Specification of Floor Coating for Tower Bridge, London

A Floor coating system was needed for the public walkway located within the visitor experience at the Tower Bridge, London.

Following a telephone call from a regular account customer who had recently secured a project to repaint the floor at one of London’s most famous land marks, Tower Bridge, the Promain Technical Department had the opportunity to advise on a suitable paint system.

The Project

The substrate to be repainted was a textured tactile rubber tiled floor that had previously been painted. At this stage however, the client was unable to confirm the floor paint coating that had previously been used and was also unsure which floor products would be compatible with the in situ industrial floor coating.

The client was also unsure about how to tackle the job at hand and which floor coating system would be the most durable. He was concerned about which system would offer a long service life, taking into account that Tower Bridge receives in excess of 1000 plus visitors per day during its peak season.

Consultation

Using an in depth consultative approach and vast industrial paint coating knowledge, the Promain Technical Department worked alongside the main painting contractor for the project. This enabled them to obtain and understand what demands the coating on the walkway required and what level of wear and tear the floor paint would be subjected to.

A further consideration that had to be taken into account was the constraints that would be placed on the works by TFL (Transport For London) and the Tower Bridge engineering team, in relation to any internal floor paints or floor coating systems used at this famous landmark.

After ascertaining that the walkway would be subjected to large volume of foot traffic from visitors to the prestigious London landmark, it was decided that removing the current floor coating would not be an option. This meant that the paint contractor would have to paint on top of the current floor system.

Promain consulted with a number of paint manufacturers for a compatible industrial floor paint coating that could be applied to the rubber tile floor paint. This proved to be quite problematic after initially establishing that the current internal floor paint was not likely to be a thin film coating. Nobody working on the project truly knew what type of composition the floor paint consisted of at this point – it was either a water based floor coating or an industrial solvent based internal use floor paint.

Progress

The next step for Promain would be to undertake a site survey to properly assess the condition of the floor paint and to further investigate which floor coating system had previously been installed. The technical team attended the site (along with the client) and assessed the current condition of the floor coating. After a close inspection, a member of the Promain Technical Team ascertained that it was a high build product (such as an epoxy floor paint) and not a thin film coating (such as a Polyurethane Floor Paint).

Although it had worn in a few places the coating was well adhered without any peeling or flaking, which meant they were also able to confirm the textured rubber floor was solid with no flex. This also meant that the floor system didn’t need to be elastomeric.

Promain could begin looking at an internal epoxy floor paint and coating system. With high film build and high durability, a system like this would be up to the task of coping with the high volume of foot traffic the Tower Bridge Visitor experience is subjected to on a daily basis. At this point Promain just needed to ascertain what the composition of the in-situ floor coating was.

Painting Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge

Further Investigations

Coo-Var received the following passage from Promain:

“We felt we needed to investigate further and perform our due diligence to ensure our client (the main painting contractor for the project) would not encounter any problems caused by an incompatible industrial floor coating. We liaised with TFL and Tower Bridges chief bridge engineer in an attempt to find out what had previously been specified as Tower Bridge floor coatings. To our delight, we discovered it was in fact a Coo-Var internal floor paint system that had been installed in the past and was previously specified as a paint for the floors and stairs.

Promain has worked closely with Coo-Var for over 30 years, so we knew we could count on their assistance. We liaised with Chris Gibbon (Chief Technical Representative), who has a wealth of experience working with industrial floor paints, both internally and externally. His valuable experience was gained from working on a similar prestigious London venue, specifying floor coatings for high traffic areas.

Together, Chris Gibbon from Coo-Var and the Promain Technical Team were able to confirm that the current industrial floor coating system could be over coated with the Coo-Var Q225 Profloor Plus floor paint system, an extremely hard wearing and solvent free, low VOC, epoxy floor paint that allows for a fast return to service. Having used a similar system on other industrial flooring projects with the same tactile rubber floor tile type substrates, we felt confident that this was the correct system to specify.”

Coo-Var Logo
(Image Source: Coo-Var)

(Image Source: Coo-Var)

Applying the Floor Coating

The proposed floor coating system required that the current surface needed manual abrasion with a wire brush attached to an electric drill.

Next, the surface needed cleaning and degreasing using Coo-Var Q227 Oil Remover, an eco-friendly water based cleaner and oil degreaser designed for use on commercial and industrial floors.

The next step was to apply a coat of Coo-Var W221 High Performance Primer, a 2 pack water based epoxy floor primer paint formulated to adhere to difficult substrates, such as the textured rubber tiles faced during this project.

The third and final step was to overcoat the 2 pack, epoxy floor paint primer using 2 coats of Coo-Var Q225 Profloor Plus. This high performance 2 pack solvent free, low VOC, epoxy floor paint is hard wearing, durable and offers a high film build finish.

Q225 is easy to apply with excellent chemical resistance and comes with fast drying time, not offered by many other manufacturers floor paints.

Tower Bridge Exhibition
(Image Source: Tower Bridge)

(Image Source: Tower Bridge)

Further Consultations

Promain also had this to say:

“Having found and confirmed a compatible system, we liaised with the client to make sure he understood the whole application process and the various system components. Further consultations with the chief TFL and Tower Bridge engineer confirmed that the system would be suitable for installation. We received confirmation from the Tower Bridges engineering team and we followed up with a fully written specification to the client, including the entire method of application in detail.

The document consisted of details relating to the preparation of the floor, as well as the cleaning agents and floor degreasers that needed to be used and details of the correct epoxy floor adhesion primer. We also shared details of the compatible 2 pack industrial epoxy floor paint that was specified to be applied as the top coat. All re-coating times, return to service times and estimated time for the entire project were also provided.

With a project duration of just 3 days, Tower Bridge were delighted that the downtime for the visitor experience was less than expected. The number of visitors this would affect was lower than first anticipated and revenue losses during the project would be kept to a minimum.”

Supply and Specify

In addition to specifying the floor coating system, Promain also quantified the whole of the projects 400m2 plus material requirements, breaking them down in to consumption rates for each of the system components. This meant they were able to produce an accurate bill of quantities.

An on-line quotation with hyperlinks to the products meant that all product data sheets could be downloaded. The quotation also contained the cost per metre squared, total consumption of industrial floor paints per coat and dry film thickness for each coat.

Due to the success of this project, the Tower Bridge engineering team will now turn to Promain when they require specification for future bridge maintenance jobs, large paint projects and bridge painting tenders.

If you have a similar project you need help with, we encourage you to contact the Promain technical team and take advantage of their coating expertise: 01462 421 333.