What Are AC Ratings for Laminate Floors?

What Are AC Ratings for Laminate Floors?

Your flooring withstands a lot during a day ? drops, spills, furniture and foot traffic. All laminate flooring is long-lasting and resistant to many types of damage, but some flooring is crafted to be more resilient than others to meet specific needs around a home or business. One way to determine whether your laminate flooring is tough enough for everyday use in your space is by noting its abrasion class (AC) rating. If you?re building a new home or relaying floor in an existing area, you need to become familiar with laminate class ratings to make the best choice for your needs.

Abrasion class ratings ? also known as AC ratings ? is an industry-wide system of classifying laminate flooring by how durable it is. Laminate flooring is available in various styles, patterns, textures and colors, regardless of its AC rating. AC ratings are not meant to distinguish poor-quality flooring from high-quality flooring. Instead, they are an easy way to classify laminate flooring into different categories so you can make a sound investment for your space.

How is Laminate Flooring Rated?
The top layer of laminate flooring is called the ?wear layer.? This is where the protective coating that keeps your floor free of moisture and stains is. Unbiased, third-party testers perform each AC rating wear test on this layer and classify laminate flooring into one of five categories. During the test, they use a variety of techniques and methods to intentionally wear down the protective coating on the wear layer and see how resistant and durable each piece of flooring is.

What are the tests? Rubbing sandpaper back and forth. Moving furniture legs and chair wheels. Exposure to heat/burns. Exposure to moisture. Impact resistance. Staining and more.

What Are the Different AC Ratings?

AC ratings apply to both residential and commercial flooring. Each of the five AC ratings is 60% higher than the rating before it. The five types of abrasion class ratings for laminate flooring are:

  • AC1: light foot traffic only; dining rooms, guest bedrooms
  • AC2: moderate foot traffic; rooms that are used but not heavily used
  • AC3: heavy home traffic; main living areas and entryways
  • AC4: very heavy home traffic; light commercial traffic
  • AC5: the most durable laminate flooring available and stands up to the busiest commercial areas.

Remember, you should only use an AC rating to determine the level of durability you need for your laminate flooring. It is not an indicator of overall quality or craftsmanship.

At Quantum Floors, you?ll find hundreds of different laminate selections. We know floors because that's all we do. We'll help you choose the perfect floor for your lifestyle and your budget. It's our pleasure to advise you of the benefits and features of our products. Why? We want you to be happy with your new floor for years to come.