1827 254400 or emailing


Board of Directors
Instarmac Group plc

Environmental and social responsibility report

Instarmac releases their first Environmental and Social Responsibility Report

Market-leading manufacturer, Instarmac Group plc, have always prided themselves on their environmental, sustainable and ethical practices. The release of their first Environmental and Social Responsibility Report demonstrates their desire to operate as responsibly as possible.

In 1987, the UN defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This concept has always resonated with Instarmac and has influenced all business decisions over the last thirty years.

Instarmac know that sustainability is not limited to products and how  they are manufactured – it is embedded across all aspects of their business. From limiting their impact on the environment, delivering sustainable solutions, supporting and rewarding their 193 employees, to ensuring they actively support the local community.

Instarmac’s Environmental and Social Responsibility Report provides a detailed overview of their environmental achievements to date as well as their commitment to increasing sustainable practices even further.

Instarmac’s vision is to become a £75 – £100 million turnover business by 2023. This report highlights their desire to achieve this purpose with integrity. In 2019, Instarmac were named as a ‘Great Place to Work®’ for the third year running as well as one of the Best Workplaces for Women for the first time. They have continued to strengthen their environmental management system, receiving ISO 14001 for the twelfth year in a row, further illustrating their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint.

In addition, Instarmac have a long history of charitable giving. In the last two decades their Directors and employees and have raised approximately £200,000 for a number of different causes.

On the launch of this exciting report, John Holcroft, Managing Director at Instarmac, commented: “Since our founding over 40 years ago, we have built a solid reputation based on research, development and innovation. Our success comes down to all departments working together with uncompromising ethics, ensuring the best quality products and service is provided to our customers. We are proud of what we have achieved. Instarmac’s success have been sustained through out ambitious nature and our determination to do better. This means we are not standing still, instead we are looking to the future and our long term goals.”

Instarmac have used this report to set themselves some challenging short and long-term goals for the future including reducing their carbon footprint by 5% by 2022, increasing their recycling rate to 75% within the same period and to provide a minimum of 10 graduate opportunities over the next 5 years.

Download a FREE copy of Instarmac’s Environmental and Social Responsibility Report.

For more information on Instarmac’s environmental, social and ethical achievements, commitments and aims, please contact their team of experts by calling +44 (0) 1827 254400 or emailing

surface defect repair

Stop potholes in their tracks with UltraCrete Surface Defect Repair

Surface Defect Repair, from highway maintenance experts UltraCrete, has been specifically designed to stop cracks from deteriorating and turning into dangerous and costly potholes.

Through consultation with contractors and clients, UltraCrete identified that early treatment of defects in carriageways on thin surface asphalt repairs, would prevent the formation of costly potholes and their associated risks.

As a result, UltraCrete’s team of in-house Development Chemists embarked on months of extensive product testing to present Surface Defect Repair to the market – a product that is applied to minor surface defects in footways and carriageways which stops potholes from forming.

Durable and easy to use, Surface Defect Repair is a granular thermoplastic material with anti-skid dressing that is ideal for use on contracts where asset management allows for early identification of minor defects and can be built into the ongoing maintenance programme.

Comprising of a 12kg bag of Surface Defect Repair thermoplastic pellets and a 1kg bag of anti-skid aggregate, Surface Defect Repair is heat applied and once cured, offers an impressive Skid Resistance Value (SRV) of 60.

For further information on Surface Defect Repair or to request a free product demonstration, please contact UltraCrete’s team of experts by emailing or calling 01827 254402.

Hawera town centre

UltraScape reinvigorates Hawera Town Centre

Instarmac International’s partner in New Zealand, Horizon International, have supplied UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System as part of a huge redevelopment of Hawera Town Centre.

Hawera Town Centre is just one of many small towns across New Zealand that have become a victim of larger retail outlets and online shopping. The decrease in footfall has led to a decline in funding resulting in a town centre that is rundown and unwelcoming.

In order to combat  this, and to encourage people back to the town centre, South Taranaki District Council worked with urban planners and local residents to devise a strategy to save Hawera Town Centre.

Rather than investing in quick cosmetic fixes, South Taranaki District Council redeveloped the entire area which included relocating the public library, creating a contemporary public space with quality food and beverages and improving transport links.

UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System was supplied by Instarmac International’s New Zealand partner, Horizon International, and used by contractors Betts and Bishop, to install 144m² of black basalt and granite paving as part of the laneway and central business district upgrades throughout Hawera.

