Going Green: Laminate Flooring Is the Eco-Friendly Choice

Laminate flooring has a variety of environmentally friendly benefits, but one of them beats them all: Laminate flooring creates the look of a natural resource – such as wood or stone – as opposed to actually using it, so fewer raw materials are used in the manufacturing process. Because laminate flooring’s appearance is actually a high-definition photograph, it effectively provides the desired look, no matter how scarce, without felling a tree or mining a quarry.

That’s just one of the ways that laminate is the green choice in flooring, and eco-conscious consumers are sitting up and taking notice.

According to Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA), “Laminate flooring has a wealth of green advantages, and products certified to NALFA’s sustainability standard are being used in growing numbers because of them. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the importance of environmentally friendly products.”

Dearing says the NALFA Certification Seal is confirmation that a laminate floor is manufactured with these earth-friendly qualities:

  • It’s made with recycled natural resources producing a heavy-duty, high-density core board.
  • It’s recyclable.
  • It’s free of air-damaging chemicals.
  • It complies with formaldehyde emissions regulations for laminate flooring core board set forth by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
  • It is comprised of recycled content that may contribute points to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for homes and businesses.
  • It requires no special glues or adhesives during installation, eliminating harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and no special cleaners for cleaning and maintenance, improving air quality.

From the materials used in its manufacturing to the frequent reuse of those materials, a NALFA-certified laminate floor’s entire lifecycle is environmentally friendly. “For floors to be considered green, the manufacturing, installation, and disposal processes should have no negative environmental impact,” Dearing says.

Laminate flooring’s environmentally friendly properties begin with its inherently green manufacturing process. For example, the manufacture of laminate floors does not involve the harvesting of old-growth hardwoods. Product cores are comprised of at least 74 percent pre-consumer recycled waste, such as sawdust from mills and wood chips from log processing. This minimizes the need for new raw materials, whose harvesting often depletes natural resources.

In addition to its eco-friendly manufacturing process, laminate flooring is also installed with the environment in mind. NALFA-certified laminate floors are installed as floating floors, meaning the products are not attached to the subfloor. This eliminates the need for glues and adhesives, helping prevent emissions of volatile organic compounds.

Once installed, laminate floors can be easily cleaned without the use of harsh chemicals, protecting indoor air quality. Finally, at the end of a laminate floor’s lifetime, it can be reused or recycled. Or, when dismantled, the boards can be put back into the production process, ground for agriculture use, or burned as waste-to-energy. That keeps old flooring from landing in the landfill.

Laminate flooring is also an environmentally friendly consideration when a homeowner’s interest is a living area with fewer allergens. Laminate flooring is free of solvents, preservatives, and other chemicals that can agitate allergies and asthma.

With the ongoing evolution of laminate flooring, environmental issues will play an increasing role in the way the next generation of laminate products is developed.

NALFA to Hold Product Demonstration at Surfaces 2012

The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) will conduct a product demonstration on Tuesday, January 24, at 1 p.m. in conjunction with Surfaces 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.

The one-hour demo, which will take place on the main stage, will demonstrate how to install a laminate floor properly, how to replace a damaged plank in an installed laminate floor, and what to look for in a quality laminate flooring product.
Leading the demonstration will be Anthony Palandro, NALFA Installer Certification Course Instructor.
Surfaces 2012 will take place January 24-26 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Visit NALFA at Booth #S6401.

About NALFA

The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) was formed in 1997 by U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and importers of Laminate Flooring. Since its inception, NALFA has been dedicated to creating voluntary product performance standards for Laminate Flooring in North America. For more information, visit www.nalfa.com.

Install a Laminate Floor to Rent Your Home with Confidence

WASHINGTON, DC – Selling your home at an acceptable price is a sticky proposition in the current economy, and as a result, more and more property owners are becoming landlords.

In fact, according to Floor Covering Weekly, the number of renter households has increased by 3.7 million in the last five years, while the number of owner households has dropped by 1.3 million over the same period.

Renting out your home can be an attractive option for the homeowner – and a good opportunity for home improvements.

One of the most dramatic ways to give your home a makeover is with a beautiful laminate floor. Carpet can show wear and stains, and replacing it with laminate flooring – which can realistically replicate wood and stone looks – can transform a room. That makes for a more attractive home, which justifies renting it out at a premium price.

