You may be considering hardwood flooring and wondering why the wood’s hardness matters and what it is. Although the most common wood floors are oak which have a decent level of hardness, it’s not the only option. Before you make your final choice, here are the things you should know.
The Janka Hardness Scale
All wood species are rated for hardness on the Janka Hardness Scale. This rating system, standardized by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM) in 1927, indicates the hardness of the wood species. The higher the number, the harder the wood. For example, Brazilian Cherry is at the top of the hardness scale with a rating of 2350 and Douglas Fir are at the bottom with just a 660 rating. Although a specific piece of each species may test slightly higher or lower depending on the graining, the rating on the scale is the generally accepted number.
Why Hardness Matters
The softer the wood, the more easily it scratches and dents. Families with dogs, especially larger ones, will want a harder wood species to avoid scratches from their nails. If you’re considering hardwood flooring in a home office and plan on a chair with wheels, it will leave dents in even oak flooring which falls in the middle of the scale. We also recommend families with small children who may have wheeled vehicles the either ride or push on the floors consider a harder wood species. In short, if you want your wood floors to look great as long as possible, choose a wood that can sustain the regular activities in your home.
Should the Janka Hardness Scale be the Only Factor in Choosing Wood Flooring?
No, we certainly don’t recommend you choose the wood species solely on hardness. Afterall, over time all wood will show signs of aging like scratches and dents. There are other elements you’ll want to consider. The main one is likely your budget, followed closely by the look you’re going for with your new hardwood flooring.
Your flooring company may recommend a different finishing process if you have kids, pets or high traffic in your home. Of course, you can help by keeping dog’s nails trimmed, asking people to remove their shoes when they enter your home and using a floor mat outside and a rug inside all doors. Good maintenance, including daily sweeping, will help reduces scratches too.
If you’re looking for a flooring company to answer your questions and guide you to the right wood species for your family and lifestyle, call Authentic Hardwood Flooring. We will provide you with our recommendations that work within your budget. Call (727) 786-6330 to schedule your free estimate today.