Laminate Specific Cleaning Products: Choosing a Safe Product

With the current popularity of laminate flooring it is no wonder that so many cleaning products are being introduced specifically to clean them. Not all of these products are actually what they claim. Be very careful when choosing a cleanser for your laminate flooring. To choose a safe laminate floor cleaner there are some things you must know. First and foremost never use any type of cleaner that works by excessive amounts of liquid or uses steam.

Liquids and steam will damage your flooring beyond repair. At first your floors will look beautiful. The shine created by these products will amaze you, but what is underneath is terrifying. When you use these kinds of cleaners they soak through your flooring. Because laminate flooring does not breathe like real wood the liquid stays inside the floor. This eats your flooring from the inside out, slowly rotting the inside of the floor. Eventually the flooring will not only become weak and damaged but it will also be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. For this reason never apply cleaner directly to your floor, always use a mop that is barely damp, and avoid close or prolonged contact with liquid and steam.

Another type of cleaners to avoid is any that claim to leave a protective coating on your floor. This includes, but is not limited to, wax. Laminate flooring is not wood. You do not need to polish a laminate floor because it has its own shine. These cleaners and waxes will look nice for few uses but after 2 or 3 months they begin to change to a gray or yellow color. This forms a film that makes your floors look dirty and dull. The film caused by these cleansers can be difficult to remove and ruin your investment. If this type of build p occurs on your laminate flooring find a cleanser that will strip the layer off. Do not try to refinish your laminate floor. You will not be pleased with the results that sanding will bring.

The best way to choose a laminate floor cleaner is to look for a product that when applied by a damp, but not wet, mop will lift dirt with out actually polishing the floor. By following these simple rules you will preserve your flooring for years to come. Protecting your investment will give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your floors more freely. They really are the easiest type of flooring to care for know that you know the proper treatment they require.

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Clarion Laminates joins NALFA as Regular Member

Welcome Clarion Laminates! Clarion is a made in the USA laminate manufacturer, and our newest Regular Member of the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA)!

“Clarion Laminates is a great addition to our regular membership,” says Bill Dearing, president of NALFA. “The company is committed to advancing the laminate industry, streamlining and perfecting processes every step of the way.”
Including a board and laminate plant on one site, Clarion Laminates demonstrates the efficiency of vertical integration and progression of laminate manufacturing. Their dedication to quality exemplifies NALFA’s mission to represent and promote the very best in the industry, making the recent partnership with NALFA invaluable.
“Clarion Industries has significant interest in the advancement of laminate flooring as a category and in the promotion of North American manufacturing when possible,” said Michael Babula, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Clarion Industries. “We look forward to working with the NALFA organization and its member companies to achieve these goals.”
Based in Shippenville, Penn., Clarion Laminates operates under parent company Clarion Industries. This privately owned company manufactures high quality MDF (multi density fiberboard), HDF (high density fiberboard) and laminate flooring. Clarion Industries is the only fully integrated laminate flooring operation in North America, with a panel facility and laminate flooring plant on the same site. To learn more about Clarion Laminates, visit
NALFA Regular Members are manufacturers, importers or marketers that offer laminate flooring for sale within North America. Other NALFA Regular Members include Columbia Flooring, Mannington Mills, Mohawk, Pergo, LLC, Quick-Step®, Shaw Industries, Inc. and TORLYS, Inc.
NALFA offers three levels of membership – Regular Manufacturing Membership, Associate Membership and Testing House/Lab/Academic Membership. For more information, visit to download the membership packet.
The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) was formed in 1997 by U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and importers of laminate flooring. Since its inception, NALFA has been dedicated to creating voluntary product performance standards for laminate flooring in North America. For more information, visit

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Flakeboard joins NALFA as Associate Member

Welcome Flakeboard! We’re pleased to announce that Flakeboard, the North America’s largest manufacturer of composite panel materials, is the newest Associate Member NALFA.

