The Janka Hardness Scale: 3 Points to Consider When Choosing Hardwood Flooring

Did you know that a woman in a pair of high-heeled shoes has a greater chance of damaging your coveted hardwood floors than say -- an elephant?

Yes, an elephant.

When it comes to the amount of pressure this massive land animal can create with each step, we're talking a whopping 50 to 100 pounds per square inch (psi).

But a 130-pound woman in high heels -- when she takes a step across your hardwood floors, she's coming down with a force of more than 2,000 psi!

2,000 psi!

And that's if her heels are in good condition.

If they've been through a lot of mileage and the nails are exposed, the psi can be as high as 8,000.

Is it any wonder then how high heels can cause so much destruction to your beloved hardwoods?

While no species of wood can be totally resistant to damage, some can take a beating better than others.

When looking to purchase new hardwood floors for your home, one of the many factors to consider is the durability of the wood.

That's where the Janka hardness scale comes into play.

Janka Scale The Janka Hardness Scale

The Janka hardness scale is a tool you can use to determine how hard a type of wood flooring is and if it will be a good fit for your lifestyle.

It measures how much force is needed to create an indentation in a piece of wood using a small steel ball.

Remember the following about the Janka scale and hardwood flooring to help choose the best option for you.

1. Higher Rating Equals Higher Durability

The higher number a wood species receives on the Janka scale, the more durable option for your flooring. For instance, white pine has a score of 420 and is a softer wood than Brazilian Cherry with its score of 2350.

2. Most Floors Can Take General Wear and Tear

You don’t have to tip toe across your floors if what you purchase is in the middle-range on the Janka scale. Most woods are able to withstand the general treatment that comes from day-to-day living in your home.

3. All Woods Require Care and Maintenance

No matter the rating, all hardwood floors require upkeep and none are 100 percent resistant to indentation. Use protective measures to limit the possibility.

Place area rugs in high-traffic areas, avoid dragging furniture across the room, and trim your pet’s nails regularly.

It may also be a good idea to have your guests remove their high-heeled shoes at the door. In the case of your softer woods, they can very well cause dents in your floors -- and if the heels are worn down, they can definitely ruin the hardest of wood flooring.

Use the Janka hardness scale as a guide to choosing the right hardwood flooring for your home.