How Much Does Maple Wood Flooring Cost?
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Maple is one of the lightest shades of natural hardwood, which makes it a good choice for a number of homes. Many homeowners love how the light shade of the wood works with white cabinets in a kitchen, and others like that maple floors can make a smaller room look larger and brighter. The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association, Inc. teaches homeowners how to choose the right type of wood and proper care for their floors, but homeowners should also look at a few other things before calling a flooring contractor.
Unstained maple flooring: $6 to $8 per square foot
Stained or sealed maple flooring: $7 to $14 per square foot
Solid Maple Hardwood
Not all types of maple flooring are equal. Homeowners looking for new floors should find out more about the different types of flooring available, including solid maple hardwood flooring. Solid maple is 3/4-inch thick and works in areas with high humidity and moisture levels. Those using this type of wood must install the flooring on top of plywood or another type of subflooring. Installers will often use a vapor barrier paper between the subflooring and the maple, which can prevent moisture from moving through the hardwood and into the subflooring. The 5/16-inch solid maple is a thinner material that does better when installed with glue or another adhesive.
Engineered Maple Flooring
Engineered maple flooring is an alternative to traditional solid hardwood. Manufacturers use thin strips of maple as a veneer on the surface of the wood. Some companies use a cheaper wood to fill out the boards, while other companies use wood scraps and recycled materials as a filler. Many companies point out that engineered maple is more environmentally friendly than other types of hardwood. Engineered maple is also stronger than laminate flooring.
Locking Maple Floors
DIY enthusiasts praise locking maple floors for its ease of installation. These floors come with individual wood planks that feature tongue and groove elements on each side. Each piece snaps together quickly to form a quick bond. Homeowners can install these floors themselves, and many companies sell kits that include an underlayment or vapor paper. They lay the paper flat on the floor and cut around the edges to remove any excess paper. After installing the paper, they can set the first board into place. The homeowner adds a second board and locks it into place with the first before continuing around the room.
Stained vs. Unstained
Maple hardwood flooring comes in two different designs: stained and unstained. Stained, also known as prefinished, comes ready for installation. Manufacturers let homeowners choose between a natural stain, sealant or a different stain. The company applies a coat of stain to the wood and later adds a sealant after the stain dries. If the homeowner prefers a more natural look, the manufacturer will leave the maple as-is and add a clear coat of sealant to the top. Unstained wood does not have any type of special treatment. Homeowners will need to stain or seal the wood prior to installation or just after installing the wood in their homes.
Maple is one of the strongest types of hardwood, which is why many companies and schools use the flooring in dance studios and gymnasiums. Unlike other types of flooring, which scuffs from frequent use, maple can withstand almost anything. It works well in residential applications as well, including kitchens, dining rooms and even bedrooms.
The traditional maple shade is a light tan color, but homeowners can find other shades that are a little warmer or darker. Some companies also offer stained maple floors that are several shades darker than the traditional color of the wood. Those looking for an alternative to tile floors will find that maple doesn't absorb allergens and pollutants from the air like tile floors do. Maple flooring also requires little maintenance, and most homeowners sweep their floors once a week and use wood soap once a year.
One drawback associated with maple flooring occurs when homeowners choose a specialized stain. If the boards need replacing in the future, they can find it difficult and nearly impossible to find a replacement board in a matching shade. The pale color of the wood can also make damage a little more noticeable.
Some types of hardwood only work in certain climates, and maple is one of those woods. Maple is not suitable for regions with warm temperatures year-round or high humidity levels. Even with a sealant applied to the wood, the maple can absorb moisture from the air. That moisture causes the boards to bend or warp. The more moisture the maple absorbs, the more likely it is that homeowners will notice splitting and cracking. Excess moisture and other types of damage can also make the boards shift and develop gaps between the boards. Homeowners will find that repairing those problems is quite expensive.
More Maple Flooring Costs
The cost of hardwood maple flooring varies based on whether homeowners choose a finished or unstained product. Unstained maple typically costs around $6 to $8 per square foot, while stained maple costs $8 to $14 per square foot. That cost includes labor and installation. Those looking for a cheaper or more affordable option might decide to the job themselves. Home improvement stores offer a wide selection of maple flooring and other hardwood options, but homeowners should keep in mind that many of those stores now specialize in laminate flooring and might need to special order hardwood.
The reason that sealed maple flooring costs more is because installers spend more time installing those floors. As the wood boards come sealed or stained, they need to use caution when arranging those boards on the floor, hammering the boards and adding staples. Any type of mistake can scratch or scuff the wood and damage the stain or sealant. Some contractors will charge additional fees for removing furniture from the room or removing the old flooring before starting the job or for getting rid of the trash and waste after completing the job.
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Last updated on Jun 3, 2014