Wood hardness is measured on the janka scale. The janka scale ranges from about 100 to 4000, with higher numbers indicating wood that is harder. The lowest wood on the scale is generally balsa wood, which is used for many craft projects. It ranks at 100 and would not make a good floor. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a wood that ranks near 4000 would not make a great floor because it would require so much work to saw and to nail. It would be a hassle to sand it and finish it. Typically, a good hardwood floor is about 1000 or higher. For comparison, different strands of oak range from 1260 to 1360. They’re also the most popular kinds of hardwood flooring for several reasons.
When properly maintained, anything over 1000 on the hardness scale can make a great hardwood floor that lasts for a very long time. However, the hardness does matter. Why does it matter?
High Heels and Pet Claws
If you wear high heels often or if you have pets such ads dogs and cats, you can scratch your wood. The heels on the wood will make tiny scratches every time you walk. They’ll begin by scratching at the polyurethane coating but over time, they will start to scratch the wood itself. Teh same is true for pet claws. If you want to prevent this, you can make sure you maintain the polyurethane on your flooring. You can also choose a harder wood.
High Traffic Areas
If you are installing wood floor in a high traffic area, you might benefit from a harder wood. Every time you move furniture or track dirt through the house, you are exposing your hardwood to tiny scratches. Sand and dirt might not seem like they can scratch a wood floor, but they definitely can. To prevent this, you can choose a wood that is higher on the hardness scale. Also, you can take care to clean your floor regularly.
Does Hardness Matter?
Hardness matters but not as much as some people might think. If you choose a softer wood, but you take care to clean it and protect it from danger, it will last longer than a harder wood that you do not maintain. The finish on the wood will also affect how long it lasts without being scratched. In conclusion, hardness matters but maintaining the wood flooring matters even more.