10-20-2011 02:44 PM - edited 11-04-2011 02:34 PM
Frequenters of the flooring aisles, I call out to you today for a question! Have you ever run across this:
Oh, really? You mean you've seen it before right? Down the hardwood aisle and right next to the sample of that really cool bamboo floor that you've had your eye on the past month eh? Perfect! But do you know what it means?
No worries! I'll explain a bit on how this little picture can make your selection process SO MUCH easier.
When you think hardwood floors, you think durable and resilient. They're floors that can stand the test of time and last just as long as the house itself with proper care! Often times I hear from homeowners that have just bought a new house and are amazed at the 50+ year old hardwood floor on the ground. It's tough to beat a flooring like that...but are they all made the same?
As far as what the numbers mean to you, we created the 1-5 scale to make the selection process a bit easier on you. On our Hardwood Quality page, you can find this quick and easy-to-follow chart comparing the different numbers and where they would most typically belong. I'll post it below for you to glance over real quick:
Now how about we break down what the actual numbers mean to the hardwood flooring world. Within the wonderful yet expansive world of Hardwood flooring, there are a vast variety of styles that hardwood comes in. From traditional Oak and Jatoba, all the way to really cool and exotic looks like Purpleheart or Padauk--there are tons of styles of hardwood out there.
With so many different styles being available comes the need to rank them, so that consumers and companies alike can see how their particular floor stands up to the others. One way of doing this is the Janka Scale, the industry standard for comparing hardwood hardiness (say THAT 10x fast!)
The way the woods are compared is by measuring the amount of force (in lbs.) that it takes for a .444-in metal ball to embed half of itself into the wood. So if for instance it took 100 lbs. of force to do this, then that woods Janka rating would be 100. Below is a chart comparing common styles of hardwood and their Janka rating, to give you an idea of where some stack up...
Now some of these woods you've never even heard of I'm sure...and that's not a problem. Some are indigenous to places clear on the other side of the world, and would be a rare sight anywhere you go. Some are also difficult to classify, such as bamboo. Since there are so many different styles of bamboo and many different ways you can use the reed (remember, bamboo is technically a grass not a wood) that it can vary quite a bit.
But common woods you might see around the house are easy enough to find. Basswood, which is commonly used for wood blinds, has a rating of 410. Douglas Fir, a common Christmas tree style, comes in at 610. And Red Oak, a very common style of flooring, weighs in at 1290.
Now is it incredibly important to know the EXACT rating of your flooring, no. Sometimes doing too much research can lead you to miss out on a floor that would be wonderful for you, because you worry too much about crunching numbers. I do that to myself so much, so I know the feeling!
That's why we've condensed it all down to our 1-5 scale so that you don't have to! Just stick with the rating system for the 1-5 scale that I posted above, and you'll be enjoying your hardwood floors for years to come!
Hope this helps you all out and keeps you informed as you make your flooring and decor decisions! Learning something new everyday is the spice of life, so hopefully I've helped fulfill today's quota!
Join me again next time for the next thrilling installment of, Just Ask Mr. Jay!
I’m a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.