Jason Brown has been
recognized by Hardwood Floors Magazine:
40 Under 40 Award:

Voted Baltimore Magazine's Best of Baltimore
2010, 2013, 2015 & 2017

410-668-9131 1308 Continental Drive
Abingdon, MD 21009

A Basic Overview of the Janka Hardness Scale

Jason Brown Wood Floors Janka Hardness Scale

The Janka hardness scale is a useful tool for determining which flooring options will work for your needs based on how difficult they are to damage.

The Janka hardness scale is an important tool for anyone who hopes to have new wood flooring installed in their home. This scale uses a simple number-based system to denote how hard a wood species is. The hardness of a wood species determines how easily it is dented and scratched, making the Janka rating a useful tool when it comes to determining which wood species to use in which areas of the house.

The Industry Median

The industry median on the Janka hardness scale is based on Northern Red Oak, which has a Janka rating of 1290. Wood with a higher value than this is considered to be hardwood, while a value below this denotes softwood.

One important thing to note is that woods listed as simply “pine” or “maple” should be identified as specifically as possible if you hope to determine the true Janka rating of the flooring you’re getting. These species of wood come in many varieties (Eastern White Pine, Western White Pine, Radiata Pine, True Pine, etc), all of which have different Janka ratings. Some will be hardwood, while others are softwood.


The majority of wood species tend to be in the hardwood category. These species are best in high-traffic areas or in homes with pets and kids that put the flooring through more wear and tear than usual. Some of these species include:

  • Beech (1300)
  • Ash (1320)
  • White Oak (1360)
  • Australian Cypress (1375)
  • Hickory (1820)
  • Tigerwood (1850)
  • Amendoim (1912)
  • Santos Mahogany (2200)
  • Brazilian Cherry (2350)
  • Brazilian Walnut (3684)


Softwoods aren’t quite as common, but they’re a good option for areas that don’t get as much foot traffic. You have to be a bit more careful with these species since they’re easier to dent and damage than hardwoods. Some of these species include:

  • Red Maple (950)
  • Cherry (995 —Brazilian and Bolivian Cherry are hardwoods)
  • Peruvian Walnut (1080)
  • Heart Pine (1225)
  • Yellow Birch (1260)

Hardwood Flooring from Jason Brown Wood Floors

At Jason Brown Wood Floors, our commitment to quality installation is clear in all that we do, which is why our customers consistently rate us as one of the top contractors in the region. We have been awarded Baltimore Magazine’s Best of Baltimore Award 4 times and have been proudly serving the Baltimore Area for over 16 years. If you’re ready to speak with someone about your hardwood flooring project, we want to hear from you! Contact us at 410-668-9131 or send us a message here.

Jason Brown Wood Floors is also your convenient dealer of high-quality, professional-grade power tools. We offer brands that tradespeople trust most for the job. Come check out our Abingdon showroom to browse the in-stock selection of products and tools by Festool, Freud, Diablo, Shaper, Mirka,  Makita, Saw Stop, and Grex.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 11th, 2023 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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