There are many reasons why South Taranaki District Council and Betts and Bishop chose to use UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System. Projects incorporating BS 7533 compliant materials benefit from a reduction in failures and considerable whole life cost savings. Every product in UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System has been independently tested to remove the uncertainty of site batched mortars and to offer a minimum construction life of 40 years.

UltraScape’s BS 7533 compliant Mortar Paving System comprises of pro-bed HS fine bedding mortar, pro-prime slurry primer and flowpoint rapid set flowable grout.

UltraScape pro-bed HS is a fine bedding mortar formulated to meet and exceed the strict requirements set out in the British Standard. Pre-blended for ease of use, pro-bed HS can be laid from 10mm – 75mm, is shrinkage compensated and can be opened to foot traffic in just 12 hours, allowing contractors to move on to the next part of the project quickly.

Formulated to provide an exceptional bond between your paving element and pro-bed HS, UltraScape pro-prime slurry primer eliminates costly failures caused by general wear and tear and heavy load bearing.

Ideal for large scale projects, UltraScape flowpoint rapid set flowable grout is available in three varieties – Original, ECO and Smooth and 2 colours – Natural Grey and Charcoal.

With an initial set after just 15 minutes and a walk on time of one hour, it is unsurprising that flowpoint has become synonymous with fast application, cost-effective and robust jointing.

UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System is available throughout New Zealand through Horizon International. To contact Horizon International please call 0800 682 745 or visit

For more information on UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System, please email or call the International Sales Team on +44 (0) 1827 254402.

ultratilefix cpd

Fulfil your CPD obligations with UltraTileFix

UltraTileFix have always believed in continual development through education and training. Their purpose built indoor training facility, which has been specially developed for the tiling and flooring industry, is open and available for their customers and suppliers to use and provides the perfect location to attend their RIBA Accredited CPD seminar.

Ideal for anyone working in the tiling or flooring industry who wish to learn more about underfloor heating systems or for architects looking to fulfil their CPD obligations, UltraTileFix’s CPD seminar is ideal for you.

‘Specifying Tiling to Underfloor Heating Systems’ has been approved by the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) and is delivered by Vicki Stiles, Project Sales Manager for UltraTileFix and UltraFloor at either your premises or at their state-of-the-art training facility in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

UltraTileFix’s CPD includes a free lunch and covers:

  • The benefits of heated tiles and the types of system available
  • Key design and specification considerations when tiling on underfloor heating systems
  • Product choices for tiling on underfloor heating and how to select appropriate materials
  • How to confidently specify typical tiling system build-ups for underfloor heating
  • The importance of warranties and confidence in complete performance systems

Every delegate who completes UltraTileFix’s RIBA Approved Specify Tiling to Underfloor Heating Systems CPD Seminar will receive a certificate helping you to fulfil your CPD requirements.

Don’t delay, book your free CPD seminar today by emailing

UltraTileFix is home to a much-loved range of ready mixed pastes and cementitious tile adhesives, grouts and silicones, tiling ancillaries and levelling compounds. To find out more about their extensive product portfolio, please contact the UltraTileFix Sales Team by emailing or calling 01827 254402.

Committed to Quality, Committed to Service, Committed to You

coving old fashioned

Is coving out of fashion?

What words spring to mind when thinking of coving? Old fashioned? Obsolete? Outdated? Difficult to fix? With the introduction of modern coved ceiling systems and high performance adhesives, you may be about to change your mind!

Traditionally, coving is simple in its design, is painted white and used to create a curve between the top of a wall and the ceiling. However, coving has undergone a complete transformation and now offers a more diverse range of designs and colours than ever before.

Whilst coving is often used to cover the join between the wall and ceiling, decorative coving can become more of a feature in a room. Coving is great for making ceilings look higher than they are, can be used to fame key pieces of furniture, provides an additional accent colour to dominant colour schemes and can even be used as a picture rail.

When beautiful, stylish and ornate coving is teamed with a high performance adhesive, the possibilities really are endless!

Wondertex prem adhesive has been designed to fix all gypsum and fibrous mouldings including cove and cornice systems. Mixed with water for easy installation, prem adhesive boasts a high grab and strong adhesion, giving you peace of mind that, once installed, your coving is guaranteed to stay put.

