Color: Heartwood is creamy white to light reddish brown; sapwood is pale to creamy white.
Grain: Closed, subdued grain, with medium figuring and uniform texture. Occasionally shows quilted, fiddleback, curly or bird's-eye figuring. Figured boards often culled during grading and sold at a premium.
Variations Within Species and Grades: Black maple (B. nigrum) is also hard; other species are classified as soft.
Hardness/Janka: 1450; 12% harder than Northern red oak.
Dimensional Stability: Average (change coefficient .00353; 4% more stable than red oak).
Durability: Dense, strong, tough, stiff; excellent shock resistance – often used in bowling alleys and athletic facilities. Markedly resistant to abrasive wear.
Sawing/Machining: Density makes machining difficult.
Sanding: Sands satisfactorily.
Nailing: Fair resistance to splitting; good holding ability.
Finishing: Takes neutral finish well; does not stain uniformly
Comments: Light color lends itself to contemporary light floors. Extra care must be taken during sanding and finishing, as sanding marks and finish lines are more obvious due to maple's density and light color.