Carpets of GUT and ECRA member companies are tested for health and safety issues , as well as for use characteristics.
To ensure a maximum lifetime carpets should be used only according to the proven classifications and additional characteristics.
With respect to use and luxury classifications, additional characteristics and specific basic requirements have to be met.
In principle domestic and professional use areas are handled separately.
The following pictograms allow a quick and comprehensive overview.
Within each of these use classes carpets may vary in luxury. This can be expressed by the following symbols. These symbols for luxury are easy to understand. The highest luxury rating is class 5 with 5 crowns.
In addition to these basic requirements carpets are able to fulfil a large number of additional requirements, so that they can be installed and used in different use environments. Each of these additional features is visualised by an individual symbol.
If carpets are used on stairs, those parts of the carpet on the edge of a step are under extreme stress. Based on specific test conditions it can be decided whether a carpet can be used on stairs continuously or only occasionally.
If a carpet is installed over an underfloor heating system the carpet has to have minimum insulating properties. Thermal resistance has to be lower than 0.17 m2 K/W. The symbol indicates that the carpet can be used in combination with underfloor heating systems.
If carpets are to be used under circumstances where they might get wet they have to be dimensional stable and resistant to rotting. Generally this means that carpets containing natural fibres will not meet the respective requirements.
According to EN 14041 floor coverings have to meet certain safety requirements. One of them is slip resistance. If this claim is made by the producer, the floor covering intended to be used under dry and non-contaminated (clean) conditions shall have a dynamic coefficient of friction > 0.30. In this case, symbol DS shall be used.
In all other cases, symbol NPD, No Performance Declared, has to be used. As shown by extensive test procedures all textile pile carpets floorcoverings meet the
criteria for DS.
This symbol indicates that the carpet has "antistatic" properties. This means that static electricity after walking on the carpet (body voltage) is immediately discharged.
Often, especially in professional environments, higher requirements have to be met, especially in rooms with electronic devices (computers etc). In those cases the symbols indicate for the specialist whether the flooring is "static dissipative" or "conductive".
The symbol with the scissor indicates, especially for loop pile carpets, that the cutting edges and seams do not fray.
If according to EN ISO 354 the sound absorption coefficient has been determined, this symbol can be used.
If according to EN ISO 140-6 the impact noise improvement has been determined this symbol can be used. The relevant value has to be mentioned in technical documents. All textile floorcoverings show an excellent impact noise improvement.
This icon indicates that the carpet meets the basic requirements for light-fastness (> = 5, for pastel shades> = 4) in accordance with test methods EN ISO 105-B02.
Loose laid tiles have to fulfil additional requirements for shrinkage and extension (see EN 1407 Annex A or 1470; EN 13497; EN 15114). If these criteria are met the producer may use this symbol to indicate that the product is dimensionally stable.
Reaction to fire is strictly regulated in each EU member state. Today, new EU fire classes ranging from class F to class A ( A not relevant for carpets) replace the former national classifications.
Fire classes D, C and B are subdivided in the classes s1 and s2. Smoke density in case of s1 is lower than in case of s2 meaning the product has an overall better performance within the same fire class.
Which fireclass has to be met depends on specific national regulations.
In general, Efl is sufficient for private application. Fireclasses Cfl and Bfl are generally used only in the contract area.
If the producer cannot give any information about the fire behaviour of his product he has to label the product with the Ffl pictogram.