Wood Laminate Flooring Specifications

It is very important to have some understanding of what makes one product better, or worse, that another. This short section is intended to give a brief outline about wood laminate flooring specifications to assist buyers planning the purchase of wood laminate. Not all laminates are made to an acceptable specification.

Standard is Acceptable?

There are a number of international standards available for wood laminate manufacture, but essentially most of these are based on the European Standard EN13329-2006. The problem is that in its basic form this standard is simply NOT good enough for the South African Climate. The actual manufactured standard MUST be set higher than the basic EN13329-2006 standard if laminate is to be used successfully in South Africa.

Wood laminate that ONLY achieves the basic EN 13329-2006 standard is most likely to experience problems after installation especially related to board swelling, buckling, cupping and wear. To be successful, laminate flooring sold in South Africa MUST achieve a higher standard than the basic EN 13329-2006 specification. This is why we see so many poor quality wood laminate installation in South Africa, most product offered even by reputable dealers, is not made to the correct standard for use in South Africa.

Acceptable Standard

floorLoc™ wood laminate flooring is manufactured in China to a specification and standard determined by our company, based on many years of experience of wood and laminate in South Africa. Our manufacturing standard is importantly notably higher than the EN standard especially in respect to board density and board swell rates. It’s the swell rate that determines the stability of the laminate and its potential for failure when applied to our climate.

Interestingly, and generally not appreciated, is that the Chinese GB/T 10108-2007 standard, which is based on the EN 13329-2006 standard, notably sets a higher standard European EN13329-2006 specification, especially related to board density (which can often result in lower swell rates). However, what’s important is who is providing the certification, how credible are they, and is the certification available - or is it just something the salesman said? We provide copies of all certifications on line in the appropriate section.

As a point of clarification, the SABS and EPLF (European Producers of Laminate Flooring) are not test standards, (despite what some local authorities will have us believe).

SABS is a testing centre and is capable of testing products to a given international standard (such as EN13329-2006). EPLF is the European body of laminate flooring manufacturers in Europe only.

Should you have any queries regarding the above kindly refer to us at flooring@imouldings.co.za

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