When deciding the type of hardwood to install in your home, it is important to understand all the factors that go into choosing the right species of wood. Unfortunately, there is some flooring lingo thrown around that may not make sense to non-professionals, which makes it hard to make an educated decision of your own. The Janka Hardness Scale is one of the most used variables when discussing the durability and longevity of a wood species. Although the experts at Floor Coverings International Chandler-Gilbert can easily base our recommendations off this scale, we want you to understand it too!
What is the Janka Hardness Scale?
The Janka Hardness Scale was invented in 1906 by Austrian wood scientist Gabriel Janka. The test measures the hardness of different species of hardwood, which is helpful when determining their resistance to scratches and damage. The test measures the amount of force required to push a .444 inch diameter steel ball halfway into a 2x2x6 inch piece of wood. The scale has a range of 0-4000, and the higher the number, the harder the wood. Red Oak has a score of 1290, and serves as a benchmark against which other woods are compared. It is common to hear phrases such as, “Mahogany is 71% harder than red oak”, which is referring to their respective scores on the Janka scale.
How Should You Use the Janka Scale?
Many homeowners believe that in order to ensure the best longevity of their hardwood floors, they should choose a species with a very high Janka rating. In reality, most of our Gilbert customers choose wood species with relatively low Janka ratings, such as oak or cherry. This is because most of the very hard wood species are not only expensive, but they can also be more difficult to install due to their hardness. With difficult installations, it is sometimes necessary to order extra wood if there are mistakes cutting and sizing the wood, which then makes the project even more expensive.
The Janka scale is important, but ultimately you should choose the hardwood that you think is the best fit for your home and budget. There are many different types of hardwood that have different tone, grain, and receptiveness to stain, all of which should also be factored into your decision. All hardwood species have the potential to get scratched, which is why it is more important to practice regular maintenance and prevention than to get the hardest wood possible.
Get Started in Gilbert Today
Let the experts at Floor Coverings International Chandler-Gilbert help you find the perfect hardwood for your home. We will walk you through the Janka rating, the color, the grain, and more to make sure you understand exactly what you are getting. Schedule your free in-home consultation today! We proudly serve Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Mesa, Maricopa and the surrounding areas.
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Photo: © RomanR