The Janka Hardness Scale is important information for any homeowner considering hardwood flooring. Knowing what different scores mean, and the pros and cons of each score, will have a strong impact on the wood you end up choosing. Below, Floor Coverings International Maple Grove will guide you through what you need to know about the Janka Hardness Scale.

What does the Janka Hardness Scale measure?

The Janka Hardness scale ranks wood in ascending order of hardness. Specifically, it measures the durability and resistance to scratching of different woods. This is done by testing the amount of force needed to embed a steel ball into a plank of wood. Naturally, more force is required with harder woods, and less force for softer woods. The harder the wood, the more durable it tends to be. Extremely hard woods can be difficult and expensive to install, while soft woods can be more prone to denting and scratching.

pine flooringWood With a Hardness of Under 1000

These woods are considered soft, and more prone to dings, dents, and scratches. While this doesn’t make them unsuitable for flooring, it does mean that you’ll have to be more careful with your floors. While more delicate, softer woods are also more flexible making them easier to install and refinish. Two common wood flooring options that fall into this category are pine (790) and mahogany (800).

hickory hardwood flooring

Wood With a Hardness of 1000 – 2000

Wood that falls into this category is ideal for flooring. On the lower end, you can find wood flooring that’s durable enough to withstand wear-and-tear, but not so hard that installation is difficult. Examples include teak (1150) and red oak (1290). Wood flooring with a Janka rating higher than 1500 is extremely durable. Bamboo has a rating of 1600. Hickory hardwood is an extremely durable option with a rank of 1820.

tigerwood hardwood flooring

Wood With a Hardness of 2000 – 3000

While extremely resistant to damage, these woods can be difficult to work with. They may require special tools to install, and the planks may even snap (rather than bend) during the manufacturing process. The exotic tigerwood has a rank of 2160, and the stunning Brazilian cherry hardwood has a score of 2820.

Brazilian cherry hardwood flooringWood With a Hardness of 3000+

These woods can be extremely difficult to successfully install, needing special tools and lots of time. They are prone to brittleness and may break or splinter during installation. On the bright side, when successfully installed, these floors can easily last a lifetime or longer. On the highest end of the scale sits Brazilian Ebony with a score of 3692.

Get Started in Plymouth Today

To learn more about your various hardwood flooring options, give the experts at Floor Coverings International Maple Grove a call! We’re happy to help you find the perfect flooring for your home. Book a free in-home consultation today! We proudly serve Maple Grove, Plymouth and surrounding areas.

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Photos © Efetova Anna, osobystist, fotografos, Eponaleah, IMG Imagery, and Bojan Pavlukovic.