The test results in this report are based on the ASTM D1037 Janka Ball test. The Janka test is a measure used to determine the strength and durability of wood and bamboo flooring based on the amount of force required to indent the floor. The Janka hardness of bamboo flooring tends to vary a bit as it does with some wood species. Due to the thickness of available specimens its accuracy is somewhat greater on wood than bamboo. The test measures the force required to embed an 11.28 millimeter (0.444 inch) steel ball into wood half its diameter (0.222 inch) deep. This method was chosen so that the result would leave an indentation 100 square millimeters in size. Janka is one of the best measures to determine the hardness and durability of wood species.
Bamboo Flooring Pros and Cons has found that some bamboo manufacturers tend to make doubtful claims as to bamboo flooring hardness. In some situations the bamboo manufacturer will base the results of their bamboo floor hardness test by reporting the Janka values of test made on the “knuckle” or knot of the bamboo plant which occupies only a small fraction of the bamboo plant.
Bamboo Flooring Pros and Cons has also found that while it is true that natural bamboo hardness can be as hard or harder than maple carbonized bamboo is significantly softer. Natural bamboo can range in hardness from 1350 – 1750 psi (pounds per square inch). Carbonized (aka Amber) bamboo will range from 1100 – 1300 psi as the bamboo is weakened by the carbonization process.
The chart below list the relative hardness for numerous wood species used in flooring as based on a modified Janka hardness test. Bamboo and wood hardness is generally defined as resistance to indentation. The higher the number the harder the wood. While Janka is one of the best methods to measure the ability of wood species to withstand indentations, it should be used as a guideline and not the only consideration when comparing various species of wood flooring. Factors such as construction and finish should also play important functions in the maintenance and durability of a bamboo floor.
It is important to realize that while a bamboo or wood floors hardness value is only an indicator as to performance and damage resistance. All bamboo and wood flooring are natural products and will dent, ding and scratch based on use, care and traffic. The values reported by Bamboo Flooring Problems are from a number of flooring industry, manufacturer and testing resources. As with all natural flooring product test the results may vary.
Bamboo Flooring Hardness Tables – Janka Hardness Test
Wood and Bamboo
|Southern Yellow Pine (Long Leaf)||870|
|Mahogany, African, Khaya||845|
|Yellow Pine, Southern||870|
|North American Cherry||950|
|Cherry, Africa, Makore||1010|
|Black Walnut, Domestic||1010|
|Bamboo, Carbonized||1100 – 1300|
|Red Oak, Northern||1290|
|Walnut, African, Mansonia||1290|
|White Oak, Domestic||1360|
|Cypress, Australian Hard||1375|
|Bamboo, Natural||1350 – 1750*|
|Mahogany, African, Sapele||1500|
|Teak, Striped, Shedua||1650|
|Bamboo, Strand||3000 – 3300*|
|Rosewood, Brazilian (Tamarindo)||3000|
|Teak, Brazilian (Cumaru)||3540|
|Walnut, Brazilian (lpe)||3680|
* Natural bamboo can range in hardness from 1350 – 1750 psi (pounds per square inch). Carbonized (aka Amber) bamboo will range from 1100 – 1300 psi as the bamboo is weakened by the carbonization process.