Printed from at 09:39 AM, Jan 23 2017
Talk » Renovation » Discussing 'Maple vs Red Oak Flooring'

Maple vs Red Oak Flooring


I'm putting down new hardwood floors and am considering either maple or red oak. Is anyone aware of any tradeoffs between the two? I have a dog so durability is important. I had also considered golden teak (which Lumber Liquidators now informs me isn't teak at all) but was concerned that the color variation may be too great.


One thing that I've noticed with my dark mahogany wood flooring is that it shows any little bit of fuzz or lint or dropped bit of paper (such as when I'm shredding). I always had lighter flooring, but now I spend alot of time picking up whenever little bit of paper or lint falls on the floor. Are you planning on leaving the floors exposed or will you cover most of it with rugs? Is golden teak like golden oak? Golden oak floors always look so yellow to me and it's hard to match furnishing to that shade.

I've had both maple and red oak. I don't like the color of maple (find it very yellow and maple doesn't take stain well) but I found maple to be more durable than oak, at the same price point.

"One thing that I've noticed with my dark mahogany wood flooring is that it shows any little bit of fuzz or lint or dropped bit of paper (such as when I'm shredding). I always had lighter flooring, but now I spend alot of time picking up whenever little bit of paper or lint falls on the floor."

So you used the lighter floors as an excuse not to clean?

Generally, lighter floors generally show wear and tear less than darker floors. Scratches, dust, hair, lint will show much more readily on darker floors. Even with a housekeeper once a week, the dark floors will likely show such dirt within a short time after housecleaning--even with very neat owners.

I find stains that have a distinct brownish tint work best and are very flexible. Different woods will take the stain differently so recommending a particular shade is pretty pointless. You will have to test it yourself. Custom mixes are pretty easy to concoct, too, if one Minwax color doesn't suit your needs.

I was planning on buying a pre-stained, lighter finish. My apartment doesn't get great light, so the hope is that a lighter floor would brighten up the place.

I'll take the oak, but not would stain it lightly...everyone here is right about dark floors, they are a pain to maintain. Black is THE worst...

I have seen 90 % oak floor at residential renovation projects in NYC.

Maple tends to be softer and the wood grain is more even. If you have a dog, the floors will get scratched more, and it will show more. However, it does a nice job of lightening darker places.

Suggestion on color. You can call Minwax and they can give you advice you on which colors to mix in what proportion. We did that get the color we wanted. It came out great.

we got maple, and while it looks beautiful, it tends to ding more easily than the oak floors we've had.


Keep in mind that if you go with maple and want to change the color it does not stain like oak as far as appearance

maple is much harder than red oak, slightly harder than white oak

if prices are same, i'll go with maple

I thought maple is softer. Maple floors dent easily. Not on oak floors.

from the webby web:

The Janka hardness test measures the force required to embed a small steel ball into wood. It tells you how well a wood species withstands dents and wear, while also indicating how difficult a species will be to saw or nail.

Species Janka Rating
Brazillian Cherry 2350
Mahogany 2200
Australian Beech 2046
Merbau 1925
Purpleheart 1860
Pecan 1820
Maple 1450
Cypress 1375
White Oak 1360
Ash 1320
Beech 1300
Red Oak 1290
Birch 1260
Heart Pine 1225
Walnut 1010
Teak 1000
American Cherry 950
Pine 850
Fir 660

Some softer maple has a rating of 950 only. The 1450 rating is for hard maple

i think the 950 soft maple are southern

here people use 1450 hard maple

I noticed bamboo was missing and while searching out of curiosity, came across a more comprehensive list;

Wood Flooring Species Janka Hardness (pounds-force)

