Maple Wood : Complete Overview about its Properties and Uses

maple wood guide

Maple is a popular, strong & attractive hardwood used all across the world for a wide range of applications, from furniture making to construction and flooring, musical instruments, and more. Maple wood is prized for its durability and affordability. Woodworkers and merchants favour this wood for its impressive looks and strength. Here’s everything you need to know about maple hardwood, including its various properties, types and uses.

What is Maple wood?

It is a type of hardwood that is sourced from Maple trees which can be identified by their distinctly shaped, palmately lobed leaves. It has many species, though hard maple or sugar maple is the most popular in terms of the wood most suitable for woodworking.

Hard maple, commonly known as sugar maple, is produced from the same tree that is also used for obtaining maple sugar/syrup.

Maple wood grows throughout Canada and Northeastern North America and is available easily and at a moderate price.

If you want to know more about maple wood, its types, properties & uses or are looking for the best way to identify and select the right wood for your project, continue reading.

Types of Maple Wood

The two most popular types of maple wood are:

1. Hard Maple

Hard Maple is a type of maple wood that comes from the Acer saccharum species. It is also known as sugar maple (due to the fact that the hard maple tree is used to obtain maple syrup) or rock maple (due to its incredible hardness). Hard maple is sourced from Northeastern North America. Its trees are about 80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall with a 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter.

The average dried weight is about 44.0 lbs/ft3 (705 kg/m3) and it has a Janka rating of 1,450 lbf (6,450 N).

2. Soft Maple

Soft maple is not actually a species but a common term used to refer to multiple maple species that are softer than hard maple. They have a relatively lower average dried weight and a lower Janka rating. However, that does not mean that soft maple species are actually soft. They’re not. In fact, some species of soft maple can be as hard and strong as black walnut.

Hard Maple vs Soft Maple

Hard mapleSoft maple
HardnessHighLower or high depending on species
Janka rating1,450 lbf (6,450 N)700 to 950 lbf (4,230 N)
Average dried weight44.0 lbs/ft3 (705 kg/m3)30.2 to 38.0 lbs/ft3 (485 to 610 kg/m3)
WorkabilityEasy to work with, but more difficult than soft mapleVery easy to work with
DurabilityHighAverage to high
PriceMore expensiveModerately priced
Endgraingreater diversity of ray widthsuniform medium-width rays

Other common types of maple include:

3. Curly Maple

4. Silver Maple

5. Bigleaf Maple

6. Black Maple

7. Birdseye Maple

8. Quilted Maple

9. Striped Maple

10. Field Maple

11. Norway Maple

12. Red Maple

Maple Wood Properties


Unlike most other hardwoods, it’s the sapwood of maple that is primarily used in woodworking. The colour of sapwood ranges from almost white to off-white sometimes with a reddish hue. Maple wood is also famous for its variety of figured patterns, which include quilted, curly, birdseye and other grain patterns. The presence of minerals in its grain is responsible for reddish-brown tints, which can become darker upon staining. The heartwood of maple is darker, brownish-red and generally very fragile.

The colour of light-wood hard maple will become darker with age and upon constant exposure to sunlight.

Grain & Texture

The grain in hard maple is usually straight. The texture is fine and uniform, which makes the wood easy to work with. Figured grain is, though, not very uncommon. Figured maple, such as birdseye, curly, wavy,  tiger, flame, rippled or fiddleback have high demand and price.

Hardness, Strength & Durability

Maple is a hardwood. Hard maple is stronger than soft one and other species of maple. It has a Janka hardness rating of 1,450 lbf (6,450 N). However, soft maple is not actually soft but only a little softer as compared to hard one. All species of maple are hardwoods.

Hard maple is one of the hardest types of hardwoods used for domestic applications. The heartwood is not durable, but the sapwood is durable enough for use in flooring and other heavy-duty applications. Maple is not naturally resistant to moisture and decay or insect attacks and is not generally recommended for outdoor uses.


Maple is generally easy to work with, though the high density of hard maple can sometimes make cutting it difficult. It glues, turns, and finishes rather well.

Price & Availability

It is easy & widely available throughout the Northern US and Canada and is exported to other countries, including the UK. The price should be moderate for imported wood. Hard maple and figured maple pieces are generally more expensive.

Maple Wood Uses

Maple is a high-quality, versatile, strong and durable wood that comes in the mid-range price segment. It is highly versatile, which means it can be used for a wide range of applications.

The most common use of hard maple is for flooring for basketball courts, bowling alleys, homes, commercial places, & more. It is a hard and durable wood and can withstand scratches, which makes it perfect for flooring.

Maple is also used for sports equipment and kitchen tools, such as baseball bats, cutting boards, knife handles, butcher blocks, bowling pins, and more. It is strong and subtle.

It is also used in the pulp industry as a pulpwood for making paper.

Maple is easy to stain but also looks gorgeous in its natural state, which makes it a wonderful choice for interior use, for cabinets, furniture, doors, windows & more.

Hard maple is also used in some musical instruments. Other than that, it is used for making veneers, plywood, turned objects, and small wood items.

Where to Buy Top-Quality Hard Maple at the Best Price in the UK?

If you’re looking for the best place to buy genuine hard maple wood and timber at the lowest price with a quality guarantee, there’s no need to go further. White Knight Consulting Ltd. is a premier wood manufacturer & seller in the UK that can provide you with the best quality, genuine, sustainably-sourced maple hardwood in various sizes & dimensions at the most competitive rates in the market. We deliver our wood all over the UK and also to many European countries. All wood is processed locally at our mill in London by expert artisans who work hard to ensure the finest quality in every piece of wood that we manufacture.

We not only have maple lumber available in all standard sizes, but we can also make maple in custom dimensions to fit your particular needs and criteria. Contact us to know more about or explore our wood collection.

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