Design Ideas

Quick guide to maple flooring

May 8, 2017
 
Hardwood Floors

With so many great options available, it can be difficult to decide what species of wood to use for your home's flooring. Understanding the species' properties, however, can make choosing a lot easier.

As Real Simple pointed out, maple is one of the hardest wood species available. That's why it is often used for heavier pieces of furniture like dressers. It's this strength and durability that also makes it a viable option to use for flooring in high-traffic areas of the home such as kitchens, living rooms, entryways and hallways.

The appealing appearance of maple
Maple floors boast a lighter and softer complexion that other species of wood floors. However, there are some exceptions. Some grades include medium and dark brown mineral streaks, while others showcase a reddish tint.

Variations of maple come in a range range of colors, from a light beige cream to a pale auburn hue. Maple also takes well to dark staining. Showcasing these aesthetics is what makes maple work well with virtually any style d├ęcor, from modern and contemporary to chic and eccentric.

Maple is available in both engineered and solid hardwood. It features fine, straight graining that is generally more subtle than other wood species. Maple floors are available in various board widths and styles, which allow you to create a customized and unique look.

"Maple floors work well with any style, from traditional to modern."

Durability and maintenance
Like most types of hardwood, maple floors are built to last. This species in particular is especially resistant to general wear and tear. The key is making sure that the surfaces are properly sealed and finished. Otherwise you increase the likelihood that they will get dinged, dented or scratched.

They also need to be carefully maintained. Once installed, maple floors should be swept or vacuumed on a weekly basis and cleaned with specific products and techniques recommended by the wood floor manufacturer.

If you go with engineered maple flooring, it likely will need to be refinished at least once, possibly more if it's solid hardwood. Also, a professional should buff it every couple of years. 

Costs and other considerations
As with most types of flooring, the cost of maple depends on the specific style and grade. Generally, maple floors tend to be relatively affordable, especially when compared to other species such as hickory. The less expensive variations will likely have more mineral streaks and knots, which can actually help establish a more unique and antiquated look.

Before you decide whether maple is the right choice for your home, there are some important things to consider. For instance, maple can be particularly sensitive to humidity, so it is not a good choice to use in the bathroom or other moisture-prone areas. Even if you live somewhere with seasonal changes or severe weather fluctuations, you want to be particularly mindful about the prepping, installation and maintenance with maple flooring. For example, if you reside in an area with:

  • Dry air and high heat: consider using a humidifier in the rooms where you have maple flooring.
  • High humidity: invest in a dehumidifier to prevent warping or shrinkage.

Because most maple floors contain a blend of hard and soft cells, staining can produce a varied look of colors and shades that can give it a blotchy appearance. To avoid this, homeowners should purchase prefinished or stained maple hardwood flooring. 

The light shading and warm hues, combined with its fine graining and high durability, makes maple one of the most sought after species of wood for homeowners to use for their floors.

To get a better idea of the variety of looks you can get with maple flooring, take a look through Anderson Hardwood's Ellison Maple collection. 

Maple 

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