A Guide to Maple Flooring Pros and Cons

When given a choice homeowners are turning to maple for flooring for a variety of reasons, not only because it is so stunning in appearance and its look and grandeur catch everyone’s eyes, but it is its versatility and eco-friendly feature that garners their interest. This doesn’t mean it suits every home. The area of the home and the climate are two basic pointers you should factor in before choosing maple flooring. Mentioned below are a few maple flooring pros and cons you should consider before installing it.

maple flooring pros and cons


Pros: Reasons for installing maple hardwood flooring

  • Rich and elegant flooring type: It is beautiful, grand and instantly alluring, so people are attracted to it and want it for their homes. It is distinctive for its light shade and warm tint, rendering it suitable for any room where you might want to add light and warmth. You can also use it no matter what your color scheme is.
  • Versatile: It can be stained to show off a darker shade for a richer look, making it extremely versatile.
  • Tough and durable: Said to be among the hardest of hardwood used in homes, it’s also highly durable. It’s also highly resistant to dents because it is almost non-porous. No wonder it is used in bowling alleys.
  • Affordable: Not only is maple flooring widely available, it is also affordable. There are several grades of maple flooring, so depending on which one you choose, you could get this flooring at a laughable price.
  • Low maintenance: It requires minimal maintenance. All you need to do is to sweep the floor every day or vacuum the floor and then clean it with soap and water for a fresh and clean look. Buffing it every two years will bring back the sheen to it.
  • No allergies: If you are vulnerable to developing dust allergies from the floor or carpets, maple flooring is just right for you as it does not attract allergens.
  • A priceless investment: If cared for well, this can be a very good investment. If you believe you can maintain your maple flooring in a proper manner, it is an excellent idea to use it in your house since its benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks.
  • Almost flawless: It has an almost even grain pattern with very few flaws.
  • Eco-friendly: The maple tree has a short growing period, rendering it very environmentally friendly and therefore the right choice. If you choose to go with reclaimed maple, it would add to its two top features of hardness and durability.
  • Insulates your home: Maple flooring is green and friendly and therefore environmentally friendly. It also helps insulate your home and reduces your electricity bills, with lesser consumption. 

Cons: Reasons not to install maple flooring

  • Not resistant to heat, humidity: It is not highly resistant to fluctuations in heat and humidity levels. In fact, if the weather is highly humid, maple flooring boards can move and split. If you live in a humid area and have installed maple flooring, it’s best for you to also install a dehumidifier which will keep your flooring intact.
  • Highly prone to scratches: Since maple’s grain is very smooth, it attracts scratches that are highy visible, no matter how small or light. However, you can get rid of them by polishing them with compound wax. It’s worth installing in those parts of the house that aren’t used much as it will be less prone to scratches.
  • Heel marks: If you wear rubber soled shoes, your heel marks could show up on this flooring. These can be removed by buffing out the mark with an eraser.
  • Difficult to stain: If you choose a light shade of maple flooring, you’ll find it difficult to stain. In parts where the grain is heavy, you might see some blotches of stain, though darker stains do better.
  • Lack of a definite grain pattern: Its subtle grain pattern appears to some as a lack of a definite grain pattern. So, anyone looking for a strong grain pattern shouldn’t choose this one.
  • Change of color: Maple reacts in the same way as other hardwood flooring does to constant light exposure. Over a period of time, it yellows. This is an important point to bear in mind before investing in this flooring.

The pros and cons of maple flooring given above are to alert you to the behavior and appearance of this flooring over time. If it blotches or doesn’t stain efficiently, you should consider other hardwood types that perform better. You can consider hickory flooring, acacia flooring or oak flooring.

Difference between oak and maple flooring

oak flooringHardwood floors like oak and maple are extremely attractive, they are very insulating and easy to maintain. They are warm to walk on and give a rich look to any home. Flooring is made of these types of wood, each prized for its distinctive grain and level of durability.

By researching the features of oak and maple wood, you can decide which is the better one for your home. However, whether you choose oak or maple, you need to be wary of two problems: excessive water that can damage your floor and sunlight that can fade the bright colors.

Both oak and maple are hardwood trees whose wood gives homes a distinctive, rich and eternal look of warmth and grandeur. They come in a variety of grains, colors and plank sizes to suit any decorating style. They are also tough and durable and can also be refinished so that they look new. It’s good for you to take a look at the differences between oak and maple flooring so that you know what goes into choosing your type of hardwood floor.

A lot of people for oak or maple throw up all kinds of reasons for investing in either of these woods. Maple is preferred for being light in color, beautiful in appearance and very durable. Let’s discuss the individual features of each of these flooring types:

Should you go for oak flooring?

Oak flooring is a popular choice due to its easy availability and easy affordability. One of the oldest choices of flooring material, oak is chosen for its sturdiness, beauty and definite grain pattern. The cost of oak versus maple is comparable, often cheaper than maple. However, it is preferable to buy oak in the long run as it is very durable and its grain is very tightly packed, unlike maple for which reason the latter gets damaged when something is spilled on it, or in cases of gouges, warping or cracks.

One more reason for oak being the flooring material of many is that it is intrinsically beautiful and exudes a grandeur all of its own. Perhaps this is due to its innate stability which makes it the ideal choice of homeowners in different types of climate–whether summer, winter or humid.

On the flip side, oak darkens as it ages, something to remember when choosing flooring material. You could go with either red or white oak as both are very dense flooring material and have good shock absorption capacity. Besides, they do not split easily. People usually go for the red oak for its unique pinkish tone rather than the white oak which has a creamy-yellow tone.

Some more facts about maple flooring

Maple comes in a rich variety of types or grades and hardness levels, as flooring material. This is an essential factor to bear in mind when choosing maple floor material. People choose maple over other types of hardwood flooring material for several reasons, such as its unique and definite grain, its warm, light and delicate shades, its sturdiness and its toughness. If you want a natural hue, maple is the best. For these unique reasons, maple is more expensive than other hardwood materials like oak.

However, there are some drawback that makes people think again before going in for maple. One, it is it is less durable than oak whose grain is far tightly packed than maple’s. Two, as it ages, it yellows. So, people do not consider it value for money. Three, it stains unevenly and blotches the flooring material because it contains hard and soft cells that accept stain differently from each other. Four, it is generally perceived that maple hardwood flooring warps and twists much more than oak hardwood.

Next, if you want a particular tone or shade of color on your floor, perhaps you should be looking at something else, not maple. Since prefinished maple hardwood is available in myriad hues, you would find it mindboggling to match new parts of maple hardwood flooring with older parts.

And that’s not all. This material does not have as high an absorbent quality to take in stain as oak can, because of its consistency. It also dents more and is prone to scratch marks on its surface because its timber isn’t as porous as oak.

To conclude

Though each of these hardwood flooring materials have their own pros and cons, the differentiator is, as usual, quality that stands out when you compare prices. It’s always better to go for the higher-priced flooring material rather than the cheap one because the former will stand the test of time. So, think well before you choose between oak and maple.

Author: John Clax

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