Home  >   Blog - Flooring  >   HOW TO FIND OUT HOW HARD A WOOD IS


HOW TO FIND OUT HOW HARD A WOOD IS

HOW TO FIND OUT HOW HARD A WOOD IS

The Janka Scale

You have decided to install hardwood flooring in your new Pasadena home. You have been perusing colors and textures and are getting close to making a decision. Before making your final selection, ask your flooring contractor about the Janka scale.

JANKA SCALE

Woods come from all over the world and offer a huge variety of colors, grain patterns, characteristics and hardness. The hardness of the wood flooring is a key factor when it comes to durability and the wood’s ability to withstand wear and tear. The Janka Hardness Test measures the force it takes to embed a steel ball measuring  0.444 inches into wood to half the ball’s diameter. This has become the industry standard for determining whether a wood is suitable for flooring. The higher the number on the scale, the harder the wood.

Brazilian ebony is one of the hardest woods with a Janka score of 3692.

Douglas fir is one of the softest with a rating of 660.

WHAT NUMBER IS BEST?

You may think that simply going with a wood that has a very high Janka number is the best way to provide excellent durability. The only problem, as your Pasadena Flooring Contractor will tell you, is that very hard woods are extremely difficult to work with.

Red oak has a Janka rating of 1290 and is used as the benchmark against which other woods are compared. Red oak is readily available with a proven track record in durability and finds the right balance between not being so hard that it is difficult to cut and nail, and not being so soft that it is easily dented. For high traffic areas, choose a wood with a rating of 1290 or higher.

BRAZILIAN EBONY, 3692

BRAZILIAN WALNUT, 3680

BOLIVIAN CHERRY, 3650

BRAZILIAN TEAK, 3540

BRAZILIAN ROSEWOOD, 3000

BRAZILIAN CHERRY, 2820

PATAGONIAN ROSEWOOD, 2800

SANTOS MAHOGANY, 2200

TIGERWOOD, 2160

MERBAU, 1925

AMENDOIM, 1912

HICKORY, 1820

KEMPAS, 1710

TIMBORANA, 1570

AFRICAN WALNUT/SAPELE, 1500

HARD MAPLE, 1450

NATURAL BAMBOO, 1410

AUSTRALIAN CYPRESS, 1375

WHITE OAK, 1360

ASH, 1320

AMERICAN BEECH, 1300

RED OAK, 1290

CARBONIZED BAMBOO, 1260

YELLOW BIRCH, 1260

HEART PINE, 1225

BLACK WALNUT, 1010

TEAK, 100

AMERICAN CHERRY, 950

SOUTHERN YELLOW PINE, 870

YELLOW PINE, 690

DOUGLAS FIR, 660