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Montage of images with Forbo products installed with MagTabs

We recently approved the use of IOBAC’s innovative adhesive-free MagTabs™ system with our Allura Flex Luxury Vinyl Tile and Tessera carpet tile ranges. Here, Paul Woolvine, CEO at IOBAC, explains more, including the benefits for installers, building owners and tenants.

Introducing MagTabs

MagTabs™ are a flooring installation system that uses both magnetism and dry tack to provide a two-dimensional grip that locks the flooring in place with none of the issues associated with fully adhered methods.

The MagTabs system is simple. The tabs are positioned at the corners of each flooring tile as they are laid, fixing the tiles to the floor as well as locking them together. MagTabs can be used to install a wide variety of floor coverings on metal raised access floors or by using our magnetically receptive range of underlays and resins.

As such, it complements Forbo’s own range of adhesive-free flooring solutions and extends the number of Forbo products that can be installed in this way.

MagTabs are part of our drive to offer a better approach to flooring installation, offering a superior solution in the following ways.

Image of Allura being installed with MagTabs

Allura LVT being installed with MagTabs

Tessera and Allura Installed with MagTabs

Tessera and Allura installation on raised access flooring with MagTabs


Each year a carpet area the size of Birmingham is thrown away and 300 tonnes of fit-out material goes to landfill every day in the UK. This is partly because flooring that is contaminated with adhesive cannot be recycled. Therefore, using adhesive-free installation methods, such as MagTabs, helps to divert flooring away from landfill. It also supports waste take-back schemes such as Forbo’s Back to the Floor recycling program.

Not only can it be recycled much more easily, but by ensuring a clean uplift, the flooring can be reused. Many commercial floor coverings are designed for a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. However, due to a change in occupant or a need for a design refresh, flooring is often removed after as little as 7 years. With an adhesive-free approach, this flooring can be usefully reused elsewhere, helping to achieve a degree of circularity.

For specifiers, this reuse is an important benefit, especially on projects that are aiming for BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding status.

Waste reduction is an important facet of the assessment and specifications that enable reuse of materials carry more points than simply recycling. However, it is important to specify the installation method to ensure the right approach is followed.

In addition, MagTabs can be repeatedly reused. Our testing shows that even after 10 lift-refit cycles, MagTabs provide the same level of performance, demonstrated by the results of lateral pull tests.

Benefits for Contractors

As with any installation method that eliminates the use of adhesive, the MagTabs system has a number of benefits for the installer. Installation is faster as it removes the time usually required to apply the adhesive and then wait for it cure. The speed allows work to be completed while the building is still occupied, especially as it eliminates the VOCs and odours associated with adhesive.

The simplicity of MagTabs means no specialist equipment is needed to complete the installation and a small team, or even a single installer, can lay a large area of flooring in a relatively short time. Material weight is nearly halved versus adhesive installation, facilitating manual handling and reducing logistics, handling and waste disposal costs.

Furthermore, Magtabs also make it easy to integrate different flooring types side by side. As MagTabs is a universal system it can be used with many different types of flooring, including carpet and LVT, in both tile and plank formats.

Benefits for building owners and tenants

Beyond the installation stage, MagTabs offer significant advantages for the owners and occupants of commercial buildings. For the owners or managers, the use of MagTabs means that the sub-floor is left clean and undamaged after each tenancy. While floors can be cleaned, the cost can be significant, especially for large spaces.

In fact, it typically costs around £8 to £15 per square metre to clean the adhesive residue off, and often the floor cannot be returned to its original condition. Some commercial building owners are already discouraging or prohibiting the use of flooring adhesives due to the damage that can be done to the flooring substrate.

Finally, for tenants, using MagTabs has a clear benefit over fully adhered options for raised access floors. As the flooring is easy to lift and replace when required it means that easy access to the cabling and other services housed under the floors is maintained at all times.

Additionally, it allows flooring design changes to be made far more easily with substantially less waste (especially if the flooring can be reused elsewhere) and at a lower cost.

The flooring installation method is often paid minimal attention and frequently overlooked when considering how the environmental impact of a building can be reduced. The reality is that a careful, sustainability-minded specification can be undermined by something as simple as the use of an inappropriate installation approach.

Specifying MagTabs for the installation of Forbo’s Allura Flex, Flotex Planks and Tessera carpet tiles via resources such as NBS Source not only has environmental benefits but helps to achieve unrivalled lifecycle benefits and provides design flexibility.

Click here find out more about MagTabs and see the installation process in practice.

Visit the IOBAC website