AC ratings are for "Laminate products only".
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 areas. At the other end of the scale is AC5 which is produced for the commercial market and for use in very high-traffic areas. 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. The test devised for abrasion resistance.
Check out our website under Flooring 101 by typing in "Wood hardness and stability chart ". Thank you for writing in.
You can find the Janka scale on our website by typing in; hardwood janka rating to compare all of our wood products.
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Engineered Hardwoods and the Janka Scale.
The Janka scale chart is not to be considered an absolute; it is designed to help people understand which woods are harder than others.
The Janka Hardness test is done in accordance with ASTM D 1037-7 testing methods. Lumber stocks tested ranges from 1" to 2" thick. (Resulting Janka Hardness Numbers are an average.) It important to note that no testing is done on flooring (but is done on "solid" wood species).
The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a type of wood to withstand denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28 mm (0.444 in) steel ball into wood to half the ball's diameter. This method leaves an indentation. A common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species of wood is suitable for use as flooring.
Other factors that affect how flooring performs: type of core for engineered flooring like: pine, hdf (high density fiber board), poplar, oak, birch....etc... When choosing an engineered floor (other than the species) consider grain direction and thickness floor or top wear surface of the product, engineered hardwoods with thicker wear layers (more actual hardwood) will offer more resistance to dinging than ones with much thinner wear layers. The hardness ratings should not be the only deciding factor when selecting any hardwood floor.
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Answered on 9/17/2015 by cc-2