The Janka Scale of Hardness is the industry standard for determining whether or not hardwood is suitable for flooring. It measures dent and wear resistance but not scratch resistance.

What is Janka?

Created in 1906 by Austrian Wood Researcher Gabriel Janka, this test uses a steel ball with a 2 X 2 X 6 piece of wood to strike the hardwood, analyzing the number of pounds needed to get the ball halfway into the wood. The scale starts at zero, meaning that the wood is soft and easy to dent and obviously would not make for a good floor. Sometimes, though, the wood can also be too hard, making it difficult to saw, such as anything that hovers around the 4,000 number.

Keep in mind that there are always other factors to determine how well a floor will withstand wear; grain pattern, for instance, can slightly vary results. So can your level of maintenance; for example, American cherry measures 950 on the scale, but if you take care of it, the floor will last for decades and be a perfect choice.

Oak: the king of wood flooring

One of the most popular hardwood species, it's also hard, with white oak coming in at 1360 and red oak not far behind at 1290. White oak has a distressed, vintage appearance with raised grains, a delicate grain pattern, and a brown/tan color when lightened with stain. Designers favor this species because it can work with any home atmosphere. With open pores, swirls, and wider grain lines, red oak is lighter than white oak and has pink undertones.

By no means is this a complete list; some of the other hard species include Hickory/Pecan, 1820; hard maple, 1450; white ash, 1320 and birch, 1260.

When shopping for wood floors in Omaha, NE

Be sure to come into Kelly’s Carpet Omaha. Our designers can help you find the perfect hardwood flooring with the right level of hardness, and you'll also get a free quote. Our showroom is in Omaha, NE, and we're convenient to Omaha, Elkhorn, Papillion, Ralston, Bennington, and Bellevue. hardwood