You must have come across something like “AC1” printed on a laminate flooring product and maybe have wondered what this is. No reason to panic, just take some minutes to understand what it is and you’ll never float.
The AC rating is the conventional term used to show how durable laminate flooring is. How long can it last? Where can it be used and where can it not be used? The Association of European Producers of Laminate flooring (EPLF) is responsible for this, their aim being to develop standards and a guide to consumers on the usage of the floors.
First, some tests are performed on the laminate flooring. The floorboards may be subjected to abrasion, stains, impact and cigarette burns and their response observed. Furniture is also placed on the laminate flooring so as to determine its bearing capacity. Swelling along the edges is also among the test criteria.
If a specimen passes all this tests, it receives an AC rating. This can be anything from AC1 through AC5. A laminate flooring product without an AC rating has failed one or more of the tests listed above, therefore, it cautions any consumer who may want to buy such because of the low price, which will prove to be costly in the long run. A product rated AC1 is suitable residential use and light traffic, i.e. for bedrooms and guest rooms. AC2 products are suitable for general traffic residential applications, say the living and dining rooms. The Alloc flooring that can be used in all areas at home must be rated AC3. Products with this rating can also be used under moderate traffic in the commercial world. AC4 products denote commercial use with general traffic. Finally, AC5 products are the toughest laminate floors, and can be used for heavy traffic in commercial areas like public buildings, departmental stores, airports, restaurants and retail shops.
With all these, the consumer is left with a choice to make, on top of the colour and design of the Alloc Laminate flooring. It is good to understand that though the AC5 rated products are the most durable, they may prove to be too rough to be used in the house, especially when barefooted. Choose wisely then.