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Hardwood flooring factsheet: maple

Hardwood flooring represents an important investment in your home and it’s important to make the right choices. To help you select the hardwood flooring that will suit your home and your lifestyle, we’re continuing in our series of factsheets, with a look at maple hardwood.

A versatile, durable hardwood

Maple trees aren’t just good for producing syrup. In fact, maple has been the wood of choice for furniture makers since colonial times, offering possibilities like musical instruments, fine furniture and, of course, flooring.

Hard maple is often known as sugar maple, and as you might have guessed, is the tree that is tapped for its delicious syrup.

Maples are from the Acer family – which has over 100 species of trees and shrubs worldwide. Many are native to Asia, although many are found across Europe and North America.

Unlike its softer sister, maple hardwood is naturally durable and splinter resistant making it a natural choice for flooring. It’s often used in bowling alleys, thanks to being so tough.

The great thing about maple is its versatility. As well as flooring, it’s also used for baseball bats, billiard cues and bowling pins. The necks of stringed instruments such as guitars and violins are often made from maple due to the wood’s acoustic properties.

A great choice for smaller or darker rooms

Unlike many other hardwoods, when it comes to maple, the sapwood rather than the heartwood tends to be used. While maple heartwood is usually a dark reddish brown, the sapwood can range from almost white to a creamy colour, often tinged gold or with a reddish hue.

As it offers possibilities of lighter colours than many other hardwoods used for flooring don’t, maple is a great choice for a smaller room or study which might become overpowered with a darker flooring. However, maple doesn’t like staining. 

The durability of maple hardwood makes maple a great choice for flooring. Not only that, the fine, tight grain can help you achieve a uniform finish for your room. Another great bonus when considering maple hardwood for your flooring is that it is also fairly easy to maintain. Maple requires little more than weekly sweeping, and the occasional mop with a mild wood soap to ensure it retains its beauty.

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