At the end of January 2014, the first CEN/TS 16354 technical specification ("Laminate floor coverings - Underlays - Specification, requirements and test methods") was finally agreed upon within the EU. The EPLF had already published its own "Underlay materials" technical data sheet in summer 2013. The association has now created an even more compact two-page leaflet. With the title "That’s how laminate finds the appropriate underlay", it provides a quick overview of the most important requirements of the CEN/TS 16354. It serves as a practical aid – not just for the sales forces of flooring and underlay manufacturers, but also for any PoS consultant.
Marco Seitner (Selit Dämmtechnik GmbH) is in charge of the Underlay materials ad-hoc group at EPLF, in which laminate floor producers have been working together with manufacturers of underlay materials since December 2013. The new compact data sheet is the first concrete result of this collaboration. As Seitner explains: "The EPLF compact data sheet provides a short, clear and easy-to-understand summary of the most important requirements of the CEN/TS 16354 for laminate underlay. We hope that as many industry stakeholders as possible will make use of this practical aid. The wider your knowledge, the better equipped you are to provide your customers with professional advice!" This means improved safety when choosing underlay, fewer complaints and, not least, longer-lasting consumer enjoyment of their laminate flooring. Like the full version, the new compact data sheet can also be downloaded in PDF format from the EPLF website (www.eplf.com), free of charge. This document is currently available in German and English, while French, Italian, Dutch, Russian and Spanish versions are in the planning stages.
Treating laminate flooring as a system
With its information campaign on the theme of "suitable laminate underlay", the EPLF wishes to make consumers aware that laminate floorboards, underlay and subflooring should be considered as a complete "flooring system". "Even high-quality laminate flooring can only fully demonstrate its advantages if the underlay works well as part of the flooring system," explains Seitner. "It is not unusual for unsuitable underlay or incorrect installation to later give cause for complaint. With the right underlay, the entire laminate flooring system is optimised and its service life is extended.
The underlay forms the interface between the laminate flooring and the subflooring. As a result, it must assume important functions: it ensures professional laying by compensating for any unevenness in the underflooring and thus relieving load on the click system of the boards. It provides the complete flooring system with permanent protection against daily wear from foot traffic and in the case of impacts from falling objects etc., as well as from long-term strain caused by heavy furniture. It can also serve as an effective barrier against increasing residual building moisture. Lastly, the right underlay can also optimise the qualities of the laminate flooring as concerns soundproofing and thermal requirements.
The Underlay materials ad-hoc group has taken on a further commitment for the future: it has been simultaneously developing a strategy to improve product labelling of laminate underlay. This should make it considerably easier to select the suitable laminate underlay at the PoS. The group will present its initial plan at the EPLF meeting of ordinary members in mid-May.
elne1405_b1: The combination of floorboards, underlay and subflooring create the "laminate flooring system", with the underlay assuming important functions to protect the entire system. –
Photo: Selit Dämmtechnik GmbH
elne1405_b2: Even high-quality laminate flooring can only fully demonstrate its advantages if the underlay works well as part of the flooring system. – Photo: HARO
elne1405_b3: Marco Seitner, head of the EPLF Underlay materials ad-hoc group, says: "With the new compact data sheet, we hope to contribute to making the "laminate flooring system" even safer, better and more comfortable." – Photo: Selit Dämmtechnik GmbH
elne1405_b4: Practical information in a condensed form: the new EPLF compact data sheet, "That’s how laminate finds the appropriate underlay", is available free of charge at www.eplf.com. – Photo: EPLF
elne1405_b5: All components of the flooring system must be suited to one another so that the laminate flooring can look good for longer, even with daily wear. – Photo: Kaindl
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