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19 Jun 2018

What is and AC rating on a laminate floor?



If you have already browsed though are beautiful laminate flooring collection, you might have spotted something called an AC rating. No problem if you haven’t seen it, its not something that would stand out to you anyway. However, you might like to know why its quite important.

What is an AC rating?

People often are misguided when looking for a laminate floor. The general consensus is that the thicker the board the better. Or if the warranty offered is for a long time, its a higher quality product.  Sometimes this is true, but not always. The best way to to tell the durability of a laminate floor, is by its AC number. AC rating stands for Abrasion Class and you can thank the fun people at EPLF (European Producers of Laminate Flooring) for this classification. 


What are the different AC ratings?


AC1 – Moderate Residential 

This is obviously the lowest AC rank. Meaning that you are limited on where you can install a laminate flooring with this accreditation. For example, you may get away putting this in a spare bedroom or a closet at most. To be perfectly honest, we would steer clear from anything with this AC number. At Northwest Floors we only supply flooring with an AC rating of 3 and above.





AC2 – General Residential 

Now the AC2’s are apparently suitable for a general amount of traffic. So, areas such as living rooms and bedrooms would qualify, providing you have a ‘normal’ amount of traffic! We don’t know about you, but what family home have a normal amount of traffic?? And to be perfectly honest, we would never take a gamble on ‘normal’. 





AC3 – Heavy Residential/Moderate Commercial 

This is our entry grade AC number at Northwest Floors. Good for all residential applications, it will withstand daily wear and tear easily in the average home. Generally a solid all round performer, that’s going to last a decent amount of time – providing you clean and maintain your flooring like you should. Its even suitable to use in moderate commercial environment, like an office.




AC4 – General Commercial 

Here we go, now it get interesting!! AC4 is perfect for all residential applications within reason. Its also a great option for general commercial applications. These include Offices, Bar’s Boutiques and cafes. Just bear in mind, although for wear purposes AC4 is good for bars and restaurants, not all AC4 rated laminates are water resistant. This can be a really important factor, as spillages and heavy moping can cause a flooring to buckle and other sever damage. So it’s always best to check if its an Aqua finish board.  





AC5 – Heavy Commercial 

The Daddy of all AC’s!!! This is more than suitable for all domestic application, including high traffic areas like hallways. If you’re looking at what AC rated flooring you should pick for heavy commercial areas such as department stores or public buildings, then this is the one. Just another reminder though.. The AC5 rating means its more durable against foot fall and abrasion, it does not means it has a higher resistance against liquids.







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