Choosing the Best Hardwoods for Your Flooring Home Project
When it comes time to choose which type of wood you want for your home’s hardwood flooring project you’re going to want to know as much as possible about all of your options.
By the time you finish this article you will practically be an expert. Not only will you have a better understanding of the types of hardwoods that are best for the job, but you’ll also know a little bit more about how each are rated and what that rating means.
We’re going to list several popular species of hardwood that people are installing in their homes today, to give you an idea of why they are the one’s most selected by homeowners, and building contractors alike.
First, lets get you up to speed on how the hardness of these different species of woods are established by explaining the “Janka Hardness Scale.”
What is the Janka Hardness Rating?
The whole purpose of the Janka hardness test is to determine if a wood is suitable to be used as a long lasting hardwood flooring option.
The short definition is that this tests measures the amount of resistance a species of wood is able to produce to the average wear and tear of the wood.
The way this measurement is determined requires that a 11.28 millimeter diameter steel ball be launched into the wood to a depth of half the woods thickness.
So, the harder the wood the more force is required to reach this depth, hence the higher the force the higher the rating for each piece of wood.
The Janka test was developed by Austrian wood researcher Gabriel Janka in 1906, and has been the standard for testing the hardness of wood since 1927, when it was accepted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
What Are the Best Choices for Hardwood Floors?
When selecting your ideal hardwood floor, remember that no wood is impermeable to the effects of moisture, and wetness. All woods, no matter how hard, must be well maintained in the proper environment to get the most life out of your floor.
With that having been said, lets take a look a few of the most popular woods as determined by the Janka Ratings system.
OAK – Of all of the types of hardwoods available, Oak is by far the most selected species of wood purchased by the average consumer.
With a hardness rating of 1360, White Oak is one of the hardest options available on the market. Another popular species is Red Oak, which ahs a rating of 1260.
Now there are other types of woods that are softer and harder, but the wide availability of Oak across the saw mills everywhere make it a less expensive option while still remaining one of the champions of hardwood flooring.
American Black Walnut – A little lower on the Janka scale at 1010 is Black Walnut. Sometimes called by various other names this is a popular choice due to its wonderful grain patterns, and rich colors.
It stains well, and for a hardwood that falls in the middle of the Janka scale, it is more than capable of lasting a lifetime with good maintenance and care.
One of the good points of buying Walnut is it is a highly sustainable option that is replenished through new the replanting of trees specific to this purpose.
Hickory – If you are really looking for hardness, the n Hickory will be hard to beat.
With a rating of 1820, Hickory is practically like installing a bomb shelter wall on your floor. Although it accounts for less than 5% of the hardwood floors installed in the U.S. it can be purchased in a variety of finishes including hand-scraped, smooth, and wire brushed.
The only real downside to installing Hickory flooring is the problem for the installers, not the homeowner.
Once our instillation crews have competed the installation of this extremely durable hardwood it will last almost forever with very little care.
An excellent choice for high traffic, heavy use floors.
Now you’re ready to do a bit more research into the rest of the types of hardwood floors, and be able to make a more informed decision for your own home. Good Luck!