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Toms Hardwood Flooring Co

Wood Density Info

Posted on: February 12th, 2013 by [email protected]
Janka Hardness Scale

The Janka scale rates the relative hardness of wood. We have listed some of the most popular choices in wood flooring and included some more exotic species for your reference and comparison.

The higher the number the harder the wood. These ratings were determined using the Janka Hardness Test  which measures the side hardness measure of the  force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter into the wood. This is one of the best measures of the ability of wood species to withstand denting and wear. It is also a good indicator of how hard a species is to saw or nail.

This should only be used as a general guide when comparing various species of wood flooring. Depending on where the wood is harvested the results may vary. Plank construction and finish are also important factors when determining the durability and ease of maintenance of any wood floor.

A wood’s relative hardness is determined with the Janka Rating System, which measures the force required to drive a .444 inch steel ball into the wood until half the diameter of the ball is imbedded in the wood.

The Janka Hardness Scale rating has become the industry standard for determining whether a given wood is suitable for flooring material. Red Oak, which has a Janka rating of 1290, is the industry benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of different wood species.

The majority of hardwoods and many softwoods are durable enough to withstand normal flooring use – especially with proper installation and finishing. However, no matter the Janka rating,  all wood will dent or mar with a hard enough impact .

JANKA RATING  WOOD SPECIES  (Hardest to Softest)
3684 Brazilian Walnut /Ipe
3220 Ebony
2350 Brazilian Cherry /Jatoba
2345 Mesquite
2200 Santos Mahogany
1940 Cameron
1925 Merbau
1860 Purpleheart
1850 Tigerwood
1820 Hickory and Pecan
1780 Rosewood
1725 African Padauk
1700 Locust
1630 Wenge
1630 Red Pine
1575 Zebrawood
1570 True Pine
1470 Sweet Birch
1450 Hard / Sugar Maple
1390 Kentucky Coffee Tree
1380 Natural Bamboo
1375 Australian Cypress
1360 White Oak
1320 White Ash
1300 American Beech
1290 Northern Red Oak
1280 Caribbean Heart Pine
1260 Yellow Birch
 1225 Yellow Heart Pine
1180 Carbonized Bamboo
1136 Cocobolo
1010 American Walnut
1000 Teak
950 American  Cherry
950 Soft and Ambrosia Maple
910 Paper Birch
900 Cedar
870 Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf)
860 American Red Elm
840 Lacewood
790 Cumaru
770 Sycamore
690 S.Yellow Pine (Loblolly & Shortleaf)
660 Douglas Fir
630 Sassafras
590 Larch
570 Cypress, Southern
540 Chestnut
540 Poplar
500 Hemlock
420 White Pine
410 Basswood
380 Eastern White Pine



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