We get asked often by our wonderful customers. How hard is my hardwood flooring? Is my hardwood going to scratch? How do they determine how hard my wood is really? The universal method used to determine hardwood hardness is called the Janka Scale.
We quote, “The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28mm (.444 in) steel ball into wood to half the ball's diameter. This method leaves an indentation. A common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species is suitable for use as flooring.” Yes, in simple terms, they basically drop a steel ball into a wood sample and see how much of a dent this leaves. It is a pretty straightforward test. On the scale the higher the number the harder the wood is and the less likely it will scratch.
Hardwood flooring is beautiful and a great flooring solution as long as it is taken care of well. No matter how hard the wood floor is they all scratch to some degree. A good analogy we like to point out if scratching is a concern is the following. Although stainless steel is incredibly strong, even it will scratch. Common hardwood floors (see chart in blog) that we sell in Boise are Hickory (1820), Maple (1450), Red Oak (1290), White Oak (1360), Walnut (1010), and American Cherry (950). Walnut for example is a beautiful floor but it will scratch because it is a softer hardwood floor. Especially with its darker colors the scratches tend to show a little bit more than say a Rustic Hickory will show because hickory hardwood has a various range of colors and is a harder floor than walnut.
Please remember that although hardwood floors will scratch, they are still beautiful, and they add lots of color and variety to a home, and are a great flooring selection. If you ever need to know how hard your hardwood floor is – just look to the Janka Scale..
About Matt Capell – is the primary owner of Capell Flooring and Interiors in the Boise, Idaho, and the surrounding area. He loves flooring, business, and meeting people. His company tries to educate about flooring and the Treasure Valley and make the floor covering process a fun and great experience each and every time. Feel free to connect with me!
Read other articles I have written here.