The highest rating is- AC5
What is an AC rating?
The common term used to denote the durability level of laminate flooring is its, Abrasion Criteria or “AC” rating. AC ratings are an abbreviated representation of a laminate’s overlay film 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. When a laminate flooring product has a rating, then it has passed all of the test criteria. Failing just one test will disqualify a product.
The AC rating levels are designated AC1 through AC5. Each 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. An AC1 rating which is the lowest should only be used in light-traffic area’s. At the other end of the scale is AC5 which is produced for the commercial market and for use in very high-traffic area’s. A laminate flooring rating of AC2 or AC3 is found on flooring tailored to the domestic and residential market. As can be seen, Laminate ratings are beneficial to customers for product comparison shopping. If you are tempted by some very cheap laminate flooring, be cautious, you may find that it hasn't received any type of AC rating indicating it failed to meet the minimum requirements. During product testing, if it fails on just one single test, then approval for that laminate flooring rating is denied. For residential use, a rating of AC3 is perfectly adequate. Typically the higher the laminate flooring rating, the higher the price may be.
Hardwood is not measured in the same way. It is measured for hardness using the Janka hardness rating, and abrasion resistance using the Taber test.
Where do I find installation instructions / product warranty information?
Lumber Liquidators posts installation instructions on our website through the Customer Care and Flooring 101 web pages for easy installation, including helpful hints.
Answered on 10/12/2011 by customer care 2