What’s more, prem adhesive dries white for easy over painting, has an excellent coverage of up to 167 linear metres and a working time of 60 – 90 minutes – the perfect amount of time to complete the task at hand.

Take the guesswork out of cutting coving with the Wondertex prem mitre. Designed for the concave surface of coving, prem mitre is a simple device which eliminates guesswork and makes cutting coving much easier.

For further information on prem adhesive or prem mitre, pricing enquiries or to place an order, please contact Wondertex by emailing or calling 01827 254402.



Old Elvet Bridge

UltraScape restores iconic medieval bridge

UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System has been used as part of a £1 million transformation of Old Elvet Bridge, a beautiful medieval bridge located in the heart of historic Durham.

Originally built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Old Elvet Bridge is a Grade 1 Listed Scheduled Ancient Monument which provides beautiful views of both Durham Cathedral and the River Wear.

Most visitors to Durham will have spent time enjoying the beauty of Old Elvet Bridge. Over the last few years this constant trafficking had caused parts of the bridge to become worn and tired, and had even led to Durham County Council receiving a number of maintenance complaints.

In May 2017, Durham County Council commissioned a £1 million restoration project of the iconic Old Elvet Bridge, a task that included cutting down the original stone sets to 75mm and relaying them along with new tumbled flags.

With a number of shops located alongside the bridge, and archaeologists working only 300m away from site, it was important that each stage of the project was completed quickly and efficiently to avoid further disruption to workers and pedestrians.

UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System has been used on a number of redevelopment projects of historic interest, including the preservation of Bow Lane, the gateway to Durham’s World Heritage Site, and was therefore an obvious choice to complete this exciting project.

There were many reasons why Durham County Council chose to use UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System to install the pavers on the walkway of Old Elvet Bridge. Projects incorporating BS 7533 compliant materials benefit from a reduction in failures and considerable whole life cost savings. Every product in UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System has been independently tested by a UKAS accredited laboratory to assess their performance capabilities. This method removes the uncertainty of site batched mortars and offers a minimum construction life of 40 years.

Pre-blended for ease of use, pro-bed HS fine bedding mortar provides the ultimate laying course for all types of paving. Available in two sizes, 30 tonne silos and 1 tonne bulk bags – the first of which was used on this project – pro-bed HS provides you with the perfect amount of material for all project sizes.

Formulated to provide an exceptional bond between your paving element and pro-bed HS, pro-prime slurry primer eliminates costly failures caused by general wear and tear and heavy load bearing.

To complete the installation, flowpoint rapid set grout was used in Natural Grey to joint the original stone sets and chosen tumbled flags. With an initial set after just 15 minutes, and a walk on time of one hour, it is unsurprising that flowpoint has become synonymous with fast application, cost-effective and robust jointing.

On using UltraScape to complete the project, Gary Lovett, Construction Manager at Durham County Council commented: “The lads on site love UltraScape – their grout, primer and bedding is 10 times better than others.”

The project was completed in March 2018 and has since been nominated for an MJ Local Government Achievement Award.

For more information on UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System, or to watch an application video, please visit

code of practice

Department for Transport announce plans to change statutory code of practice

The Department for Transport (DfT) have announced plans to update the statutory code of practice to increase the guarantee of road openings from two to five years.

As set out in the current edition of the Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways (SROH), any maintenance work carried out on the road network must be reinstated to the prescribed standards, which includes a service life of at least 2 years.

If the Department for Transport’s plans go ahead, new asphalt standards will be introduced which will guarantee all repairs have a service life of at least 5 years. The aim of these proposed changes is to keep our roads pothole-free for longer, reduce reinstatement time and decrease the amount of congestion which in turn should lead to ‘improved journey times, reliability and reduced fuel costs’.

The reaction to DfT’s plans has certainly been a mixed one with some fully embracing the changes, whilst others have been left unsure. First time permanent and approved materials, such as Tough Patch®, removes any uncertainty and worry about the proposed updates, as repairs carried out using this innovative product are already proven to exceed a service life of 5 years.

Tough Patch®, from highway maintenance experts UltraCrete, is a permanent cold lay surface material that utilises a reactive binder that rapidly cures to create a first time permanent repair  that will accept traffic immediately after installation.

Tested in accordance with MCHW SHW Volume 1 Clause 104.15 and 104.16, Tough Patch® has been proven to provide a permanent repair in a variety of environments.

