The National Oak Flooring Manufacturers’ Association, NOFMA for short, has been in existence since the early 1900s as the only organization that establishes standards for product quality in residential hardwood flooring. NOFMA members like Carroll Hardwood must not only adhere to grade descriptions as laid down in the NOFMA guidelines, but must also observe such stringent requirements as no more than five/thousands of an inch variation in width, or three/thousandths of an inch variation in thickness, at the time of manufacture. These requirements are enforced by two annual mill inspections a year, which involve both an audit of manufacturing at the time of the visit and a random audit of flooring in inventory.
In addition we are required to use the NOFMA match, which is the geometry of the tongue and groove on the sides and ends of hardwood flooring. We are often asked if our flooring will “match” flooring from another mill. If the flooring is from another NOFMA member then we can verify that it will “match” ours. If not, then we have no way of knowing how another product may match ours.
By the same token we are often asked how, for instance, NOFMA One Common compares with a mill selling a “character” grade. Again, we have no way of knowing. Our graders have a copy of the NOFMA grade rules on the line beside them, so that they can refer to its very detailed descriptions if a question arises about the grade of a piece of flooring. This procedure enables us to guarantee a stable grade from month to month, as well as consistency of product appearance regardless of who the grader may be on any particular shift.
There are literally hundreds of wood flooring manufacturers, foreign and domestic, selling flooring in America. Only 23 of them submit to the rigorous certification and inspection standard of NOFMA membership. When you see “NOFMA Certified” on a bundle of Carroll Hardwood flooring, you can be assured that our product has been properly dried and milled, and will present an appearance when laid as described in long-standing grade rules.