With the Janka hardness scale, you can easily compare the hardness of different woods, helping you to choose the best hardwood flooring for your North Chicago home. Let’s take a quick look at the Janka hardness scale, including how it works and what you need to know about it.

janka hardwood flooring north chicagoPurpose of the Janka Hardness Scale

The primary purpose of the Janka hardness scale is to help you compare the hardness of different woods. The higher the rating a wood species receives, the tougher it is. To obtain a rating on the Janka hardness scale, a .444″ piece of steel is embedded into the wood half its diameter deep. This type of testing allows wood experts to see how well the wood species can stand up to scratching and denting as well as heavy foot traffic.

Hardwood in North Chicago

If you are going shopping for hardwood flooring in North Chicago, it is important that you be familiar with the Janka hardness scale. While almost all types of hardwood flooring are durable and long-lasting, depending on your preferences and needs, you may need a species of wood that is extremely resistant to damage, such as Brazilian walnut. It is imperative when comparing hardwood flooring that you take into consideration other factors besides the Janka hardness scale, including plant construction, the type of finish the wood has, and the amount of foot traffic the floor will likely endure.


janka hardness scale hardwood in North Chicago

Examples of Janka Hardness Scale Ratings:

  • American cherry – 950
  • Natural bamboo – 1380
  • American walnut – 1010
  • Teak – 1155
  • Brazilian cherry – 2350
  • White oak – 1360
  • Northern red oak – 1290
  • Hickory – 1820
  • Hard/sugar maple – 1450


As you can see, woods greatly vary in their Janka hardness scale rating. Remember, the more foot traffic you expect an area of your home to endure, the higher the Janka hardness scale rating you will want the wood flooring species to have. Do keep in mind, though, that the higher the rating a wood species has, the more expensive it will likely be in terms of purchase price and installation price. Harder woods need special types of cutting tools, which drives up the price for installation. Still yet, investing in harder woods means you are less likely to have to replace or repair them due to physical damage or rotting.

Start Today!

Are you interested in learning more about hardwood flooring for your North Chicago home? The experts at Floor Coverings International North Chicago are here to help! Call us today for a complimentary consultation and visit from our mobile showroom. We offer a wide range of hardwood flooring at competitive prices to the greater Chicago, Lake View, Ravenswood & Lincoln Square area.

Photo credits: Det-anan, pics721