When saw cut and used in conjunction with UltraCrete SCJ seal and tack coat spray, Tough Patch® 6mm provides a permanent repair in footways, footpaths and cycle tracks and Tough Patch® 10mm is proven to provide a first time permanent in type 3 & 4 carriageways.

Available in 25kg bags and buckets, Tough Patch® permanent surface repair material can be cored after 24 hours, used in all weathers, boasts high deformation and rut resistance and is proven to last the life of the road.

What’s more, after several months of working alongside Pavement Testing Services Ltd (PTS), UltraCrete are delighted to announce that Tough Patch® has been awarded with PTS PAS Certification.

For more information on the Department for Transport’s proposed plans and how you can benefit from using Tough Patch® on your next repair, please contact UltraCrete’s team of experts by emailing or calling 01827 254402.

drywall or plaster

Drywall vs Plaster

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to use plaster or drywall on a project. It’s important to understand the difference between the two methods and the skills required before making your decision. The property type, budget and time constrains plus the desired outcome will all affect your decision when choosing drywall or plaster.

Plastering is a tried and tested method that’s been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Often a preferred choice in older or period homes, plastering is proven to create a strong and durable finishing resulting in sound and airtight rooms. Whilst many desire the finished look, plastering can be an expensive choice as it’s often a more labour intensive process.

Drywall systems, or drylining, involves fixing large pieces of plasterboard to wooden studs to create a smooth and seamless look. Drywall systems have become a popular choice over recent years, partly because it’s quicker to install, and as a result is widely used in the construction of new building developments.

It is a common misconception that plastering involves more skill and craft than other techniques; however, drylining is a highly skilled job that can take years to learn and is an artistry that is often underrated.

Whilst it can take time to master the artistry of drylining, the benefits of these skills are limitless. Clients will have the confidence that their new walls and rooms will have a long lasting, professional finish whilst at the same time, eliminating any concerns about cracks in plastered walls appearing in the future.

When these highly tuned skills are teamed with first class drylining materials, the results are second-to-none.

prem filler plasterboard joint filler is an ideal, and reliable, choice for bedding and filling tapes. This plaster-based compound has been developed to provide the strength that’s needed when bedding tapes on external corners.

Available in contractor friendly 12.5kg bags, prem filler boasts a working time of 60-90 minutes – enough time to complete the job at hand – and is fast setting for early sanding allowing you to move on to your next project quickly.

prem filler’s perfect partner is prem finish plasterboard finishing compound. Suitable for the finishing of all plasterboard joints, prem finish is easy to apply and provides a seamless feathered finish for easy and professional over painting.

The advanced formula of prem filler and prem finish ensures both products have excellent workability and dry smooth for effortless sanding – elbow grease definitely isn’t required here! What’s more, both products are minimal or no shrinkage so you can be assured that once the material is in, it won’t crack or come out.

For more information on Wondertex’s range of drylining materials, or for advice on drywall systems, please contact the Wondertex Sales Team by emailing or calling 01827 254402.




go with the flow

Go with the Flow with Level IT Bond

Innovation and product development has always been at the heart of UltraFloor. Listening to the needs of their loyal customers and providing real solutions to today’s flooring problems has provided the backbone to their extensive product portfolio.

With this in mind, UltraFloor’s Research and Development Chemists have enhanced the formula of Level IT Bond to provide superior flow properties – the likes of which you have never experienced before!

The outstanding flow properties of Level IT Bond means contractors can ‘go with the flow’, making light work of even the largest flooring projects, and because substrates do not need to be primed beforehand, subfloors can be installed quickly and speedily, saving you time and money as well as helping to increase productivity.

Level IT Bond’s flow properties are not the only quality that sets this rapid curing, high performance smoothing underlayment apart from others. The exceptional adhesion characteristics of Level IT Bond make it the perfect smoothing underlayment for a wide variety of substrates and subfloors including old adhesive residues in both commercial and domestic environments.

What’s more, Level IT Bond is moisture tolerant, has a low odour, can receive bonded floor coverings after just 4 hours and is available as a two-component system, eliminating on-site mixing errors and guaranteeing a perfect application every single time.

Witness the remarkable flow properties for yourself by watching a short application video of Level IT Bond.

Find out how you can benefit from Level IT Bond by contacting the UltraFloor Sales Team by emailing or calling 01827 254402.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest product developments and news from UltraFloor HQ by following them on Twitter @Ultra_Floor and connecting with Instarmac Group plc on LinkedIn.