Testing for safe and fit-to-purpose floorcoverings

The Centexbel carpet testlab offers a wide range of floor covering tests to ensure that the products are safe, fit to purpose, and meet the legal requirements as well as the industry specifications.

Centexbel is a Notified Body (# 0493) for EN 14041 and assists in CE marking requirements under the EU CPR - Construction Products Regulation (305/2011).

Centexbel is also active in carpet related research and in the development of new standards to cover new market evolutions.

EN 1307

The European standard EN 1307 "Textile floor coverings - Classification" specifies the requirements for classification of all textile floor coverings and carpet tiles, excluding rugs and runners (see ISO 2424) into use classes with regard to one or more of the following properties: wear, appearance retention, additional performance properties and classes for luxury rating.

In order for a textile floor covering product to be EN 1307 certified, it will be submitted to an extensive testing program to determine both identification and performance characteristics.

The identification characteristics are determined by measuring elements such as total mass, pile mass, pile density, total thickness, pile thickness, tuft number and backing thickness.

The performance characteristics include basic requirements such as long term appearance retention, colour fastness and additional requirements such as castor chair suitability, suitability for use on stairs, electrical properties, thermal resistance and fraying behaviour.

Further requirements are imposed on carpet tiles, including total carpet weight, dimension, variation of size, squareness and straightness of edges, curling, damage at cut edge and dimensional stability. 

Classification

According to levels of use and intensity

Floor coverings shall meet specific requirements according to wear and appearance retention. The minimum requirements depend on where the floor covering is used and on the intensity of use.

Fire classification

The flammability characteristics/burning behaviour of building materials, including floor coverings, greatly affect the speed at which a fire can spread.

The slower a fire spreads, the greater the chance the occupants can escape unharmed.

Two fire tests and smoke tests are required for a floor covering to achieve classification under European standards. For additional safety, many carpets are also treated with flame retardants, some of which have however been banned because of their toxic effects.