MFMA Grading Rules & Guide Specifications for Maple Floor Systems
The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) provides these Grading Rules, including proposals on care, as a guide to specifiers, architects, end users, and other professionals. MFMA, its members and employees do not warrant the information contained herein as proper under all conditions. MFMA reserves the right to revise these Grading Rules as necessary.
Assurance of Quality
Throughout its history, MFMA has attracted a membership of firms who subscribe to the high standards of quality for which the association stands. Each MFMA mill is subject to regular, unannounced third-party inspections to assure strict adherence to MFMA rules governing continuity of species, millage and grading of MFMA maple flooring. One of MFMAs functions is to assure end users that all finished product is of the highest quality available.
MFMA also provides Site Inspection Services on MFMA floors to address installation or post-installation issues to avoid serious difficulties. In the unlikely event that an on-site inspection is required, inspection and evaluation by highly qualified MFMA staff is available. It is not available on floors that are not MFMA.
Some non-MFMA maple manufacturers claim their product matches up to MFMA maple in appearance, but remember that appearance is only skin deep its whats behind the product that counts. Development and consistent enforcement of strict manufacturing, grading, packaging, shipping and installation standards are key to providing a quality product. The MFMA trademark is your assurance that these standards have been met.
Beech and Birch
These grading rules also apply to beech (Fagus grandifolia) and birch (Betula alleghaniensis) flooring.
Bundled Strip Flooring
Bundled MFMA flooring is flooring bundled in average length bundles. A bundle may include pieces from 6 inches under to 6 inches over the nominal length of the bundle. MFMA flooring is bundled by grade in conformance with regular grade requirements. No individual piece shorter than 9 inches is admitted.
Color in Grading
Changes in the color of lumber supplied to our mill manufacturing members are a result of supply and demand of raw maple lumber. Because wood is a natural product, it is subject to color variations resulting from differing growing conditions. The color of maple heartwood is brownish, while sapwood is much lighter. Consistency of color cannot be controlled in the manufacturing process, and color variation is not a grading defect.
Strips of maple are generally hand mixed on site to ensure a good color blending of maple flooring strips in order to avoid groups of darker boards from being placed in the same area. However, some flooring strips do not show their true color until after floor sealer has been applied. In other words, an installer may mix the floor to achieve the desired result, but it is impossible to identify those maple flooring strips that will have a darker appearance once floor sealer is applied.
Edge-grain hardwood flooring is specially selected and consists of pieces in which the annual rings range from 30 degrees horizontal to 90 degrees vertical.
Since hard maple is generally produced from lumber sawn out of relatively small logs with varying knurls, resulting in considerable variation in a single piece, flooring shall be considered to be all edge-grain if 75 percent of each piece falls within the above-mentioned range.
All MFMA flooring shall be end-matched unless otherwise specified.
Flooring shall not be considered of specified grade unless the lumber from which the MFMA flooring is manufactured has been properly kiln dried.
Length Distribution by Grades
No individual piece shorter than 9 inches admitted. For a complete breakdown of length distribution by grades, visit More Information under Grading Rules.
MFMA-RL (Random Length) Tongued and Grooved Flooring
1/2 13 mm
25/32 20 mm
33/32 26 mm
1-1/2 38 mm
2-1/4 57 mm
2-1/2 64 mm
3-1/4 83 mm
MFMA-FJ (Finger-Jointed) Tongued and Grooved Flooring
1/2 13 mm
25/32 20 mm
33/32 26 mm
1-1/2 38 mm
2-1/4 57 mm
3-1/4 83 mm
MFMA Northern Hard Maple Flooring
MFMA Northern Hard Maple is a dense, strong, remarkably hard and supremely durable product. MFMA Northern Hard Maple offers a wide range of uses and color possibilities. It is close-grained, hard-fibered, free from slivering and splintering and polishes well under friction. MFMA Northern Hard Maple flooring has a natural beauty when given a transparent finish and is suited for a variety of uses.
Hard maple has an unusual ability to resist pointed pressure without abrasion. It is easily covered with attractive finishes.
We recommend maintenance of 6 percent to 9 percent average moisture content following manufacture. Upon receipt of shipment, proper moisture controls must be exercised to maintain proper moisture content.
Nested Strip Flooring
Nested MFMA flooring is flooring bundled continuously end to end, typically in 7 or 8 bundles (6-1/2 to 8-1/2 actual length). MFMA flooring is bundled by grade in conformance with regular grade requirements. No individual piece shorter than 9 is admitted.
Rules Governing a Re-inspection
Even the most experienced inspectors will occasionally misgrade some pieces. Therefore:
Shipments shall be considered to be the grade invoiced if, upon inspection by an official inspector of the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association, 95 percent or more, in feet, is found to be of grade invoiced. Where the degrades are in excess of 5 percent, in feet, of the shipment, the degrades in excess of the 5 percent shall be the property of the manufacturer of the flooring.
The quality of the flooring in the condition in which it leaves the manufacturer is held to govern the grade, as subsequent lack of care and improper treatment in laying, sanding, or finishing are not chargeable to the manufacturer.
In the event that the amount below grade is found to be 5 percent or less, in feet, of the total amount of the item, the cost of re-inspection shall be borne by the complainant. If more than 5 percent in feet, the expense shall be borne by the manufacturer of the flooring.
For dispute resolution contact MFMA. Specific Guidelines for Re-inspection are available upon request. In any dispute involving the grade of the flooring material where an MFMA re-inspection is requested, the determination of the MFMA inspector shall prevail.
Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association, Inc.
One Parkview Plaza
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Tel: (888) 480-9138
Fax: (847) 686-2253
Web site: http://www.maplefloor.org