With eight manufacturing sites across North America, Flakeboard has a strong presence in the laminate flooring industry. And its partnership with NALFA is indicative of the mutual support that continues to move the laminate industry forward.

“As a major HDF supplier to the laminate flooring market, we feel that membership in the industry’s key industry association will support our sales activities,” said Tom Reudy, Flakeboard Business Development Manager. “We expect our experience to be benefited through participation in the association’s activities, information exchange and improvements to our customer network.”

Flakeboard produces a multi-faceted range of particleboard, medium and high-density fiberboard (HDF) products, serving numerous customers in the laminate manufacturing industry.

Many of the company’s high quality products are available in a variety of specialized grades, including as fire-rated, moisture resistant (MR), countertop and door core. Flakeboard also produces raw particleboard panels, which are generally used in manufacturing cabinets, furniture, and retail store fixtures and components for millwork industries.

Additionally, Flakeboard manufactures FIBREX®, a thin HDF, in a flexible range of lengths and widths. The company offers a variety of finishing and specialty options from suppliers, such as Arclin/Coveright, Formica and Wilsonart. Flakeboard’s finished panels are available in a variety of textures, giving a unique enhancement to each design.

Flakeboard’s manufacturing footprint and distribution network stretches throughout North America. All of the produced panels are California Air Resources Board (CARB) Compliant and are marked as Eco-Certified Composite™.
Flakeboard products can help homes and businesses earn LEED certification for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. They are also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®.

Flakeboard is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arauco, Inc. Based in Santiago Chile, Arauco manufactures a wide range of products, including composite panels, plywood, millwork, lumber and pulp. Arauco materials are procured from company-owned and managed forests throughout South America.

For more information, visit to download the membership packet.

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Now Enrolling! NALFA 2014 Installer/Inspector Certification School

Now enrolling: 2014 NALFA Certification Classes
Flooring industry professionals across the country can now enroll in the NALFA 2014 Installer and Inspector Certification Classes. Dates and locations are below.

July 10 – Installer Class – Ringgold, GA
July 11 – Inspector Class – Ringgold, GA
September 25 – Installer Class – Anaheim, CA
September 26 – Inspector Class – Anaheim, CA
November 13 – Installer Class – Salem, NJ
November 14 – Inspector Class – Salem, NJ

To register for either course or for more information, contact Teiya Eubanks at (423) 316-1566 or To register, download the registration form at, complete and fax to NALFA at (423) 634-9074.

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Congratulations to winners of the 2013 LAMMY Awards!

The results are in! We were pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 LAMMY Awards during the Surfaces floorcovering event in Las Vegas, Nev. And the winners are…

  • Member of the Year: Jane Winters – Unilin-Mohawk
  • Associate Member of the Year: Gary Palmer – Pregis
  • Distributor of the Year: Elias Wilf – Owings Mill, MD
  • Retailer of the Year: Lowes – Mooresville, NC
  • Associate Member of the Year: SELIT
  • Member Company: Quick-Step

The LAMMY Awards are given annually to recognize both companies and individuals for excellence in a number of categories in the laminate flooring industry. Great work, everyone! Read more at:

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Quick-Step named “Company of the Year” by NALFA

Congratulations to Quick-Step for being name “Company of the Year” at the 2013 LAMMY Awards! Read more at

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NALFA and Fabulous Floors Magazine Team up for LAMINATE Issue

We are excited to announce that NALFA and Fabulous Floors are partnering to bring the story of laminate flooring to the consumer through a print and digital publication titled Living on Laminate.  
Over 50,000 copies of Living on Laminate will be on newsstands and sold in 1500+ bookstores including Barnes and Noble, Books-A-million and Hastings, and will be available to advertisers in bulk for use as marketing pieces and tutorials for customers.  
Living on Laminate will also be available on and appear on cross-platform  digital magazine 
Content areas include: Laminate and Your Lifestyle, Discovering Laminate, Laminates Room by Room, Premium Materials, NALFA Certified Products, Installation and Maintenance, Laminate Buyers Guide, and List of NALFA Certified Brands.  
Be on the look out for the publication in April 2014!  
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2013 LAMMY Nominees

The results are in! The North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA) is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2013 LAMMY Awards.

