The Contract Flooring Association publish an annual guide to sustainability in flooring. Described as “the flooring industry’s definitive source for the latest information about sustainability”, the 2021/22 guide features and article from our partner InstaFloor talking about the benefits of adhesive-free flooring and Ezy-Install Underlay.
Check out the article here or read in full below.
Adhesive-free flooring: Sustainability, Speed and Flexibility Combined
Creating a flooring solution that combines superior sustainability credentials with speed and flexibility was the key driver behind the development of Ezy-Install® Underlay.
A collaboration between InstaFloor, leading provider of high-performance acoustic underlays for over 30 years, and IOBAC, experts in adhesive-free magnetic technology, the magnetically receptive underlay has already won innovation awards and is fast gaining popularity with specifiers and contractors alike.
Made from recycled materials, and fully recyclable itself, it offers a credible solution to the very real issue of flooring waste, whilst making installation far easier, cleaner and quicker than ever before.
Shaun Smith, Business Development Director at InstaFloor, explains: “With sustainability so important to us at InstaFloor, we wanted to find a better way to install and uplift flooring. By eliminating adhesives from the install process, we have developed a solution that enables flooring to become more of a circular material. Both Ezy-Install Underlay and the top surface floor covering can be cleanly removed and reused for future projects, negating the need for landfill.
The underlay stays as a permanent base for future replacement floors, with flooring tiles and planks effortlessly changed for improved designs and reduced repair and maintenance costs.”
How It Works
A trusted high performance acoustic underlay incorporating powerful resin technology, Ezy-Install forms a magnetically receptive base, onto which the floor covering is installed.
Simply roll out the underlay on to a prepared base, cut to shape, and fit the flooring on top.
The underlay, made from recycled rubber, provides a compression resistant base, for which minimal subfloor preparation is required. It also acts as a moisture barrier on subfloors measuring up to 95% relative humidity, and offers excellent acoustic properties.
IOBAC’s patented Dual Grip resin technology converts the underlay into a magnetically receptive base. A super strong grab between the underlay and floor covering is formed thanks to the dual bond fixing strengths of high grab dry-adhesive tack and magnetic attraction. Superior sheer and peel strength of the floorcovering versus standard magnetic systems is achieved.
Carpet, wood, luxury vinyl tiles and even ceramic tiles are held securely in place, ensuring maximum durability and performance in high foot traffic areas. Magnetic backed flooring tiles are simply installed on top or alternatively, standard-backed carpet and loose lay tiles can be attached using IOBAC’s innovative MagTab solution.
Yet for repair access, or when the time comes for a design change, flooring tiles can be removed cleanly and easily in a fraction of the time ordinarily taken and without the need for external contractors.
A Sustainable Choice
Traditional floor coverings are notoriously difficult materials to recycle. And even 100% recyclable products can run into difficulties when they are installed using wet adhesives.
This is because on uplift, the floor tile is more likely to be contaminated by not only the adhesive but also the subfloor to which it was adhered, meaning the materials are not suitable for recovery or reuse and cannot be easily recycled.
With Ezy-Install Underlay, there is no residue on either the flooring tile or the underlay. The underlay remains uncontaminated and ready for installation of new floorcoverings immediately, with minimal rectification required, and the uplifted flooring is clean and able to be reused elsewhere or recycled.
The underlay itself is made of recycled rubber crumb from worn vehicle tyres and the plant-based VOC-free resin is manufactured mostly from renewable castor oil. The underlay also incorporates a ferrosilicon component containing recycled scrap iron.
The product is waterproof, naturally antimicrobial and easily cleanable enabling multiple usages, and is fully recyclable at the end of its life.
As the installation process is adhesive-free, there are no unwanted odours or emissions that could disrupt building operations.
More Flexible Designs
Using Ezy-Install Underlay, flooring becomes a flexible and reusable design element that complements today’s ever changing retail, work, leisure and residential spaces.
The ease with which the flooring can be switched allows specifiers to create complex designs incorporating flooring types working seamlessly alongside each other to demarcate different areas. The system is universally compatible with Luxury Vinyl Tile, carpet tile, wood planks and ceramic tiles.
The flooring can now add value, for instance by being quickly changed in display and pop-up areas or rotated in high traffic areas to extend the overall life of the floorcovering .
Shaun comments: “Flooring can completely transform the look, feel and purpose of a space. Imagine if you could make that transformation overnight and keep the tiles you’ve pulled up for future use elsewhere. No longer is flooring merely a necessity that once chosen, you are stuck with for many years.
And for repairs, the damaged tile can be removed and swapped out much more easily than traditionally, without the need for expensive remedial processes or external contractors.”
Fast, Hassle-Free Installation
The simplified installation process takes away all the messy, time-consuming processes associated with traditional, adhesive-reliant solutions. Preparation is minimal, installation is quick and intuitive with no drying time and labour time and costs are significantly reduced. In fact, in some projects, installation time has been shown to be up to 3 times quicker.
The floor can be walked on as soon as it has been laid, so spaces are operational much more quickly, minimising lost revenues.
Think differently about flooring
Shaun concludes: “This technology represents a new way to think about flooring installation. Not only does it offer significant sustainability and operational benefits, but from a financial perspective, it makes absolute sense.
Labour and material costs are significantly reduced during both installation and maintenance, and there is no need to purchase new flooring as materials can be reused multiple times. As the floor finish is classed as being removable, ongoing capital allowances are also applicable.
Ezy-Install Underlay really does cover all bases.”