AC Rating for Laminate Floors
When purchasing a new laminate or vinyl floor you need to consider a few things. The warranty offered is not always the best measure for its’ durability or lifespan. It is best to consider the Abrasion Class (AC) as it provides a more accurate measure of toughness and durability. The AC rating indicates how much traffic, stains, impact, etc the flooring can withstand.
The Abrasion Class was introduced by the European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF), who develop and regulate the industry standards as a means to help consumers understand the differences from the many available laminate floors and make a more informed decision when purchasing the new flooring.
There are different AC ratings and we have summarized them below for easy guidance.
AC1 – Moderate Residential
This type of flooring is most suitable for closets as they get a relatively small amount of traffic. Most retailers will recommend installing a floor with an AC3 or higher rating.
AC2 – General Residential
This kind of flooring would be most suitable for bedrooms as they receive a fair amount of foot traffic.
AC3 – Heavy Residential / Moderate commercial
Great for all residential purposes and can withstand the daily wear and tear in any room easily. As long as the floor is treated right and cleaned properly it will prove durable for the guarantee given.
In a moderate commercial environment generally means to be used around in a hotel room or say a small office. This kind of flooring can withstand the high traffic of boots and high heels, and even the wheeling of chairs and
AC4 – General Commercial
Perfect for all residential applications and general commercial applications like offices, cafes, restaurants, etc. Not all laminates are water resistant though, and they can be damaged from spills, heavy-duty mopping or steam mopping, so make sure you check out the kind of laminate you are purchasing.
AC5 – Heavy commercial
Mostly used for public buildings, department stores and others alike. The rating AC5 means that the laminate is thicker and more durable, however, even in this category not all laminate offered is water-resistant and care should be given when picking the flooring.
A Few Laminate Tips
1. Thick floors are not water-resistant, as laminate floors are made from wood and moisture will cause issues, which only makes them pretty much unsuitable for places like kitchens and bathroom. Only a few producers offer water-resistant laminate like Hydro Guard Range. A great alternative is the vinyl floors as they are fully water-resistant and come in various ranges, forms and effects.
2. Pick your flooring to match the intended traffic. You will not save money picking a cheap floor incapable to match and last the warrantee.
3. Make sure the underlay used is correct for the flooring type.
4. Before installation, make sure you acclimatize the laminate in the room and introduce it to the moisture. When installing, make certain that small gaps are left to allow expansion and swelling during the seasons. It will help the floor last longer.