How to Choose Between Oak and Maple Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is the preferred flooring material for homeowners across Canada. But when choosing hardwood flooring for your Toronto home, choosing the right species can be difficult. It often comes down to oak or maple hardwood flooring. Both species, after all, are very durable and have warm hues and distinct personalities.

But how do you differentiate between them? Here, we provide a brief guide to the differences between maple and oak hardwood flooring to simplify your choice.

Oak vs. Maple Hardwood Flooring: The Look

Maple hardwood flooring’s blondish creamy hues have subtle and fine grain patterns that come with an occasional swirl. If you are looking for a contemporary look, the clean complexion and light colours of maple are a good choice.

Oak hardwood holds a classic appeal for homeowners and comes in two primary colours: red and white. Red oak is lighter with a salmon-pink tone in the heartwood and heavy grain patterns. White oak comes a little darker, with light brown, nutty, and cocoa hues. Its grain patterns are dramatic and range from sleek and simple to intricate.


Oak vs. Maple Hardwood Flooring: The Staining

When it comes to staining, oak is more porous which makes it easier to stain. Staining maple can be extremely difficult. That’s why it often comes with a natural finish or is finished with light or neutral stains.


The Difference of Style Between Oak and Maple Hardwood Flooring

Maple hardwood flooring’s subtle grains make it a good match with modern interiors. Oak, on the other hand, has more personality in the grains. It is a classic flooring choice for hardwood in Toronto since it can go with both traditional and contemporary interiors.


Comparing the Durability of Oak and Maple Hardwood Flooring

Both types of hardwood flooring are durable enough to last for generations. Compared to oak, maple is the harder wood species. White oak has a Janka rating of 1360, while red oak is 1290; maple is 1450. This makes the latter best for high-traffic areas.

Oak is also strong and resistant to dents and scratches which makes it ideal for outdoor spaces such as patios and decks.


Pros & Cons of Oak Hardwood Flooring

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of oak hardwood flooring.

Pros of Oak Hardwood

  • Oak hardwood floors are more stable than maple.
  • The aesthetic value of white oak is far greater than other flooring options.
  • Oak stains well and hence the planks look more uniform.

Cons of Oak Hardwood

  • Oak is a heavy hardwood so needs to be installed professionally.
  • Blight is a common issue in oak trees and may affect the strength and appearance of the wood.


Pros & Cons of Maple Hardwood Flooring

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of maple hardwood.

Pros of Maple Hardwood

  • Maple’s subtle grains make it a good choice for open and large spaces.
  • It can be used in areas with both high and low foot traffic.
  • Maple hardwood flooring is extremely stable.
  • It is resistant to surface scratches and dents because of its porosity.
  • Maple costs less than oak.

Cons of Maple Hardwood

  • Maple hardwood flooring can bend and twist sooner than any other hardwood floor in extreme weather conditions.
  • It’s hard to stain maple, so there are limited colours available unless you go for prefinished options.


Oak vs. Maple Hardwood Flooring: The Cost

Maple is slightly more affordable than oak hardwood flooring. It costs between $7 and $11 per square foot, including material and installation. Oak is $1 to $6 more per square foot.

Choosing between oak and maple hardwood can be difficult. Both are extremely gorgeous hardwood flooring options. Consider their features and appearance to decide which hardwood flooring makes the most sense for your home.

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