Usage classes for laminate - Which do I need?
- Wear classes
- Service classes
- private area
- Public-commercial area
- Cost of use classes
- Selection of the use class
Laminate is one of the most popular floor coverings. It is used both in the private and in the commercial sector and meets the most diverse requirements. In the selection you come across the so-called use classes, which are crucial for the purchase. Therefore, we have created an overview for you.
The necessity of a classification according to use classes results from the different stresses to which the floor covering is exposed. Comparing, for example, the load on the floor in a storage room with that in the living room or in the entrance area, this results in great differences. These differences should be considered when choosing the laminate. On our list you will therefore find all the information you need to buy the right floor covering.
First, a subdivision into one of the two stress classes. The division applies to laminate flooring as well as vinyl floors. One differentiates between the two groups:
- Use in the commercial or public sector
- Use in the private living area
The classification is based on experience regarding the resulting load. Commercially used rooms generally have a large passenger traffic, so the demand is high. Added to this is the fact that the laminate floor in these cases is often entered with street shoes. In private homes, however, most people wear soft slippers, which protects the floor.
There are three different usage classes for each of the two load classes. These are divided as follows:
- private use:
- Use classes 21, 22 and 23
- commercial use:
- Use classes 31, 32, 33 and 34
The usage classes always stand for low, medium, high and very high usage. In the private sector, it is therefore generally advantageous to choose the use class 23. This gives you the best quality, but often a higher price. In the specialized trade you often find on the products the designation 23/31. This means that you can use the laminate for both home and commercial use (with limited use).
NK 21 low usage
The use class NK 21 is suitable for private areas, which are only exposed to a low usage. Examples of this are the guest room and the pantry. The frequency is low in these premises, so that the floor covering is little used. Even the bedroom can be equipped with laminate of use class 21. Although you spend a long time in dormitories per day, but you occupy the floor during this time only a little. All in all, NK 21 is used wherever you want to take advantage of the high-quality floor, but the demand is low.
NK 22 medium use
Use class NK 22 is used in premises with a medium load. These include the living room, the dining room and the children's room. The frequency in these rooms is average and you generally go through the room several times. With each passage through the room the laminate floor is claimed, so here NK 21 would not be enough.
NK 23 high usage
NK 23 is suitable for private rooms with high demands. For example, they furnish the entrance area, the kitchen, the hallway and the office with the class 23 laminate. These rooms and areas are heavily frequented or burdened with many short distances. In the kitchen, you spend a certain amount of the day and enter the room with the whole family. When cooking, you go many small ways within the kitchen, so also a high stress arises.
NK 31 low usage
In the case of public areas or commercial use, it can be assumed that the demand is generally increased. Therefore, this usage class is above NK 23. You can use them in hotel rooms or small offices, among other places. Important here are the frequency of the stress and the intensity. When guests enter a hotel room, they spend a relatively long time in the room. You go in the room many ways, because it is a compact area. Smaller offices can have customer traffic, increasing the number of users. Without customer traffic, paths are often traversed within the room, for example, to walk to the filing cabinet, get documents from the shelf or go to the phone.
NK 32 medium usage
Class 32 is used for medium usage. These include conference rooms, large offices, small shops and doctors' offices. The premises are entered by many people at the opening hours and are basically exposed to a permanent burden. You have to expect that a medium-sized crowd is simultaneously on a small area, for example, when waiting in the doctor's office or at the cash register arise. In large offices many ways are gone or there is frequent customer traffic.
NK 33 high usage
NK 33 is one of the highest usage classes and therefore very high quality. It is used, among other things, in reception rooms, sales rooms, department stores and foyers. In these areas, there is a lot of customer traffic and there are occasionally larger crowds. Without the use of this class of use, damage to the floor covering would quickly occur or severe wear and tear would occur within a very short time.
NK 34 very high usage
Often above the use class NK 33 is still the group NK 34 settled. It is used in commercial areas with a particularly heavy load. Theoretically, there is no limit to the use classes, so some manufacturers also refer to their high-quality products as NK 34 +, to indicate that they are suitable for extreme loads.
Cost of use classes
The cost of the laminate depends on various factors, such as the use classes, the look and the type of installation. Cheap laminate flooring from the NK 31 group is already available for around 4.50 euros per square meter. Laminate flooring from NK 34 + is offered on average for at least 25 euros. While simple variants have thicknesses of up to 6 millimeters, laminate flooring suitable for commercial use has a thickness of 12, 18 or more millimeters. If you're unsure about choosing the right products, you'd rather choose a class higher than a class lower. Fast wear means that you have to expect additional costs for replacement.
Selection of the use class
The usage classes may not be selected solely on the basis of the type of premises. In any case, you must observe any special features when using.
Example 1: You are the chairman of an association and regularly visit meetings.
In this case, although it is a private use, the entrance area is heavily frequented, so that NK 23 can no longer be sufficient. Better in this case is the selection of NK 31 to achieve a longer shelf life.
Example 2: You are a teacher and give tutoring.
In this case too, there is a high demand in the study due to the visit of pupils and parents. The room has a commercial character because it is used for self-employment. Here NK 31 is the right choice.
Example 3: You expect a frequent visit to the guest room.
The guest room is normally classified in NK 21. However, this only applies if it is little used. If you regularly visit or use the guest room as an ironing room at the same time, then you should opt for NK 22 or 23 respectively.
Tips for quick readers:
- Classification: private areas, commercial / public areas
- private areas: NK 21, NK 22 and NK 23
- Commercial / public areas: NK 31, NK 32, NK 33 and NK 34
- Private areas:
- NK 21: low usage
- NK 22: medium usage
- NK 23: high usage
- Commercial / public use:
- NK 31: low usage
- NK 32: medium usage
- NK 33: high usage
- NK 34: very high usage
- Prices depend on usage classes
- Pay attention to individual features