When choosing wood types for flooring or any other project, it is important to consider hardness.
The hardness of a wood will determine the durability of a wood. It will also determine how well it stands up to things like heat and moisture.
Choosing the correct wood for your project is essential. If you are thinking about using Aspen, understanding its characteristics will help you decide.
While Aspen is technically a hardwood, it has some softwood qualities that could exclude it from certain applications.
Hardness of Aspen: Basic Idea
Before you decide to use Aspen for a flooring material or other application, it’s best to know about its makeup.
There are many things to consider before deciding it is a good choice, such as:
- Hardness compared to other wood
- Strength of Aspen
- Characteristics of Aspen
- What to use Aspen for
Why is Aspen a Hardwood?
Aspen is a hardwood despite the fact that it is very soft and bendable.
It is still technically on the hardwood side of the hardness scale. However, the three types of Aspen are all at the bottom of the list.
Bigtooth Aspen, European Aspen, and Quaking Aspen are all considered soft hardwoods. Because of this, you may want to reconsider using Aspen for projects where hardness is a factor.
As with any wood, what you are going to be using it for is a crucial factor.
Wood hardness is measured using the Janka hardness test. This is a scale that measures a wood’s resistance to denting and wear.
Aspen has a hardness rating of 420 LBF. This puts it at the bottom of the scale just above where some of the harder softwoods start.
One of the effects of Aspen not being a very hard wood is that it is also not very strong.
As far as hardwoods go, Aspen is one of the weakest. This is largely due to its makeup and structure.
Aspen has a lot of knots that are very tight and small. This means there are a lot of weak points in the wood.
Aspen has a straight grain with a medium texture. It is usually light brown and has a natural luster.
Because of these characteristics, it is a relatively attractive wood.
However, it is not resistant to dents and scratching, which can easily let in water. When this happens, rot and mildew will quickly set in.
Because Aspen has very good stability, it can be used in a lot of applications. This is especially true if you need a part or piece of wood to get wet without swelling.
Aspen can be used for cosmetic pieces and decorative parts because of its soft pliability.
It also takes stains and varnishes very well. This is due to the fact that it is so soft and will absorb the compounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Which is harder: Poplar or Aspen?
Poplar is harder than Aspen. However, it is not always so simple to categorize woods.
While poplar may be harder, Aspen is more shock-resistant.
- Can Aspen be used for firewood?
One of the downsides of Aspen being so soft is that it does not produce much heat. In fact, it produces about half the heat of other woods.
Because of this, it will not be a very good choice for firewood.
- Does Aspen split easily?
Straight-grained woods like Aspen will split very easily. This is due to the fact that the grain is long and uninterrupted.
However, because of the small knots, it may split unevenly.
Knowing the hardness and physical makeup of different wood is important. It can help you make the right decisions on materials for your projects.
While Aspen may not be that hard, it can still serve a lot of purposes and be very versatile.