As an active member of the British Council of Shopping Centres technical affairs committee we get asked to contribute and author papers on all aspects of Shopping centre design recently I was asked to give a “heads up guidance” on over tiling following our recent experience with the mall floor at the Sailmakers Shopping Centre in Ipswich.

Sailmakers Completed Over Tiling

Shopping Centre refurbishment is tricky enough to undertake in any live centre, but replacing the mall floor is likely to be one, if not the most important finish to replace, and one you can’t afford to get wrong. It’s the area that takes the most impact from shoppers that visit our centres and as such, choosing the right finish and specifying it well so as not to cause problems throughout its life cannot be underestimated.

Selecting Tiles in the DLG Leeds Office

So what happens when the floor reaches the end of its useful life? It may still be serviceable with good maintenance but at some point it will become a topic for discussion, to replace, repair or over tile?

The recent BCSC guidance note on over tiling retail floors that I produced on behalf of the BCSC TAC, sets out guidance on when it’s appropriate to over tile, and what the advantages might be. It emphasises the importance of a quality inspection and testing of the existing floor to see if it’s suitable for over tiling and outlines a typical methodology for such an installation. As cost is a key driver it outlines a comparison cost analysis between full replacement and over tiling along with a number of other key factors to be considered.