Maple Hardwood Flooring: Pros and Cons
Maple hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any room. As with any hardwood flooring, there are benefits and drawbacks to this type of wood. Consider the following before you decide maple hardwood is the best option for your needs.
Maple is one of the hardest of all domestic hardwoods. It comes in second for durability, with hickory being first. Consider that maple is most often used in bowling alleys, where the pounding bowling balls and foot traffic are heavy. This is why it is also a popular choice for cabinet builders and furniture manufacturers.
Maple is very affordable. It is widely available, which eases the cost. It is especially budget friendly if you choose to purchase the lower grades, which are still very durable.
Maple has a light color with a warm hue. This color will fit in virtually any room while adding warmth and light. It very easily adapts to any color palette, which allows you to decorate a room in any color you want without worrying about a clash in contrast.
Easy to Maintain
After your maple flooring is installed, it is very easy to maintain. If you sweep or vacuum weekly and follow with a good mopping with mild wood soap and water, the finish will stay looking new. About twice a year, as with any hardwood floor, you will need to buff it out to keep its luster.
Scratches and Other Marks
Scratches can be an issue with maple. The grain is very smooth, which causes the scratches to show, especially if it is a large scratch. You will need to polish out scratches with a rubbing compound wax to remove them.
Another issue can be heel marks from rubber soled shoes. These marks show due to the light color of the wood. They are easy to remove with an eraser and by buffing out the spot.
Maple is difficult to stain sometimes. especially if you are going for a lighter look. The stain will sometimes have splotches where the grain is heavier. A darker stain will adhere more evenly. The pre-finished maple flooring should be stained evenly, but it is a good idea to seal it because the stain from the manufacturer may not give the floor the protection that it requires. When you refinish it, you will have to completely resand it and add a very even coat of stain finish. This is best done by professionals for the above reasons.
Maple boards are prone to moving when the humidity rises and falls. If you live in a climate where the humidity rises and falls, you should purchase a humidifier to use under the floor during dry months to keep it from moving and from shrinkage.
On the other hand, maple can expand and crack if you live in a damp area. In this case, you will need a dehumidifier to absorb the moisture. Both of these are for extreme cases when the temperature is extremely damp or dry for long periods of time.