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If you’re looking for hardwood flooring options for your project, it’s important to keep certain details in mind. Ask yourself practical questions, such as, “is it going to be installed in an area with heavy foot traffic?” Or, “is there a specific design and style I love? Here’s a helpful guide to help you select the ideal type of hardwood floor for your home!

The Janka Scale

The Janka hardness scale is a measurement system that determines the resistance and durability of different wood species; this is typically performed with a steel ball embedded in a wood sample. Measurements are recorded based on the diameter of a produced circle and conclude whether or not the flooring is suitable for different types of use. The higher the Janka score of a type of hardwood flooring, the stronger it will be. 

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Popular Hardwood Flooring Options For Homeowners


Design: Oak has two primary species that vary in design and durability, white oak and red oak. It’s the most common hardwood type in the U.S. because of its flexibility and affordability.

Durability: Oak’s level of durability depends on the type of oak flooring you choose. Of the two, white oak ranks higher on the Janka scale at a 1360 hardness level, and red oak has a distinctive color and design, ranking at 1290 hardness. 


Design: You’ve likely seen maple flooring if you’ve visited a bowling alley. It has a very complementary tan design that matches many interior design styles. 

Durability: Maple is a popular type of hardwood flooring for its high Janka rating. Measuring at 1450 on the Janka scale, it’s an ideal flooring choice for places with heavy foot traffic. 


Design: Cherry is notable for its gorgeous, reddish-brown colors and distinctive grain patterns. However, this makes it more expensive than some other flooring options on the market. 

Durability: Cherry must be used in areas of the home with lower-traffic and less exposure to UV rays due to its tendency to darken in the sunlight. With a Janka ranking of 950, it’s the softest hardwood flooring material and should be reserved for formal areas of your home. 


Design: Walnut has unique, straight grain patterns and a rich chocolate brown color; this makes it a wonderful choice for areas of the home that don’t see too much use, like an office or formal dining room. 

Durability: Walnut has a slightly lower Janka rating with a measurement of 1010. Although it can withstand moderate levels of foot traffic, it may still be prone to minor damage in high-traffic areas. 


Design: Hickory has many designs and colors ranging from creamy tones to shades of red and brown; this makes a great choice for homes with a rustic interior design style. 

Durability: Hickory is famously used for gym floors due to its extreme durability. With a high Janka rating of 1820, it’s the perfect choice for an area with lots of foot traffic.  

Hardwood Flooring Options

As a premier Boston flooring company, our professionals at JJ Hardwood Floors are experienced in designing and installing and designing beautiful custom wood floors

Contact us today to learn more about our installation services!