Maple has emerged as one of the most sought-after alternatives for hardwood flooring in the United States because it combines durability and aesthetic appeal.
It is a hardwood that can withstand decades of use, and its colour is light and neutral, making it suitable for practically any interior design.
Additionally, the price is really reasonable. Despite its widespread use, maple does have a few drawbacks, which you need to be aware of before deciding whether or not to install this kind of flooring in your house.
Pros Include a Subtle Appearance and Long-Lastingness.
Maple has a consistent hue that gives it a refined and understated appearance, which allows your furniture to take the spotlight. Because it is one of the most long-lasting and cost-effective types of wood, it is an excellent option for a house with a lot of activity.
Maple’s silky, sand blonde tones and finely patterned grain give a basis that is neutral enough for both light and dark furniture to be built upon.
It’s also great for modern interiors favouring simplicity and lighter colour palettes, such as those seen in modern Scandinavian, mid-century, and seaside houses.
Whitewashing is performed effectively on maple, although it is more challenging and costly than whitewashing oak or ash.
The light hue helps maximize the effects of sunshine, making it an excellent option for spaces that are gloomy or have limited space. On the other hand, maple has a consistent colour and grain pattern appearance, making it an excellent choice for use in vast areas.
Absorption of Harmful Effects
Even though there are many different kinds of maple trees, the sugar maple and the black maple are the ones that are most often used for flooring since they are the toughest.
The fact that bowling alleys and gymnasium floors are frequently constructed from these maple species tells you everything you need to know about the level of toughness that they possess.
In the kitchen, fallen pots and pans, as well as rolling toys and furniture in the living room and children’s bedrooms, are not likely to cause significant damage to the maple.
The cheap cost of this kind of wood is a direct result of the rapid and plentiful growth of maple trees throughout the United States. It comes at a price equivalent to American hardwoods like oak, cherry, and ash. The price of exotic hardwoods like teak and mahogany will be much higher.
Consider using maple wood that is of the second or third grade to further cut down on the price of your flooring. These lesser grades feature some colour streaks and little knot holes but no faults that would jeopardize their endurance.
These colour streaks and knot holes are quite minor. In point of fact, if you want to get a more weathered appearance, you should choose for lesser grades because of the imperfections that come with them.
Maple is better for the environment than wood from slow-growing trees like oak, walnut, or cherry because it grows in abundant quantities. This extra advantage makes maple a more ecologically friendly choice.
Cons in Color Palette and Clearly Visible Scratches
It is not simple to alter the colour of a maple floor, and even little damage tends to be extremely noticeable to the naked eye.
Problems with Spotting and Staining
If you don’t like the natural hue of maple and are considering utilizing it for your floor, you should reconsider. Because maple has such a tight grain, the wood does not take stain very well in most locations.
However, the stain will soak in more and give a deeper colour in the areas that are relatively few in number and have a more open grain. The end effect is often an uneven and blotchy appearance.
This presents a particularly difficult challenge when attempting to lighten the colour of a maple floor. If you want a light floor without having to stain it, you should opt for a high-quality maple, which is often quite close to being white in colour.
You will have a higher chance of attaining an even finish if you choose a deeper stain, but ultimately, consider using a dye instead. Maple is a difficult wood to work with. Thus, hiring an expert to stain or dye the wood is advisable.
Scars That Are Clearly Visible
Maple’s high hardness makes it resistant to scratches, but if one does appear, it will be more noticeable against the wood’s uniformly smooth grain than it would be on another kind of wood whose grain is more intricate and noticeable.
In parts of your floor that see a lot of foot traffic, you should apply a protective coating so that it stays looking nice. After that, you may use a wax rubbing compound to polish the surface and remove any minor scratches.
Maple is not a suitable option for flooring in high-traffic areas or in any room where children will be dragging their toys about, especially if you want your floor to retain its perfect appearance.
Heavy usage will not cause significant damage, but it may, for many years, lead to the accumulation of noticeable superficial dents and scratches.
Rubber-soled shoes have a tendency to create black scuff marks on maple flooring, which you may have seen if your gym has maple flooring. These markings should disappear with a simple wiping with an eraser or even your shoe on the area in question.
Problems with Humidity
Maple is one of the hardest woods, although it is not as stable as other types of wood. This indicates that it can adapt more quickly to changes in its surrounding environment.
The floorboards may contract, warp, or crack if there are significant shifts in temperature or humidity, such as in regions that are either highly wet or extremely dry.
You can extend the life of your maple floor by maintaining the room at a consistent temperature and humidity level throughout the space. This may require the use of a humidifier or a dehumidifier.
Maple flooring is susceptible to damage not only from improper drying but also from improper storage; thus, before purchasing, it is important to pick a provider that can ensure that the wood has been treated appropriately.
The elegance that comes from being subtle has helped maple become a time-honoured classic that is particularly popular in today’s home design.
Its low cost has also contributed to its rising popularity. Maple is very long-lasting and considered to be one of the toughest wood species used for flooring.
If you don’t mind the possibility of superficial scratches and can keep the humidity in your house under control, maple flooring is a good option.
However, if you want darker floors or like the intricate grain patterns that wood surfaces may have, you could be happy with walnut or cherry flooring instead of maple flooring.
If you live in an area with either a very dry or highly humid climate, selecting a species of wood that is better suited to your surroundings will be the more practical option.
Hard maple and soft maple are two broad words used when characterizing maple hardwood, so keep that in mind if you’re in the market for maple.
The Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and the Black Maple (Acer nigrum) are both referred to as “Hard Maple.” Hardwood flooring and other furniture made from any of these maple trees are of the highest quality. All that wonderful maple syrup comes from the Sugar Maple, of course.
Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Red maple (Acer cerebrum), Boxelder (Acer negundo), and Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum)—are together known as Soft Maple.
For obvious reasons, this kind of maple is not utilized for flooring, but it is perfect for woodworking projects like decorative accents, furniture veneers, crates, and pallets.
POPULAR PURCHASING CHOICES
Like other types of hardwood flooring, maple floors come in a variety of styles.
Depending on the manufacturer, solid Maple flooring may be found in a wide range of widths and lengths but is typically 3/4 inches thick. Many companies sell solid maple in both pre-finished and raw forms.
Pre-finished hardwood flooring has already been sealed with a sealer or stain and often has a textured appearance.
Most often, the smallest thickness of engineered Maple flooring is 1/4 inch. Again, dimensions and details like breadth, length, and finish may vary from maker to maker.
However, a considerably wider variety of colour finishes are often available with engineered hardwoods compared to pure hardwood.
For those on a tighter budget, laminate Maple flooring is a great alternative. Laminate flooring typically comes in a 5-inch plank width, but there are various colours and designs.
Because of its sensitivity to variations in humidity, maple hardwood flooring is more challenging to maintain and clean than other types of hardwood flooring. On the other hand, if it is maintained with the appropriate care and attention, it has the potential to endure for a very long time.
Its light, creamy colour, fine grain pattern, solidity, and hardness make it an excellent selection for most families, and it will not go out of style anytime soon.
It does not have the same opulent appearance and texture as darker hardwood kinds, such as cherry or red oak; nonetheless, it is a lot more economical and more environmentally friendly alternative.
As a result, it is one of the types of wood that is one of the most widely utilized in the United States. Your customers may be certain that they won’t be let down with any option they choose.