As the popularity of laminate flooring explodes across the country the need for quality control in the industry grows more critical. On the eve of its tenth year serving the industry, the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) is reaching out to both members and non-members to embrace the NALFA Certification Seal as the symbol for quality in the laminate flooring industry.
“Although NALFA has been a presence in the industry for almost ten years, there remain manufacturers that are not promoting quality control in the industry, and as the number of products available continues to increase, the need for standards becomes more critical,” said Bill Dearing, president of NALFA. “We are urging members to proudly display the NALFA Certification Seal on their product packaging and are asking non-members to step up to our standards.”
According to a recent study conducted by National Floor Trends, consumers are experiencing inconsistent quality among laminate flooring products, which could create a perception of the product as “cheap.” Quality measures are important to aide both customers and retailers in distinguishing between the vast number of products.
“It is the vision of NALFA to see its certification recognized across the industry by manufacturers, retailers and ultimately by the consumer as an instant sign of quality,” said Dearing.
The NALFA Certification Seal on a product’s packaging will give that product an instant advantage. By promoting the Seal, manufacturers producing certified products can be confident that retailers will recognize their product quality. According to the National Floor Trends Laminate Flooring Market Study, retailers have tremendous potential for influencing laminate purchases and the majority of this group cites product reliability and quality as key factors in their decision to sell/promote a particular brand or manufacturer of laminate flooring. Flooring bearing the Seal will deliver assured quality and will therefore be more likely to be promoted by retailers.
NALFA created voluntary performance standards and a certification program for the laminate flooring producers in the North American Market in 2000. In 2001, these standards were approved by the American National Standards Institute. In order to earn the NALFA Certification Seal, products must meet certain minimum performance standards in areas that include, but are not limited to: static load, thickness swell, impact resistance, light resistance, maintenance/stain resistance, wear resistance, dimensional tolerances and castor chair resistance. Testing must be performed by an independent test lab and the results subsequently reviewed and accepted by NALFA.
For more information on NALFA, the NALFA Certification Seal, or becoming a NALFA member, visitwww.nalfa.com.