The Janka hardness test is used to document the relative hardness of all hardwoods. It measures how resistant wood is to wear and tear, by measuring the force needed to embed an 11.28mm (.444 in) steel ball into the wood half way. The scale is used to help when you're buying hardwood flooring, although it also explains why some hardwoods are more difficult to work with than others. See the chart below to learn the Janka hardness of various hardwoods, which fall somewhere on the scale of zero to 4,000 (hardest).
Testing is done with hardwood lumber that ranges from one to two inches thick, so the Janka hardness chart below, should be used as a guide to learn relative hardness only. With many engineered flooring products available today, you also need to understand how factors like the core of the flooring, the thickness of the hardwood on top and grain direction affect results.
Savvy Homeowner Tip – There are numerous tropical hardwoods being mislabeled for marketing purposes. Read the Hardwood Manufacturer Associations article, Don’t be Fooled by the “Pseudo” Species, so you don't get fooled.
Janka Hardness Chart
Learn the relative hardness of these hardwoods, based on the Janka hardness scale.
Photo credits to AZWood.com.