Flooring, Hardwood Flooring -

What is the Hardest Hardwood Floor?

Well, how hard is hardwood?  Depends!  Each specie is quite different, and will all react differently to drops, scratches and gouges.

In order to compare hardness of different wood species, we must use a standardized test that is industry accepted.  This test is called the Janka Test. This test measures the force to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter into a piece of wood.  Why .444 inch - I don't have a clue!  But this is the test that pretty much everyone in the hardwood industry (not just flooring) goes by.  No manufacturer does their own testing, it's all done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Forest Products Laboratory, which is a division of the U.S. Government.

Janka Hardness Chart

The higher the number, the harder the wood specie is.  On average. There is a standard deviation associated with each species, but the standard deviation numbers are not published by any source. Even different pieces of wood from the same tree will be different - depending on the grain, heartwood or sapwood, etc.This Janka chart is not to be considered an absolute; it is meant to help people understand which woods are harder than others.  

But overall - we do see that Red Oak is not as hard as Maple.

So there you go - different woods do have different hardnesses, and therefore some will resist denting better than others.  

For more information, or any questions - please don't hesitate to ask!


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