Relative Hardness of Selected Wood Flooring Species


The Janka (or side) hardness test measures the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its’ diameter in wood. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. By the same token, it is also a good indicator of how hard or easy a species is to saw or nail.

For example, Northern Red Oak has a Janka hardness of 1290. Brazilian Cherry, with a rating of 2350, is nearly twice as hard. If you are accustomed to working with Red Oak and decide to use a Brazilian Cherry instead, you can expect it to be much harder to cut and nail.

Brazilian Cherry
Mesquite
Santos Mahogany
Merbau
Jarrah
Purple Heart
Hickory/Pecan
Padauk
Wenge
Hard Maple
Australian Cypress
White Oak
Ash
American Beech
Red Oak
Yellow Birch
Heart Pine
Black Walnut
Teak
Black Cherry
Yellow Pine LongLeaf
Yellow Pine ShortLeaf
Douglas Fir

 Less Hard —————————————————————————— More Hard