Measuring Durability

Measuring Durability

When determining which floor to buy for your home, one of the most common criteria for comparison is durability. But, how does one gauge the durability of a floor? In the industry, there are two “go to” tests that measure the durability of both Hardwoods and Bamboo floors. The first is a measure of dent resistance called the “Janka Ball Hardness” test. The second is a measure of scratch resistance called the “Taber Abrasion Resistance” test.

These tests are especially important when deciding which floor to buy due to the fact that Westhollow’s, like all major flooring manufacturers, warranty does not cover scratching, denting or gouging a floor’s surface. The warranties offered by most manufacturers’ guards against factory defects, such as delamination in engineered floors or finish defects in solid floors, as does Westhollow’s.

The “Janka Ball hardness” test is performed by documenting the amount of pressure, measured in pounds per square inch, taken to embed a stainless steel ball bearing to half of its .444 inch diameter into the surface of the species. This will determine the durability of the floor when say a can of soup is dropped, a narrow high heel is worn or, to some extent, a piece of heavy furniture is dragged across its surface. While this test is the most common basis for comparison among those shopping for a floor, it is not the test which gauges the aspect of floors durability most important to the average consumer. That aspect is without a doubt the scratch resistance. This is measured by the “Taber Abrasion Resistance” test which we will detail below. That being said, our results from an independent testing institution, as well as a common listing for Strand Woven Bamboo, are listed below.

Westhollow Industry Standard
Strand Woven Bamboo-Natural 5,197 2,900
Strand Woven Bamboo-Carbonized Patina 4,649 2,900

The “Taber Abrasion Resistance” is performed by documenting the number of revolutions (cycles) taken to wear through a floors finish. This is a good measure of how well a floor will hold up to a stone in the bottom of your shoe, the scratch from a pets nails or, once again, a piece of furniture dragged across its surface. More often than not, it’s the scratch that shows up more than a dent in a floors surface. Therefore, the Taber test is a better measure of the floor’s durability in most consumers’ eyes. Unfortunately, due partly to its high cost, the Taber test is not easy to find for most floors. As a point of reference, we have researched the web to find a couple of test results performed on similar products to those of ours which were tested (see attached document).

Competitor A 4,000 Cycles
Competitor B 20,000 Cycles
Westhollow 46,500 Cycles

Janka Ball Hardness (ASTM D1037)*

Test 2
14mm Solid Strand Bamboo Carbonized Patina 4,737 4,560 4,649
14mm Solid Strand Bamboo Natural 5,295 5,100 5,197
14mm Solid Strand Bamboo Tiger 5,381 4,771 5,076

Taber Abrasion Resistance

Abrasion resistance based on procedures of ASTM D4060 Standard using the standardized "Taber Abrasion" machine. Each of the two CS-17 Taber Abrasive wheels used in the test were weighted to 500 grams (1000 grams total for the two wheels). Abrasion resistance was determined by the number of revolutions or cycles that were counted and the depth of the wear through the surface coating.

Initial Wear-through: First wear-through at any one point of the coating to the substrage.
Final Wear-through: Complete coating wear-through at all points of the test circle.
Average Wear-through: Aberage of Initial and Final coating wear-through (Coat Thickness)
Wear Rate: Number of cycles per 0.001 in. (mil) of coating thickness.

Wear-Through (Cycles)
Sample 14 mm Solid Strand Bamboo Carbonized Patina
Initial 43,000
Final 50,000
Average 46,500
Surface Coating Wear (Inches)
Initial 0.0045
Final 0.0057
Wear Rate
(Cycles per 0.001 Inch)
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