Thanks to their light colour and unique grain pattern, maple hardwood floors are quickly becoming a common fixture in Canadian homes. The distinct appearance it offers means maple flooring is becoming a go-to for contemporary homes in Ontario and the rest of Canada.
Still, there’s one question on the mind of homeowners looking to join the maple flooring bandwagon — is maple a good hardwood floor?
The short answer is yes. Maple has many characteristics that make it a good hardwood floor. Don’t take our word for it. Here, we’ll look at why maple is an ideal option for your home’s flooring needs.
But first, what makes a hardwood floor good?
The Characteristics of Good Hardwood Flooring
This blog will help you answer whether maple is a good hardwood floor. And you can only answer that question if you know what makes a good hardwood floor.
The following are characteristics you want from your hardwood floor:
The best hardwood floors undergo a rigorous milling step to provide installers with a uniform, stable fit. Of course, whether or not you choose to go with finished or unfinished floors will affect the ease of installation.
The best option here is prefinished hardwood flooring. Its installation only involves careful layout and the expert joining of one hardwood plank to another.
High-Quality Visual Appearance
There’s no way maple is a good hardwood floor if it doesn’t pass the eye test. Aesthetics are the biggest reason homeowners spend thousands of dollars on new flooring.
A good hardwood floor provides a high-quality look that’s hard to beat. It should ooze warmth, class and beauty. Good hardwood flooring also provides a signature natural wooden look which most homeowners love.
Certain hardwood floors have grooves and other physical characteristics that accumulate dust, debris, and dirt. A good hardwood floor is easy to clean. Weekly vacuuming and mopping should be enough to keep the floor spotless.
Strength and Durability
High-quality hardwood floors undergo strict manufacturing processes. The result is usually kiln-dried, durable wood that can remain solid for generations.
A good hardwood floor is strong, hardwearing and offers long-term durability. It can withstand substantial foot traffic expected in a workplace or commercial space.
We can only classify maple as a good hardwood flooring if it increases your home’s resale value. Great hardwood flooring is a long-term investment that can add thousands to your home’s value. In fact, it can become the focal point of a resale argument.
A good hardwood floor offers a myriad of design choices. It should come in different styles, colours and stains. You should also have the flexibility to pick between unfinished and prefinished hardwood floors.
Wood has a natural ability to bounce sounds off its surface. A good hardwood floor won’t deliver vibrations or hollow sounds.
Instead, sound waves bounce off it, reverberating around the room for an immersive listening experience. Your home’s audio system and its users will enjoy better acoustics with hardwood floors.
Improves Indoor Air
Hardwood floors are not a natural habitat for dust and dirt. There are no grout lines, embossing, hair or fibres that can hold pollen, particles, dust and other allergens.
A good hardwood floor remains resilient when time and foot traffic wears down other flooring options. It won’t appear worn or tired. Instead, hardwood floors start to look more beautiful, increasing in value with time.
So, is maple a good hardwood floor? Does it tick the boxes briefly described above? The answer starts with a detailed understanding of what maple hardwood flooring is.
What is Maple Hardwood Flooring?
Maple flooring is a solid hardwood option that comes from carefully milling wood from the maple tree. Experts define maple as domestic hardwood because it’s easily available in Canada’s vast forests.
The defining characteristic of maple hardwood flooring is its distinctive colouring. Maple hardwood comes in a creamy white colour that’s nearer to brown than it is to white. Maple also comes with a subtle fine grain. Its grain structure is almost unnoticeable compared to other woods like oak.
Where Maple Hardwood Comes From
Knowledge of maple hardwood’s origin can help you determine if it’s a good option for your floor. Maple wood comes from the Acer tree — which has almost 128 species. The Acer tree’s main source is Canada and America. But you can also find it in Europe and sections of North America.
Acer trees are easily recognizable, thanks to their distinctive leaf shape. It also has vibrant leaves that transform colours based on the season. Acer leaves can be pink, purple, green or yellow.
Is Maple the Same as Oak?
Both are hugely popular hardwood species. Consequently, it can be easy to mistake oak for maple and vice versa. But, they’re not the same.
For instance, maple flooring is incredibly hard and dense. Oak is less dense and has less protection against wear.
Secondly, maple flooring has far less dramatic graining compared to oak flooring. Its calm grain pattern means maple is a good hardwood floor for larger rooms. It’ll fit right in without the floors appearing overly busy. That means homeowners in Ontario can install the best maple hardwood floors without feeling like they’re doing too much.
Related Article: How to Keep White Oak Floors from Yellowing
Why Maple is a Good Hardwood Floor
Here’s why we think maple flooring is the right decision for house owners looking to install hardwood floors:
Life isn’t all about vanity. But if you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on new flooring, it should at least look great. Maple’s distinct colouring makes it a good fit for hardwood floors.
The average maple floor can come in various warm colours, including browns, chromatic grays, beiges, browns and neutral colours. These are colour schemes that complement modern decor styles in Toronto homes.
Thanks to maple’s minimal graining, you can also expect to enjoy a smooth, clean look. Maple flooring can also come dyed, darkened or stained. It’s the perfect route to stylish floors that provide a charm reminiscent of European styles.
Simple to Clean
We all want beautiful clean floors. But, nobody wants floors that take hours to clean. That defeats the purpose of convenience and ease of maintenance.
The good news is maple hardwood floors are easy to clean. Weekly mopping using clean water and a mild floor cleaner will keep it in great shape.
With time and increased foot traffic, maple flooring may lose its lustre. You can easily cancel that out with a buffing job every two years.
Yes, maple is a good hardwood floor. A major reason for that answer is how hard it is. Maple has a rating of 1450 lbf on the Janka hardness scale. Its higher Janka rating means it’s more durable than oak and is less prone to denting. For context, oak falls short with a 1290 lbf rating.
