Some floorings, such as tile, laminate, and hardwood, have rating systems that determine strength and hardness. Tile has a one-to-five class rating; C-l is only for walls, and C-2 is for low traffic floors. C-3 and C-4 are the most recommended for residential applications, as they are fine for medium to heavy foot traffic. C-5 is recommended for commercial installation.
Laminate has an AC (Abrasion Criteria) rating from one to six. AC2 is recommended for moderate foot traffic, while AC3 is suggested for heavy foot traffic in busy rooms like the kitchen, bath, or laundry room. The Janka Scale of Hardness rates wood; some use 1,000 as a benchmark, while others may use 1290, Hickory's rating, as a comparison.
Carpet uses density, not weight, to determine quality; it refers to how closely together the fibers are tufted. If you bend back a sample card and see a lot of white space, ask why. High pile rugs, which have long, loose fibers like the shag or frieze, also use the twist. It refers to how many times a fiber is twisted per one-inch length. Twist numbers range from one to six, although frieze goes as high as eight. The higher the number, the more durable.
While luxury vinyl doesn't have a rating per se, the vinyl thickness should be 8-mm or 9-mm, with it going as high as 10 or 12 for an authentic hardwood feeling. The top clear melamine wear layer protects the floor from scratches and scuffs. It is measured in mils, and that number should be at least 20.
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