August 5, 2012 All Flooring Solutions

Hardwood Flooring Species Hardness

Relative hardness of selected wood flooring species. (Ranked by janka hardness rating)

The Janka (or side) hardness test measures the force required to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. By the same token, it also is a good indicator of how hard or easy a species is to saw or nail. Northern red oak, for example, has a Janka hardness rating of 1290. Brazilian Cherry, with a rating of 2820, is more than twice as hard. If you’re accustomed to working with red oak and decide to tackle a job with brazilian cherry hardwood flooring, you can expect it to be much harder to cut and nail down.


Brazilian Walnut 3680
Brazilian Teak 3540
Purpleheart 2890
Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) 2820
Mesquite 2345
Santos Mahogany 2200
Merbau 1925
Jarrah 1910
Hickory or Pecan 1820
Padauk 1725
Wenge 1630
Brazilian Maple 1500
Sapele 1500
Hard Maple 1450
Australian Cypress 1375
White Oak 1360
White Ash 1320
Beech 1300
Red Oak 1290
Birch 1260
Antique Heart Pine 1225
Burmese Thai Teak 1078
American Black Walnut 1010
Black Cherry 950
Southern Yellow Pine 870

While Janka values give a general sense of hardness, many other factors also contribute to a wood floor’s durability, including the type of cut (i.e. plainsawn, quartersawn), denseness of cell structure, and finish used.

All Flooring Solutions, Inc

Charlotte Matthews

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