The actual hardness of hardwood flooring is a very important feature to consider. The durability of a hardwood floor primarily determined by it’s degree of hardness. Now, while all hardwood flooring is “hard,” the fact is that there are degrees of hard. Will your choice be hard enough to deal with the high-traffic areas of your home? Will your hardwood flooring cope appropriately with moving furniture and the pitter-patter of little (and no-so-little) dog and kitty feet?
Hardwood flooring’s hardness is determined using a procedure called the Janka Hardness Test. The test measures the hardness of a given piece of hardwood flooring by carefully quantifying the force needed to embed a .444-inch steel ball to a depth of half its own diameter, or .222 of an inch. The measurement is given in something called pounds-force (lbf). Here are some numbers so you can wrap your head around it:
- Brazilian Walnut – 3684
- Mesquite – 2345
- Birch – 1470
- Red Oak – 1290
- Walnut – 1010
- Balsa – 100
As the numbers above suggest, balsa is not one of the more popular hardwood flooring varieties! And, while these numbers provide a good baseline for a floor’s durability, other factors such as finish and construction (All hardwood floors installed in Florida need to be engineered floors.) Must be taken into account to determine a specific hardwood flooring’s wear characteristics. One of our award-winning representatives can help you make an informed choice.