“Whether you plan to be a long-term landlord, or if you’re just renting your home until the economy improves enough to put it on the market, laminate flooring can add value to your home,” says Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA). “A new laminate floor gives a room a fresh look, and it’s easy to clean and maintain.”

As you face the prospect of renting your home, you can rest assured that laminate flooring – known for its high durability – will stand up to even the most active renters. As any landlord will attest, you can’t be certain how careful renters will be in maintaining your home, so the fact that laminate flooring is stain, fade and scratch resistant gives the property owner peace of mind.

Installing laminate flooring also saves the homeowner time and money. It’s easy to install, so laminate flooring is a quick home improvement endeavor regardless of whether you plan to do it before putting your house up for rent or if you plan to turn it around while renters are in the house. And affordable laminate flooring is one of the best investments you can make with your decorating dollar.

You can be confident you’re installing quality laminate flooring by looking for the NALFA Certification Seal when making your purchase. The seal is testament that the product has performed well in rigorous tests conducted by independent, third-party laboratories. Those tests include everything from how well the flooring resists water, light and stains to whether it can be damaged when a heavy object is dropped. Find a complete list of NALFA-certified products at www.nalfa.com.

So become a landlord with confidence with a beautiful, durable, low-maintenance laminate floor.

NALFA Offers Inspector Certification Class on January 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – After an impressive debut of its new curriculum in 2011, the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) will kick off its second year of inspector certification classes with a one-day course held Friday, January 27, in conjunction with Surfaces 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev.

The class is the first course dedicated exclusively to laminate flooring and promoted by the largest North American laminate flooring manufacturers.

The comprehensive curriculum for the NALFA inspector certification class includes NALFA history, a “Laminate 101” course, installation requirements, inspection tools and standards, product defect review, and inspection reporting and process. The class fee is $350.

Pre-qualifying conditions include either a minimum of three years’ experience as an inspector, being a NALFA-certified installer with a current certification, or being certified by another nationally recognized inspection organization.

Certification offers increased credibility as a laminate flooring inspector and helps participants to become a preferred choice for the best laminate flooring producers in North America as well as their distributors and retailers. Certification also provides the business exposure of being listed on the NALFA website as a certified inspector and the benefit of networking with the best inspectors in the industry. Finally, certified inspectors receive privileged access to the technical support services of NALFA members and are constantly updated about technical innovations in the laminate flooring field.

Additional dates for NALFA inspector certification classes will be announced during Surfaces 2012, scheduled for January 24-26 in Las Vegas.

Space is filling fast, so to register or for more information, visit the NALFA website at www.nalfa.com or contact Teiya Eubanks at (423) 316-1566 or teubanks@kmtcreative.com.

Congratulations to the 2011 Lammy Nominees!

2011 LAMMY Award Nominees Announced

The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2011 LAMMY Awards, which are given annually to companies and individuals for exceptional contributions to the laminate flooring industry.

“We created the LAMMY Awards to recognize excellence within this continuously changing and growing segment,” says Bill Dearing, president of NALFA. “The LAMMY Awards are a great way for NALFA to formally recognize companies and individuals for their efforts within the industry and to encourage others to do the same.”

The NALFA Board of Directors anonymously nominates individuals and organizations for each category. The nominees are compiled, listed on ballots and sent for voting to NALFA members as well as the editors of Floor Covering Installer, Floor Covering News, Floor Covering Weekly, Floor Focus and National Floor Trends. NALFA presented the first LAMMY Awards in 2007.

The 2011 LAMMY Award winners will be announced January 25, 2012, in Las Vegas.

The nominees are:

Member of the Year
Jean Briere, Shaw Industries
Jane Winters, Unilin

Associate Member of the Year
Jack Boesch, MP Global Products
Marco Seitner, SELIT
David Pritchard, Pak-lite
Brent Sholl, Sealed Air Corporation

Distributor/Retailer of the Year
Bolick Distributors
B.R. Funston
R.A. Siegel

Regular Member Company of the Year
Pergo
Unilin/Mohawk

Associate Member Company of the Year
Pak-lite
Pregis

Flooring Dealer of the Year
Carpet Plus, Charlottesville, Va.
Floor Covering Association, Shorewood, Ill.

