Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hardness of hardwood floors

When a person decides to purchase hardwood floors for their home or business, there are many factors that one takes into consideration. Some factors are more important to one person than they are to the next. For example, one buyer might have a predetermined budget that he needs to stay within and another buyer might not be concerned about price at all.
In addition to price, other factors one likely will consider is the stain color, the wood's country of origin, the plank size of the wood, handscraped or smooth finish, and the hardness of the wood.
With many different native and exotic hardwoods, it is difficult for most to decide on which wood is best for them. Luckily the hardwood flooring industry has adopted a scale as the universal reference for hardwood flooring hardness. That scale is called the Janka Hardness Test.
The Janka Hardness Test measures the capacity of a wood to withhold pressure. This is done by measuring the amount of force required to insert an 11.28 millimeter (.444 inches) diameter steel ball half its diameter deep into the wood. Doing so creates a circular indention with an area of 100 square millimeters.
These particular data are expressed in pounds-force (lbf), and are side hardness data. This means that the testing was done on the surface of a plank, with the force exerted perpendicular to the grain.
Here is a link to a photo of the Janka Hardness Scale (copy & paste the address in your internet browser):

Brian Heltzel