Is it good to have a hard wood floor?

I’m always a bit hesitant to talk about the hardness of our wood surfaces because I think it gives people the idea that the floor itself is hard.  When you’re doing any kind of jumping, you’d rather not land on a hard surface overall.  But it is important to discuss because it tells you a lot about the ability of the floor to wear well.

When we’re discussing when we talk about the “hardness” of a wood floor, we’re talking basically about how easily it will dent, whether than how much it will yield when you land on it.  This is obviously important because, try as you might, you’re probably not going to be able to avoid having people drop things on your wood floors, especially in group exercise.  I don’t know that I’ve been in a group exercise room yet that hasn’t showed denting from participants dropping their hand weights on the floor.  It’s just inevitable.

To judge hardness and compare it with other surfaces, most people have used the Janka test.  This consists of taking an iron ball that is .444” in diameter and measuring how much force it requires to imbed the ball half way into the surface.  This force is measured by indicating how many pounds of pressure were required to achieve this.

It seems like a simple test and it was until the advent of prefinished floors like ours.  This test was designed for unfinished floors and the fact that the finish adds considerable hardness to the floor’s surface, especially using very hard finishes such as aluminum-oxide, has made the results all a bit murky.  Still, Janka hardness is often referred to in the sports flooring business, and floors are ranked against each other using these results.

But one can easily find a table on the internet that shows the Janka hardness of unfinished species.  They range from rankings of 100 for Balsa wood, up to things like Brazilian Mahogany, which is rated at 3840 lbs., so you can see that there is a pretty wide range.  Near the middle, we can find maple, which is most commonly used for basketball, rated at 1450 lbs.  Our main products are bamboo, also rated at 1450, and European beech, rated at 1300, which still isn’t far from maple given the spread of this spectrum.

As I said, the hardness reflects the durability of the surface, and the finish on top greatly increases this durability.  That’s one reason to make sure that your floor has adequate finish on it after years of wear.  As for the resilience, or the ability of the floor to absorb the shock when you land on it, that has to do with the various elements of the system and their ability to deflect the shock when you land on it. viagra

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