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What is a laminate flooring AC rating?

Most European laminate flooring manufacturers belong to the Association of European producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF) in the US is the North American Laminate Floor Association (NALFA). This cooperative effort was formed to develop industry standards and provide consumers a means of identifying the usage level of various laminate flooring product.

The common term used to determine the durability level of laminate flooring is its “AC” rating. AC ratings are an abbreviated representation of a laminate’s resistance to abrasion, impact, stains and cigarette burns. The ratings also indicate that the product has been tested for the effects of furniture legs, casters, and swelling along its edges. If a laminate flooring product has a rating, then it has passed all of the test criteria. Failing just one test will disqualify a product.

The AC rating levels are designated AC1 through AC5.

  • AC1 is suitable for lighter, more infrequent traffic, e.g. a bedroom.
  • AC2 is suitable for general residential use.
  • AC3 can be applied to more varied locations (heavy residential use), small offices and other light commercial location
  • AC4 can be installed in higher traffic commercial areas such as boutiques, busier offices, and restaurant
  • AC5 is more durable still and can withstand the traffic of heavier commercial areas such as department stores and public buildings.
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    Matt Dickinson

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