Wondering how to choose durable laminate flooring that will stand up to your lifestyle? You may think that the thicker the laminate, the better, and the longer its warranty, the longer it will last. That is not always the case.
Now, most laminates are graded with an AC rating, and that is a much more accurate measure of how tough and durable a particular product is. Read on to learn about what laminate AC rating can tell us.
What Is the AC Rating on Laminate Flooring?
The AC rating you can see on product descriptions is an internationally accepted system of classification of laminate flooring durability. Different AC ratings represent a laminate’s resistance to abrasion, stains, impact, heat, and moisture. They also indicate that the flooring has been tested and have passed all the criteria during tests that replicate real-life scenarios.
When a floor fails any part of the test, it cannot be awarded an AC rating. The final rating is based on the lowest score that it receives throughout the tests.
At Stone & Tile, we only sell laminate wood flooring with a rating of AC3 or higher, which means that any of them can withstand average household use. We also offer a huge selection of wood trim at competitive prices.
Laminate Flooring AC Rating: What Are the Differences?
Knowing the different types of AC ratings will help you shop smart. So what are the correct applications for specific laminate flooring AC ratings?
- AC1 rated laminate flooring is suitable for rooms that get light foot traffic only, for example, bedrooms and guest rooms.
- AC2 rated laminate is suitable for areas with moderate foot traffic, such as dining rooms or living rooms.
- AC3 rated laminate flooring is suitable for all residential areas, including hallways, living rooms, stairs, etc. it’s the highest rating for homeowners and the lowest for commercial use.
- AC4 rating is specifically intended for moderate traffic in commercial spaces, such as hotel rooms, small offices, boutiques, salons, and cafes.
- AC5 rating is the highest durability rating. It is suitable for high-traffic commercial areas, such as department stores, showrooms, busy restaurants, and public buildings.
What AC Rating for Laminate Do I Need?
The higher the AC rating for laminate, the more durable the product is, and the higher the price tag. So when shopping around for laminate, it’s essential to balance the durability of a laminate with its price.
AC3 rated laminate flooring is the ideal choice for residential usage because it will withstand daily wear and tear easily in any room as long as it’s treated right and cleaned properly. It is durable enough for more than 95% of homes. You can consider AC4 for your home, too – just make sure it’s not too rough underfoot before you install it. AC5 is durable, but it’s worth the investment for residential purposes when you have the more cost-effective rated laminate at your fingertips. Besides, AC5 is often a high-pressure laminate with a rough texture, and it doesn’t feel great on bare feet.