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EPLF: European standard to "combat" market free-for-all - EPLF to intensify its educational campaign on laminate flooring

12 September 1998

In the words of its chairman, Ulrich Windmöller, the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF) intends to intensify its campaign to provide consumers with more information on "laminates" and to specifically target the proliferation of non-compliant products on the market.

Clear terminological definitions and precisely formulated requirements concerning laminate flooring products embodied in a European standard is the only way to follow up contraventions. In such cases, warnings and reprimands will be issued before legal steps are taken if non-compliance persists.

Demanding benchmarks for laminate flooring products

The European standard contains performance characteristics, requirements and test processes to which laminate flooring products must comply. This includes a classification system with practical requirements for specific applications and wear categories. The purpose of this is to give consumers clear guidance as to the areas, such as kitchens, living rooms, foyers and staircases, in which a laminate flooring product will perform to satisfaction. In addition to this, the standard also contains precise rules regarding labelling and packaging. This is aimed at providing increased clarity to both retailers and consumers alike:

1. No. of European Standard for laminate flooring products, followed by a suffix.

2. Identification of manufacturer or supplier

3. Product designation

4. Colour/design and batch no.

5. Product categories/symbols in accordance with classification system

6. Nominal dimensions of a single element (length, width, thickness) in millimetres

7. No. of elements per packaging unit

8. Total surface area per packaging unit in square metres

EPLF chairman Mr. Windmöller believes that successfully implementing the provisions of the standard will also be instrumental in maintaining the image and market standing of laminate flooring products.

Targeted educational campaign

To coincide with the introduction of the European standard, the Association is to launch targeted marketing measures aimed at educating the trade and consumers. Product declarations and advertising on laminate flooring products will play a major role.

As an example of successful educational work carried out by EPLF, Windmöller mentioned the information brochure on the subject of the European Standards for Laminate Floors recently drawn up and the EPLF information leaflet on cleaning. In contrast the guidelines for laying laminate floors, drawn up in 1998, are already considered almost as a classic in the concert of EPLF brochures

The significance of the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring grows with each new member to join its ranks. ELPF currently embraces 18 internationally operating manufacturing companies from seven countries: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Sweden. In addition to these, the association also has eleven associate members which include test institutes, technical experts and suppliers to the industry. This internationally active association anticipates further applications from interested parties.

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