How hard is bamboo flooring?

July 26, 2011 in FAQ series

There are several types of bamboo flooring offerings available, each with winning aesthetic attributes and varying hardnesses.  The hardness of bamboo flooring, hardwood flooring, and plank flooring of other categories is determined by the Janka Hardness Test.  This test is most commonly used to decide a species’ average hardness for flooring use.

The Janka Hardness Test uses a steel ball to measure the resistance of the bamboo or wood flooring surface to denting and wear.  The test measures the force required to embed the ball halfway into the surface in pounds-force (United States), kilograms-force (Europe), or in Newtons (Australia). This entry will refer to the pounds-force measurements for the United States.

The pounds-force measurements are listed as PSI, or pounds per square inch. When reading hardness measurements, for example, you’d likely encounter something like “natural bamboo flooring: 1800 psi.” This means that it takes 1800 pounds of force per square inch to wedge a steel ball into our natural flat grain bamboo flooring.

Many people assume that hardwood floors are the strongest, however, this isn’t always the case. The chart below shows how Plyboo’s bamboo flooring product line stacks up against traditional wood flooring.

This chart illustrates the PSI or Janka Hardness results of various flooring surfaces.

As you can see, bamboo flooring made by Plyboo is quite tough, especially the strand bamboo flooring.  PlybooStrand bamboo flooring is 3000psi and is much harder than oak birch,  or maple wood flooring.   Plyboo Edge Grain and Flat Grain bamboo flooring, both in natural, are considerably strong as well at 1700psi and 1800psi, respectively.

Aside from the important aesthetic considerations of your flooring choice, it is important to consider your durability requirements as well.

Whether commercial or residential, high or low traffic the hardness of your flooring product will be an important decision in your choice of flooring product. If you’d like to discuss the specifics of your next flooring project, Smith & Fong’s knowledgeable staff is ready to help. Please contact at – sales@plyboo.com or call 866-835-9859.