The latest developments in the multilayer modular flooring industry

by Ofentse Sefolo
The latest developments in the multilayer modular flooring industry

The members meeting of the Multilayer Modular Flooring Association (MMFA) was held earlier this year to discuss the latest developments in the industry and develop the association’s plans. It was announced that the MMFA has grown to 44 members and that the MMFA’s plan for the future is to work proactively for the implementation of appropriate quality standards for modular multilayer products (MMF) in all markets.

The association’s agenda for 2017 includes acquiring member companies, developing cooperation with the US Multilayer Flooring Association (MFA), continuing the work in engineering and standardisation, discussing of the topic of “product clustering” with the aim of clearly classifying each individual product from the dynamically spreading offer, and the current updating of market statistics. The relaunch of the association’s website www.mmfa.eu with a modern, “responsive design” suitable for mobile devices is already in progress.

The initial results of the “Hot Spot” research was presented by Volker Kettler (Meisterwerke), deputy Chairman and Convenor of the Technical Workgroup, together with Dr Rico Emmler (IHD Dresden). The “Hot Spot” project, which was initiated by the MMFA, deals with “top surface localised heat conditions” (hot spot) on MMF floors – a situation which can occur in practice due to, among other things, sunlight exposure where room-high glazing is installed. The objective is to establish new, practical test methods for floating MMF floorings. Various click systems and different underlay materials are being considered. The members of the responsible MMFA ad hoc group agreed that the test methods available to date are inadequate. A clear way forward will only be established after several methods are combined.

The MMFA’s current sales figures were also presented to attendees. According to an internal association estimate, in 2016 the MMFA members achieved approximately 55% share of the total market in classes 1 (HDF substrate) and 2 (polymer substrate) in their main market, Western Europe. The MMFA expects annual increases of 10% to 15% for the total modular multilayer floorings market in the next three years.

The president of the newly founded North American association, MFA, Harlan Stone, also attended the meeting. In his talk, Stone reported on the current multilayer market in North America. Products with sandwich layup on WPC (waterproof core) dominate there. The MFA predicts that rigid multilayer floorings will be the strongest growing floor category in the USA in the coming years. For 2017, Stone quantified the North American market volume for these floorings at approximately USD 500 million. According to Stone, since 2012 the specialist trade has played a central role in the rapid spread of new multilayer products on the US market.

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

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