Oak vs. Maple Floors

If you’re interested in installing hardwood floors in your home, two options you’ve likely come across have been oak flooring and maple flooring. Both are high-performing options that have slight differences when comparing durability, consistency, and aesthetics. Consider this your guide to oak hardwood floors vs. maple hardwood floors – let’s dive into the differences!

Durability

You want a flooring option that can withstand children, pets, and everyday life, and luckily, both oak and maple floors are durable choices for busy households. The Janka Hardness Test is used to score the strength of wood by running it through a variety of durability tests. Oak wood has a Janka score of 1290, while the Janka score of maple is 1450, meaning that according to this test, maple wood is harder. However, some believe that maple is more prone to warping and twisting than oak wood. 

Keep in mind that while hardness can contribute to durability, installation and the conditions of your home will be the true factors in determining how durable your flooring will be. Because of this, don’t rule out either flooring option – it is still a very even playing field. 

Consistency

Maple wood is less porous than oak which makes it more difficult to dent or scratch the wood. However, for the same reason, maple wood is difficult to stain so almost all maple flooring is left in its natural, light hue. There are exceptions to this rule with new technology in factory staining, but make sure when you purchase your flooring you select a hue you will be happy with for years to come as it will be difficult to change. 

On another note, because maple wood is so consistent and smooth, scratches are more visible. While both types of wood are resistant to scratches, they can be more obvious on maple’s smooth surface than on oak or another more rustic wood option. 

Aesthetics

As we hinted at above, maple wood has a consistent appearance with subtle grain patterns and cohesive coloring. Its clean surface is perfect for modern homes – including mid-century modern and coastal designs. Maple floors also work well in large open rooms or spaces where you want neutral flooring to ensure your furniture or other treatments stand out. 

On the otherhand, oak flooring works better in traditional homes or homes with dark or dramatic aesthetics. If you’re going for a modern look, oak floors may stand out from the rest of your design, however, for traditional homes, oak flooring reigns supreme. Additionally, oak flooring can be stained post-manufacturing, which allows you to fully-customize your flooring color.  

Both flooring options are durable and resistant to damages, so the deciding factor in your oak flooring vs. maple flooring decision will be aesthetics. Determine if you prefer a modern and light look, or a rich and traditional look, and make your decision from there. No matter which flooring choice you determine is the best for your home, choose Millenium Hardwood Flooring for the largest wood flooring selection. Give us a call for a consultation today!

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