The LAMMY Award honors are given annually to the best of the best in the laminate flooring industry. Both companies and individuals are recognized for excellence in a number of categories.

Industry experts from NALFA, along with the editors of Floor Covering Installer, Floor Covering News, Floor Covering Weekly, Floor FocusNational Floor Trends and ProInstaller will vote for the annual LAMMY winners, a tradition that began in 2007



Winners will be announced at Surfaces in Las Vegas, Nev., in January 2014.


 Karen Shoemaker, Mohawk

Pat Smith, Pergo

Jane Winters, Unilin-Mohawk



Friedrich Meyknecht, SELIT North America, INC.

Gary Palmer, Pregis

Marco Seitner, SELIT North America, INC.

Brent Sholl, Sealed Air



Boone – Lakeland, Fla.                                                             

Cronin – Portland, Oreg.

Crownhill – Brampton, Ontario, Canada                                                             

Elias Wilf – Owings Mill, Md.

Midwest Floor Covering – Salt Lake City, Utah

TriWest – Sante Fe Springs, Calif.                                            



Aspire Design – Sandy, Utah                                                   

Avalon – Philadelphia, Penn.

Lowes – Mooresville, N.C.

Menards – Eau Claire, Wis.                                                                                                   

Nebraska Furniture Mart – Omaha, Neb.

RC Willey – California                                                             



SELIT North America, INC.







Mannington Mills


QuickStep (Unilin)




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Congratulations 2013 NALFA Certification School Graduates!

We’re thrilled to have graduated numerous NALFA Certified Installers and Instructors through our Certification School this year in Ringgold, Ga and Salem, NJ.

To earn their accreditations, flooring professionals traveled from Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Georgia, to attend Installer and Inspector Certification classes.

Hosted by NALFA, the educational one-day sessions were led by skilled flooring industry experts and focused on everything from quality to safety to pricing and technique.

“These seminars and hands-on learning opportunities offer people who are already working in the laminate industry a fantastic opportunity to build important professional relationships while they also perfect their craft,” said Bill Dearing, NALFA President.

Congratulations, graduates!

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NALFA Expanding Presence at 2014 Surfaces

NALFA is gearing up for the 2014 Surfaces event with the introduction of the NALFA Certified Product Pavilion. The largest NALFA booth to date at 20 feet by 40 feet, the pavilion will be located on the main floor of the event at booth S7158.

On display at the NALFA Pavilion will be products bearing the NALFA Certification Seal, offering visitors the opportunity to browse high quality and affordable laminate.  Surfaces offers NALFA an excellent venue to interact with the industry and communicate the associations initiatives.

All NALFA members will be represented at the NALFA Pavilion, sharing the message of how NALFA membership has benefited their business. It is a fantastic opportunity for NALFA members to interact with attendees one-on-one, sharing the story of their business and highlighting key products.

NALFA will also offer an Inspector Certification Class on January 31.  This class is the same as the inspector certification courses offered throughout the year.  Curriculum includes:

  • History of NALFA
  • General knowledge of laminate flooring
  • Installation requirements
  • Inspection tools and standards
  • Product defect review
  • Certification testing and evaluation

“This is a great way for flooring industry professionals to take their work to the next level and make some great contacts while they’re at it,” said Dearing.

The January 31 course, will be held at Mandalay Bay from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. It is open to flooring professionals who:

  • Are certified by a nationally recognized inspector organization,
  • Have a minimum of three years experience as an inspector, OR
  • Are a NALFA Certified Installer with current certification

Cost is $350 per person. Interested parties may contact Teiya Eubanks at 423-316-1566 or

NALFA will also take the opportunity to celebrate laminate flooring industry professionals on the first day of the event at the by-invitation Lammy Awards. These awards are given annually to the best of the best in the laminate flooring industry.

See you at Surfaces!






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