We are delighted to announce we have launched a adhesive-free flooring CPD which explores the benefits of flooring installed using adhesive-free methods, including improved sustainability, increased design freedom and better operational efficiency.

Developed for architects, designers and facility managers, the 35 minute narrated presentation covers the following key topics:

  • How flooring has evolved from sheet materials into different modular types and methods of installation
  • The benefits of different adhesive-free flooring types, including loose-laid flooring, click systems, and magnetic flooring,
  • Adhesive-free flooring in practice, including case studies from a range of sectors: residential, retail, office and hospitality and leisure

Adhesive-free, modular flooring is something IOBAC, with its range of adhesive-free magnetic flooring solutions, is extremely passionate about, as CEO Paul Woolvine explains: “We’ve always challenged ourselves to think differently about exactly what flooring can achieve. Flooring doesn’t have to be fixed, messy to install and difficult to recycle. There is a better way and we believe it’s adhesive-free, modular flooring.”

This CPD takes users on a journey through the history of modular flooring, from its beginnings in the 1970s when sheet materials were commonly used, the 1980s and carpet tiles’ surge in popularity, the introduction of modular Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVTs) in the 2000s, right through to wet-adhesive free installation methods from 2010 onwards.

“We want to encourage people to see flooring as an integral design component, rather than just an individual element,” continues Paul. “Flooring should always be part of the total design solution. Thinking of flooring in this way transforms it into an important, flexible, sustainable design element; one that can incorporate a variety of different materials and enhance spaces. But to get there we need to educate the industry and collaborate with its numerous stakeholders, whether that’s the flooring manufacturer or architect specifying materials.”

The benefits of adhesive-free flooring – waste reduction, enhanced design agility and operational efficiency – are all introduced and explained in turn.

“The construction industry is responsible for nearly 61% of total UK waste (1),” says Ian Spreadborough, IOBAC co-founder and director. “Shockingly, an area roughly the size of Birmingham – the UK’s second largest city – is thrown away in carpet every year. That’s 400,000 tonnes (2). And it all comes down to recyclability – or lack of it.”

Traditional raw flooring components are, typically, difficult to recycle. Often, this is because adhesive residue and installation materials, such as underlay, are left on the underside of the flooring covering when it’s uplifted. So while the flooring covering itself may be 100 per cent recyclable, it has become contaminated; a composite material which can be very hard to separate and recycle.

“Flooring manufacturers are investing huge amounts to develop 100 per cent recyclable products but even virgin flooring materials can be very difficult to recycle when installed using wet adhesive,” continues Ian. “Wet adhesives can also contaminate the sub-floor on uplift, meaning extra time, money and materials are needed to rectify the damage before a new floor can be installed.”

Conversely, the CPD seeks to educate the industry on the sustainability benefits of adhesive-free systems: clean tiles, uncontaminated floors, and landfill avoidance.

Paul concludes: When you start to think of flooring as a flexible, dynamic design element, so many benefits are unlocked. Adhesive-free, modular flooring solutions can be used with an array of materials – ceramic, timber, LVT, carpet. All of which can be switched with ease. Suddenly, you’re able to adapt spaces quickly and redesign and repurpose easily, which is very important in today’s ever-changing environment.

Because of these many benefits, we believe that adhesive-free flooring methods are set to grow ever more popular and wanted to create a CPD that could be a go-to information source on this topic.  We hope that specifiers find it a valuable resource. “A Specifier’s Guide to Adhesive-Free Flooring” CPD can be accessed for free on the IOBAC website at iobac.com/cpd-adhesive-free-flooring/

Source: 1) UK Statistics on Waste – DEFRA 2) Changing Markets Foundation