Showroom floor puts in solid performance

Domus Tiles’ Battersea showroom hosts thousands of visitors a year, so it’s vital the flooring system is strong and stable enough to show its products to advantage

In association with

Knauf GIFAfloor raised flooring was used in the recently redeveloped Domus Tiles London showroom in Battersea, helping to create a unique space where design meets practicality. Used as a dry screed flooring solution, the GIFAfloor system was installed by contractors working on the showroom’s refurbishment in the knowledge that it would save them time while giving Domus the loadbearing solution required to support the thousands of guests expected to visit the premises each year.

The GIFAfloor system has been used at several other Domus showrooms across the country, and architect Mailen Design, which was responsible for the overall design at Battersea, was convinced by its reliability too. The engineered flooring panels, manufactured from over 50% recycled materials, are extremely dimensionally stable and robust, more than capable of tackling the heavy foot traffic expected. The refurbished Battersea showroom presents the vast array of Domus materials, products, displays and room-sets intended to stimulate architects and interior design teams. From its elegant kitchen showroom to the new Stone Studio, the space will allow creative minds to flourish while backing them with extensive technical support.

Commercial director at Domus, Alan Collie, explains the relationship between Domus and Knauf: ‘We have a very strong relationship with Knauf as it is a key ancillary support partner of Domus. The Knauf team provides us with great advice through its technical support service which in turn allows us to provide a detailed and comprehensive specification to architects.

‘Knauf GIFAfloor gives us the perfect subfloor for our range of flooring finishes and with floor tiles becoming larger in size and thinner in profile you now require a dry screed system that exceeds SR1 tolerances.  With GIFAfloor, aside from the exceptionally fast installation speed, once it is installed you are given a perfect floor that can then be tiled directly onto. ‘In the last five years where we have had GIFAfloor installed at our Clerkenwell showroom we have seen more than one million visitors come through our doors and yet we have not had a single crack – and that’s because it’s a perfectly stable floor,’ Collie says. ‘Domus has taken the position to continue to use Knauf products because of the example set in the Clerkenwell showroom which remains in the same condition today as when it was first installed.’

Immensely strong and versatile, Knauf GIFAfloor system is manufactured from natural gypsum based calcium sulphate and is ideal for raised floor areas requiring continuous or hard finishes such as stone or large format porcelain. This partial-access raised floor system provides the ability to run services under the floor with ease.

Knauf GIFAfloor panel systems are designed to span – across pedestals, joists or acoustic battens – at 600 centres and wider, depending on technical requirements, creating extremely strong and dimensionally stable floors over voids up to 1200mm high. Due to the tongue and groove design the GIFAfloor system is flat and smooth once installed, with the added advantage that the joints will not track through the applied finish.

Tasked with installing the GIFAfloor in Battersea was Accsys Projects Ltd, a leading independent installers of raised access flooring. Its construction director John Deely says the company has had years of experience with the GIFAfloor system as it works hand in hand with Domus products. ‘The Knauf GIFAfloor system is extremely efficient in reducing programme times over a more traditional method of installation such as screed,’ Deely says. ‘It also helps with refurbishment projects in occupied buildings where wet trades would create additional issues. And it provides a solid structure for the Domus products.’ He adds: ‘The nature of the product also allows for design flexibility for each client as the void space can still be used to run mechanical and electrical services. With traditional screed solutions this would not be possible.’

Designed to incorporate access frames and access panels, the GIFAflooring systems provide an easy route to the service void below the floor. Access systems are available in 600 x 600mm configurations as standard to suit most access requirements, while bespoke sized access frames can be created to suit individual demands.


The lowdown on Knauf GIFAfloor

Immensely strong and versatile, Knauf GIFAfloor systems are ideal for raised floor areas requiring continuous or hard finishes such as stone or large format porcelain. A perfect substitute for screed, they also remove a wet trade from site and so save time in the construction programme. 

Manufactured from calcium sulphate, this robust partial-access raised floor system makes it easy to run services under the floor while its tongue and groove design means that it is flat and smooth once installed, with the further advantage that joints will not track through the applied finish. As a result, finishes can be applied directly without having to screw fix panels to the pedestals and then fix plywood – a necessity with traditional raised access flooring installations.

Designed to span pedestals at maximum 600mm centres and over voids up to 1200mm high, GIFAfloor creates strong and dimensionally stable floors that can take even greater loads if pedestals are added at reduced centres or an extra layer of panels is installed. The result is a light but robust monolithic floor, suitable for airport lobbies and lightweight floors in high rise buildings.

Non-combustible with an A1 fire rating, Knauf GIFAfloor’s high thermal conductivity makes the panels ideal for underfloor heating systems and optimises the benefit of air and ground source heat pumps over timber or cement base floors, reducing CO2 emissions as a result.

The floor system is also sustainable in terms of its manufacture and in the construction process. The panels are manufactured using fibres from wholly recycled paper that are blended with a mix of natural and flue gas desulphurised gypsum. In construction, the panels score two water management points in the Code for Sustainable Homes, reduce the cement content of the building and cut the load on tower blocks, so reducing foundation and steelwork requirements.

Download Knauf’s latest brochure with details of GIFAfloor and showing the panels in use in both commercial and residential application: www.knauf.co.uk.