Will I like natural maple floors?

Bridget HelmApril 11, 2013

Right now we have beech wood floors and I LOVE the look of them but they are very soft. Anything dents them.

We are building a new house and I'd like the same look, but I can't find beech wood floors ANYWHERE. Mine were Armstrong or Mohawk Bavarian steamed beech. They no linger make them. Nor does any other company make beech floors.

So I found some maple floors for a GREAT price (a builder went bankrupt and left store with 11000 sf). My main concern is the color is very uniform. Not much movement or graining. We have 4 kids, so the color shading and movement of the beech camouflages crumbs, dirt, grass, etc until I get around to sweeping.

Here is the sample of the maple on my beech floors. Do you think the evenness of color in the maple will "show" grass etc more than my beech?

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I suspect that Maple would be about as hard as the Birch and very smooth so it probably won't fare well with the use you're likely to have.
20+ years ago I really wanted a Maple floor until I looked at a kitchen floor we had just completed. The kitchen had a wide pantry door with a wheel supporting the it. Even though it wasn't yet loaded with stuff, the wheel had left a semi circle on the new floor. I quickly realized that if I was to have a Maple floor (and keep it looking nice), I would need to ditch my dog and amend my lifestyle.
The most likely product I can think of that would give you the Maple/Birch look and be hard enough to stand the use you'll give it is Armstrong Performance Plus but it's probably going to cost a lot more than your bargain Maple. Right off I can't think of another product that might be in that color range and either be harder or have some texture that would hide dings, dents and scratches. The closest thing might be a natural color Hickory/Pecan which would be harder and have some surface texture but would have way more color variation, even in the nicest grade.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 9:05AM
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Bleached oak would work for the light tones and have enough grain variation to hide housekeeping sins.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Maple floors remind me of a school gymnasium!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:31AM
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We looked at some really nice Beech 8" S4S boards that we considered using as plank flooring. The stuff is beautiful..... And it's everywhere and relatively cheap too here in this part of NC. And, around here anyway, if you like your flooring wide, local sawmill folks can get you some really nice really wide stuff without much delay at all.
We have some really nice really big Beech trees on the hillsides above the bottom-land/flood plain, they're all just too pretty to cut..... Beautiful smooth bark things that hold their golden leaves all winter, rattling in the breeze 'till come spring the new leaves push the old off.

I did a very quick look and found beech flooring to be widely available.

If you live anywhere in the shaded portion of this link:
check out your friendly local Craigslist "materials" postings, or your states agricultural departments newsletter classifieds.

Here is a link that might be useful: beech flooring, unfinished

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:43PM
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It's your lucky day....
American Beech, 5" wide, #1 Common: on sale now....
Click on the link thing.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Beech on sale

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Janka Hardness ratings:

Hard (sugar) Maple 1450
White oak 1360
red oak 1290
American Beech 1300

for comparison:
Ipe 3684
Poplar 540

My last several floors have been hard birdseye maple and they've been extremely durable. I was very pleased with the way Bona AmberSeal popped the figure and gave the floor just a little color under the finish coats.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 4:34PM
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What do you think about bamboo? I read an article that said bamboo flooring can be soft to very hard, depending on the manufacturing process.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 5:02PM
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I recently moved from a house that had oak floors that looked very similar to your Beech, maybe even more variety since we had knots and such in our's.
No idea what type or finishing process it had undergone. We think it was pre-finished solid wood.

There were a few dents and scrapes when we moved in. We are hard on floors (gardening, tools left everywhere during a remodel, hubby's big boots, dog, etc) but I don't think we left any additional damage after a year. I'd say the oak was pretty durable and worth looking into if you have doubts about how the maple will work with your lifestyle.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 12:27PM
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