Lyons+Sleeman+Hoare Ltd, Nero Brewery, Cricket Green, Hartley Wintney, Hook, Hampshire RG27 8QA T: 01252 844144 F: 01252 844800


Old Buildings sometimes need a pragmatic approach when it come to certain inherent characteristics that are to be expected. Add to that the second flood in a two year period, the question is, Which floor do you choose to replace your existing damaged floor when you can not guarantee no damp issues remain?

Case Study : Nero Brewery, Hartney Whitley, Victorian building, built in 1884

February 2009. Winchester Hardwood Flooring Ltd were contacted by the Architects for help and advice involving the replacement of flood damaged floors throughout the ground floor area of their own practice.

The building, a former Brewery before conversion had a ground floor area in excess of 350 m2 and set 800 mm lower than the outside ground level. This 128 year old building had been treated for rising damp in the walls, evident by injection signs behind the high skirting.
Twice in the last two years, extensive flooding was caused by a failed street main, now fully replaced by the local council
On each occasion, the last being six months ago the existing wood floors were totally submersed in soiled water.

An investigative survey was carried out by Winchester Hardwood Flooring Ltd (WHF).

The findings were :
The existing floor was not suitable for reuse due to distortion and health reasons relating to the soiled water ingress.
The screed and walls were showing excessively high moisture levels.

The Dilemmer :
Taking up the existing oak and waiting for the screed to dry was not an option as the client did not want to entertain that idea. The offices were fully occupied and the logistics of vacating for an un specifiable time would have been a major problem. The pragmatic view of the Architect was that realistically the walls were not going to dry to the standard we would normally require and for over laying in oak, neither would the screed.

The remedy :
The method of installation specified by WHF was agreed and the installation was awarded to Bush & Kimber, a Winchester based company recommended by WHF.

Obviously a very robust floor was required as a replacement to give the best possible resistance to the moisture conditions both present and possibly into the future. It was agreed that any materials used could not be guaranteed given the circumstance in which they were to be used.

Cathedral 21 mm plank flooring was chosen for the replacement floor, to be secret screwed to a floating batten system incorporating a 2mm foam underlay, sheet dpm under the floated battens and rigid insulation between. The insulation being 5 mm thicker than the battens meant that when the floor was screwed down the battens would lift leaving an air gap below for airflow across the room.

The 300mm high skirting was fixed to battens forming a void. Air vents were cut into the skirting at intervals to facilitate air circulation throughout the floor to disburse moisture build up and help prevent the possibility inset of Dry Rot.

The oak was finished in Blanchon Environmental (Eco labeled) oil as chosen by the client as the most environmentally friendly choice. With the extremely good working relationship of the installers and the client the whole project went very smoothly and was finished on time as agreed. Most of the installation was completed in out of hours working through the nights for the least obstruction for the practice throughout the day.

In an environment of some 80 plus Architects and designers available to criticize on a daily basis, amazingly there was no snagging list presented at the end of the job. A compliment for the installers!

20th November 2012
A visit was made just after Christmas to clear up a small accident left over from the festivities. The red wine stain was removed with ease. The floors were looking great and had worn very well. There were not signs of any problems and the client was still very satisfied.

This project was a great opportunity for us to show just how durable Cathedral Flooring can be. Many thanks to Lyons, Sleeman & Hoare.

Lyons+Sleeman+Hoare Ltd, Nero Brewery, Cricket Green, Hartley Wintney, Hook, Hampshire RG27 8QA T: 01252 844144 F: 01252 844800