Janka Hardness Scale

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Janka Scale Hardwood Flooring

August 26, 2015

As you are shopping for hardwood floors for your home, something you will probably come across is the phrase “Janka Hardness Rating”. Each species of hardwood is assigned a Janka hardness number and this number can tell you some important information about the floors you are considering. So what is a Janka rating and how should it influence your decision about hardwood flooring?

In 1906, an Austrian wood researcher, Gabriel Janka invented a test (adapted from the Brinell hardness test for metal) that would measure how hard a species of wood is by measuring the force required to embed an 11.28mm (.444”) steel ball into the wood to half the balls diameter. The more force required to make this indentation, the higher the Janka rating it is given. All these ratings have been organized onto a scale called the Janka Hardness Scale.

The Janka Hardness Scale starts at 0 and goes through 4000, with 4000 being an extremely hard wood, so hard it is difficult to saw. The best wood for hardwood flooring typically falls above 1000 on the scale.

Janka Scale Hardwood Flooring

Image source: floorings.com

When choosing floors for your home, keep in mind the Janka Hardness Scale as it will tell you generally how strong a floor is and how much wear and tear it will be able to handle over the years before it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Below is a list of the species we offer within the Impressions Hardwood Collection as well as their Janka Hardness Rating and which of our series you can find them in!

Species Janka Hardness What Impressions Series Can I Find It In? 
Birch 1260 Timarron
Red Oak 1290 Hampton, NantucketPiedmontBlue Ridge, and Berkshire
White Oak 1360 Denali, HamptonNantucketPiedmont, Elegance, and Classic
Maple 1450 Newport and Blue Ridge
Hickory 1820 TraditionEsteem and Newport
Tigerwood 1850 Newport
Acacia 2200 Melbourne
Brazilian Cherry 2350 Newport and Blue Ridge