Case Studies

Glazed brick and tile restoration

7th May 2019
Glazed brick and tile restoration

Originally built as a sanatorium for patients to benefit from the clean air of the South Downs, the King Edward VII Hospital, in West Sussex, has been converted into 162 upmarket apartments by specialist developer, City & Country. As one of its favoured sub-contractors, Plastic Surgeon was called in to repair the original glazed bricks and skirtings within the building.

The challenges

Not only are the buildings over 100 years old, but having had a full working life as a medical facility the interior surfaces bear the scars of countless impacts from trolleys and other equipment; as well as numerous holes where notice boards, pipework and other services have been fitted. The project team was obliged to preserve as much of the Grade II*listed buildings’ heritage as possible, and it was therefore imperative to restore the appearance of the glazed brickwork and similar surfaces. This was made more difficult, though, by the fact that every wall area contained a dozen or more different shades of beige which had to be replicated, and then aged to blend in.

The highlights

Four senior Finishers began work at the site in June, liaising with the client’s project management team on a daily basis as to the areas to be addressed; with constant emphasis on health & safety as well as the desired outcome.

Badly damaged sections of the glazed masonry were cut out or cracks widened to ensure a good bond with a solid substrate. The area was then built back up with Ultra-Premium filler and carefully shaped as well as smoothed prior to the colours being applied.

The Finishers mixed up batches of the different beige colours using System 20 White tinted with the System 200
pigments. The new surface was sprayed before darker spots and other marks as well as some crazing was painted on using fine artists’ brushes. Also different hues were applied with a small airbrush. One or more coats of System 20 lacquer in a range of sheens from high gloss to matt was applied to finish and protect the work. Similar repair techniques were used for the skirtings and tiled fireplaces though the colour of finish varied.

Key outcomes for the client

  • With prices for a single bedroom apartment starting at around £200K, rising to £1.5 million, and the approval of English Heritage being needed for every stage of the conversion, all work had to be of the highest possible standard.
  • Plastic Surgeon ensured all such demands were met by assigning some of its most experienced Finishers to the contract, and provided a high level of project management from its regional sales team and Operations Manager.
  • Hundreds of glazed bricks and tiles with redundant fixing holes, chips and cracks were repaired.
  • The form, colour and reflectance of myriad glazed bricks, tiles, skirtings and fireplaces were restored; while keeping the client’s costs and disruption of other works to a minimum.
  • The environmentally friendly repairs used a minimum of materials and required no disposal of debris to landfill.

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