Fermacell

Due to pressures of work (:-) we're getting a builder in to build some stud walls to create a bathroom. Now, I know there's at least one fervent Fermacell believer here - Rick Hughes - but my builder's never heard of the stuff, and I want to try it out on this small job in case I ever need to use it again.
So, where can I tell him to get hold of the stuff, are there any "how to" guides available (online?) and how much am I likely to pay for it compared with normal plasterboard?
Any finishing hints?
I have a question for the panel about room sizes too, but I'll post that under a different thread.
TIA
Hwyl!
M.
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Go to the selfbuild FAQ, they have a thing on it there. http://www.borpin.co.uk
Also look at the obvious: http://www.fermacell.co.uk

No need if you are just painting it.
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Travis Perkins sell it. Fermacell have a UK help number 0121 321 1155.
You don't skim it, and it needs no noggins, is class 0 - so good for fireproofing. Has its own special adhesive for joining boards side to side. The 8 * 4 boards are much heavier than ordinary PB but will carry a much higher weight. For this reason they also sell 'one man boards' that are 1.5 * 1 metre. The sample board in front of me (from Wenban Smith Worthing) has a slightly rough texture, and there is a special grout used to give a smooth surface in place of skimming (allegedly).
Their manual compares costs vs PB as follows :-
PB Item Fermacell 3.50 stud work supply and fit 3.50 0.75 Noggins NO NEED 2.50 Board 7.50 2.25 Fixing Boards 2.75 2.50 Insulation 2.50 1.25 Jointing 2.00 7.50 3mm skim NO NEED N/A Fine Surface Treatment 2.00 ------------------------------------------ 20.25 20.25 ------------------------------------------
The boards as you can see are three times the price of PB (actually I doubt if you will get them for less than 20 per 8*4 sheet).
Using C section steel stud work with Fermacell, in experienced hands would seem to be a very quick method of building partition walls.
They are said to be very effective as part of a sound insulation job. Noise transmission in future regs will be difficult to achieve with existing PB, until then FermaCell is going to remain elusive to buy.
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Obtaining - any major BM should be able to get it, Encon or Sheffield Insulation are country wide and they stock it.
Cost - see the SelfBuild FAQ, if you compare to plasterboard + skim it's about the same.
Finishing - I penned a section on this in the SelfBuild FAQ. There is no skimming involved - chip off the jointstik glue on the joints, fill the staple holes & paint.
Tips - for small job, screwfix it ... but MUST be Fermacell screws, drywall screws will snap. Staple fixing is really fast - but probably not worth it for a small job.
Fels De who are the mnfctr produce a free video, and I have recently been sent a draft copy of a DVD on how to fix & finish. You could ask if this is on release yet.
UK web site is http://www.fermacell.co.uk /
Doesn't surprise me that your builder has never heard of it, I have used or specified loads of things that builders (or trades) have yet to find out about.
Rick
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Not easy to get hold of around here (Derbyshire) and 'recommended' suppliers didn't keep it including Travis Perkins in Chesterfield and Enron. I finally gave up on the idea, also because of the very high cost. I liked the idea of not having to plaster skim though.
cheers
Jacob
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Sheffield is just up the road from you. You can get it there.
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jacob wrote:

I hope you mean Ancon...

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It is stocked at Encon ..... or are we talking about something else.
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Yes, ok, point taken (IMM too). I did read the SBFAQ some time ago - even downloaded the thing to my local disc - for some reason I remembered the information on this product being a little sparse. That'll teach me to check!

That's another problem for the builder then. I wonder how educable he is :-)

Went to the website last night and filled in the form which asked if I wanted a copy of the DVD. I'll let you know if/when it arrives. Oh yes, the site also had a list of "local" stockists. I'm near Cardiff and although two were listed in Cardiff, one given was in Swansea :-)

Who knows, if I can persuade him to give the stuff a go he might take a shine to it! He does a lot of work around here and is very highly regarded so maybe he could turn into a local evangelist.
Hwyl!
M.
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it was updated to ver 5 last year, has more info.

job.
I have bought Fermacell from Encon in Cardiff (Penarth) they have large stocks, and will cut to length. yes ... to length, I had all my 12mm boards as 1.2 x 2.61m that way I did not need a short piece on every board (2.65 high ceilings)
Another stockist is near you in Caerphilly ... Woods Insulation.

