What is Laminate Rating?
A laminate floor’s durability is measured by the Association of European Producers of laminate Flooring’s (EPLF) AC1 through AC5 wear rating system. Products are designated a rating after being tested for their resistance to abrasion, impact, staining and cigarette burns. Each increase in AC rating represents a 60 percent heavier wearlayer.
AC1: Light residential traffic/suitable for bedrooms.
AC2: General residential traffic/suitable for living rooms and dining rooms.
AC3: Heavy residential traffic/suitable for all areas of the home; moderate commercial traffic/suitable for hotel rooms and small offices.
AC4: General commercial traffic/ suitable for offices, boutiques and cafés.
AC5: Heavy commercial traffic/suitable for public buildings and department stores.
AC4: The Popular “New Boy in Town”
Educated consumers are seeking laminate flooring more than ever before, as better performing floor is fast becoming their No. 1 criteria. The vast majority of laminate floors today are now offered with AC4 wear resistance.
Until recently, many laminate floors have been marketed as being AC3-rated for heavy residential use though they actually performed at an AC4 level on tabor tests. Republic flooring has surged to the forefront of laminate floors manufacturing by offering AC4-rated floors with commercial warranties for both residential and commercial flooring alike.
Industry insiders are quick to note that while AC4 light commercial ratings have emerged as a new standard for premium laminate flooring, some of the category’s best-selling and most advanced visuals have yet to be rated beyond AC3.
It is important to note that to realize that AC4 rating is not feasible with high-gloss piano finish products — it’s too hard to achieve in that format. Those very popular floors are all AC3, which is strong enough for residential.