AC Ratings of Laminate Flooring
|AC 1 (21)
light to moderate residential traffic
suited to spare rooms and bedrooms
|AC 2 (22)
general residential traffic suited
to living rooms and dining rooms
|AC 3 (23)
heavy residential traffic suited
to all areas
|AC 3 (31)
light to commercial traffic suited
to hotel rooms and small offices
|AC 4 (32)
general commercial traffic suited
to shops, offices and restaurants
|AC 5 (33)
heavy commercial traffic suited
to public buildings and large stores
Devised by the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring, AC Ratings give the end user an indication of how resistant to various kinds of wear a given laminate flooring will be.
AC stands for 'abrasion classification' though in reality the tests involved go much further and cover aspects such as resistance to: cigarette burns, impact, various liquids such as wine and coffee, temperature, movement of furniture legs and castors and swelling due to humidity amongst other things.
If any test is failed then the laminate flooring will not be granted its AC Rating. You can buy laminates that are unrated and though they will be cheap, we don't recommend them. There is an overlap at AC 3 whereby products can be used for both residential and commercial applications. Whilst products rated as AC 4 and AC 5 could, theoretically be used in residential settings there are anecdotes of socks being worn out by the rougher surface of these laminates.