HARD BY NAME, HARD BY NATURE
The fine, even texture of sugar, or hard, maple and its high luster make this North American hardwood a popular species for furniture making and interior trim, particularly for kitchens. Tools may suffer, but the wood's crisp lines are ideal for contemporary
designs, and it is strong, heavy, hard and stable. All these qualities make it an ideal lumber for flooring.
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names Rock maple, hard maple
Alternatives Beech woods (Fagus species), paper birch (Betula papyrifera)
Sources North America
Color Pale, darkening toward the heart and with distinct red-brown latewood lines
Texture Even and fine Grain Straight to wavy
Weight Medium to heavy (46 lb./cu. ft.) (740 kg/cu. m)
Seasoning and stability Slow to season, but moderately stable once dry
Range of board widths Good Range of board thicknesses Good Durability Poor durability outside, with some susceptibility to insect damage
Maple is often cut into veneers. Variations in both the solid wood and the veneer include bird's-eye maple with its distinctive explosions of pith, and various quilted, rippled - and figured maples. Such veneers are ideal for panels.
Uncertified sugar maple is safe to use.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
Certified sugar maple is readily available and is moderately priced.