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CELQ: 2005 – More than 30 quality labels awarded
trade associations

01 February 2006

CELQ: 2005 – More than 30 quality labels awarded

Introduced at the start of 2005, CELQ Certified European Laminate Quality gives the industry’s laminate flooring manufacturers a new Europe-wide seal of quality for laminate flooring. One year after CELQ was established, the Bielefeld (Germany)-based trade association that shares its name can look back on a successful year. While the first half of the year was defined by planning and strategic work, the first CELQ labels began to be awarded to member companies in the association from mid-2005. More than 30 quality labels were awarded by January 2006. CELQ stands for accredited product quality and is an important guide for end users and retailers.
So far, the following companies have obtained the CELQ label: Alloc AS (Lyngdal/Norway), Kaindl Flooring GmbH (Wals/Austria), Kronospan AG (Menznau/Switzerland), MeisterWerke Schulte (Rüthen-Meiste/Germany), Parador GmbH & Co. KG (Coesfeld/Germany), Pergo AB (Trelleborg/Sweden) und Witex AG (Augustdorf/Germany). More products from other member companies are currently in the assessment phase. Laminate flooring manufacturers can only become members of CELQ if they are also members of the EPLF and have thus committed themselves to high standards of quality.
In contrast to the quality sign for laminate flooring used in Germany before the CELQ label is no longer only awarded for individual laminate flooring products. Instead, it covers whole construction groups. This has the advantage of making the certification process much faster and more effective. Whereas previously each product would have to be tested separately – e.g. even when the product name had changed – the manufacturer now receives the quality label for the whole product group. However, where the dimensional properties (e.g. width and length) or the stress class of a laminate floor differ, then a new certificate must be applied for the association.
In future the certification numbers will be the public evidence of the award to be used in external communications (Example: 98-765). It embraces the two-digit manufacturer code and the three-digit construction code. This number with five digits in total is printed inside the CELQ label on the packaging of a laminate flooring and identifies the product for end users, retailers and other laminate flooring manufacturers as an accredited product. A list of certfication numbers will be available from mid-January 2006 at and in future will be publicized by the association at regular intervals.

Product assessment according to EN 13329
Products for which a CELQ quality label is sought will be tested by independent European testing institutions according to Chapters 4.1 and 4.2 of the EN 13329 European Laminate Flooring Standard. Test criteria include length, width and squareness, straightness of edges and evenness of the panels, height differences with combined elements, changes in size from the effects of damp, bleaching resistance, abrasion resistance, thickness swelling, stain resistance, impact resistance, surface faults, and many more. The institute must be accredited according to DIN EN ISO IEC 17025 (General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories) standard.
There is no difference in terms of accreditation between products marketed under the manufacturer's own brand name or those marketed under so-called third party "own labels”. “This is how the CELQ label carries the required strength in the market right from the start and demarcates manufacturers’ brand products and own-label products produced in Europe from overseas imports, regardless of the channels of distribution," comments CELQ President, Tor Gunnar Bartnes.
Alongside further product assessment, the focus for the association’s work in 2006 will be the promotion of the CELQ label among end users and retailers right across Europe. Company-specific marketing of member companies and active press and public relations work are at the hub of the association’s activities planned for 2006. “We are certain that the name of CELQ will very quickly become established in the market,” added Bartnes. Given the many laminate flooring products available on the market, CELQ provides end users and retailers with an important contribution to market transparency and clarity