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Discover everything you need to know about AC ratings in vinyl and laminate floors. This can help you to make wiser purchasing decisions the next time you buy a new floor for the home or business.

Written by: Yarl Christie

Published on: December 26, 2019

What Does Flooring AC Rating Mean?

When you’re shopping for a new floor, you’ll often come across terms such as AC rating. Understanding what these terms mean is crucial if you want to ensure you’re choosing the right flooring for you.

Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about AC ratings in LVT vinyl floors and laminate floors. This can help you to make wiser purchasing decisions the next time you buy a new floor for the home or business.

What Does AC Stand For?

AC is short for Abrasion Class, and it refers to the durability of the floor. It covers how resistant the floor is to stains, traffic and impact; giving you a good idea of how long it’s going to last.

AC Rating Meaning for Laminate Flooring - Close Up Worn Out Laminate Flooring in an Office

The AC rating also indicates that the floor has been tested against the effects of castors and furniture legs. In the world of laminate flooring, this rating system was introduced by the European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF). They set and develop the standards laminate manufacturers need to follow.

Why Do Flooring AC Ratings Matter?

So, why should you care about the AC rating of a laminate or vinyl floor? Well, put simply, it tells you how durable the floor is going to be. This is a really important factor to consider regardless of whether you’re choosing a floor for the home or business. When you’re spending a lot of money on a new floor, you want to know it’s going to last for many years to come.

Why Do Flooring AC Ratings Matter?

By paying attention to the AC ratings, you’ll get a good sense of whether the floor is right for your chosen space. The ratings are separated into residential and commercial applications, enabling you to see which floors are suitable for heavier traffic environments.

Understanding the Different Floor Ratings

We have covered what AC ratings are and why they’re important, so let’s move on to what they actually are. There are six different ratings, with three of them relating to residential and the other three relating to commercial environments.

The residential ratings include:

AC1 – Otherwise referred to as Class 21, floors with this rating are suitable for very light residential use. They would be best installed in areas such as the bedroom.

AC2 – Also known as Class 22, floors with an AC2 rating are suitable for moderate residential use. They should be installed in areas like the dining room, with low daily wear and tear.

AC3 – Floors with an AC3, or Class 23/31, are best for moderate traffic areas such as the hallway or lounge. The majority of residential floors we stock feature this rating.

The commercial ratings include:

AC4 – Also referred to as Class 32, AC4 rated floors can be used in general residential as well as commercial areas such as offices and salons.

AC5 – Floors with an AC5 or Class 33 rating, is recommended for busy environments with medium to heavy foot traffic. These floors would be well suited to retail stores, schools and restaurants.

AC6 – The heaviest duty floors come with an AC6 or Class 34 rating. They are designed to withstand intensive daily foot traffic and are commonly used in government buildings, supermarkets and airport terminals.

Close Up Flooring with Chair Legs

Understanding the different ratings can help you to make the right choice when purchasing a floor for the home or business. If you don’t choose a floor with an AC rating that’s right for your chosen environment, you’re going to end up needing to replace it sooner than you should.

The rating is just one thing to pay attention to when you’re shopping for a new floor. If you are still unsure about the AC rating of the flooring you are interested in buying then give us a call and we will gladly help.

You can browse our extensive range of laminate and vinyl flooring below:

Laminate Flooring: https://storiesflooring.co.uk/collections/laminate-flooring

Luxury Vinyl Tiles: https://storiesflooring.co.uk/collections/vinyl-flooring

About The Author

Yarl Christie

Yarl is the Managing Director of Stories Flooring. started his career in the flooring industry by becoming a floor fitter at the age of 18 (2004). Yarl finally decided to move with the times and set up an online flooring store (Flooring Yorkshire, 2018). He works closely with the business managers and resource team to source new products from wholesalers, which in turn brings down the sale price. This enables Stories Flooring to be one of the leading UK flooring retailers.