There is an abundance of laminated flooring on the market and each manufacturer claim to have the right products to your need. Quality and fields of applications, however, can vary greatly from a laminate flooring to another.
Fortunately, the European Standards are designed to help you select the right Option
The laminate Standard and Classes
In the late 1990s, the EU introduced standard EN 13329, specifying characteristics requirements and test methods for laminate floor coverings. It also includes a classification system, based on EN 685, indicating in what areas and under which conditions laminate floors can be used.
Classes 21 to 23 mean a flooring is fit for domestic use, classes 31 to 34 indicate a flooring is fit for more intensive, ‘commercial’ use. Classes 41 to 43 indicate a flooring can be used in industrial environments.
While the first digit gives an idea of the general environment (2: domestic, 3: commercial, 4: industrial), the second digit further subdivides this usage into ‘light’ (1), ‘moderate’ (2), ‘heavy’ (3) and ‘very intensive’ (4).
What is an AC Rating for Laminate Flooring?
A testament to the durability of a laminate floor is the Abrasion Class it is certified under. The Abrasion Class is more commonly referred to in the laminate flooring marketplace as the AC Rating.
The AC Rating is a good gauge as to how well a laminate flooring product will perform in your residential or commercial setting, so it's a good idea when you're browsing through laminate floor options to know what the AC Rating for each is.
Higher wear ratings translate to a longer life for your laminate floor and a higher price tag than lower wear ratings. Each rating number represents a 60% increase in wear over the previous one: AC2 is 60% heavier wear than AC1, for example, while AC3 is 120% heavier wear than AC1
How is a Laminate Floor Rated?
Laminate flooring will receive an AC Rating based on their performance under a multitude of key stress points: staining, impact, heat, moisture, scratches and scuffs.
How well a particular laminate floor performs under each test will determine its ultimate AC Rating.
If a laminate floor should fail any of these durability tests, it automatically becomes uncertifiable and is then labelled as "unrated." If a laminate flooring product you're looking at is listed as being "unrated," it's safe to say that this particular floor isn't going to hold up well in any situation.
AC Ratings for laminate flooring are sometimes listed in different ways. Often, a laminate manufacturer will simply label it as AC1, AC2, AC3, AC4 or AC5. Other times, they'll use a pictogram to communicate the AC Rating. You can see the different icons universally used to the left.
The pictograms used to represent the AC Ratings can show a building type (a house or a commercial building) or a number of people (1, 2 or 3). The building type signifies whether the laminate flooring product is recommended for residential or commercial use and the number of people signifies whether the laminate is suitable for moderate (1), general (2) or heavy (3) use.
- Laminate products with an AC1 Rating are suitable for residential use with moderate traffic. Think mature bedrooms or guest rooms.
- Laminate products with an AC2 Rating are suitable for residential use with general traffic. Think living rooms or dining rooms.
- Laminate products with an AC3 Rating are suitable for residential use with heavy traffic but they are also suitable for commercial settings with moderate traffic. This pretty much means the laminate floor will work well in any area of your home as well as in commercial settings like hotel rooms or small offices.
Examples of Kronotex laminate flooring with an AC3 Rating are: Standard Plus Range ( Trend Oak Grey, Century Oak Brown, Century Oak Grey, Tend Oak Nature, Millenium Oak Brown, Trend Oak White).
- Laminate products with an AC4 Rating are suitable for commercial use with general traffic. Think busy offices, cafes or salons.
Examples of Kronotex laminate flooring with an AC4 Rating are: Dynamic range, Exquisit range, Exquisit Plus range and Mega Plus Range.
- Laminate products with an AC5 Rating are suitable for commercial use with heavy traffic. Think public buildings, department stores or showrooms.
Examples of laminate flooring with an AC5 Rating are: Mammut Plus Range
You can find the specific AC Ratings for each laminate collection on our website in the products description