When you are shopping for laminate flooring you will hear what the AC WEAR layer is…. But what does this MEAN?
The AC stands for Abrasion Classification and is measured using the industry standard Taber Test. The Taber Test is a method of testing that uses a small machine that rotates a 4″ samples disk of flooring for a set number of rotations. The test evaluates how long or how many rotations it takes to wear through the surface finish with specific abrasive disk. This will test the floors ability to withstand the wear and tear of daily living. Such as scraping, scratching and chipping.
There are 6 basic ratings… 3 for residential and 3 for commercial. These are often referred to as “Traffic Intensity” Categories… like Moderate = Lowest, General = Medium, and Heavy = Highest. Though each rating gives a recommendation for what the typical traffic is recommended for each rating.
We strongly recommend that you never buy below a AC3 flooring, and AC4 is 60% stronger than the AC3. Then AC5 is 60% stronger than AC4.
The textures can vary and really have no bearing on how the surface wears, so that is really just personal preference.
- AC-1: Residential, Moderate traffic, applicable for light use areas.
- AC-2: Residential, General traffic, applicable for light to medium use areas.
- AC-3/23: Residential, Heavy traffic, applicable for all aspects of the home.
- AC-3/31: Commercial, Heavy traffic, Medium use commercial applications.
- AC-4: Commercial/Residential, General traffic, applicable for all aspects of the home. Offices, restaurants, shops.
- AC-5: Commercial applications only, Heavy traffic, applicable for Public buildings, stores, restaurants, etc. (not recommended for residential use)