Janka Hardness Scale

When shopping around for hardwood flooring, you will be faced with numerous decisions. For instance, you will need to choose width, species, color, finish, style, and more. Each aspect of hardwood flooring is unique, giving your room a special look and feel. The hardness is another aspect of hardwood flooring that is considered very important.

The Scale

One way to determine the hardness of the various types of hardwood floor species is by using the Janka Hardness Scale. This tool has been used for a long time and is designed to measure the hardness of any wood. With this information, you can determine the quality and durability of the wood, helping you make the best possible choice.

How it Works

The way the Janka Scale works is that it measures the force needed for a .444-inch steel ball to embed itself into the wood to half the diameter. Keep in mind that hardness such as this is represented numerically, typically as PSI or pounds per square inch. That means the PSI required to sink the ball into the hardwood species would be determined with the Janka Scale. With this scale, the higher the number the harder the wood is.

Wood Check

One of the interesting factors of the Janka Scale is that the hardness of the wood is not just checked on the topside but on the bottom side, as well as the ends. The reason is that wood species with grain will vary in thickness. Another important aspect of the Janka Scale is that is would indicate the amount of effort needed for the wood to be sawn or nailed.

Industry Standard

This rating has been the standard for a long time. The list below will show you some of the differences in wood hardness, which will help you understand why the Janka Hardness Scale is so beneficial.

  • American Black Cherry - 950
  • American Black Walnut - 1010
  • Yellow Birch - 1260
  • Red Oak - 1290
  • White Ash - 1320
  • White Oak - 1360
  • Hard Maple - 1450
  • Santos Mahogany - 2200
  • Brazilian Cherry - 2345
  • Brazilian Teak - 3540
  • Brazilian Walnut - 3680
  • Ebony - 3692