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How hard is a hardwood floor?

The relative hardness levels of a specific type of wood can be measured by either the Brinell or Janka hardness tests.

The type of wood floor you have in your home can dictate how often the floor will need to be refinished or will need replacing in its entirety. Some species of wood, such as pine are relatively soft so will mark much easier than types made from wood species such as oak.

The Brinell test measures the hardness of the wood by pushing a steel ball into the wood with a specific force. The ball has a predetermined diameter and the impression left by the ball is then used to measure the relative hardness of the wood. It follows then that the larger impression left by the ball the softer the wood. This is repeated at several areas across the wood surface and an average figure for hardness determined.

The other method used to measure relative wood hardness is called the Janka test. This method also uses a steel ball of a predetermined diameter.

However in this case the ball is pressed into the wood until half the ball’s diameter is sat within the wood’s surface. The force needed to do this is measured and it is this which is used to determine the relative hardness of the wood.

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