Many people choose solid hardwood flooring for their homes and premises because it offers that classic, stylish and elegant look that you can’t achieve with other types of flooring. It adds a touch of class and is also a very durable and hardwearing product. Whilst there are many types of flooring available maple is popular for a number of reasons. So is maple hardwood flooring the right choice for you? We take a look at the pros and cons of this popular wood.
The pros of maple flooring
Looks great – No-one can deny the impact of a maple hardwood floor. It looks impressive and goes with most colour schemes. Because it is light it is great if you want to achieve a light and airy look to a room. It can be stained darker if you are keen to use maple but want a darker look.
Affordable – There are many types and grade of maple wood flooring available so you can have the floor of your dreams without it breaking the bank.
Eco-friendly – The maple tree has a short growing period compared to other types of tree making this a more environmentally friendly choice than a wood such as oak.
Hardwearing – The great thing about maple is its durability – it doesn’t dent and for this reason it is used in bowling alleys and the construction of bowling pins. It needs to be treated first though as although it doesn’t dent it is prone to scratches.
Easy to clean and maintain – To clean your maple floor you simply give it a sweep daily and then every week or so give it wipe over with soapy water but be sure to dry it. You can buff it every two years to bring it back to its original condition.
A clean look as there isn’t much grain – Unlike other woods maple doesn’t have much grain so it is a fairly clean and plain wood for those who want a floor that is more subtle.
The cons of maple flooring
Scratches easily – Whilst it is extremely hardwearing maple is prone to scratching. It needs to be treated with a protective coat if being used in areas where it will experience heavy footfall. If the floor is going to be constantly walked on or children are going to be rolling cars along the floor then it is advisable to use an alternative – its light and clean appearance means that the scratches will show.
Discolours over time – As with any solid wood, with constant exposure to light it will yellow over time. If there is one specific part of the floor that will be exposed to direct sunlight from a window it will discolour faster than other parts of the floor leading to a two tone effect.
Doesn’t stain well – Although maple can be stained darker it doesn’t always stain well and you can get uneven patches. This is why it is important, if you are considering staining it that you leave it to the professionals.
Sensitive to heat changes - Like other hard woods, maple is very sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. This can lead to warping and splitting of the wood so if you are going to install it you really need to make sure that humidity is kept under control and that the room is set a constant temperature. It is wise, if you are going to invest in maple flooring, that you also have a dehumidifier.
Lack of grain pattern – If you like wood for the patterns and effects that you get from most natural woods then maple may not be the right choice for you. It has a very subtle grain pattern making it a much plainer wood.
Overall the pros outweigh the cons but like with anything it really depends on its intended purpose. If you are going to lay maple flooring in a room that doesn’t see much action then maple is an excellent choice that will last for many years to come. Remember that it is an investment and just like any investment you will want to ensure that you look after it properly, ensuring that you take proper care of it and maintain it.
Wooddatabase.com – Retrieved Sept 2016, Hard-maple
Wikipedia – Retrieved Sept 2016, Uses of maple wood