AC Rating System: Understanding Your Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring remains to be a very popular choice among homeowners, with reason. Its functionality, resistance to moisture, and easy to maintain quality makes it an excellent flooring option for both residential and commercial spaces. However, there’s more to consider about laminate flooring than just the looks of it. Apart from appearance, one of the most important qualities of any flooring is durability. How well can it sustain foot traffic and stand the test of wear, tear, and time? When searching for the perfect laminate flooring, you’ll want to consider its AC rating, which stands for abrasion class. An AC rating measures the durability of laminate flooring. It indicates how well the laminate can withstand and resist impact, abrasion, stains, moisture, and burns. When shopping for laminate, it is beneficial to understand what each AC rating signifies and how to determine which is best for you home.
AC Rating System
The AC rating system initially began with the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF), and has now become a worldwide standard to measure durability. The AC rating scale divides into two groups or applications: residential and commercial. Each group is broken down into traffic intensity levels. Starting from least to most durable, the levels are moderate, general, and heavy.
- AC1: Suitable for moderate foot traffic. This includes bedrooms, bathrooms, or closets.
- AC2: Suitable for general foot traffic. Typically recommended for dining rooms, living rooms, or kitchens.
- AC3: Suitable for heavy foot traffic. This rating is durable enough for all areas of your home, especially rooms that receive the most traffic.
- AC4: Suitable for moderate/general foot traffic in commercial spaces. This includes small offices, hotel rooms, cafés, salons, or boutiques.
- AC5: Suitable for heavy foot traffic in commercial spaces. This type of laminate is most recommended for public buildings, department stores, warehouses, busy offices, etc.)
The higher the AC rating, the more durable the flooring. For this reason, AC1-AC3 laminate are the most recommended for homes. So, you can achieve both durability and comfort with these available options.
Determining AC Rating
In order to determine AC rating, laminate flooring goes through rigorous testing, known as the Taber Test. There are many elements that manufacturers keep in mind when testing the durability of laminate. Conducting the Taber test allows manufacturers to produce high quality flooring that is free from defects and proves to maintain superior performance.
Taber tests involve mounting a flat specimen onto a a platform that rotates at a fixed speed. Depending on the material being rotated, manufacturers are able to determine how well the laminate can sustain itself. The ability for laminate to pass the resistance test will establish its AC rating. Otherwise, if the laminate fails to pass, it will be labeled “unrated.” In other words, it is not a reliable flooring for residential and commercial areas.
Shopping for Laminate
Most homeowners assume that the thicker and more durable the laminate, the better for their home in terms of longevity. However, this is not always true. While there are durability benefits to higher rated laminate, there are also higher benefits to using AC1-AC3 laminate over higher ratings when it comes to your home. The higher the rating, the rougher and harder the texture is on the surface. Tough-standing floors are an excellent option for busy commercial traffic. However, high rated laminate is not recommended in homes, as it will provide discomfort underfoot and throughout the body overtime. For this reason, AC1-AC3 laminate gives homeowners flexibility when choosing the right material, while still being sufficiently durable to last. Have a plan of where you want to install the laminate flooring. This will make the shopping and decision process as smooth as possible
Benefits of Laminate
Laminate flooring is a versatile, environmentally friendly choice that is affordable and easy to maintain. It comes in a variety of styles, such as the simulated look of hardwood, ceramic, and natural stone. Laminate flooring is reusable and offers hassle-free installation. It is able to withstand UV rays, stiletto heels, furniture legs, cleaning solutions, and much more, as the flooring is fade, chemical, burn, wear, impact, and scratch resistant. Additionally, it can resist mold and mildew growth. At Go Mobile Flooring, we can install laminate over any existing flooring with the exception of carpet.
The Go Mobile Flooring Variety
Every home speaks for itself when it comes to interior design and we have plenty of options readily available to homeowners. We maintain relationships with the best laminate flooring manufacturers in the country, and strive to educate our clients about their flooring options whenever possible. Not only do we believe in having the best laminate flooring manufacturers as partners, but we also believe in educating you in your decision. This process happens in three ways:
- Free Consultation
- Free Quote
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You can rely on our team of experts to guide you through your next project. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns regarding your home and are happy to help you reach your renovation dreams. Contact us today to get started!