Floor Testing by Independent Laboratory
Floorsave has taken the unprecedented step of commissioning independent laboratory tests of its imported flooring products. Floor testing is key to ensuring our products are of a consistently high quality. In addition to this, independent testing also confirms that our manufacturers adhere to best practices and industry standards. China Link Group provide independent laboratory testing services for a range of building materials but, notably, they specialise in testing flooring.
There are a number of potential issues and flaws (pun intended) that can arise in any given production run of a flooring product. Some of these issues along with the unwanted consequences they can lead to are detailed in our troubleshooting section. However, many of these issues can be mitigated almost entirely by employing floor testing.
Moisture Content of Wood Flooring
The moisture content of a wood flooring product is possibly its most critical property. If the moisture content is not within the acceptable range, the flooring can be liable to an assortment of undesirable effects. Some examples of which are:
For this reason, samples of our flooring from every shipping container we import are tested to ensure they meet stringent requirements for moisture content in addition to the further tests detailed below. This test is actually quite simple to carry out and involves: firstly weighing a sample immediately after it has been cut from a board. The sample is then dried in a laboratory oven and weighed after intervals of 2 - 4 hours (depending on the density of the wood), until the difference in weight between each interval is less than 0.1%.
Now for the science bit:
The sample's moisture content, w, is then calculated as a percentage of mass by using the formula: w=((m1-m0)/m0)*100, where:
- m1 is the mass of the sample before drying, in grams;
- m0 is the mass of the oven dry sample, in grams;
- w is the moisture content expressed in percentage
Formaldehyde emission has, in the past, mostly been associated with laminated flooring products. Although this issue won't have any adverse effects on the appearance or installation of your flooring, it is a health hazard.
Therefore, products from every shipping container we import to the UK are tested. This test requires a considerable range of lab equipment and hazardous chemicals. Testing for formaldehyde emission is a good deal more technical than testing for moisture content but for anyone with an interest or a need to know, please follow the link below.
Quite simply, delamination is where the layers of any laminated product start to separate and come apart. Be it laminate flooring or the base/core of an engineered wood flooring product. Obviously, this is highly undesirable. While delamination is an issue more likely to come about due to poor maintenance once installed, it can also occur in a batch or production run. This is why we have every shipping container we import tested for delamination.
The delamination test involves soaking the flooring samples in water at a temperature of around 70 degrees Celsius for 2 hours. After which, the samples are dried out in an oven at 60 degrees Celsius for a further 3 hours. Finally, the samples are then inspected for signs of delamination. For full details of the test procedure, see link below:
Modulus of Rupture/Elasticity
Furthermore, Floorsave tests its products for overall strength and resilience. The Modulus of Rupture and Modulus of Elasticity tests both subject the flooring samples to rigorous physical stress tests to ensure they are of the highest quality.
Click here to see an example of our China Link independent laboratory test results