February 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 18
By Ken Ryan
While it might not solve the installation crisis entirely, there is hope that MagneBuild by Magnetic Building Solutions (MBS), a new magnetic flooring system, may be the breakthrough technology the industry needs.
Winner of a Best of Surfaces Award for Technology (see page 10 in this issue), this underlayment system from MBS uses magnetic technology as the foundation for all types of floors. To install users merely have to roll it out over any smooth, clean and dry subfloor surface.
“MagneBuild is a game changer for our industry,” said Scott Humphrey, CEO of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), which partially owns MBS.
Humphrey explained that the MBS technology is deployed in one of two ways, depending on the application and circumstances. In the first process, ferrite powder can be injected into products with a quasi-soft back during the manufacturing phase. This process, he said, works best for LVT, LVP, WPC and even wall coverings. The second method is to adhere a roll of receptive material, which is cold-pressed onto the product at the end of the manufacturing process. This is the easiest application for all flooring categories including carpet tile, broadloom, ceramic, porcelain and stone, according to MBS. Both processes result in a tight magnetic bond between the subfloor and finished floor that is virtually waterproof.
The magnetic subfloor also acts as a sound barrier, providing crack isolation protection for ceramic floors. Once the subfloor is installed users can change from an LVT to a ceramic tile to a carpet tile and back again with no floor prep time needed. Humphrey added that MBS products are ideally suited for commercial settings where timing is critical.
Flooring retailers who watched demonstrations at Surfaces and at the NFA Vendor Showcase the day prior were enthusiastic, with some calling it a difference maker for the industry. “I thought this was the most revolutionary product at Surfaces,” said Brian Witkin, executive vice president of sales, Avalon Flooring, Cherry Hill, N.J. “Long term, I believe the product will do very well in the market.”
Carpet tile and WPC/SPC will be the first surfaces available with this platform, which is expected to be available in the latter half of the second quarter. The MBS platform will be sold through WFCA retailers, and WFCA members will enjoy exclusive benefits by carrying the MBS line, according to Humphrey.