Maple hardwood floors are super durable. Hence, installing maple hardwood is a credible option for spaces that’ll see a lot of foot traffic. This includes bowling alleys, gyms, malls and large office space.
The good thing about installing maple hardwood is the flooring will remain in style for a long time. Maple hardwood flooring has a delicate grain pattern and blonde earthy tones. This smooth combination projects minimalism and a colour palette perfect for rustic, contemporary or traditional homes.
The above means you’ll enjoy your maple hardwood floors for a long time. Their appeal is almost timeless. Don’t forget, you can always whitewash, stain or refinish maple hardwood floors to align with the latest home decor trends.
You should install maple hardwood flooring if the goal is flooring that can resist considerable force without taking damage. The idea that you can install maple flooring in a bowling alley should provide insight into how hard it is.
Maple hardwood can resist damage due to heavy furniture. In the kitchen, it can resist damage from falling pans. It can also withstand the results of experiments playful kids are likely to try. Maple flooring can resist these stressors without suffering damage.
Better Air Quality
You should seriously consider installing maple hardwood flooring if you’re worried about the air you breathe. Naturally, this flooring option is super resistant to dust.
Maple flooring has no fibres that can hold dust and other allergens. Consequently, it acts as a controlling agent against airborne contaminants within your space.
It’s normal to consider whether or not installing a maple hardwood floor is worth it. This level of consciousness comes with every expensive decision.
The benefits described above make maple flooring worth it. But it also comes with a low, upfront cost compared to other hardwood flooring options.
We both know the symbolic importance of the maple leaf to our dear country. Well, maple grows quickly in Canada (same in the USA), a situation that contributes to its abundance and relative low cost. Maple hardwood is more affordable than oak, ash, cherry, mahogany and teak.
In the same vein, maple hardwood flooring comes in various grades and designs. Consequently, finding an option that fits a tight budget isn’t such a difficult prospect.
You can also reduce the initial installation costs by using 2nd or 3rd-grade maple planks. These lower grades may have colour streaks or knotholes. But these flaws shouldn’t compromise their durability. In fact, these flaws may be a plus if your home decor has a rustic theme.
Maple hardwood floors have minimal graining. Its subtle graining also means maple hardwood has minimal imperfections. Therefore, you can always bank on a smooth homogenous look when you install it.
Great for the Environment
Maple is good for a hardwood floor if you care about the environment. Maple trees are hugely abundant in Canada and North America. It also has a short growth timeline. These factors combine to make maple hardwood flooring a better environmental option than cherry, walnut and oak.
Are There Any Downsides to Installing Maple Flooring?
There are two sides to every coin. Here, we’ll explore the dark side of installing maple hardwood flooring:
Prone to Marks and Scratches
Part of the reason maple is a good hardwood flooring is the blonde earthy tones it provides. Maple hardwood has light colour tones and minimal graining. While it can resist heavy damage, these features leave maple hardwood susceptible to males and scratches.
This downside to installing maple flooring isn’t a big deal for many people. But you should think about it if you have a pet. Dogs and cats have claws that’ll leave marks in maple flooring after a long time. The same applies if you have kids who play with plastic toys.
You can still install maple hardwood flooring even if you have pets and little kids. It just means you’ll have to refinish your flooring more often than usual.
Hard to Stain
Maple hardwood flooring has trademark tight graining. Its minimal graining is easy on the eye. But, it does come with the side effect of making it difficult to stain the floor. If you approach it without expert knowledge, you’ll end up with uneven patches.
You can solve this problem by going for high-quality maple flooring. Top-grade maple hardwood floors are white and easier to darken with a dye. On a final note, it’s better to leave staining and dyeing work to the professionals. They can ensure you get the sparkling results you want.
Sensitive to Heat and Humidity
Maple is sensitive to sharp changes in temperature and humidity — just like every other hardwood flooring option out there. This characteristic means maple flooring isn’t a great option if you deal with summer humidity in your home.
With humidity changes, maple hardwood floors can warp, split, contract, and expand. The good news is you can always use a humidifier to control the humidity levels in your space during the winter months. Similarly, a dehumidifier can keep the humidity at the appropriate levels during the hot summer months.
Loses its Lustre
A big downside to installing maple hardwood floors is that it fades over time. Constant exposure to sunlight and UV rays will yellow hardwood floors with light tones. The same applies to maple flooring.
Maple flooring losing its lustre isn’t such a bad occurrence. The problem comes when only one section of the floor loses colour due to sunlight exposure. You’ll be left with a two-tone effect that’s displeasing to the eyes. The only fix here is to refinish the entire floor.
No Grain Pattern
Maple hardwood flooring may not be the best option if you want a floor with distinct natural patterns. Maple hardwood floors have minimal graining that’s plain compared to other hardwood options.
Related Article: What is Wire Brushed Flooring?
So, Is Maple a Good Hardwood Floor?
Maple is a beautiful hardwood that looks incredible in different spaces. But appearance isn’t the only factor that makes maple a good hardwood floor option.
Maple hardwood is one of the most durable out there. Hence, it can handle high volume traffic in commercial and residential spaces alike. Maple hardwood also has a clean grain style that’s ideal for a minimalist aesthetic.
Maple hardwood flooring offers the benefits above while remaining on the affordable scale. It’s also eco-friendly.
All the above combine to make maple hardwood flooring a great option for your home or office. And here at LV Flooring, we’ll make sure you get maximum value for money while you’re at it.
Look through our online store for high-quality maple hardwood designs that tick the above mentioned boxes. Or you can call us if you have any questions. We’ve got you!