Hardwood Hardness Rating

Hardwood Flooring > Hardwood Hardness Rating

Hardwood Hardness Rating
There are a number of wood species used as hardwood floors with varying shades, grains, and hardness ratings. Most people also find that hardwood hardness is a major criterion in deciding what type of lumber to use for their hardwood flooring. The relative hardness of wood flooring species is measured by the Janka Hardness Test.

It measures the force needed to embed a 0.444-inch steel ball to half its diameter in the wood. It is a generally

accepted measure of a wood’s resistance to dents and wear. The higher the number, the tougher the wood.

Those registering higher numbers in the Janka Hardness Test are understandably more expensive than those with lower numbers. Moreover, the harder wood species will cost more to install because of the difficulty in drilling, sawing, or nailing. They will require more time and labor for installation. On the other hand, softer wood can be used in areas of the home with lower foot traffic. The application of polyurethane finish can also harden softer wood to some degree.

In determining which wood specie to use for your home, the environment should likewise be considered. Areas near salt water or beaches need harder wood for flooring, while those living in drier locations will not require wood with higher hardness ratings.

It is important to note, however, that no hardwood floor is indestructible. Even the hardest wood will dent and scratch. Just like other types of flooring, the key to keeping hardwood floors looking good for years is upkeep and maintenance. However, no other type of flooring can ever surpass the beauty and elegance of hardwood. It is a proven fact that hardwood flooring substantially increases the value any home.

Janka Hardness Test

Wood Species
Hardness Rating
Douglas Fir
660
Southern Yellow Pine (short leaf)
690
Southern Yellow Pine (Long leaf)
870
Black Cherry
950
Teak
1000
Black Walnut
1010
Heart Pine
1225
Yellow Birch
1260
Red Oak (Northern)
1290
American Beech
1300
Ash
1320
White Oak
1360
Australian Cypress
1375
Hard Maple
1450
Wenge
1620
African Pedauk
1725
Hickory
1820
Pecan
1820
Purpleheart
1860
Jarrah
1910
Merbau
1925
Santos Mahogany
2200
Mesquite
2345
Brazilian Cherry-Jatoba
2350
Strand Bamboo
3014
Brazilian Teak
3540
Tiete Chestnut
3540
Brazilian Walnut
3680
 
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