With its strength and natural beauty, maple is the preferred flooring choice for homeowners looking to add style and resilience to their property.
Available in a wide variety of species, maple hardwood is popular for its light-coloured, smooth, glamorous look and little grain. However, as with any type of hardwood flooring, maple has its advantages and disadvantages. That’s why it’s important to consider certain factors when deciding if it’s right for you, before you investing.
Let’s take a look.
Maple Hardwood Flooring – Benefits and Drawbacks
Of all hardwood flooring options, maple is one of the most popular among homeowners, especially because it can be bought as either solid or engineered planks. Let’s look at its benefits and drawbacks to decide if it’s the best flooring option for your home.
Advantages of Maple Hardwood Flooring
Great Appearance –
Maple hardwood’s beauty is undeniable. It comes in a range of warm colours, including neutral beiges, reds, browns and chromatic grays, that complement almost all home decor colour schemes. If you want a darker floor, it can be stained or, better yet, dyed. Maple has less grain than other wood varieties which accounts for its smooth, clean appearance. If you’re looking to give your space a subtle style reminiscent of European charm, maple is an excellent option.
Superior Hardness –
Maple is one of the hardest varieties of wood. On the Janka hardness scale, hard maple is 1450 lbf while red oak is 1290 lbf which means it’s more durable than oak and doesn’t dent easily. That’s why maple hardwood flooring is used in public spaces like bowling alleys (which deal with pounding bowling balls) and gymnasiums floors (which see heavy foot traffic).
Easy to Clean and Maintain –
Maple flooring only requires regular sweeping and weekly mopping with a mild soap solution to keep it in good shape. To maintain its lustre, buff it every two years.
Improved Indoor Air Quality –
Maple hardwood is naturally dust resistant which helps control airborne contaminants and allergens that could potentially harm your health.
Consistent Grains –
Maple’s subtle graining contains fewer imperfections than other hardwoods, resulting in a cleaner, more homogeneous look.
Besides having a symbolic significance to Canadians, maple is also economically important. Its wide availability in Canada makes it an affordable hardwood flooring option. There are many types and grades available, so choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
Maple’s abundance in Canada and short growing period makes it a more environmentally friendly option than oak, walnut or cherry which grow slower.
Disadvantages of Maple Hardwood Flooring
Prone to Scratches and Marks –
As maple has a naturally light colour and fewer grains than other hardwoods, scratches and marks are easily visible on its smooth surface. If you have pets, you’ll have to be careful about this issue because their claws will leave scratches that are visible over time. The same applies to kids playing with (and rolling) hard plastic toys. You’ll need to frequently refinish it to keep it looking attractive.
Sensitive to Humidity and Heat –
Like most hardwood varieties, maple is sensitive to extreme humidity and temperature changes. If summer humidity is an issue in your home, this wood isn’t suitable as it can expand and contract, warp and split. A dehumidifier can keep humidity levels in check beneath flooring in summer; run a humidifier during dry winter months to prevent boards or planks from shifting and shrinking.
Difficult to Stain –
Since maple has a tight grain, it doesn’t always absorb stain well, leading to uneven patches. In areas with a more open grain, excess stain may be absorbed, resulting in dark spots. This could be a problem if you’re considering installing light-coloured maple. In that case, instead of staining, opt for a high-grade maple, which is mostly white. Dye works better to darken maple. Staining and dying are both difficult jobs best left to a flooring professional.
Fades Over Time –
As with any light-colour hardwood, constant exposure to light can yellow maple hardwood over time. If one specific part of a maple floor is exposed to direct sunlight every day, it will fade faster, resulting in a dual-tone effect.
Lack of Grain Pattern –
If you prefer hardwood floors with natural patterns, maple may not be the right choice. Its grain is fine and subtle, giving it a much plainer look.
Maple, like most hardwoods, adds beauty, style and value to any home. And like other investments, it has its risks and benefits. Consider these when choosing maple hardwood floors. For premium-quality maple hardwood flooring in Toronto within your budget, contact AA Floors. We have an extensive inventory of the latest varieties and styles of hardwood to suit the aesthetic and functional needs of every home.