The Tile Association is undertaking a programme of independent testing of tiling products to ensure compliance to statutory requirements.

Lack of compliance can lead to product failure and damage to the quality reputation of the tiling industry as a whole. TTA Board feels it is essential for the Association to carry out random audits of tiling products on sale, in order to help drive quality through the supply chain.

The TTA has commissioned an independent UKAS-accredited test house to carry out the programme of product testing on its behalf.

The move follows concerns expressed by TTA members that there are products being offered for sale which do not comply to the relevant British and European Standards, despite claims of compliance being expressed on their own packaging and marketing material.

The area in which product non-compliance has been alleged is the tile adhesives sector. This is therefore the first product group in which independent testing is being implemented.

The first batch of products from four adhesive manufacturers, which included a mix of TTA members and non-members, has been tested against the relevant performance requirements stated in Standard BS EN 12004. One of the four manufacturers’ products failed to comply.

“The next stage for us is to try and work with the manufacturer to ensure compliance,” says Brian Newell, “and in the case of the non-conforming product which has been identified, we have already contacted the supplier concerned for their comments. Our intention is simply to ensure that manufacturers are selling products into the market place which conform to the relevant Standards, and we hope to be able to achieve this by a process of dialogue with the supplier.

“There are of course further sanctions which can be sought, if necessary, via Trading Standards Departments and the Advertising Standards Authority. We would hope not to have to use these routes, but we feel this is sufficiently important that we will do so if necessary.”

“The TTA understands the importance of product conformity,” explains Brian Newell, chairman of the TTA Technical Committee. “Standards exist to ensure the customer knows what they are buying and ultimately they protect all of us who supply products into the tiling sector. When the TTA became aware that suppliers’ own testing of competitors’ products was identifying areas of non-conformity, it was clear that we had to investigate this issue on an independent and impartial basis, since we are the Association that represents the entire industry. If there are liability issues arising from non-conformity, this reflects not just on the company concerned, but on the industry as a whole, including the retailer or distributor of the product concerned, so the TTA is taking this issue seriously.”

Although the tile adhesives sector is the first one in which non-conformity is being investigated, the TTA stresses that it is willing to organise independent testing in any product sector related to tiling, in which concerns about product conformity are being raised by its members. The Association therefore urges all suppliers to check the relevant British and European Standards for the products they supply and ensure compliance to statutory requirements as a matter of urgency.

Any TTA member companies who require further information about Standards are encouraged to contact the TTA on 0300 365 8453 or by email: technical@tile.org.uk


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