Why You Should Only Buy NWFA/NOFMA-Certified Hardwood Flooring

Why You Should Choose A NWFA-Certified Retailer for Your Hardwood Flooring Needs

Hardwood flooring is an elegant, timeless, durable option that can elevate the look and feel of a home or a commercial space. However, when purchasing hardwood flooring or engineered flooring, quality is of the essence. From the origin of the wood to the manufacturing process, to sustainability, quality, and price, all these factors weigh in when a client is looking to make a decision and pick a retailer or hardwood flooring expert to work with. For some clients, sustainability is crucial; for others, durability and the quality of the wood are non-negotiable, while others are on a strict budget but still want to get a quality product. 

At First Atlanta Flooring, we purchase our hardwood or engineered wood flooring only from manufacturing mills that follow the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) grading standards. Only a small number of flooring mills in the U.S. are NWFA/NOFMA-certified, and the full list can be found on the NWFA official website


The NOFMA certification has existed for more than 100 years, and it provides a mark of distinction for wood flooring, and a guarantee of professionalism and quality. The NWFA’s NOFMA certification means that the wood flooring meets or exceeds the industry standards related to grade, moisture levels, average board length, and other technical aspects. All the manufacturing mills boasting NWFA/NOFMA certification are inspected at least twice each year to ensure that the grading and quality standards are met consistently. 

Because we only purchase wood produced by trusted NWFA manufacturers, our clients can rest assured that the hardwood flooring they get from us is of the highest quality. Working with a trusted retailer like First Atlanta Flooring ensures that the end client gets a durable, high-quality, industry-standard product that will last them for decades with the proper care. It’s important for clients to know what to look for and how to recognize NWFA/NOFMA-certified products. 

In our stores, you will find only unfinished solid wood bundles graded Select, #1 Common or #2 Common that carry the official ‘stamp’ of approval from the NWFA. The bundles measure approximately 20 square feet each, and they all carry the stamp featuring the grade of the flooring. If you don’t see this stamp on a bundle, we don’t recommend buying it – only purchase flooring that features the official NWFA/NOFMA certification if you want a high-quality product. 

About the NWFA/NOFMA Standards

The NWFA, or National Wood Flooring Association, has two industry-wide accepted standards when it comes to manufacturing wood flooring: NOFMA (National Oak Flooring Manufacturers’ Association) and RPP (Responsible Procurement Program). These two standards verify that the producer adheres to the industry standards and regulations established by the NWFA. 

The goal of the NWFA is to ‘unify and strengthen the wood flooring community through technical standards, education, networking, and advocacy.’ To achieve this goal, the association has created various programs, including hands-on and online training, their annual Wood Flooring Expo, and Hardwood Floors magazine. All members of the NWFA have to follow a strict set of guidelines and standards, including:

  • Dealing with customers with integrity and honesty
  • Abiding by governmental regulations 
  • Promoting their products without degrading their competitors
  • Revealing all material facts and technical details to the customer
  • Supporting the NWFA and its mission
  • Abiding by the Standards of Professional Conduct and recognizing the NWFA as the authority on these standards

All NWFA Certified Professionals go through extensive training and education related to the hardwood flooring industry, including: training on how to acclimate wood before installation, the effects of humidity on hardwood flooring, installing a glue-down floor, installing a moisture barrier, choosing the right sanders, fastening systems, glue, and other products, and knowing the differences between hard wax oil finish and polyurethane, among other things. 

Guaranteed quality

Because all experts boasting a NWFA certification are trained extensively and have the required expertise on what represents a quality product or a quality installation, clients are in safe hands. At the same time, the wood produced by NWFA/NOFMA-certified mills are guaranteed to offer durability, quality, sustainability, and adherence to industry standards. Consequently, when purchasing hardwood or engineered wood flooring from First Atlanta Flooring, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a high-quality product. 

Browse our offering of solid hardwood flooring, unfinished and prefinished engineered flooring, and our catalog of machines, tools, and other accessories that any hardwood flooring professionals needs for a project. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions regarding our products or services.