The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28 mm (.444 in) steel ball into wood to half the ball’s diameter. This method leaves an indentation. A common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species is suitable for use as flooring.

The hardness of wood varies with the direction of the wood grain. Testing on the surface of a plank, perpendicular to the grain, is said to be of “side hardness”. Testing the cut surface of a stump is called a test of “end hardness”

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