Industry-wide interest in the MMFA – the Multilayer Modular Flooring Association – shows no sign of waning. Member numbers leapt from seven upon its foundation in October 2012 to 23 just twelve months later. Now four more new recruits can be reported: Beaulieu Flooring Solutions (Belgium) has become an ordinary member, while the companies Amorim Cork Composites, S.A. (Portugal), ewifoam E. Wicklein GmbH (Germany) and Mondi Gronau GmbH (Germany) join the MMFA as associate members. This young association now has 14 ordinary and 13 associate members, with nine European countries represented in total. Above all, the MMFA advocates clear rules and standards for the innovative product category of multilayer modular flooring.

MMFA chairman Matthias Windmöller has a straightforward explanation for the rapid expansion of the new association: "There are considerable product developments in the field of multilayer modular flooring, and so there is a great deal of market activity at the moment. Therefore, it is only logical that various major players in this market are joining the MMFA, a key special interest group.

The innovative aspect of the new multilayer modular flooring concept is that the strengths of various floor coverings – e.g. those used for surfaces, substrates and underflooring – are combined in a single product. Given the recent innovative progress made in terms of multilayer processes and products, the MMFA considers that one of its main tasks is to create clear rules of play, in the interests of the market – and particularly in the interests of consumers.

Focusing on the complete flooring system

Under the convenorship of Volker Kettler (Meisterwerke, Rüthen, Germany) and Edwin Lingg (Li&Co, Müstair, Switzerland), the MMFA's technical committee is actively involved in the development of the European standard entitled prEN 16511. In future product standards, they hope to include specific tests and requirements depending on the product's composition. In addition, for floating flooring systems, underlay materials with various levels of quality are to be considered.

For the MMFA, it is essential that its technical work schedule looks at flooring as the overall system of different components. The right combination of underflooring, underlay material and multilayer modular flooring must be used to protect the flooring system as a whole and extend its lifetime. A special MMFA working group deals with these system conditions. Furthermore, topics such as laying, cleaning and care are also on the agenda. In the long run, the MMFA hopes to publish specific recommendations for underlay materials.

Transparency for the market

The general public shall be swiftly made aware of the products of this young industry. Comprehensive information and advice are vital in order to successfully establish the new flooring products as an independent "category" on the market. The market development committee concentrates on product nomenclature and the development of informative product and concept descriptions.

The second key activity is the regular collection of MMFA sales statistics in three product categories. In order to gain significance and ensure comparability, the members of the MMFA have agreed to record sales volumes from the production sites of their European plants

in three product categories. In simplified terms, Class 1 covers

floating, modular floorings such as those with HDF base material, while Class 2 includes solid plastic flooring with click technology, among others. Class 3 comprises special products with mixed compositions. From 2014, quarterly sales figures are to be collected for each region and country.

Further industry participants welcome

The MMFA's next ordinary members’ assembly will be taking place at the end of April. In the meantime, the MMFA working groups will hold meetings focusing on projects. In addition, a few events presenting special knowledge to all interested experts specialising in this type of flooring are planned for 2014.

The MMFA is open to any colleagues interested in joining. Ordinary members may be companies listed on the trade register of their respective European countries that independently manufacture and market multilayer modular flooring with decorative surfaces. The company's headquarters and production facilities must be located in Europe. Material manufacturers, suppliers, system partners and organisations that act as testing or research institutes for the industry can join as associate members. These members enjoy the right of full participation in all working groups and project groups, and are entitled to speak at member meetings.

Source: MMFA

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