(Ranked by Janka hardness rating)

If you’re interested in installing hardwood flooring or parquet floors, then take the time to learn more information about the flooring at Zoltan European Floors, Inc.

The Janka (or side) hardness test measures the force required to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. By the same token, it is also a good indicator of how hard or easy a species is to saw or nail. Northern red oak, for example, has a Janka hardness rating of 1290. Brazilian cherry, with a rating of 2350, is nearly twice as hard. If you’re accustomed to working with red oak and decide to tackle a job with Brazilian cherry, you can expect it to be much harder to cut or nail.



Rosewood 3170
Brazilian cherry 2350
Mesquite 2345
Santos Mahogany 2200
Merbau 1925
Jarrah 1910
Purpleheart 1860
Hickory/Pecan 1820
African padauk 1725
Wenge 1630
Hard Maple 1450
Australian cypress 1375
White oak 1360
Ash 1320
American beech 1300
Red oak (northern) 1290
Yellow birch 1260
Heart pine 1225
Black walnut 1010
Ash 1320
Teak 1000
Black cherry 950
Yellow birch 1260
Southern yellow pine (longleaf) 870
Douglas fir 660



(Ranked by dimensional change coefficient)

The numbers in the chart reflect the dimensional change coefficient for the various species, measured as tangential shrinkage or swelling switching normal moisture content limits of six to 14 percent. Tangential change values will normally reflect changes in plainsong wood. Quartersawn wood will usually be more dimensionally stable than plainsawn.

The dimensional change coefficient can be used to calculate expected shrinkage or swelling. Simply multiply the change in moisture content by the change coefficient, then multiply by the width of the board.

Example: A mesquite (change coefficient = .00129) board five inches wide experiences a moisture content change from six to nine percent — a change of three percentage points.

Calculation: 3 x .00129 = .00387 X 5 = .019 inches

In actual practice, however, change would be diminished in a complete floor, as the boards’ proximity to each other tends to restrain movement.

The chart is best used for comparison.

* Although some tropical woods such as Australian cypress, Brazilian cherry, merbau and wenge appear in this chart to have excellent moisture stability compared to domestic oak, actual installations of many of these woods have demonstrated significant movement in use. To avoid problems later, extra care should be taken to inform potential users of these tendencies prior to purchase.



American beech .00431
True hickory .00411
Jarrah .00396
Red oak .00369
White oak .00365
Hard maple .00353
Yellow birch .00338
Pecan .00315
Brazilian cherry* .00300
White ash .00274
Black walnut .00274
Douglas fir .00267
Southern yellow pine .00265
Heart pine .00263
Black cherry .00248
Santos mahogany .00238
Purpleheart .00212
Wenge* .00201
Teak .00186
Ash 1320
Teak 1000
Padauk .00180
Australian cypress* .00162
Merbau* .00158
Mesquite .00129