Durability of laminate floor

Durability is an essential factor which needs to be considered while shopping for a new laminate floor. The indicator of durability known as AC (abrasion classification) and was developed by Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF). AC rating shows the resistance of laminate flooring to different types of impacts such as scratches, stain, or burns and was designed to help customers better understand the ability of laminate floor to withstand different types of impacts. There are numerous tests was performed and failing even one will disqualify the product. When AC mark is present than laminate floor passed require tests and got its rating.

There is a scale from AC1 to AC5 which helps to determine the durability of laminate product and the areas where it should be installed.

AC1 (21) - residential houses - light traffic areas (bedrooms)
AC2 (22) - residential houses - general traffic areas (living rooms, dining rooms)
AC3 (23) - residential houses - heavy traffic areas (hallways or any other)
AC3 (31) - commercial buildings - light traffic areas (small offices, hotel rooms)
AC4 (32) - commercial buildings - general traffic areas (cafe, offices)
AC5 (33) - commercial buildings - heavy traffic areas (department stores)

As we see AC1 - AC3 laminate products for a use in residential houses while AC3 - AC5 for commercial buildings. It doesn't mean AC5 or AC4 cannot be used in residential properties - it definitely can, but it might have a rough finish or other properties which will be not desirable. While shopping for a new laminate floor check the rating first and try to avoid installation of products with lower rank in heavy traffic areas. This might cause damaging and faster wear out.

AC rating has been used for all well known brands and reputable laminate floor manufacturers to determine the durability of their products. Whether it is online retailer or local distributor it is easy to find AC rating in specifications and determine which product will be the best choice for a new renovation project.

While AC rating is established worldwide standards, there is another certification of laminate floor products issued by North American Laminate Floor Association (NALFA). They issued a seal for the products which were tested and passed the test for durability in 10 different categories. Tests were performed to determine the ability of laminate floor to withstand different types of impacts as well as resistance of laminate floor to the light, water, and scratches. It is something new and a lot of manufacturers which producing high quality laminate flooring do not take it as a standard for their products while some of them do.

AC rating is the factor you should take into your major consideration while shopping for a new laminate floor. There are a lot manufacturers as well as retailers of laminate flooring through the world and if you will find somewhere product without AC rating you should really think twice before making a purchase.