Each species of wood used in flooring has a unique hardness rating which indicates its natural resistance to normal wear and tear in a home or office setting. A species receives a hardness rating based on its resistance to indentation in a hardness test. The higher the rating, the higher the durability of the hardwood. Ratings appear ranked from lowest to highest on the Janka Hardness Scale. This scale has become the industry standard for determining whether a given wood is suitable for flooring material. Red Oak, which has a Janka rating of 1260, is the industry benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of different wood species. The majority of hardwoods and many softwoods are durable enough to withstand normal flooring use with the proper installation and finishing, no matter what the Janka Scale rating is. However, all wood will dent or mar with a hard-enough impact.
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