Problem Addressed

The prevention of flooring landfill waste by enabling flooring to become a circular material.

Research suggests that 300 tonnes of fit-out material go to landfill every day (according to Mix Interiors), with floor coverings often a major component. Changing Markets Foundation report that an area the size of Birmingham, UK, is thrown away every year, just in carpet alone. On uplift, flooring installed using traditional adhesive-based methods such sprays and tackifiers is often contaminated by not only adhesive residue but also some of the subfloor to which it was adhered, meaning it’s not suitable for recovery or reuse and can’t be easily recycled. Even 100% recyclable flooring materials are sent to landfill after one use due to adhesive contamination. The issue is compounded by shortening lease times demanding more frequent design changes. All too often, floor coverings are seen as single-use items, tending to be replaced due to design changes, rather than when the flooring wears out. Material life far exceeds design life in most projects.

Solution Overview

IOBAC’s range of magnetic adhesive-free flooring installation solutions addresses this waste issue by enabling floor coverings to be cleanly uplifted, with no contamination or damage, so that they can be easily re-used and recycled, vastly improving flooring circularity. Plus, the sub-floor (often metal raised access flooring) is left undamaged, saving the remedial time and costs that are often required to make good the base after traditional installation methods have been used.

IOBAC technology uses magnetic attraction to hold floor coverings securely in place until uplift is required. It is a simple, two component system with the flooring installed onto a choice of magnetically receptive bases to suit the built environment.

Component 1. A metal-containing base – options include:

  • An existing metal raised access floor (often used in office spaces).
  • IOBAC Ezy-Install Underlay – a high performance dry-laid underlay offering acoustic and underfoot comfort for well-being and anti-fatigue. Fully recyclable, it is made from 95% recycled rubber tyres, and incorporates a plant-based resin with ferrosilicon additives made from scrap iron. The underlay combines magnetism with dry tac for superior Dual Grip in heavy footfall areas.
  • IOBAC Resins – VOC-free, odourless plant-based resins that cure within 1-4hrs for minimal disruption to business operations.

Component 2. A magnetised floor covering – options include:

  • Clever double-sided IOBAC MagTabs that are used to attract carpet tiles, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and woven vinyl tiles with standard backings to the metal base.
  • Magnetically backed LVT from well known brands including Amtico, Karndean and Mabos, or magnetic wood flooring or ceramic tiles.

IOBAC technology enables flooring that is “hard to shift, but easy to lift” – the floor covering is held securely in place in even high foot traffic areas, but is quickly and cleanly uplifted for repairs, access or redesigns.


1) Significant labour and material savings on 1st and 2nd installations. Take a workplace example of carpet tile installation metal raised access flooring:

Traditional Material costs:

  • Access floor – £20-30/m2
  • Floor covering – £25/m2
  • Adhesive – £0.50p/m2
  • £55/m2 worth of assets are contaminated, with the cost to rectify the access floor approximately £10 per m2, plus skip hire costs of £600 per 40yd2 skip. These remedial costs are eliminated with IOBAC adhesive-free installation, with MagTabs costing £0.80 – £1.20/m2.

IOBAC component costs:

  • MagTabs £0.30p per MagTab
  • Ezy-Install acoustic underlay – £10.50/m2
  • IOBAC Resin systems – £10.50 -14/m2

2) Life cycle costs reduced:

  • Maintenance and repair: damaged tiles can be replaced in seconds reducing ongoing maintenance costs.
  • Reuse: both the magnetically receptive base and flooring can be reused multiple times, with minimal rectification required between uses.

3) Other:

  • Tax Benefits – As the magnetic flooring tiles are classed as removable, and not considered to be a permanent part of the structure of the building, then an ongoing capital allowance of 19% can be applied
  • Sensor Flooring – our collaboration with Scanalytics sensor technology enables retailers to collect real-time footfall, and quickly act on it by re-designing floor layouts for enhanced customer experience and business performance.

Case Study

See: for a library of case studies

For example:

Shell – Saving Time, Money and the Planet in Retail Refurbishment (see cost data, video and images at

  • Refurbishment of 20 of forecourt shops across Malaysia using IOBAC Express Cure resin laid straight over the existing ceramic tile, with magnetic stone-look Luxury Vinyl Tile dry-laid on top.
  • Contractor feedback was that the installation was clean, easy and hassle-free compared to conventional methods.

Client Benefits:

1) Reduced installation time: The project was completed in just 5 days using IOBAC adhesive-free installation technology versus 8 days using traditional methods.

Days 1-2: Self-levelling treatment applied to existing floor
Day 3: Resin application
Days 4-5: Installation of magnetic tiles

Days 1-2: Removal of existing ceramic tiles
Days 3-4: Preparing the sub-floor
Days 5-8: Installation of tiles

The retailer was up and running in nearly half the time vs traditional methods, minimising customer disruption and maximising store revenue.

2) Reduced health & safety risks:
The removal of ceramic tiles is typically carried out using pneumatic tools. A noisy, dusty and dirty process, carrying with it respiratory, noise and hand-arm vibration hazards. There is also the risk of electrocution from accidentally digging up underground utilities. With the IOBAC installation, this removal process is eliminated, along with its associated health and safety considerations.

3) Reduced waste:
135m2 of landfill waste was prevented in this project due to not needing to remove the existing ceramic tiles.

4) Increased flexibility:
Utilities for the deli area were added in after installation with no problem. The tiles were simply removed, utilities added and the same tiles re-used on top.

Facts and Figures

£10.50 /m2
£10.50 -14 /m2

This page presents data, evidence, and solutions that are provided by our partners and members and should therefore not be attributed to UKGBC. While we showcase these solutions for inspiration, to build consensus, and create momentum for climate action, UKGBC does not offer commercial endorsement of individual solutions. If you would like to quote something from this page, or more information, please contact our Communications team at