If you’re considering hardwood for your home, the Janka Hardness Scale could help you make the perfect decision. Understanding what different scores mean and what this scale measures will help you find the best hardwood for your Saint Paul home. Floor Coverings International Dakota County is happy to guide you through the Janka Hardness Scale!

What is the Janka Hardness Scale?

The Janka Hardness Scale is a method of ranking wood species in ascending order of hardness. By testing the amount of force required to embed a steel ball into a plank of wood, the Janka Hardness Scale determines durability and resistance of wood species. More force is required for a harder wood, and less force for a softer wood.

Wood With a Janka Hardness Rating of under 1000

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Woods with a rating of under 1000 are fairly soft. These wood species can still make beautiful hardwood flooring, but they are more prone to scratches, dents, and dings. A popular wood flooring option rated under 1000 is American cherry hardwood. American cherry has a Janka hardness rating of 950. Douglas fir is another affordable wood that falls under 1000 on the Janka scale. Technically a softwood, douglas fir has a rating of 660.


Wood With a Hardness Rating of 1000 – 2000

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Woods with a rating between 1000 and 2000 are ideal for hardwood flooring. These woods are durable and strong, but also flexible enough to be installed easily. This is also the most common rating spectrum for woods used in flooring. Some popular hardwoods with a rating of 1000 – 2000 are red oak (rated at 1290), sugar maple (rated at 1490), and hickory (rated at 1820).


Wood With a Hardness Rating of 2000 – 3000

hickory hardwood in saint paul

Hardwood with a rating between 2000 – 3000 is extremely durable. These woods are ideal for high-traffic areas, such as entryways. Hardwood species closer to 3000, such as Brazilian cherry, can be difficult to install. Higher rated woods are also less flexible, which can make installation difficult. These woods are also less common and often more expensive than softer woods.


Wood With a Hardness Rating of 3000+

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Wood with a hardness rating of over 3000 will be extremely durable, but also difficult and expensive to install. These woods are very inflexible and may break or splinter instead of bending. On the high end of the Janka Hardness scale sits Brazilian ebony, with a rating of 3692.



Get Started in Saint Paul Today

To learn more about your various hardwood flooring options, give the experts at Floor Coverings International Dakota County a call! We’re happy to help you find the perfect flooring for your home. Book a free in-home consultation today! We proudly serve Burnsville, Apple Valley, Eagan, & St. Paul and surrounding areas.

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Photos © Efetova Anna, osobystist, fotografos, Eponaleah, IMG Imagery, and Bojan Pavlukovic.