A magnetic underlayment product to launch at Surfaces could be a boon to retailers, installers and customers, said World Floor Covering Association CEO Scott Humphrey.

MagneBuild is a system incorporating a roll-out magnetic underlayment that attracts a receptive layer on the bottom of virtually any floor covering material, including wood flooring. The product system, which is owned by WFCA and Magnetic Building Solutions, allows for speedy and inexpensive installation, which makes it ideal for commercial installations, Humphrey told Wood Floor Business.

“Consider hospitality, health-care, senior living, retail environments, restaurants, educational facilities—just to name a few,” Humphrey said. For example, he went on, take a 10,000-square-foot commercial remodel with a 12-day install cycle. “MagneBuild tear-out and replace is a two- to three-day process.”

The 1-mm-thick underlayment comes in a 3-foot-wide roll of 100 square feet. Installers simply roll out the underlayment; no gluing or nailing is necessary because of the product’s weight—0.6 pounds per square foot. The floor covering is then placed perpendicular to the underlayment.

The floor covering used must have a receptive layer added underneath. For wood flooring, manufacturers would cold-press a 0.3-mm-thick receptive layer to the bottom of the flooring during production. Other floor types with softer bottoms, like WPC and LVT, can be injected with a receptive ferrite powder. Flooring installers can also purchase a peel-and-stick receptive layer, although that option would be more expensive.

The WFCA is currently in talks with large manufacturers and expects to announce partnerships in the near future.

Humphrey said WFCA’s reason to invest in the product was threefold.

First, the installation crisis in the industry is caused in part by the wear and tear installing flooring does to the body. This product is significantly less taxing—floors using MagneBuild don’t need to be nailed or glued. The product warranty stipulates that the initial installation must be done by a professional, Humphrey said, although customers may be able to make future changes themselves.

Second, the product could shorten the buying cycle that has been increasing recently with the move toward hard surface products, he said. With MagneBuild, the customer can switch floor coverings with relative ease. Imagine placing carpet down in winter only to peel it up come summer and stick down a wood floor, he said.

The final reason is to capture millennial buyers. The product will be available only in specialty flooring stores, which millennials have abandoned because they do their own research online and prefer a no-frill buying experience of big box stores to the consultative nature of specialty stores, he said.

The product will be widely available in the United States in the second quarter of 2018.

For more information, visit magneticbuildsolutions.com.

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Still don't understand the benefit of the magnetic feature... why magnetic???
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I have heard if a Ford is damaged you can take up that one board and replace it because there is not a tongue in Groove system like in wood flooring. This allows for you to take up what flooring you need if you have a spill or your pet has an accident. I could see lots of advantages of being able to take out the floor easily.
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guessing like a floating floor...but with out gluing the tongues or grooves? wonder how powerful magnet would be? sounds kinda cool. floor should still be able to move in summer and winter months???
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So when you remove hardwood in the winter, do we have to number each board ? Where do we store the hardwood until next summer? How much space do I need to store 1000 sf have hardwood for winter?
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Magnets and electronics do not mix. In todays electronic era magnets may have huge effect on electronics "interference" big time
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Steve, you're talkng about Neodymium magnets not flexible as shown in this picture. Magnetic materials of this nature (man made) do not obtain the power or reach that a neo does. Therefore... no issue...
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Looks like people have done little research before forming an opinion. Typical... All of these "concerns" are unwarranted. Professional installers hate anything that can be done easily by the home owner or local maintenance.
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This is an ignorant statement and I hope you did your research before blabbering your insulting remarks. It is best suited for the DIY customers, that is true, but the concerns mentioned are not all unwarranted. Magnetics are not the future of wood floors so don't be so naïve to think so because you don't respect the intelligence of wood flooring technicians and their concerns. Homeowners are not going to all of the sudden be able to install floors just as well as professionals because of this product so this is hardly anyone's concern and your words are insulting to true craftsmen professionals. The general concerns I would have are obvious, weak bond strength and only available in a prefinished(Floating floor) so it is made for the less skilled installers or for DIY to compensate for their lack of skill and knowledge. Institutions such as was mentioned in the article will not likely be using this product because the performance guidelines for these places would not allow for it in general. Although it is a fascinating product, it is not something anyone can argue is high end and quality as opposed to a custom floor, installed and finished by a qualified professional using adhesives and fasteners. It is essentially semi permanent and cannot last or be repaired adequately by it's nature. It is a novelty at best right now and has a lot to prove before being widely accepted as worthwhile in the industry. Like all things, they will continue to improve the science and technology to make it better in time but it will never eliminate the need for adhesives and fasteners in high end or quality applications. It certainly will not threaten the livelihood of experienced, qualified, professional Wood Flooring Craftsmen so your comment about us fearing this new fangled flash in the pan idea is the only comment I see to be unwarranted.
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Kacey is right ,ive been in this 36 yrs ,these installers dont do anything but talk bad about customers,salesman ect . These people have put food on their table .
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Until I see it , it remains theory. I would love to see it work because my body is shot after 30 yrs. I think there are concerns as mentioned above. Where do you Store 1000sqft of Flooring and will the Flooring remain dimensionally sound. Can it be sanded when worn out. Will it cup or crown and what do you do if it does?
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If someone walks across the floor with Steel toe boots will he get stuck haha
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Something else to consider - how heavy is this stuff? It would depend on the size of the rolls but most things coming in rolls are not small.
Could get pretty heavy going up a couple flights of stairs as in a motel remodel etc.
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The last paragraph is interesting. They want to capture millennial buyers who they admit to not shop in Specialty floor covering stores, but that is the only place the product will be available. So the product has to be so good that the target market is forced to go buy it where they don't normally shop?