Wood flooring installation in Downers GroveHave you heard of the Janka scale? You may know the name if you’ve spent time shopping for hardwood floors. It’s a way of measuring and comparing the relative hardness of different wood species. The Janka scale is used throughout the flooring industry, and it’s particularly useful for comparing the toughness and durability of different hardwood flooring options.

If you are a Downers Grove homeowner in the market for hardwoods, our experts suggest educating yourself on the Janka scale and what its ratings mean. If you’re not sure where to start, the Floor Coverings International Downers Grove team has some background information to get you started:

What the Ratings Mean

On the Janka Hardness Scale, each wood species is given a numerical rating. A wood with a higher rating is considered tougher than one with a lower rating. Each rating is determined by calculating the force necessary to embed a .444 inch steel ball half its diameter into the chosen wood. This test is meant to predict how well the wood will stand up to scratches and dents, as well as saws and nails.

It’s worth noting that, although the Janka scale has become an industry standard, it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when choosing hardwood flooring. It’s a useful metric for comparing different wood species, but regardless of what type of wood you choose, your floors should withstand everyday wear and tear for many years (decades, even). Factors like plank construction and finish can impact your floors’ durability, too.

A Comparison of Common Hardwoods

Though there are dozens of wood species that have been rated on the Janka scale, here are ratings for some of the more common types used in flooring:

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

Want to learn more about the ratings of different hardwoods, or compare them in person? Give us a call! Floor Coverings International Downers Grove offers free in-home estimates and consultations to homeowners in the Downers Grove area.

Photo Credit: Yunava1