I know I am really getting into the weeds here, but using the Janka Rating System is an important part in selecting the right wood for your wide plank flooring. Whenever we discuss a project with a client, we keep this rating system in the back of our minds in order to help guide them to selecting the right wood to use.
The Janka Scale measures the force required to embed a 11.28mm (.444 in) steel ball into wood to half the ball’s diameter. In simpler terms, it measures the relative hardness of a given type of wood.
Now, you would think that choosing the hardest wood available (such as Hickory) would be perfect for a high-traffic area such as a kitchen, there is one other factor you must keep in mind in order to find the proper hardness to use—the relative humidity of your living space. Generally speaking, very hard woods need a consistent humidity level around 35% – 50% in order to be stable, so if you live in an extremely dry climate, a wood such as Maple may not be the right choice.
It may sound a bit overwhelming, but it’s really not because we’ll help guide you through the process of picking the perfect wood. And rest assured, there are a wide range of flooring options available for your particular application.
The Janka Rating sample below will give you an idea of the relative hardness of some commonly used flooring woods.