Janka Hardness Scale

As homeowners are shopping for hardwood floors for their home, something they will most likely come across is the phrase “Janka Hardness Rating”. Each species of hardwood is assigned a Janka hardness number and this number can tell some important information about the floors being considered. So what is a Janka rating and how should it influence your customer’s decision about hardwood flooring?

In 1906, an Austrian wood researcher, Gabriel Janka invented a test (adapted from the Brinell hardness test for metal) that would measure how hard a species of wood is by measuring the force required to embed an 11.28mm (.444”) steel ball into the wood to half the balls diameter. The more force required to make this indentation, the higher the Janka rating it is given. All these ratings have been organized onto a scale called the Janka Hardness Scale.

The Janka Hardness Scale starts at 0 and goes through 4000, with 4000 being an extremely hard wood, so hard it is difficult to saw. The best wood for hardwood flooring typically falls above 1000 on the scale.

Janka Hardness Scale
Image source: floorings.com

When choosing floors for a home, homeowners should keep in mind the Janka Hardness Scale as it will tell them generally how strong a floor is and how much wear and tear it will be able to handle over the years before it needs to be repaired or replaced.


Tell us what you think! How important do you think the Janka Hardness Scale is? In what ways do you think it should affect customer’s decisions about hardwood flooring? 

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *