WHICH HARDWOOD IS THE HARDEST?

WHICH HARDWOOD IS THE HARDEST?

2018-08-26T14:19:19+00:00 August 26th, 2018|

SOME WOODS ARE HARDER THAN OTHERS

Not all woods are created equal, or equally hard. Hardwoods come from all over the world and offer a vast variety of colors, textures, grain patterns, characteristics and hardness. The hardness of the wood you choose is a key factor when it comes to durability and the wood’s ability to withstand knocks, dents and scratches. A topcoat will provide added protection, but it is the species of wood you choose that will make the biggest difference. So how do you know which wood is harder than another?

JANKA HARDNESS TEST

There is a test known as the Janka Hardness Test that measures the force it takes to embed an 11.28mm (.444 in) steel ball into wood to half the ball’s diameter. This has become the industry standard for determining whether a wood is suitable for flooring. You may see the results stated in different ways such as pounds per force, or kilograms per force, but the main thing to remember is the higher the number, the harder the wood.

RED OAK IS THE BENCHMARK

Brazilian ebony is one of the hardest woods with a Janka score of 3692. Douglas fir is one of the softest with a rating of 660. Red oak has a Janka rating of 1290 and is used as the benchmark against which other woods are compared. Red oak is readily available with a proven track record in durability and finds the right balance between not being so hard that it is difficult to cut and nail, and not being so soft that it is easily dented. For high traffic areas, choose a wood with a rating of 1290 or higher.

BRAZILIAN EBONY, 3692

BRAZILIAN WALNUT, 3680

BOLIVIAN CHERRY, 3650

BRAZILIAN TEAK, 3540

BRAZILIAN ROSEWOOD, 3000

BRAZILIAN CHERRY, 2820

PATAGONIAN ROSEWOOD, 2800

SANTOS MAHOGANY, 2200

TIGERWOOD, 2160

MERBAU, 1925

AMENDOIM, 1912

HICKORY, 1820

KEMPAS, 1710

TIMBORANA, 1570

AFRICAN WALNUT/SAPELE, 1500

HARD MAPLE, 1450

NATURAL BAMBOO, 1410

AUSTRALIAN CYPRESS, 1375

WHITE OAK, 1360

ASH, 1320

AMERICAN BEECH, 1300

RED OAK, 1290

CARBONIZED BAMBOO, 1260

YELLOW BIRCH, 1260

HEART PINE, 1225

BLACK WALNUT, 1010

TEAK, 100

AMERICAN CHERRY, 950

SOUTHERN YELLOW PINE, 870

YELLOW PINE, 690

DOUGLAS FIR, 660