Flooring is one of the most important elements of any home’s décor and should only be selected after considering many factors, including cost, durability and versatility. You certainly have many options to choose from, but if you like hardwood flooring, then maple is a good choice. It is extremely popular with homeowners, especially for its creamy-blonde colour which blends so well with modern and Scandinavian interiors. If you are looking to install maple floors in your home, this post will walk you through everything you need to know.
Types of Maple
There are two types of maple:
Two types of maple trees are categorized as hard maple: acer saccharum (sugar maple) and acer nigrum (black maple). Both are used for hardwood flooring and other wood furniture. In addition, maple syrup is extracted from sugar maple trees.
Soft maple describes four types of trees: acer saccharinum (silver maple), acer negundo (boxelder), acer rebrum (red maple) and acer macrophyllum (bigleaf maple). These types of maple trees are not hardy and are not usually used for flooring. Instead, their wood is used for furniture veneers, pallets and crates.
Different Maple Flooring Options
Before you go out and buy maple flooring for your home, let’s look at its wide variety.
If you are working within a budget, engineered maple flooring is ideal. Apart from being relatively inexpensive, it also resists moisture thanks to a base of recycled scrap wood; the top layer remains attractive as it consists of maple hardwood. This is appropriate for basements or houses in damp areas, but it is not as durable as solid maple hardwood flooring.
Solid maple hardwood flooring is known for its durability. It is also one of the costliest hardwood options as it is made from a single block of wood. Furthermore, it can be refinished multiple times and stands up to wear and tear, making it the hardiest choice for an active household.
Though maple is a light-coloured wood, there is a wide variety of colours from which to choose. Light shades like cream, yellow and tan are apt for small rooms, as they open up and brighten the space. Darker shades, like reddish-brown, gives rooms an earthy look and create a style statement. These are appropriate for kitchens as well as living or dining rooms.
While many maple floors are straight-grained, you can select unusual patterns to make your maple flooring stand out. When you get a bird’s eye view of a maple floor, it usually features circular or elliptical patterns. This type of maple is rare and expensive. Curly maple sometimes features stripe or flame designs, whereas quilted maple features textured and wavy patterns. The latter is best for bigger rooms.
Maple flooring comes in different grades which identify the quality of the wood’s appearance. Grade 1 is the costliest, as it has a vibrant and uniform look with no knots visible in the pattern. Grade 2 has a cleaner appearance but features small knots or darker areas across the floor’s surface. Grade 3 has a more knotted look ideal for rustic décor styles; it is also the most cost-effective option.
- Maple floors are durable and withstand wear and tear.
- Maple flooring comes in a variety of grades to match different budgets. This makes it versatile and apt for everyone.
- Most maple floors feature fine grains and a uniform look which makes them appropriate for different décor types.
- Scandinavian home interiors are currently enjoying much popularity, making cream-coloured maple flooring a suitable choice.
- Maple floors are easy to clean and maintain. If kept in good condition, they can last a lifetime.
- Maple flooring is not scratch resistant but can be protected with a sealant. You can also lay rugs on the floor to prevent dents.
- Like other hardwoods, maple can react to weather changes, including fluctuating humidity levels, by swelling, warping and cracking. That’s why it is advisable to use engineered maple floors instead of solid ones in damp areas like bathrooms or basements.
- Maple floors will darken over time. Furthermore, if it is polished with oil-based polyurethane, it can react badly to sunlight and yellow. To prevent this, use water-based sealants and take proper precautions against sunlight damage.
Some Interesting Facts
Apart from all the above-mentioned key points, a few other interesting facts are listed below for your knowledge:
- This floor type is generally available in light colours like cream and light brown which work well to brighten a darker area.
- Maple trees are generally found in Asia, North America and Europe.
- There are more than one hundred species of maple shrubs and trees in the Acer family.
- Maple is a versatile wood which can also be used in furniture and musical instruments.
That’s a brief summary of everything that you should know about maple flooring. It is durable as well as moisture and dent resistant, making it an appropriate choice for households. No matter your budget, maple flooring is an option thanks to its various grades. Moreover, it is extremely popular for a clean and uniform appearance that blends well with any décor type. Why not choose maple flooring for your home?