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How the CFA support the wood and laminate sector

Richard Catt gives an overview of how the CFA provides courses, advice and guidance
to get the best out of wood and laminate in the flooring industry.

The CFA’s focus is primarily flooring contractors and we have lots of members who fit wood and laminate floors. We are also very lucky to be supported by many of the leading manufacturing brands and distributors in the sector. You only have to look at our new website to see we represent a quality supply chain and how effectively these businesses work together to supply and fit timber based floors.

Timber based products are enduringly popular and we constantly scan the horizon for any areas where we might be of assistance. Always underpinning that is our work at FITA (the Flooring Industry Training Association, where we offer a range of wood and laminate courses from basic to intermediate and advanced installation and then also a range of sanding and sealing options.

Whilst training is an incredibly important part of what we do, another key area is technical standards. When the British Standard needs updating (in the case of engineered and solid timber – BS8201) CFA generally play a leading role and through members assists in reflecting best practice and innovation. BS8201-2012 is available to members through the CFA at a discounted price and any company involved in the supply or installation of timber-based products should have a copy.

You can also get CFA technical and installation information on timber-based products through the CFA Guide to Contract Flooring (from the downloads section of our website) where section 12 is all about timber and references the British Standard plus any recent industry innovation. The CFA Guide was last updated in 2022 and whilst the whole guide is available on the public side of our website, the separate sections are available in the member area as guidance notes which can be attached to emails and quotes.

Laminate flooring effectively has no current or specific British or European Standard given that both BS8425 and CEN TS 14472-3 have recently been withdrawn. The reasons provided were essentially that both standards were small and could not attract enough support. The probable long-term route being that laminate installation should be incorporated into BS8201 when it is next reviewed. CFA have therefore agreed to create a guidance note that bridges the gap and if you would like to be involved, please email

Continuing on the technical theme for a moment, CFA have just launched our new underfloor heating (UFH) guidance document. Once again this is a member benefit, so only members can access it, but we are happy for them to use and distribute it far and wide to their and the wider sector’s advantage. To find a CFA member you simply need to search the directory on our website and ask them to send you a copy. Or of course join the CFA! The guide emphasises the unique characteristics of UFH, particularly its ability to emit a higher percentage of heat by radiation. Coupled with the large surface area of the floor, this feature allows many dwellings using UFH to achieve the same level of warmth at lower input temperatures, maximising system efficiency and minimising operating costs.

There are lots of positives about UFH that the document covers and of course it recognises that it is regularly used in conjunction with timber. CFA’s work on this new guide was stimulated by Government announcing that they were beginning work on the new Future Homes and Building Standard and so the CFA responded to some of the early changes announced around heat source pumps that clearly meant that UFH would be favoured (made almost mandatory) in new build properties from 2025.

As further consultation has been unveiled, CFA have identified a concern in that as written (“the thermal resistance of the floor covering should be 0.15(m2.K)/W or less”) the standard would make it very difficult to use either textile or wood products. Given that our UFH document outlines that wood-based product typically range from 0.24 – 1.5 you will see the issue. Therefore, as you might imagine, CFA has provided some feedback and asked for clarification / consultation. Timber has a very positive sustainability profile that needs to be considered and reflected in a more holistic sense.

There is a huge amount to consider for the laminate and timber sector and in this quick skip across the work of the CFA you will no doubt have recognised that there is a lot on offer that helps a CFA member stay up to date, ahead of the curve and profitable. We create lots of opportunities to engage with other members and influence the sector.

If you would like an application pack or further information on the wider benefits of CFA membership, please contact the CFA offices.
0115 941 1126

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