Understanding AC Ratings For Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a widely popular choice among homeowners. Reasons for this popularity are its durability, affordability, ease of installation, and aesthetic appeal. However, there are many varieties of laminate flooring, and choosing the ideal one for your home can be a little overwhelming.

One of the many factors that often remains overlooked when it comes to laminate flooring is the AC Rating. The AC rating is a kind of code that helps you buy laminate flooring based on different environments. Today, we will tell you the AC ratings for laminate flooring and how you can choose the right floor type.

AC Rating: What Is The Meaning Of This Scale?

AC is the abbreviation for Abrasion Criteria, and this is a rating system created by ELPF (European Producers Of Laminate Flooring). This AC rating scale measures the durability of laminate floors in regard to moisture damage, heavy impact, and wear and tear. There are six ratings, from AC1 to AC6, each one signifying a level of laminate floor suitable for certain types of environments.

What are the Levels of AC Rating For Laminate Flooring?

AC Ratings level for laminate flooring

There are 6 individual AC rating levels for laminate floors, each offering higher resistance to weather conditions.

AC1 – For Moderate Residential Use

Any laminate flooring with this rating is suited for minimal foot traffic areas where durability is not much of an issue. Common places to install AC1-rated laminate floors are guest rooms and bedrooms. However, laying these floors in halls or kitchens might prove to be a bad decision.

AC2 – For Everyday Residential Foot Traffic

The laminate flooring with an AC2 rating is a tad above AC1 in durability terms. It offers better durability to withstand everyday moderate foot traffic within homes. If you wish for laminate flooring that is both durable and affordable, this one’s for you.

AC3- For Heavy Residential Foot Traffic

The laminated flooring rated AC23 is known for its versatility in offering durable flooring that can be fitted in any room of the house. Whether it is your kitchen, bathroom or the hallways, it can withstand all the foot traffic. This rating also makes it suitable for use in light commercial areas like small retail stores.

AC4 – For Normal Commercial Areas

From the AC4 rating and onward, this laminate flooring is made to withstand the heavy foot traffic of a general commercial business. Common examples of it could be offices, boutiques, coffeehouses, and other such commercial areas. Keep in mind that it is not to be used in areas with heavy commercial foot traffic like a large retail store.

AC5 – For Heavy-Duty Commercial Use

AC5-rated laminate floors are designed specifically for heavy foot traffic commercial use. They can withstand high wear and tear, making them perfect for floors that constantly receive foot traffic and need maintenance for better functionality. Common places where AC5-rated laminate floors are installed include department stores, schools, hospitals, public buildings, and others like them.

AC6 – The Highest Commercial Grade

Laminate flooring with AC6 rating is made for high-grade commercial areas such as airports and luxury shopping malls. Choosing it for homes is not cost-effective as it is much more expensive than other AC-rated laminate floorings.

Why Should AC Rating Matter?

As a homeowner looking to buy new floors for their home or office, you must know the above-stated AC ratings when it comes to laminate flooring. The reasons for doing so are:

  • Value Added Flooring: Match your flooring needs with an AC rating and save money by not paying more for unnecessary durable flooring or low-cost bad flooring.
  • Durability: With this rating system, you can easily choose floors that last. Match the AC rating for your laminate floors to the environment where they will be fitted.
  • Long-Lasting Visuals: Laminate floors with higher AC ratings offer better scratch and stain resistance, allowing them to maintain their visual appeal for a long time.
  • Warranty: AC ratings are often the base for the warranty of your laminate flooring. If you install laminate flooring in an area that is not intended for the specific AC rating, your warranty is void.

Some Tips To Help Extend the Life of Your Laminate Flooring

As you now know, AC rating is a durability scale for specific area use. Regardless of your floor’s AC rating, there are some maintenance tips that will help you extend the lifespan of your laminate flooring.

  • Daily Cleaning: Be sure to clean your laminate floors daily with a vacuum cleaner or a brush. Remove any dirt & debris sprawled over it.
  • Refrain Excess Moisture: Laminate floors might have high water resistance but you still need to use a wet mop for cleaning rather than washing them.
  • Furniture Pads: Always place pads under furniture legs; this prevents floors from getting scratched.
  • Take Care Of Spills: As soon as a liquid spills on your laminate floors, wipe it off. This prevents any moisture damage to the floors and staining.
  • Protect From Sunlight: For rooms that get ample sunlight, use blinds and curtains to limit the sunlight exposure to your floors—this causes the color of your flooring to fade.

Our Final Say

Choosing the right laminate flooring should not be a headache. Simply knowing the AC ratings when it comes to laminate flooring can help you choose the right flooring based on durability and style. A little extra planning and research are always better when choosing something crucial as flooring for your property.