When trying to think of ways we can give useful advice we often overlook some of the technical terms with which we in the industry are so comfortable, but with which our valued customers are not.

One of these, and an important one if you are in the market to purchase Laminate flooring, is the AC ratings and the numbered class ratings that are coupled with them. Confused already? Don’t worry, by the end of this article you too will know your AC from your class!

AC ratings

This is the ‘Abrasive class’ rating of the laminate floor. In layman’s terms, the rating determines the ideal usage of the finished product in accordance with its rating. Each AC rating is coupled with a numbered class. You must understand these to avoid over-wearing of the floor and complying with your warranty.

Laminate floorings all have to be tested and generally hold up well in multiple resistance tests which include impact, heat, moisture, staining and scratching. An electronic ‘abraser’ is used to perform ‘accelerated wear testing’ to ascertain the rating of the floor.

The AC (rating together with its class number) determine the ideal usage of the floor from light residential usage to heavy industrial usage.

Residential use 

AC1 – (Class 21) – This is recommended for light residential use only, like closets, guest rooms and dining rooms where there is light foot traffic

AC2 – (Class 22) – Light to medium foot traffic. Areas like lounges, dining rooms and adult bedrooms – with some traffic but light wear and tear.

AC3 – (Class 23/31) – This is the highest and best rating for residential purposes and can be used in all the heavily trafficked areas of the home – i.e. main living areas, kid’s playrooms, busy hallways, stairs etc.

Commercial use

AC4 – (Class 32) – This is for commercial usage where there is fairly light traffic but busy, constant usage. This would be ideal for offices, café’s, salons or commercial residential spaces.

AC5 – (Class 33) – Busy areas requiring medium to heavier traffic would be where this laminate flooring would be best suited. Typical examples would be restaurants, commercial showrooms, schools and retail stores.

A6 – (class 34) – This is the real tough guy. These floors can stand up to heavy traffic areas like airports, public buildings and hypermarkets.

NB – If an AC rating is paired with a higher class classification this can change the application. For example an AC3 – (class 31) is also suitable for light commercial use with moderate traffic such as hotel rooms or small offices. So it is a normally residential AC rating with a class that is commonly used for commercial purposes.

Get advice from the experts 

We hope that this has been helpful to you and that now you will know what rating or class of laminated flooring to buy for your unique application. Remember, as flooring experts who have been serving the Western Cape residential, commercial and industrial sectors for many years Libra Flooring know all there is to know about the wide range of flooring we provide.

Simply contact us for a no-obligation consultation and all the advice you need. Stay safe!