About NALFA

The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) was formed in 1997 by U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and importers of Laminate Flooring. Since its inception, NALFA has been dedicated to creating voluntary product performance standards for Laminate Flooring in North America. For more information, visit www.nalfa.com.

NALFA certifies eco-friendly laminates

NALFA President Bill Dearing discusses the green attributes of laminate flooring and NALFA certification as a guest columnist in the 2011 FCW Green Issue. Visit fcw1.com to read the full article.

Laminate – Beyond the kitchen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC – High-heel shoes walk quickly across the kitchen floor on the way to the garage and another day’s work. Later, as dinner is being prepared, a jar of spaghetti sauce tumbles off the counter, splattering a red mess across the floor. Dents? None. Stains? Relax. Laminate flooring can take it. In fact, it would be difficult to find a flooring product that is more durable than laminate.

That’s why consumers are increasingly turning to laminate flooring as their choice throughout the home. And laminate flooring is showing up beyond the kitchen – in entry halls, family rooms, living rooms, and dining rooms.

“Laminate flooring started in the kitchen,” says Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA). “Over the years, its popularity has grown so that it’s now found in every room in the house.”

Indeed, sales of laminate flooring are growing steadily, according to a recently released Global Industry Analysts report, which says that the growth is driven by escalation in new home construction as well as residential remodeling.

“Laminate (flooring) with close resemblance to wood and advantageous features of durability, beauty and novel designs capable of replicating granite and stone are creating myriad decorating possibilities for residential and commercial interiors,” according to Global Industry Analysts.

Furthermore, home improvements using laminate flooring are motivated by ease of installation, simple upkeep, long-term durability, and increasingly innovative product designs, which are quickly making laminate floors one of the most popular and affordable options throughout the home.

Design, in fact, is often what initially catches the homeowner’s eye. Today’s laminate flooring is setting new standards in realism – especially in high-end wood designs. Laminate floorcovering manufacturers are now replicating the subtle details of real wood such as saw marks, wire brushing and even nail and worm holes.

Especially popular in family rooms are rustic laminate looks. Micro beveling gives the laminate the authentic appearance of natural grooves – but none of the wear and tear of other flooring products.
Other laminate flooring designs create realism with texture and embossing. But, Dearing says, “Laminate flooring has never tried to be an imitation of anything else and today, it comes in a variety of rich designs, including popular wood-based styles.”

Those designs are a result of a unique lamination process. Laminate flooring is comprised of a hybrid of materials fused together through that lamination process. Between a tough protective top layer and a high-density fiberboard core is a decorative layer, which provides a high-definition, highly detailed image – realistically simulating everything from hardwood to marble to stone. And when homeowners find a design they like, Dearing says, they generally use that laminate flooring throughout the home. That’s especially true of adjoining rooms such as living and dining rooms.

So look beyond the kitchen when you’re selecting laminate flooring for your home. “When it comes to design options,” Dearing concludes, “there’s no shortage with laminate floors.”

The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) was formed in 1997 by U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and importers of laminate flooring. Since its inception, NALFA has been dedicated to creating voluntary product performance standards for laminate flooring in North America. For more information, visit www.nalfa.com.

Congratulations to NALFA Certified Inspectors!

NALFA continues to receive rave reviews for the Inspector Certification Class. The latest classes, held in Vancouver, B.C. August 25th & 26th, graduated 33 New NALFA Certified Inspectors. To date, NALFA has certified 101 Inspectors across North America!

Take a look at our class photos. Congratulations to each of you on your new certification!

Classes have been held in:

Las Vegas, NV
Dallas, TX
Anaheim, CA
Raleigh, NC
Salem, NJ
Toronto, Ontario
Vancouver, B.C.

The remaining 2011 Inspector Certification Class calendar is as follows:

9/16 – Charleston, SC
10/13 – Chicago, IL
11/11 – Calhoun, GA

2012 class dates to be announced soon. Contact Teiya Eubanks at 423-316-1566 for pricing and registration information. (email teubanks@kmtcreative.com)