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Rating

The Janka Hardness Scale measures the hardness of wood and is typically referred to in comparing the hardness of wood flooring types. Created in 1922, the first Janka rating results were given in units of pressure (Pa). It wasn't until the test was standardized in 1927 that the results were given in units of force (F).

The relative hardness of wood species is measured using what is called a Janka Hardness Rating. This test measures the force needed to embed a steel ball (.444 inch in diameter) to half its diameter in the piece of wood being tested, with the rating measured in pounds of force per square inch. So with this rating system, the higher the number the harder the wood.
Wood hardness is important since one of the key considerations in selecting the species of wood floor your floor should be how much resistance the wood has to scratches and indentations. For example, if you have a dog with long nails then scratching the floor is a consideration and you should select a species with a higher rating such as Iron Bark, Spotted Gum or Blackbutt.

While the Janka Hardness Scale only helps to classify woods based upon hardness and density, it can be a good indication of how much wear and tear a particular wood can withstand. The woods in the upper portion of the Janka Scale, such as 12 and higher tend to resist denting more than softer woods with a rating of 6 and under . The Janka rating can also help determine how difficult a particular wood will be to saw or nail.

Janka Hardness Scale

High Ranking
Harder wood and bamboo types can be found in the upper portion of the Janka Scale and are generally recommended for high-traffic areas in homes and businesses. Woods that have a high ranking include Iron Bark, Ebony, Grey Box and Strand Woven Bamboo.

Medium Ranking 
Medium density woods are good for most home applications, such as living rooms and dining rooms. Certain woods may not be recommended for high traffic kitchen use. Some common types are Blackbutt , Brush Box, Blue Gum, Standard Bamboo and Ash.

Low Ranking
Wood types on the lower end of the Janka Scale are best for low-traffic areas such as bedrooms and closets. Softer wood types include American Oak, Black Cherry, Teak,  Ash, Rose Wood and Chestnut.

Some understanding of the Janka Hardnesss Scale can help you decide which hardwood or bamboo flooring will stand up to your particular needs

SomeTimber species rating chart 

Common name

Botanical name Colour description Hardness
(janka)(kN)

Brush Box

Tristania conferta Dark pink to rich red 9.5

Spotted Gum

Corymbia maculata Mid to dark brown
with olive hue
11.0

Stringy Bark

Eucalyptus spp Creams, browns
pinks, varied
7.5-8.8

Grey Box

Eucalyptus microcarpa Pale Yellowish brown 15

Grey Ironbark

Eucalyptus paniculata Pale brown to dark chocolate brown 16.3

Blackbutt

Eucalyptus
gummifera
Cream to pale brown 8.8

 

  Pale cream, whitish, with a pink tinge 7.2

Satin Ash

Eucalyptus
viminalis
Pale browns, golds, light creams 6

Tallowwood

Eucalyptus
microcorys
Cream, dark to yellow brown 8.6

White Mahogany

Eucalyptus
acmenoides
Cream to grey brown 10

Northern Rivers Creams

Mixed Creams, pale browns, yellow, honey  

Amber Ash

Eucalyptus gummifera Pink to dark red 8.8

Rose Gum (flooded)

Eucalyptus grandis Pale pink to dark orange red 7.5

Grey Gum

Eucalyptus
propinqua
Red browns to pink 14.0

Red Mahogany

Eucalyptus
resinifera
Pale to dark red 12.0

Turpentine

Syncarpia
glomerifera
Red brown to deep red 12.0

Blue Gum

Eucalyptus
saligna
Dark pink to rich red 9.0

Red Ironbark

Eucalyptus sideroxylon Deep red to yellow sapwood 11.9
Northern Rivers Reds Mixed Reds, pinks, burgundies  

 

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