Wood & Panel

Bill Dearing

 Thursday, January 13, 2022

Bill Dearing, President of North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA), shares his insight on the current scenario of the market and the possibilities of it in the coming days.

Laminate flooring industry in USA is reported to perform remarkably well by 2013, do you agree with it?

Bill Dearing: Laminate floors like all building material products for residential is dependent on the recession recovery period. 2010’s figures were slightly higher over 2009, essentially flat. This is good news however and we expect that the North American economy to be returning sufficiently to measure Laminate flooring again in significant gains.

A very common question for you, what makes laminates flooring so popular?

Bill Dearing: For the NALFA member’s products those are:

2.Performance Qualities.
3.Ease of maintenance.

5.Green attributes.
6.Indoor air quality attributes.
7.Ease of Installation.

What’s the true story, are the laminate flooring really green?

Bill Dearing: Absolutely. Laminate floors have a sub-strait of normally MDF (proprietary made in most instances) of recycled materials, fast growth managed growth or scrap materials. The melamine protective sheet (the “Laminate”) is a thin membrane that is not an issue. This, in turn, covers the design, which is a computer enhanced photograph of whatever design is chosen. No trees are cut down…no stone is quarried.

Do you think the NALFA Certification might be too strict for the manufacturers to adhere to? What will be your suggestions for the manufacturers?

Bill Dearing: NALFA was founded in 1993 by far-thinking manufacturers and importers of Laminate Flooring in North America. Its purpose was to establish voluntary performance standards for Laminate Flooring where there were none before Certification. All “NALFA” Standards are really American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recognized worldwide. In addition to Certification, NALFA also offers Installation and Inspector Certifications. Both courses are ongoing and very popular. We have standardized Installation Instructions both at the sight and on YouTube. NALFA has grown substantially from a Performance Standards setting organization into the Voice of Laminate Flooring for North America.

Don’t you think that certification often increases the cost of the products? What will be your words for the consumers?

Bill Dearing: No—certainly not for our membership—who feature Certification Seals on packaging, collateral and advertising.

In fact, I would suggest that the cost of replacing non-certified product, if it were to fail, would be costly indeed for the consumer and potentially the dealer. Consumers traditionally like to see performance standards. Now with computer research a normal process by consumers, architects, and dealers, it is even more important to have any Standards easily available. All NALFA Standards are posted at www.nalfa.com.

Our Certification system allows all interested parties to access every Standard. Our Standards for performance now are Three Tier and we have a Sustainability Standard and an Underlayment Standard. Since every NALFA member has applied for Certification, it clearly is considered a plus with this group to be leaders in the industry by educating retailers and assuring consumers of the very real value of Standards in the products they are considering.

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