In one of our previous blogs, Domestic and Exotic Hardwoods, we mentioned the Janka Scale and how it indicates the hardness of a particular wood. We would like to elaborate further and explain why the Janka Scale is used in the wood flooring industry, as well as how it could pertain to hardwood flooring installations and particular wood species.

The Janka Scale is a measurement to determine the durability of a wood. A wood’s rating on the scale is determined by the force it takes to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half of its diameter into the wood. This is also referred to as the hardness test. Typically all woods are compared to the Natural Red Oak, which has a hardness rating of 1290 pounds of force. In comparison, woven bamboo has a hardness rating of 3000. This must mean that bamboo is more than twice as durable as Red Oak! It must be a superior wood flooring material! Not so fast… This simply means that woven bamboo has a higher durability and is less resistant to dings and dents. Every home has different circumstances and a variety of factors to consider for hardwood flooring materials in addition to just durability. Also keep in mind that even though the Janka Scale puts a numerical value to each wood species, there is slight natural variation to be expected within a species.

Even though a wood may rank particularly high on the Janka Scale that does not mean that it is completely resistant to scratches and wear. Because wood is a natural material, all wood is vulnerable to damage over time. You should be aware that there are touch up kits, replacements, and other measures that can be taken to restore wood floors.

Durability is extremely important when considering which wood species to go with for your wood flooring project. Keep in mind that durability isn’t everything, and that additional actions can be take to prevent damage and treat it after the fact. It is best to consult a professional before making a commitment to a particular species. After taking all of the present factors in your home into consideration, a wood flooring pro can help you make a sound decision that is both durable and beautiful. Call your local Atlanta wood flooring professionals today for a FREE in home consultation!


Feature image from Instron.US

Janka Scale and Hardness Test
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