6 Questions to Ask before Choosing Maple Hardwood Flooring for Your Home
The beautiful and timeless look of maple hardwood flooring makes it a popular choice for many homeowners. The light, fine and smooth grains, ranging from straight lines to curly patterns, are visually appealing for any room. However, before deciding if it’s the right flooring option for your home, ask the manufacturer the following 6 questions.
- What is Hard Maple and Soft Maple?
Maple hardwood flooring is one of the hardest and most durable domestic hardwood flooring options. However, there are various species of maple wood available that are broadly differentiated into two types, hard maple and soft maple.
Hard maple often refers to a particular species of maple – Acer saccharum. Black Maple (Acer nigrum), is also sometimes considered as a subtype of hard maple. Other species like Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum), Box Elder (Acer negundo), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) and Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) are known as soft maple.
The characteristics of both types of maple are different in terms of hardness, strength, weight and other factors. Hard maple has a Janka hardness of 1450 lbf(Pound-force). Although both types are suitable for flooring, soft maple (as the name suggestions) isn’t as hard.
- Is the Maintenance Easy?
Dust and dirt don’t accumulate on maple hardwood, meaning you can easily sweep it off with a mop or use a vacuum cleaner. You can also use wood soap and water or an approved cleaning solution from your manufacturer to do a mild wet mopping once a week. This will keep the finish looking like new. To keep the shine intact, buff it twice a year. Hard maple is more resistant to scratches and dents than other types of hardwood. If any scratches appear, you can remove them by rubbing compound wax on the problem area.
Just make sure to wipe spills immediately as maple wood is highly sensitive to moisture. Also, monitor your indoor humidity level with the help of a hygrometer. Always keep it between 30% and 50% by regulating it with a humidifier or a dehumidifier depending on your need. Extremely high and extremely low humidity can warp the wood, causing permanent damage.
- Does it have Nice Colour Options?
Maple is available in a range of tones like neutral beiges, reds, browns and chromatic grays. Its natural pale creamy white colour also makes it very versatile to adapt to a wide range of colours. So, you won’t have to worry about a contrast clash between your new flooring and your walls and room décor.
- Is it Affordable?
The wide availability of maple in Canada and North America makes maple hardwood one of the most affordable hardwood floors options. Lower grades of maple wood are also functionally durable and budget-friendly.
- Does Maple Hardwood have Any Other Benefits?
Since it is dust and mold resistant, it keeps the indoor air pollution to a minimum. If you’re allergic to dust or other airborne contaminants, then this flooring provides better indoor air quality. Maple hardwood also offers better acoustics compared to other types of flooring. It neutralizes thuds, vibrations, and footfalls. In fact, you can minimize floor sound transmission by using an underlayment beneath it.
- Does it Suit My Location?
Maple hardwood flooring doesn’t provide good resistance to hot and humid climatic conditions. It’s not a good option if you live in the prairie climate region, especially during summers. However, you can solve the problem by using a dehumidifier to absorb the moisture and prevent cracks. Similarly, you’ll need to use a humidifier during the extreme dry months to control shrinkage.
Maple, like most hardwoods, adds value to your home. Since it is very durable, it can last for generations if properly maintained. To know more about maple flooring and whether it’s a perfect flooring option for your home, give your local professional a call for advice.