nwfa.orgFor Professionals nwfaexpo.orgFor Expo

Educating consumers for more than 30 years


Paws and claws? No problem!

Today’s wood floors are designed to withstand the traffic of busy families, including man’s best friend. Wood floors are extremely durable and can look beautiful for decades. Wood species are rated for hardness and durability.


Each species of hardwood has a different level of hardness. Generally speaking, domestic species like oak and hickory and maple are less hard in comparison to exotic species like jatoba or cumaru or ipe.

The hardness of wood is measured according to a system called the Janka Scale. The Janka Scale gives a good indication of how a wood species can be expected to perform based on your lifestyle. The scale is determined by the force required to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter in the wood. Ratings for both domestic and exotic species are included in the scale, with northern red oak considered the base value as it is the most prominent species in today’s houses and buildings. While Janka values give a general sense of hardness, other factors also contribute to the durability of wood as well. This can include things like how the wood is cut, and the finish that is applied to the wood.