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The Janka hardness scale is an important tool in accessing a hardwoods durability 

The Janka hardness scale is a world wide recognized test that measures the hardness of a particular species of wood. This number is important to know as you are choosing your flooring as the higher the number the harder the hardwood is for flooring applications. The harder the wood the more durable it will be and have the ability to withstand denting and wear better.

The Janka hardness scale measurement is determined by the amount of force that is needed to embed a .444 inch steel ball into the wood the distance of half of the diameter of the steel ball. This measurement not only determines the woods durability but also how easy the wood is to work with in terms of sawing and nailing. Red oak has become a popular benchmark of the janka scale.

Although the Janka hardness scale is an important tool it is not the only consideration and should be used as a guideline. Where the wood is grown and the maturity of the wood can vary the results. Finishes and the construction of the planks are also important considerations in choosing your flooring as they will also affect durability. Below are some of the most popular hardwood species with their Janka measurements.

                                       Imported species

 

Ebony                                                                   3692

 

 

Brazilian Walnut                                                 3680  

 

 

Brazilian Teak                                                      3540

 

 

Brazilian Cherry                                                  2345

 

 

Mesquite                                                                  2345                                              

 

 

Santos Mahogany                                                    2200

 

 

Pecan/Hickory                                                      1820

 

 

Wenge                                                                     1630

 

 

 

 

                                       Common species

 

 

Hard Maple                                                               1450

 

 

White Oak                                                                  1360

 

 

White Ash                                                                  1320

 

 

American beech                                                        1300

 

 

 

 

Red Oak                                                                      1290

 

 

Yellow birch                                                               1260

 

 

                                    Softer species

 

 

Heart pine                                                                   1225

 

 

Black walnut                                                               1010

 

 

Teak                                                                              1000

 

 

Black cherry                                                                  950

 

 

Yellow pine                                                                    870

 

 

Douglas fir                                                                      660

 

 

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