Which flooring class to choose for your home?

Laminated panels
Technical parameters are a key criterion when choosing materials for finishing your home. This is especially important if you plan to install flooring. While searching for the perfect colour and pattern, you should also consider which abrasion class will be best. Our advice will help you make the right decision!

Laminate flooring abrasion class rating – what is it?

To begin with, it is worth answering the question of what the laminate flooring abrasion class rating is. It is determined on the basis of EN 13329 standard. The AC rating of planks is the result of the Taber test. It involves rubbing a specimen with an abrasive material of a specified granulation and determining after how many revolutions the surface layer of the plank will be damaged. The revolutions are counted in thousands, and the more revolutions there are before a defect occurs, the more durable the plank will be. This test is designed to imitate the conditions in which the floor will be used on a daily basis. However, the simulation allows to check the quality of a particular product batch much faster.

AC ratings are broken down into five levels – a higher number means greater resistance to damage due to mechanical factors:

  • AC1 – the lowest AC rating, which is rather no longer used,
  • AC2 – poor resistance that will not ensure the safety of the floor,
  • AC3 – good resistance that allows the flooring to be used in rarely used rooms,
  • AC4 – high resistance, ideal for bedrooms or home offices,
  • AC5 – very high AC rating. AC5 rated flooring will be suitable both for heavily used rooms at home as well as for public utility buildings.

In addition to standard 5 levels of AC ratings, modern scratch-resistant AC6 flooring can also be found on the market. It is significantly harder than the models described above and is characterised by above-average scratch resistance. As a result, it is particularly often used in traffic routes in commercial premises, hotels or public places. The advantages are also often appreciated by people who want to have reliable flooring in their homes. This highest AC rating will be perfect for heavily used rooms. By installing it in the hallway, you will no longer have to worry about heel marks. Small pebbles, sand and dust brought from the outside will also not be a problem.

Flooring with AC6 rating can look beautiful for several years. In such case, however, it is worth exercising caution when installing underfloor heating. Due to their resistance to damage, planks are much thicker than the ones with lower AC rating, which can impede heat distribution. Therefore, make sure that the selected flooring is compatible with the heating system you are using, and, if necessary, provide a special underlay.

Abrasion class vs. usage class – the key differences

When deciding on laminate flooring, you will certainly pay attention to one more technical parameter – the usage class. It is very often confused with the abrasion class. Both of these values indicate the durability of flooring, but are independent of each other. The usage class is also awarded to flooring on the basis of tests that check how it will cope with potential damage. The following parameters are checked: resistance to abrasion, impact resistance, resistance to stains, resistance to cigarette burns, effect of a furniture leg, and thickness swelling after flooding with water.
There are 6 usage classes – 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 33. The first number indicates whether the flooring is a suitable choice for homes (2) or whether it will be suitable for public utility buildings (3). The second number indicates how much traffic it can cope with – the higher it is, the better the resistance. If you want your flooring to last for at least a few years in your home, choose models with Class 32 or 33.

Ceramin – flooring with the highest abrasion class rating… and more

If you are looking for a reliable flooring material with a high abrasion class rating – AC6, choose Ceramin composite flooring. These modern flooring is primarily distinguished by its above-average resistance to various types of damage. It is resistant not only to scratches, but also to colour loss due to UV radiation or excessive dust settling. The latter advantage will be particularly appreciated by allergy sufferers, for whom Ceramin flooring is fully friendly thanks to anti-static coating. The fact of being safe to human health is also confirmed by the Blue Angel certificate. It guarantees a healthy atmosphere in rooms where this flooring will be installed and proves that care for environment was taken into consideration during the manufacturing process. Furthermore, no PVC or other harmful ingredients were used in the composition of this range of flooring.
Moreover, this flooring is also water-resistant. It means that spilt liquid does not penetrate into the floor, but stays on its surface. You can wipe it off within 48 hours without exposing the floor to deformation, swelling or detachment from the substrate. Another important feature is the use of V-groove. It involves milling the edges in such a way that they look like individual planks. It gives the floor a more natural look and as a result, it resembles a wooden parquet. The edges in this type of planks are additionally protected with a water-resistant varnish.

Durable flooring – what else should we pay attention to?

In addition to the above-described usage class and abrasion class, water resistance and the composition of planks, it is also worth paying attention to the installation method. This is especially important if you plan to carry out the renovation yourself. For those without experience, planks that can be installed without glue or special tools will be a perfect solution. Such an easy installation is made possible thanks to Easyloc and Megaloc systems.

When deciding on underfloor heating, don’t forget to check the thickness of planks. Although planks that are too thick can interfere with the system operation, as in the case of models with AC6 rating, you should also avoid planks that are too thin. Although they allow you to fully enjoy the heat, they can be unstable. This leads to their deforming and sagging under heavier load. Problems can arise even if a heavy dresser is placed on them. Medium thickness panels (8-12 mm) will be the best choice.

Choose the most durable vinyl or laminate flooring!

We hope that thanks to our advice, you no longer have any doubts about which abrasion class rating will be most suitable for your home. In the case of heavily used space, choose AC5 or AC6 rated flooring. For slightly less frequently used rooms in your home, where the planks are not exposed to damage, AC4 will be enough. Regardless of which model you choose, go for flooring with high technical parameters and remember to pay attention to its resistance to water. Thanks to well-thought-out, conscious purchases, the flooring will serve you for many years and will retain its beautiful appearance.