The Education Centre: What is AC Rating?

AC Rating, used for laminate and vinyl floors, is a measure of a floors resistance to abrasion, impact, stains and cigarette burns. The ratings also indicate that the product has been tested for the effects of furniture legs, castors, and swelling along its edges. If a laminate flooring product has a rating, then it has passed all of the test criteria. Failing just one test will disqualify a product.

An AC1 rated floor is sensitive and should only be used in room that have very little foot traffic while an AC5 rated will be sturdy enough to be used in busy department stores. At UK Flooring Direct we only supply AC3 rated and above flooring, so every laminate and vinyl is durable enough to cope with a typical household routine.

Each rating is represented by international pictographs reflecting the product’s application and durability. The primary application is divided into two groups: residential and commercial. Each group is further divided into traffic intensity levels: moderate, general, or heavy.

The residential rating is designated by a pictograph of a house and the commercial rating by a building. To the right of those is a pictograph of one, two, or three people corresponding to the traffic intensity levels. Below the person or people is a numerical equivalent of the pictographs. The first digit indicates the primary application: 2 for residential, 3 for commercial. The second digit indicates the traffic intensity level: 1 for moderate, 2 for general, 3 for heavy.

The following is a breakdown of the AC ratings, their associated symbols and some suitable uses:

AC 1Residential, Moderate Traffic: Suitable for bedrooms or guest rooms
AC 2Residential, General Traffic: Suitable for living rooms or dining rooms
AC 3Residential, Heavy Traffic: Suitable for all areas
AC 4Commercial, Moderate Traffic: Hotel rooms, small office
AC 5Commercial, General Traffic: Office, boutique, café