What is the difference in Laminate AC ratings?26th June, 2023
When choosing laminate flooring, the Abrasion Class (AC) rating is an important aspect to consider. It is a wear rating given to indoor flooring and measures its resistance to abrasion, impact, and stains. Various tests are executed to determine how durable laminate flooring is and if the product fails just one test it will be disqualified and may not be sold to the public.
To ensure you get the best laminate flooring for your project, we explained what an AC rating is and what the best AC rating is for your laminate floors.
What is an AC Rating?
An AC rating is the wear rating given to laminate flooring. It measures the resistance to abrasion, impact, and stains and indicates the durability of laminate. AC ratings are broken down into five levels ranging from AC1, moderate residential use, to AC6, intensive commercial use.
The below table shows the AC rating and their suitable uses. Note that a higher AC rating is also suitable for the uses of a lower AC rating, but not the other way around. For example, a laminate board with an AC4 rating can in addition to its moderate commercial use also be laid in moderate, general, and heavy traffic residential properties, but an AC3 rating cannot be used in commercial areas, but can be used for general, moderate and heavy residential spaces.
To determine the AC rating of a laminate plank, the flooring goes through a rigorous test using the Taber Rotary Platform Abraser. The test measures the number of wear cycles completed until initial damage to the decorative layer is observed. As the total number of Taber wear cycles increases, so does the product’s durability and its wear layer. It is important to note that this test does not take abnormal wear and tear, such as heeled shoes or insufficient protection from furniture, into consideration.
It is therefore important to still regularly clean your flooring and use floor protectors on your furniture to enhance the durability of your laminate flooring.
Choosing the right AC rating for you?
As seen in the table above, the AC durability ratings are divided into two applications: residential and commercial.
Levels AC1 to AC3 are appropriate for residential areas, while AC4 to AC6 are suitable for residential and commercial uses.
These two applications are then further broken down into traffic intensity levels from moderate to heavy traffic. The highest AC rating for laminate flooring is AC6, but it is rarely available and only necessary for extremely high-wear public areas.
For busy shops, showrooms, and offices the best AC rating for laminate floors would be those with an AC5 rating.
For a high-quality and durable finish for your residential floors, we’d recommend getting AC4 rated laminate flooring. If you are planning on using laminate on your walls, you can use a lower AC rating as the boards will need to endure less traffic.
Why AC5 Rated Laminate?
We want to provide our customers with one of the best grades of laminate on the UK market. Stairs are a high footfall area, this is why carpets do not keep their nice fluffy pile for long. Stairs with carpet are also hard to maintain and keep clean, AC5 offers longevity, durability and and simplier way to keep your stairs hygenic and clean.
Thanks for reading!