If he wants to see my build he is welcome ... a 40 min drive West is good therapy for any Cardiff boy ! See in today's news that Cardiff Blues rugby is in talks about merging with the Warriors ... Cardiff merging with Bridgend, a step in the right direction ..... West.
Rick
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Just an update. The pack from Fermacell arrived this morning. Nice brochure, nice sample of 9.5mm stuff (feels like the business to me), but no DVD :-(
Never mind, the builders seem quite happy to have a play with the stuff - they're talking about putting it on a metal partition frame. As this is a bit of an experiment and every inch saved is vital, we may even go so far as to ditch the Rockwool infill...
Will keep the group posted with the results.
Hwyl!
M.
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yes,
It is used extensively in offices like this.

What will you put inside?

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Erm... well... nothing actually.
Not as silly as it sounds:
1: Rockwool is good at deadening direct sound (though not LF), but this is Fermacell we're talking about, not plasterboard.
2: Whatever you infill with, there's still transmitted sound through the frame to think about - and there are no special precautions going on there.
3: It's an internal partition built on a suspended wooden (first) floor so there's plenty of opportunity for sound to get through that way.
4: Like I said, it's an experiment. I've yet to meet a standard-built (plasterboard on 4" wood) partition which actually had any Rockwool inside so this is a small chance to compare like-with-like. If this configuration isn't noticeably better then we'll know for next time.
5: This is a short to medium-term solution (we're not planning on staying in the house for more than 4 or 5 years) which isn't going to be any worse, and could be slightly better than most of the new developer builds I've seen recently. I doubt any prospective purchaser is going to be singing in the bathroom and listening in the bedroom :-)
6: It saves a minute amount of money.
Hwyl!
M.
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go
Check the regs. Sound suppression levels in bathroom/toilet walls are higher than others.
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Does this apply to a partial refurbishment of a property, or only to new builds / complete renovation?
What I was trying to say was that, however well we build the actual partition, there's nothing we can do about under/through floor transmission without also rebuilding the floor. This isn't going to happen. I suspect that a Fermacell/frame/Fermacell partition is going to be at least as good (overall) as a plasterboard/frame/Rockwool/plasterboard partition, probably much less resonant too, and that adding the Rockwool won't make much difference. Isolating one of the layers from the frame and insulating above, below and to the sides might make a difference but, as with the floor, that ain't gonna happen.
ISTR that the sound transmission figures for various construction methods are given in the PDFs available from the Fermacell website. If you have some figures for the regulation levels to hand we can compare?
Hwyl!
M.
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[questions about Fermacell]
Just an update, cos I know you're all itching to know ;-)
The builder was very amenable to trying something new, so we now have a bunch of partition walls in Fermacell. It's not been entirely satisfactory, I have to say. In sheet form the stuff isn't as rigid as I'd been expecting from the small sample sent, and this is definitely not helped by the lack of horizontal noggins.
It's also a lot more "crumbly" than I'd been expecting. The builders have had problems driving screws close to the edge without the stuff splitting (yes, they had the proper screws) - it doesn't seem any better than plasterboard in this respect.
They've also had a bit of trouble with the joints. Looking at the problem sideways, as it were, I think the problem here might be that they've not used enough jointing glue between non-cut sheets, so there are patches where there are little hollows to fill, rather than a long line of the stuff to chip off. Filler doesn't like Fermacell - the rough, fibrous surface makes the stuff go all streaky rather than smooth - the same problem occurs over screw heads.
It's a good experiment though, and worth it for the experience. The builders don't seem dead set against using the stuff again, though they say they'd like to go on a course or something to learn any "tricks". Since Fermacell didn't manage to send me a DVD I can't tell, but perhaps the DVD would be a good resource for them.
We're nowhere near the "finishing" stage yet. One more question - is it worth going for the Fermacell Fine Surface Treatment stuff, or will a coat of diluted PVA and a roller full of half decent paint be just as good?
Hwyl!
M.
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