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Laminate Flooring Articles

What is an AC Rating?

AC rating is a common term used to indicate the durability level of laminate flooring. AC ratings are applied to every line of laminate floors by an independent body known as European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF). These ratings are a brief code of a laminate's resistance to stress and help buyers understand the difference in durability among laminate flooring products.

To assign the AC rating, a series of tests are carried out in order to assess each line of laminate flooring for resistance to burns, scratches, stains and impact. These tests also examine the effects of furniture legs, castors and thickness swelling along flooring edges. Laminate flooring has a rating only if it has passed all of the tests, as failing a single test disqualifies a product.

The AC rating assigned after the tests specify the level of stress and the location of the laminate flooring to be installed.

A general guide to the AC rating:

The AC rating levels are represented by diagrams, describing the product's application and durability. These levels are divided into two groups: residential and commercial which are further divided into traffic intensity levels: moderate, general, and heavy.

The following is an explanation of the AC ratings, their associated symbols and some suitable uses:

  • AC 1: 21 (Residential, Moderate traffic: Suitable for bedrooms or guest rooms)

  • AC 2: 22 (Residential, General traffic: Suitable for living rooms and dining rooms)

  • AC 3: 23 (Residential, Heavy traffic: Suitable for all areas)

  • AC 3: 31 (Commercial, Moderate traffic: Suitable for hotel rooms, small offices)

  • AC 4: 32 (Commercial, General traffic: Office, restaurant, boutique, café)

  • AC 5: 33 (Commercial, Heavy traffic: Public buildings, department stores)

All manufacturers of laminate flooring are bound to follow these standards for the benefit of consumers. Consumers must also check the AC rating before buying laminate floors while keeping in mind the expected stress level of their flooring.

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