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What is a Laminate Flooring AC Rating?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’m buying new floors and keep seeing information about an AC rating. What is a laminate flooring AC rating and is it something I should be concerned with?
– Megan C.

Dear Megan,

Before you buy something as long lasting as flooring, the manufacturers want to be sure they send you something that’ll last. To do this, they run each type of flooring through a series of vigorous tests. When they’re finished, they determine how durable each plank is and assign an AC rating based on those results.

When shopping for your flooring, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind.

• Where will you put your flooring?
• How much foot traffic will it see?
• Is it going to be exposed to water, spills, or heavy objects?

Based on the answers to your questions, you’ll have a better idea of how durable your flooring needs to be. For example, if you will have your flooring in a busy retail location with heavy furniture and displays and lots of foot traffic, you’ll need stronger flooring. If you’re looking for flooring in your bedroom, you won’t need as strong of flooring.

When shopping for your floors, consider the AC rating to be your guide to durability. Here’s the breakdown of what each one covers.

• AC1: Use this when your floors won’t see much foot traffic, such as in the guest room or den.
• AC2: Use this in general traffic areas such as the bedroom or dining room.
• AC3: Use this rating for high foot traffic areas in your home, such as the entryway or the family room.
• AC4: These are best used in commercial settings with a fair amount of traffic, such as an office building.
• AC5: This is for commercial buildings with lots of foot traffic, such as a retail location or department store.

In general, we suggest getting an AC3 rating for your home. This is the flooring that’ll withstand the most tests and trials and still stay looking like new for the long run.

If you’re not sure about the AC rating on a specific type of flooring, reach out to one of our experts. We’ll help you find the perfect fit in both style and durability.

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