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
Santos Mahogany
Purple Heart
Hard Maple
Australian Cypress
White Oak
American Beech
Red Oak
Yellow Birch
Heart Pine
Black Walnut
Black Cherry
Yellow Pine LongLeaf
Yellow Pine ShortLeaf
Douglas Fir

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