Hardwood flooring samples in MedfordIf you’ve spent any time shopping for hardwood floors, you may have come across the Janka hardness scale. It’s a way of rating the relative hardness of different wood species, and it’s useful for comparing the toughness of different hardwood flooring options.

For Klamath Falls and Medford homeowners considering hardwoods, it’s worthwhile to do a bit of research about the Janka scale. Knowing what the ratings mean will help you make the right flooring choice for your home. Here is some information from Floor Coverings International Klamath Falls to get you started.

What is the Janka Hardness Scale?

The Janka scale compares the hardness of different types of wood – the higher the rating, the tougher the wood. Each rating is determined by calculating the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball half its diameter into the wood. This test predicts how well the wood will withstand scratching, denting, and general wear, and it also indicates how hard the wood is to saw or nail.

The Janka scale has become an industry standard for measuring and comparing the hardness of different types of hardwood flooring. However, it’s important to realize that virtually all hardwoods are tough enough to withstand everyday wear and tear for many years, so Janka ratings should not be your only consideration when choosing flooring. Other factors like plank construction and finish will affect the wood’s durability, too.

Janka Ratings of Common Hardwoods

When considering different hardwood species, be sure to ask how they rate on the Janka hardness scale. Here is an overview comparing some of the more common species:

Paper birch – 910

American cherry – 950

American walnut – 1010

Yellow birch – 1260

Northern red oak – 1290

White oak – 1360

Natural bamboo – 1380

Hard/sugar maple – 1450

Sweet birch – 1470

Hickory – 1820

Brazilian cherry – 2350

For more information about the Janka ratings of different hardwoods, talk to our experts at Floor Coverings International Klamath Falls. We’ll guide you through the process of choosing the right wood floors for your Medford or Klamath Falls home.

Photo Credit: Kunal Mehta