Australian Buloke 5060[1]
Lignum vitae / Guayacan / Pockenholz 4500
Patagonian Rosewood / Curupay / Angico Preto / Piptadenia Macrocarpa / Brazilian Tiger Mahogany 3840
Brazilian Ebony 3692
Ipê / "Brazilian Walnut" / Lapacho 3684
African Pearlwood / Moabi Sometimes: Brazilian Cherry "Lite" 3680
Grey Ironbark 3664
Bolivian Cherry 3650
Lapacho 3640
Cumaru / "Brazilian Teak" sometimes: "Brazilian Chestnut," "Tiete Chestnut," "South American Chestnut," "Southern Chestnut" 3540
Ebony 3220
Brazilian Redwood / Paraju / Massaranduba 3190
Yvyraro 3040
Stranded/woven bamboo 3000[2]
Bloodwood 2900
Red Mahogany, Turpentine 2697
"Southern Chestnut" 2670
Spotted Gum 2473
Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba 2350
Mesquite 2345
"Golden Teak" 2330
Santos Mahogany, Bocote, Cabreuva, Honduran Rosewood 2200
Pradoo 2170
Brazilian Koa 2160
Sucupira sometimes "Brazilian Chestnut" or "Tiete Chestnut" 2140
Brushbox 2135
Karri 2030
Sydney Blue Gum 2023
Bubinga 1980
Cameron[disambiguation needed ] 1940
Tallowwood 1933
Merbau 1925
Amendoim 1912
Jarrah 1910
Purpleheart 1860
Goncalo Alves / Tigerwood[disambiguation needed ] 1850
Hickory / Pecan, Satinwood[disambiguation needed ] 1820
Afzelia / Doussie / Australian Wormy Chestnut 1810
Bangkirai 1798
Rosewood 1780
African Padauk 1725
Blackwood 1720
Merbau 1712
Kempas 1710
Black Locust 1700
Highland Beech 1686
Wenge, Red Pine 1630
Tualang 1624
Zebrawood 1575
True Pine, Timborana 1570
Peroba 1557
Sapele / Sapelli, Kupa'y 1510
Curupixa 1490
Sweet Birch 1470
Hard Maple / Sugar Maple 1450
Caribbean Walnut 1390
Coffee Bean 1390
Natural Bamboo (represents one species) 1380
Australian Cypress 1375
White Oak 1360
Tasmanian Oak 1350
Ribbon Gum 1349
Ash (White) 1320
American Beech 1300
Red Oak (Northern) 1290
Caribbean Heart Pine 1280
Yellow Birch, Iroko 1260
Movingui 1230
Heart Pine 1225
"Brazilian Mesquite" / Carapa Guianensis 1220
Larch 1200
Carbonized Bamboo (represents one species) 1180
Teak 1155
Cocobolo 1136
Brazilian Eucalyptus / Rose Gum 1125
Makore 1100
Siberian Larch 1100
Peruvian Walnut 1080
Boreal 1023
Black Walnut/North American Walnut 1010
Teak 1000
Cherry 995
Black Cherry, Imbuia 950
Boire 940
Paper Birch 910
Eastern Red Cedar 900
Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf) 870
Lacewood, Leopardwood 840
African Mahogany 830
Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany 800
Parana 780
Sycamore 770
Shedua 710
Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly and Shortleaf) 690
Douglas Fir 660
Western Juniper 626
Alder (Red) 590
Larch 590
Chestnut 540
Hemlock 500
Western White Pine 420
Basswood 410
Eastern White Pine 380
Balsa 100
Cuipo 22[1]

Janka hardness is not the be all end all characteristic to look at. The stability of the wood to temperature and humidity is also quite important, particularly in NYC where it can vary a lot between summer/winter. Maple is less stable than Oak, and rift/quarter sawn oak is even more dimensionally stable side-to-side due to the grain. Primer's comment about oak taking stain better / more consistently is also worth considering if you want to use stain.


Add your comment



Rentals (3178)
Market (1513)
Neighborhoods (649)
Boards (311)
Renovation (1987)
Anything (2471)
Sales (24649)
Developments (619)
Financing (509)
Schools (109)
Brokers (383)
Services (525)