Hardwood Flooring and the Janka Hardness Rating Scale.

Janka, short for the Janka Scale or Janka Hardness Rating, is the industry standard for determining the hardness of a given species. The Janka Hardness Chart lists woods by their hardness rating with higher numbers indicating harder species. Of the characteristics and properties to consider when choosing your hardwood flooring, one of the most important is the relative hardness of the wood. A wood's relative hardness is determined with the Janka Rating System, which measures the force required to drive a .444 inch steel ball into the wood until half the diameter of the ball is imbedded in the wood.

Red Oak, which has a Janka rating of 1290, is the industry benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of different wood species. Since the hardness of the wood varies with the direction of the grain, both side testing and end testing is performed on wood. While it's true that the hardwood used in flooring is durable enough to withstand normal use, that doesn’t mean that the wood won’t dent or mar with a hard enough impact. Even appliances and furniture will eventually leave dents on a hardwood floor. Fortunately, the natural beauty of wood floors can easily be restored by sanding and refinishing the flooring.

Although the higher the Janka rating, the harder the wood, don't mistake hardness for the best wood. In addition to a wood's hardness, other qualities to consider when choosing a wood floor include both aesthetic and physical properties. For example, choose a wood with a texture, grain, and color that fit your style, and take into account the wood's durability and stability.

Hardwood flooring is priced by square foot, so it's important to have your measurements when pricing your flooring options. Keep in mind that there are two main groups of flooring materials: solid wood and engineered wood. Solid wood is milled from a solid piece of wood and is generally used over a wood sub-floor and nailed to the sub-floor. Harmony Engineered flooring is made by bonding layers of veneer and lumber in a 10 layer, cross-ply arrangement, and is typically used when installing wood flooring over concrete or in floor radiant heat. For our clients, it's important to recognize that each wood has its own personality and to decide which hardwood flooring is best for your specific application. Understanding the Janka table, and the pros and cons of each wood species, will give you a more realistic sense of how your wood flooring will perform.


janka hardness test

 

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