The wide range and popularity of laminate over the years led to the European Producers of Laminate Flooring [EPLF] evolving a set of standards to grade laminate flooring. These standards are now known as the Abrasion Class [AC] ratings and when it comes to laminate flooring, it is all about the AC rating.
AC rating sin corporate a series of tests which include stain resistance,burn resistance, impact resistance, swelling under moisture as well as a Tabor Abrasion test.
It’s from these tests that laminate flooring is given an AC rating from the collated results. A higher number ratingis usually associated with a better quality laminate floor.
How To Rate Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is rated according to how it performs under an array of key stress points: heat, impact, staining, moisture, scuffs and scratches. How well the laminate floor performs with each testultimately determines its AC Rating. Shoulda laminate floor fail any of these durability tests, it automatically becomes unverifiable and earns the label of “UNRATED.” A laminate flooring product listed as “UNRATED” won’t hold up very well in any situation.
AC ratings are oftentimes listed in different ways. Usually, manufacturers will simply label it as AC1, AC2, AC3, AC4 or AC5. At other times, a pictogram is used to communicate indicate the rating, whereeither a building type is shown [residential or commercial building] or a number of people [1, 2 or 3]. The building type is to signify the laminate flooring product is endorsed for residential or commercial use while the number of people signifies the laminate is ideal for moderate  or general  or heavy  use, etc.
- AC1 Rating:designed for residential areas with moderate traffic;best suited for guest rooms and mature bedrooms.
- AC2 Rating: designed for residential spaces with general traffic;best suited for dining rooms and living rooms.
- AC3 Rating: designed for residential use with heavy traffic; best suited for commercial settings with moderate traffic, meaning they’ll work well in any area of your home and in commercial settings such as small offices and hotel rooms.
- AC4 Rating: designed for commercial use with general traffic;best suited for cafes, salons and busy offices.
- AC5 Rating: designed for commercial use with heavy traffic; best suited for department stores, public buildings and showrooms.
Because systems exist to maintain certain standards that benefit consumers, it’s important to consider the AC ratings of laminate flooring before selecting it for your building project. Lower AC ratings might be less expensive but always consider the lifetime use.
How long the laminate flooring lasts will depend on a host of factors that includetypeand level of traffic as well as how to maintain it. A higher AC rating provides longer floor lifefor a household with small childrenor pets while a room that sees little use will be okay with a lower AC rating. When choosing the right wear rating, you should also consider the budget, lifestyle as well as replacementor repairs down the road before you decide what’s right for you.
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