The Janka hardness test is utilized to determine if certain materials are suitable to use as hardwood flooring. With so many varieties of materials available for wood flooring, it’s important which types are appropriate for a given set of criteria or requirements. You can use the following details about the Janka Hardness Test & Scale to compare hardwood flooring.

The Janka test measures the amount of force required to embed an 11.28 mm (0.444 in) steel ball into wood (or bamboo flooring) up-to half of the ball’s diameter. This method leaves an indentation in the material. This test is a good measurement technique to determine the ability of a type of wood to withstand denting and wear. It is also a good indicator of how resistant the floor will be to sawing and nailing.

The results are stated in a variety of ways, which can sometimes cause confusion, especially when the testing units employed are often not attached to product specifications. In the United States, for instance, the measurement is in pounds-force (lbf). While In Sweden testing units are listed in kilograms force (kgf). Sometimes the results are treated as units; for example, Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring (Jatoba) has a hardness rating of “2350 Janka”.

While this may seem like a foreign language to some, the test results help us understand which flooring is best suited to each consumer’s taste as well as to their needs and requirements. Each room in your home, for instance, receives a different amount and type of foot traffic. The entryways and living spaces are likely to see the most traffic. Kitchen hardwood flooring for example receives a different type and likely more traffic volume than say the wood flooring in a bedroom. Consider the types of activity in the kitchen such as cooking or entertaining and it’s easy to see how the Janka hardness scale might help you select the right hardwood floor for your home.

We realize this is a technical topic, so, please do contact us at Floor Coverings International in East Cincinnati, OH, if you have any questions or to schedule an in-home consultation and flooring estimate.

Learn more about the Janka Hardness test on Wikipedia. Learn more in our hardwood flooring guide.