simply roll out the underlay and cut to size. It is waterproof, naturally anti- microbial, easily cleanable, durable and manufactured using recycled rubber from old tyres. It’s perfect for reuse time and again and ticks all of the sustainability boxes. Combining a metallised, magnetically receptive base with a high-grab dry adhesive tack, it utilises dual grip strength for optimum hold between underlay and surface flooring. The underlay adhesive is plant-based VOC-free resin, manufactured predominantly from renewable castor oil.” The final step is to fix magnetically- backed tiles into place – much like putting a fridge magnet on a fridge – or attach a standard backed tile using IOBAC’s MagTabs. MagTabs are simply little magnetic

squares that transform ordinary floor coverings into magnetic ones. Magnetic on one side and self- adhesive on the other, they work by locking tiles tightly together in two dimensions – horizontally and to the Ezy-Install underlay vertically. As


wet adhesive free, surface tiles are uncontaminated


flooring system is when

and can therefore be easily recycled or reused, unlike tiles fixed with adhesive, which are often difficult to uplift and recycle.

Things are hotting up The government’s recent Green Deal announcement is set to help homeowners make energy-saving improvements to their home and find the best way to pay for them. As you would expect, heating and, more specifically, underfloor heating, is one of the improvements listed under the Green Deal criteria. This is, of course, framed by the wider context

of the UK government’s

target to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. More efficient heating solutions will undoubtedly have a central role to play in reaching this objective. After all, almost 40 per cent of all human produced greenhouse gas emissions in the world come from

buildings, with more than half of these from residential properties. The fact remains, however, that underfloor heating can still be overly complicated and excessively expensive, which is why it’s another part of the flooring world


IOBAC is looking to transform. “Our heated flooring solution was developed to overcome some of the issues commonly associated with conventional electric mats and water- based underfloor heating systems,” explains Woolvine. “Underfloor heating is still thought of as a costly, luxury option, and a disruptive, complex option at

that. It’s also

complicated and time-consuming to remediate any issues with traditional systems and, vitally, they’re not as efficient to run as expected. They often have long heat up times and no option for renewable energy inputs.” IOBAC aims to offer a more

energy-efficient and cost-effective solution.

Woolvine says: “Crucially, our

solution is non-disruptive. There’s no disturbance to existing pipe and/ or electric system and adjusting floor height isn’t an issue as our solution is just 0.5mm thick. On top of that, it’s easy to remediate by simply removing the floor tile and underlay. This special heated version of the Ezy-Install Underlay utilises super- conducting graphene technology to create an amazingly efficient underfloor heating solution. Simply lay the heated Ezy-Install underlay as before, connect to a power source in the skirting board and install magnetic flooring tiles on top. “Our aim with this solution is to make it three things: non-disruptive (which we’ve touched on), cost- effective and sustainable. In terms of cost-effectiveness, it’s highly efficient to run and quick to heat up to 27˚C, not to mention the far-reduced install and future remediation costs. Sustainability wise it can be powered

by renewable supply (either DC or AC), it’s water-based with 100 per cent solid coatings and made using recycled additive.” There is also a perhaps lesser-

known advantage – and particularly pertinent given the current health crisis – to this solution: health benefits. “The solution creates radiant infrared heat, which is said to have numerous health benefits, from pain relief, reduction of muscle tension and improved circulation, to boosting of the immune system and lowering of blood pressure. It is even thought to be able to help to fight infections and inhibit airborne microorganisms

found in RNA

viruses, including coronaviruses, by stimulating the body’s metabolism and production of white blood cells.”

A better way forward

It does feel like a transformative time for the built environment. Demand for building materials and flooring solutions will continue to be high and homeowners, house-builders and flooring contractors will be faced with numerous building material options. As Woolvine says, perhaps it is time for society to opt for “newer, more innovative solutions”. It doesn’t have to be a new normal, as has been quoted so often in recent times. Rather, the building materials and flooring solutions we choose now can help contribute to a better normal.

n For more information about IOBAC’s solutions, visit SEPTEMBER 2020 DIY WEEK 21

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