Modular flooring: “easier, cleaner and quicker than ever before”
We spoke with IOBAC Ltd’s CEO, Paul Woolvine, about the future of the flooring industry and how he believes IOBAC’s Ezy-Install technology can help solve many of its challenges. IOBAC has recently entered into a strategic development, sales and marketing alliance with InstaFloor – experts in acoustic underlays – to launch its new modular flooring product, Ezy-Install.
An “improve not move” trend amongst houseowners has contributed to a seven percent overall growth forecast in the UK floor and wall tiles market between now and 2021, according to data from AMA Research’s ‘Floor and Wall Tiles Market Report – UK 2017-2021’. Undoubtedly good news for the flooring industry. But the inconvenient truth remains that the flooring industry is one with a waste problem; largely due to the fact that more than half of overall carpet waste is landfilled each year. Let’s Recycle reported in 2019 that just 61,000 tonnes – just 15% of total carpets – are, on average, re-used and recycled.
So, can flooring technologies facilitate forecast growth while remaining sustainable and providing householders and tenants with added flexibility and cost-saving benefits? Paul Woolvine at IOBAC believes so…
Design flexibility a necessity for tenants and householders
A fifth of the UK population now lives in privately rented accommodation. And those that do own their own properties are tending to ‘improve not move’ – a trend confirmed by research from The Finance and Leasing Association showing that second charge mortgages were up 24% year-on-year in February 2019.
Paul comments: “The trends we’re currently seeing in the housing industry – growing rental market, householders’ tendency to ‘improve not move’ – means that now more than ever people need their flooring to offer quick and easy design flexibility. If householders are staying put for longer then they’ll likely need to redecorate and replace flooring multiple times. With traditional methods this can come at a significant expense; yes, in terms of labour costs and materials used, but also at an expense to the environment because adhesives used in traditional methods are likely to contaminate not only the flooring, but the subfloor to which it was adhered.
“Magnetic modular flooring is much more sustainable than traditional flooring solutions,” continues Paul. “With this technology, there’s no wet trades – it can be loose laid over new or existing floors. And then, there’s no waiting – you can lay your flooring of choice as soon as the top surface is laid. When the time comes for a design change, the tile can be removed undamaged in a matter of seconds, without the need for external contractors.
“This simple system allows straightforward interchangeability, meaning design changes and repairs can be carried out with little specialist skills and up to 80% quicker than traditional flooring methods. It also leaves no harmful residue behind – it removes cleanly, which means tiles can be recycled or reused, thus reducing flooring waste. Ezy-Install underlay is also made from recycled rubber crumb, and the VOC-free non-toxic resin is plant-based, manufactured mostly from renewable castor oil.”
The growing rental market also shows no signs of abating. By 2021 almost one in four households in Britain will be renting and, according to The Independent, many millennials are set to rent for the rest of their lives.
Paul comments: “Of course, landlords can be understandably nervous about tenants significantly changing the make-up of their properties. But more and more tenants are renting for longer, perhaps even their whole life; they deserve their own design freedom. Modular magnetic flooring can appease both tenants and landlords alike. InstaFloor’s magnetically-receptive underlay can be loose laid over new or existing floors, providing new tenants with the option to quickly and cost-effectively swap out existing flooring for flooring in line with their own personal taste.
“This technology is simply dry-laid onto a prepared base and cut to shape. Magnetically-backed carpet, wood or luxury vinyl tiles are then held securely in place utilising Ezy-Install’s unique double grip properties of high grab adhesive tack and magnetic attraction. Alternatively, standard carpet and loose lay tiles can be attached using IOBAC’s award-winning MagTabs.”
A better way
“No longer does flooring have to be seen as merely a necessity that once chosen, you are stuck with for many years,” concludes Paul. “Now with Ezy-Install, installation, repair and maintenance costs are slashed, and flooring becomes a flexible design element that complements today’s ever changing housing industry.”