Laminated Flooring AC Rating - Explained

AC Rating - Explained

Have you ever browsed through a range of laminate flooring and spotted an AC rating? You probably thought "what do these ratings mean?", "what's best for me?" or "do the lower ratings mean bad quality?". Well, I hope to answer these questions and make your decision a bit easier.

Laminate floors are given ratings relating to their durability and suitability of use. The primary system used in Ireland is the Abrasion Class (AC) rating system.

Without getting too specific, laminates will endure a series of tests to determine how well the floor will stand up to wear and tear - in both residential and commercial settings.

These tests include the floor's resistance to abrasion, impact, stains and burns. It must pass certain levels of criteria to achieve a rating. Failing on any of the criteria will prevent the floor from achieving that rating. Each time it passes, it will be tested more stringently to achieve the succeeding rating.

The abrasion classes range from AC1 to AC6, with AC6 being the most durable.

AC1 -

Designated for residential use with moderate traffic. Laminates rated AC1 are best suited as bedroom flooring where there isn't that much foot traffic.

AC2 -

Designated for homes with general traffic and works best in areas such as the living or dining room.

AC3/Class 23* -

Designated for residential use with heavy traffic and suitable for all areas of the home.

AC3/Class 31* -

Fit for residential use with heavy traffic and commercial settings with moderate traffic. Hotel rooms and small offices are suitable applications.

AC4 -

Designated for homes with high traffic and commercial settings with general traffic areas. These floors suit boutiques, busier offices, restaurants, and cafes.

AC5 -

This grade is best applied in commercial, heavy traffic settings. AC5 floors are suitable to be used in places such as public buildings and department stores.

AC6 -

The highest recognised grade in laminate flooring, suitable for use in very heavy, highly intensive commercial settings. Recommended for extremely high-traffic public areas such as supermarkets, train stations and airport terminals.

At BPM SUPPLIES, we ONLY stock laminates from AC3 onwards. This ensures that all our laminates are suitable for any area of your home.

It is important to note that while AC5/AC6 floors may be used in residential applications, an AC3 will serve most purposes as far as traffic goes.

Why not get an AC5/AC6 laminate every time? Well, laminates that have higher ratings, while very strong, also tend to be priced higher, suited as it is for commercial spaces. In view of this, most residential laminate flooring bears ratings up to AC3.

It all depends on what the room will be used for. Will the floor be fitted in a hallway that experiences large amounts of traffic, or is it that room that you only enter a few times a year? Do you have children, large pets or wear heels? This must all be factored in. Not to worry, our staff will be sure to query this when helping you to make your decision. 

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