Worldwide, there are over 120 different maple species. Thirteen can be found in North America and from those, “four or five account for the majority of commercial lumber produced.” What differentiates Hard Maple from Soft?
Hard Maple, favoring a colder climate and growing in the north eastern U.S. and into Canada, has a hardness rating of 6,450 Newtons – higher than white oak and second only to hickory and pecan. Because of its hardness, it is an excellent choice for “high traffic area” flooring and sports venue performance flooring.
Soft Maple, especially the silver and red species, grows abundantly throughout the eastern U.S. With a hardness rating of 4,000 Newtons, it is by no means “soft,” and was tagged with the term simply to differentiate it from its similar, but hardier cousins.
Both Maples have a light, whitish sapwood and dark, red-brown heartwood. Both “contain pith flecks that add to their character. Both are excellent choices for furniture, cabinets, doors, millwork and moulding.
Learn more about these abundant and exceptionally beautiful species at www.HardwoodInfo.com.