Why Laminate AC Ratings Matter

When buying or specifying commercial laminate flooring it is vital to understand the product’s suitability for its intended application or usage class. The internationally accepted classification of laminate flooring durability is the Abrasion Criteria or ‘AC’ rating.

Laminate AC ratings measure wear resistance and were originally designated AC1 to AC5. The exceptionally high standards of Pergo laminates necessitated the creation of an even higher, AC6 resistance level for very heavy commercial use.

Central to establishing an AC rating is the Taber Test that measures the abrasion required to wear through a laminate’s surface layer. A drop-test to establish an Impact Criteria or ‘IC’ value is also included to define usage classes.

Usage Classes and Applications:

Classifications are divided into Residential or Commercial suitability.

Residential use

  • AC1 (Class 21): Very light foot traffic - Bedrooms
  • AC2 (Class 22): Moderate foot traffic areas with low amounts of wear and tear such as dining rooms
  • AC3 (Class 23/31): Moderate trafficked living rooms, conservatories, hallways, ...

Commercial use

  • AC4 (Class 32): Any domestic and general trafficked commercial spaces such as offices, cafes, salons and boutiques or residential spaces. Learn more on AC4 laminate flooring.
  • AC5 (Class 33): Busy areas requiring medium to heavy traffic resistance such as retail stores, showrooms, restaurants and schools. Learn more on AC5 laminate flooring.
  • AC6 (Class 34): Very heavy intensive trafficked areas such as supermarkets, airport terminals and public-facing government buildings. Learn more on AC6 laminate flooring.

Case Reference: A Reality Check

Passing laboratory tests is one thing, but the real-life is more demanding. Demonstrating actual durability for very heavy, high-wear commercial applications, Pergo Public Extreme class 34-laminate withstood the dense traffic of half a million commuters at Copenhagen Central Station.