Wading in the shallows

Monday, 15 July, 2019 | Supplied by: Sport + Venues (Australia)

Located a 90-minute drive north-west of Melbourne, the City of Ballarat operates a number of aquatic facilities that service its growing population. Safety is obviously paramount, so when pool management noticed an increase in worn tiles at a popular pool, it was time to investigate options.

Finding the balance between compliance and comfort can be a challenge for aquatic facility managers and operators. Most conforming non-slip surfaces are rock hard, meaning they’re bone-jarring, they’re abrasive and they really don’t allow kids to play like kids.

Ballarat’s Eureka Aquatic Centre is a large outdoor facility incorporating a 50 m competition pool, a 25 m learn-to-swim pool and a dedicated kids wading area. It was the wading pool — and specifically the sloping entry — where ageing ceramic tiles were becoming worn, potentially creating a slippery surface.

From the sloped entry, the remaining pool area levels out to a depth of 250 mm. The surface is painted concrete and, whilst not particularly slippery, the floor was both hard and abrasive. 

The attractive four-colour design incorporates sea creature inlays.

The City of Ballarat wanted to address any potential slipping problem before it became an issue, so decided to use Life Floor soft, antislip, non-abrasive tiles for the entire wading pool area. The tiles are designed especially for aquatic recreational applications where people are barefoot, as the foam rubber construction means the tiles are soft underfoot, as well as being non-abrasive. Manufactured in the United States from an EVA closed-cell polymer, the Life Floor system has antimicrobial qualities and is impervious to just about anything.

Whilst the installation can easily accommodate incorporation of existing ceramic tiles, in this instance the City of Ballarat elected to have them removed and to affix Life Floor tiles directly to the concrete floor.

Local Ballarat contractor Evole Floors removed the existing ceramic tiles, then used a floor grinder to remove all traces of the cement mortar and paint. The result was a smooth and clean base on which to apply the new foam rubber system.

The City of Ballarat elected to resurface the entire pool area.

The Life Floor design studio created a four-colour customised design for the City of Ballarat that included attractive sea creature inlays. Evolve Floors worked with accredited Life Floor installer Maurer Wall and Floor Tiles to carry out installation over three days. Tiles are affixed using a proprietary waterproof contact adhesive, with no requirement for grout. 

The new Life Floor system has quickly transformed the look of the facility and is sure to keep patrons safe and comfortable for years to come.

Online: www.sportandvenues.com.au
Phone: 1300 721 135
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