The hardwood flooring mills that make up the membership of NOFMA: The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association voted recently to expand its membership eligibility requirements to include non-U.S. based manufacturers of solid and engineered wood flooring products. The intent of the move is, initially at least, to reach out to Canadian manufacturers whose flooring products collectively account for more than 30 percent of the wood flooring used in the United States each year.

The move is a significant change in policy for the Association, which since 1909 has been open only to United States-based manufacturers. For decades the vast majority of flooring manufactured and used in the United States bore the NOFMA grade mark. While NOFMA still represents the bulk of wood flooring manufactured here, its share of the flooring actually used in the United States has dwindled as imports have risen.

With representation of a more global cross section of the flooring industry, NOFMA's standards will apply to a much greater percentage of the flooring purchased and used in the United States.

The policy change allows NOFMA to control the order in which the Association expands into designated countries or geographic regions, as well as the timetable for such expansion.