Consumer Awareness of Laminate Quality Grows with NALFA Certification Seal
Washington, D.C. — More than one hundred years ago, a popular women’s magazine started testing household products to see if they lived up to their promises. Those that did could stamp an elliptical logo on their packaging and earn the trust of a nation of consumers. Today, more than 5,000 products later, the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval remains an emblem that testifies to a product’s value.
The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) likewise wants to impress upon the flooring shopper that the NALFA Certification Seal is a testament to a laminate floor’s quality. Key players in the effort to drive that message home are the industry’s retailers, says NALFA President Bill Dearing.
“Retailers are on the front lines and have the best opportunity to push the value of the seal to consumers,” Dearing says. “It’s a strategic opportunity to differentiate laminate in a competitive marketplace. Dealers can promote the importance of certification to the shopper, which makes the sale easier for the retailer and the buying decision easier for the consumer.”
The message to share with consumers is simple, he says. “We want consumers to know that the NALFA Certification Seal means quality, that it means consumers can be confident in their buying decision.”
NALFA stands behind retailers, manufacturers and suppliers in getting the word out. As the “Voice of Laminate Flooring for North America,” NALFA is dedicated to ensuring that consumers are educated about the value of purchasing laminate flooring with the NALFA Certification Seal.
That education is the mission of NALFA, which was founded in 1997 to advance the reputation of laminate within the flooring industry.
“In 1997, laminate manufacturers and suppliers came together to change the consumer’s perception of laminate flooring and to help them understand how far laminate has advanced in quality,” Dearing says. “That’s where the NALFA Certification Seal comes in. It’s a testament to that quality.”
Laminate products earn certification by passing 10 rigorous performance tests. Certification means flooring has been proven to meet these standards by an independent, unbiased, third-party testing lab.
Recognized as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) national standard, NALFA certification evaluates the following criteria:
- Static load
- Thickness swell
- Light resistance
- Cleanability and stain resistance
- Large ball resistance
- Small ball resistance
- Water resistance
- Dimension tolerance
- Castor chair resistance
- Surface bond
NALFA certification also confirms that a product is manufactured in North America, which has become increasingly important to consumers.
“There has been steady growth in the significance of Made in North America to consumers over the last few years,” Dearing says. “They feel more confident trusting the quality of products produced in North America under higher North American standards. Patriotism is surging, and there is a renewed push to buy brands that keep Americans working.”
In addition to getting the assistance of a retailer, consumers can determine whether a product is NALFA certified by looking for the seal on the packaging or in the point-of-sale display, or by visiting the NALFA website at nalfa.com/nalfa_certified_products.php.