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Forbo Flooring Systems’ Allura luxury vinyl tile (LVT) chosen to elevate East Croydon office space

FORBO Flooring Systems’ Allura luxury vinyl tile (LVT) range was specified by design and fitout company, Oktra, to transform an office building into a stylish and modern workspace.
It was also installed adhesive-free using IOBAC MagTabs, to help achieve Akoya’s sustainability requirements.

Oktra was recruited by Akoya and Brunswick Property Partners, to repurpose an office building to create a vibrant and attractive space for young professionals and entrepreneurs to work in. Formally known as Knollys and Stephenson House, the building will be rebranded as Mosaic East, a comprehensive refurbishment of one of East Croydon’s most iconic office developments.

Typically, carpet tiles or exposed raised access flooring are the go-to solution in these scenarios, however with a premium design required, Oktra opted for something different, as Danielle La Porte, designer at Oktra explains: ‘Akoya wanted to create a range of category A office suites that would be memorable to tenants, while also meeting sustainability requirements. With this brief in mind, we specified Forbo’s Allura Flex LVT, which is available in a range of elegant colourways and wood effect designs – perfect for this project!

‘We wanted to add some brand identity within the category A suites, so we decorated some of them in a light pink colour with linear LED lighting, and other suites in a light sage green colour. To complement the colour palettes, we chose Allura Flex LVT in the Light Honey Oak shade. We then asked the flooring contractors, The Commercial Flooring Company, to install the planks in a beautiful herringbone pattern to really enhance the aesthetics of the space.’

However, appearance wasn’t the only area of concern, with Akoya also conscious of the sustainability requirements. Danielle addressed this, saying: ‘The aesthetics of the flooring weren’t the only thing we had to keep in mind, we also had to ensure that whatever floorcovering we specified would meet Akoya’s sustainability aims. It was for this reason that we specified Forbo’s Allura Flex, as it can be easily installed adhesive free, using IOBAC MagTabs.’

Says Forbo: ‘IOBAC’s innovative MagTabs provide a two-dimensional hold, with one side being magnetic and the other a dry-tack adhesive. This means they can be easily magnetised onto metal raised access flooring, like those at Mosaic East, and the chosen flooring simply placed on top, negating the need for traditional adhesives.’

Ian Spreadborough, founder and director at IOBAC explains further: ‘Our MagTabs essentially allow flooring contractors to quickly place floorcoverings down onto raised access flooring, without damaging the substrate or the flooring itself. The phrase we use is ‘hard to shift, easy to lift.’

The idea is that the flooring is securely fitted but can then be lifted back up to be reused elsewhere, or simply be replaced by another floorcovering further down the line.

‘Oktra approached us as they had used our MagTabs on a previous project and had been extremely impressed by their performance, so were keen to use the product again.

Additionally, Forbo’s LVT and carpet tiles are approved for use with the MagTabs, making it the logical choice. On top of this, Brunswick, who own the raised access flooring itself, were keen to maintain the condition of its asset, so, the tabs served a double purpose, protecting both a heavy carbon embodied asset, in the raised access flooring, and Forbo’s floorcoverings.’

Jon Cochrane, director – asset management & sustainability at Brunswick Property Partners, commented on the use of IOBAC’s MagTabs, saying: ‘Cleaning adhesive residue off subfloors in between leases is often messy, expensive and time-consuming. In some cases, the raised access floor panels are so badly contaminated that they must be completely replaced, something which isn’t sustainable, environmentally or financially.

‘However, using IOBAC MagTabs to install floorcoverings removes this issue completely. This means that our asset, in this case the raised access flooring, is protected and kept damage-free for longer-term usage.’

It wasn’t just the sustainability benefits that drew Oktra towards MagTabs, with the installation benefits of the tabs also a deciding factor.

Daniel Hassan, operations manager at The Commercial Flooring Company, commented on this, saying: ‘Thanks to IOBAC’s MagTabs, it took a team of three fitters about five days to install 900sq m of flooring in a herringbone pattern, which is challenging to install and would have taken much longer to do through traditional methods. This provided a great time saving and allowed the other trades to work around us while we fitted the flooring.’

The time saved during the installation stage meant the project as a whole was able to be completed in just 10 weeks, a quick turnaround for such a large job.

Danielle concluded: ‘We’re really happy with the finished project, as are Akoya; the flooring looks amazing and we’re delighted to have been able to get it fitted so quickly, as well as meet Akoya’s important sustainability aims.’

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