According to sales figures and Multilayer Modular Flooring Association (MMFA) statistics, all sales curves for MMF flooring have shown a visible upward trend for some considerable time. Sebastian Wendel, Chairman of the MMFA Market Development Working Group, says that a 20% annual increase has been recorded for MMFA Class 1 (substrate based on HDF with polymer layer) over the past three years.

“We estimate that our members achieve 90% market coverage in this category. In addition, Germany, Austria and Switzerland account for as much as 80% of international sales volumes for this product group. However, it is predicted that this high concentration will lessen because Class 1 floors are now increasingly finding favour in the rest of Europe,” says Sebastian.

While the rising figures from the industry is welcome news, the rate at which new products are developed and the ensuing consequences are under close scrutiny by the MMFA as they make the product spectrum for MMF flooring even more confusing. Completely new structures have appeared, as well as modifications to existing product compositions and new developments in click connections. Standardisation is struggling to keep up with the changing product landscape. Many industry experts are of the opinion that existing classifications aren’t always adequate for new products.

The MMFA is committed to implementing consistent, high quality standards for all MMF products across the board. Volker Kettler, Chairman of the Technical Working Group, says that only the best quality products should be able to assert themselves on the market in order to give customers peace of mind.

“It is our aim to identify existing gaps in standards and close them where appropriate. To this end, we in the MMFA undertake thorough basic research which we view as our contribution to the review of international standards in terms of content,” concludes Volker.

Association membership continues to grow
At the beginning of this year, the Multilayer Modular Flooring Association announced that its membership continues to rise and a total of 40 European producers, suppliers and institutes were now members. It is also expected that the recently formed North America MFA Association will also be a catalyst for more collaboration in the sector.

“The founding of the MFA was an essential and decisive step for the industry in the USA,” says MMFA Executive Chairman, Matthias Windmöller.

“Naturally, we maintain direct contact with our colleagues there and have passed on our congratulations. There is already an overlap of interests among member companies and we know some of the MFA executive committee members personally. We look forward to a positive partnership between our two industry associations that is based on cooperation and mutual trust. Together we can make a bigger difference for MMF flooring worldwide,” says Matthias.

The category of “Multilayer Modular Floor Coverings“ (MMF) are subject to the European Standard DIN EN 16511. They comprise:
• Semi-rigid, decorative floor covering having a multiple layer product structure.
• Typically in a plank or tile format.
• Consisting of a wear-resistant top layer, a decorative surface layer, a substrate and usually a backer.
• The planks/tiles having worked edges that allow the product to be joined together to form a larger integral unit.
• Installed in so-called ‘floating floor fitting’ using a click connection (thus glue-free).

Floating multilayer modular floorcoverings are currently classified by MMFA as:
MMFA Class 1:  HDF substrate with polymer layer (excl. lacquer only).
MMFA Class 2:  Polymer or polymer-composite substrate with polymer layer and/or lacquer.
MMFA Class 3:  All products not covered by class 1 or 2; or external standards.
Note: Class 3, for example, covers modules using a click system and textile surface or those on a mineral core.

See examples of MMF product structures here: http://www.mmfa.eu/en/products/classes-1-3.html

For more information, contact the MMFA via www.mmfa.eu.