Case Studies

Laminate Flooring

Flooring Warranty Statements Backed by Taber Rotary Abraser Testing



Ease of maintenance and product durability, combined with seemingly endless design styles, has significantly increased the popularity of laminate flooring over the past 15+ years. Unfortunately, it may not be easy for the average consumer to understand the quality features that differentiate the various levels of laminate floor products. Especially when 25 and 30 year warranties are commonplace!


The appearance of laminate flooring is based on the decorative layer, which is actually a high-resolution picture. To give the product its durability, the top layer of most laminate flooring is made from melamine resin - a highly wear resistant material. Although laminate flooring is very durable, when the wear layer is worn through by excessive foot traffic or other means damage may occur to the decorative layer.

All reputable manufacturers of laminate flooring adhere to internationally recognized test standards that describe a variety of procedures used to evaluate physical properties of the product. To determine how much “normal” wear and tear the product can hold up to, flooring manufacturers use the Taber Rotary Platform Abraser. The Taber test measures the number of wear cycles completed until initial damage to the decorative layer is observed, providing an indication of abrasion resistance characteristics. This accelerated test allows the many years of wear to be compressed into a very short duration.

Using a rating scale, the laminate flooring producer can determine which classification the laminate floor satisfies and to what market segment it should be promoted. As the total number of Taber wear cycles increases, so does the product’s durability. As an example, the AC rating is often referenced:

  • AC1 Moderate Residential: Intended for infrequent traffic and light residential use (i.e. bedroom)
  • AC2 General Residential: Able to handle moderate foot traffic for most residential spaces (i.e. living room or dining room)
  • AC3 Heavy Residential/Moderate Commercial: Can be applied to more varied locations, including high-traffic rooms and commercial spaces with light traffic (i.e. small offices)
  • AC4 General Commercial: Suitable for all residential uses as well as more heavily traffic commercial areas (i.e. offices, restaurants, and boutiques)
  • AC5 Heavy Commercial: Recommended for commercial use in high–traffic spaces (i.e. department stores and public buildings)


How long a laminate floor will last depends upon the product selected, the amount of traffic, and how well the product is cared for. Based on requirements like the Taber test, consumers can be assured that their laminate flooring will withstand many years of use. [Note: It is important to recognize that most product warranties do not cover abnormal wear and tear resulting from damage caused from spike heel shoes, insufficient protection from furniture, and other abrasive materials such as loose sand.]