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FAF Blog

The Basics of the Janka Hardness Scale

By FAF Staff Writer, (205 words) Posted in Hardwood Flooring on September 24, 2008
There are (64) comments permalink

If you're looking to purchase hardwood flooring, you're likely to run into something called the Janka Hardness Scale. The Janka Hardness Scale is used to measure the hardness of a wood. More specifically, the test measures the force required to push a steel ball with a diameter of 11.28 millimeters (0.444 inches) into the wood to a depth of half the ball's diameter. The diameter was chosen to produce a circle with an area of 100 square millimeters.

The higher a wood's Janka rating, the harder - and generally more durable - the wood will be. While the softer Eastern White Pine is a mere 380 on the Janka Scale, Ipe (sometimes referred to as Brazilian Walnut) ranks at a much harder 3680. Red Oak is often referenced as the middle point of the scale with a Janka rating around 1280.

When shopping for hardwood flooring you should consider where the floor will be located in your home and how much traffic it will get. While the Janka Hardness Scale should play a role in your decision, it should not be the only factor you look at when purchasing a hardwood floor. You should choose a wood with a texture, grain, and color that fits your style.



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Comments (64)

Grace W. posted on: April 1, 2009

never knew about the janka hardness scale until i wanted to install new hardwood in my dining room. i throw tons of dinner parties and found out what type of wood to use for my dining room by using the janka hardness scale for advice. I had a pro come in and install it and it looks awesome. Im happy to know that the type of hardwood flooring i chose is durable too from all my guests coming in and out.

Claudia Wills posted on: April 13, 2009

Grace, I'm the same way. I never knew about the janka hardness scale UNTIL i remodeled my home and the floors were the first to go! Im so happy the ugly vinyl floors are gone forever. I used this scale to pick out my new hardwood floors and am glad I did for the foot traffic is heavy since I finished my new floors! I suggest it to anyone thinking of installing hardwood flooring in their homes.

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Feed the Children posted on: October 19, 2013

I don't really need a very hard wood on my flooring as long as it serves the way it's intended, I prefer to buy a more affordable and eco friendly material. -

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I don't really need a very hard wood on my flooring as long as it serves the way it's intended, I prefer to buy a more affordable and eco friendly material. - Feed the Children

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I had a pro come in and install it and it looks awesome.

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Red Oak is often referenced as the middle point of the scale with a Janka rating around 1280.


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