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Is hardwood flooring required to meet hardness standards or is it merely the type of wood exposed?

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2008-01-14 16:40:12

Wood flooring is not required to meet specific hardness

standards because each wood species has unique features and


Hardness is measured on the Janka Hardness Scale. The Janka

hardness test measures the amount of force required to push a steel

ball with a diameter of 11.28 millimeters (0.444 inches) into the

wood to a depth of half the ball's diameter. The result is

expressed in pounds-force (lbf). If you're installing a floor in a

high traffic area or you have large pets, you'll want to look at a

floor with a higher Janka hardness rating because a higher hardness

rating means that the floor will be more resistant to scratches,

dents, and other types of damage. However, hardness isn't the only

factor that goes into the durability of a floor. Other factors are

the type of finish used, the amount of gloss, the number of coats,

and even the grain of the wood. It's important to understand that

while hardwood floors are tough, when it comes to indentations NO

FLOOR is impervious to damage. The standard in the wood flooring

industry is measured by comparing a given species hardness to white

oak, which has a Janka rating or 1360. By comparing to domestic

white or red oak you can tell how hard or soft a floor is. For

species like Santos Mahogany (Janka rating 2200) or Brazilian

Walnut aka Ipe (Janka rating 3680) which feature far denser grain

patterns, and are thus harder and more resistant to some damage

than species like North American Cherry (Janka rating 950) or Black

Walnut (Janka rating 1010).

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