Everything You Need to Know About Maple Furniture
Is maple wood a good choice for your furniture? Along with oak, cherry and walnut, maple is a favourite wood material for furniture building. But what makes woodworkers and furniture enthusiasts gravitate towards this type of wood for generations? Besides its durable and sturdy features, maple is lovely when adequately finished.
More than 100 different species of maple grow around the world, and 10 of these maple species are native to Canada. The wood of dozens of species of maple trees varies, but the two most common commercial varieties are hard maple and soft maple. Technically, they’re both hard woods and used for building nearly any piece of furniture.
This maple wood material can give you long-lasting and elegant furniture pieces, no matter the design or type. Before making up your mind, however, read on to learn everything you need to know about maple furniture.
History of Wood Furniture in Canada
The history of Canadian furniture dates back to the 1800s. It started with simple handmade furnishings built by indigenous people long before Europeans arrived. In 1830, the first furniture company in Canada was established in Kitchener (then known as Berlin). It made Canada one of the ten largest manufacturers and exporters of furniture in North America and worldwide.
The furniture industry is among the key drivers of the Canadian economy. As of 2016, Canada has 7 087 furniture stores, mostly Canadian-owned and operated. The abundance of dense forests in the country and the yearning for a sustainable economy were significant contributors to this.
There are different types of wood and timber species in Canada. The primary softwood lumber species in the country include spruce, pine, hemlock and western red cedar. Meanwhile, red oak, birch, and maple are the hardest wood species.
The maple tree is considered Canada’s national tree. Besides being a national symbol, it’s prized by most woodworkers and you’ll find maple wood used mainly for furniture, flooring and woodwork in the country. Although there are different species of the maple tree family, hard maple and soft maple are the most notable wood types in commercial production.
Why Choose Maple Wood Furniture?
Maple wood can come from different species, but no matter the varieties, maple makes for great furniture, cabinetry and kitchen accessories. That’s why there are so many maple wood products on the market. What makes maple different from other wood varieties?
Maple wood is a popular wood type for furniture because of the following reasons:
Both hard maple and soft maple are dense woods. On the Janka hardness scale (pounds-force or lbf), hard maple has a higher hardness rating of 1,450 lbf while 950 lbf for soft maple. Overall, it’s more durable than most wood types like red oak, with a hardness rating of 1290 lbf. Because of its superior hardness, maple wood furniture doesn’t dent easily.
The beauty of maple wood is indisputable, providing you with the best finish. Maple wood comes in various colours that complement almost any type of decor in every home. Because it has less grain than other wood types, maple wood also has a smooth and clean appearance. Plus, it stains and polishes well.
There’s a wide availability of maple wood in Canada, so it’s a more affordable option for furniture than other hardwood varieties. There are many types and grades of maple wood to choose from so you can find something that suits your needs and budget. Whether you need maple bedroom furniture, a dining table, or a maple credenza, you have a lot of affordable options to choose from.
Maple trees are abundant in Canada and its short growing period makes it possible to harvest the wood without damaging the forests. Because of this, maple wood is a more environmentally-friendly option than other wood types that grow slower.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
Did you know that maple wood has natural dust resistance properties? It can help improve indoor air quality by controlling airborne contaminants and allergens that can harm health.
How to Determine You’re Actually Getting Real Maple Furniture
Maple wood is a cast of characters that can be confusing when you’re searching for furniture. You might also mix it up with other hardwood types despite its attractive features. Some of them are stained to resemble maple wood.
To help you check whether you’re getting real maple furniture, here are a few things you should look out for.
- Texture and Patterns: Look for distinct and beautiful grain patterns for a maple dining table, coffee table, or bedroom set. The woodgrain structure of maple is usually tight and straight. But variations also include curly, wavy or rippled grain.
- Colour: When it’s fresh, maple is a creamy white wood, but sometimes, it has a reddish tinge. It also darkens to a yellowish colour over time. The dark stains also happen to other popular woods like oak, cherry, and walnut.
- Common Uses: Maple furniture is mostly made for indoor applications, such as dining room tables and chairs.
Did you know?
Did you know that there are actually two types of maple used for furniture? These are the hard and soft maple variants. Both are actually hardwoods and are only differentiated by the maple tree species the wood comes from.
You Can’t Go Wrong With Good Quality Maple Wood Furniture
Maple wood is indisputably pretty and strong for building furniture. However, finding authentic maple furniture isn’t always easy. Some manufacturers cut corners and stain other lower-quality wood types to look like maple. Although some of the things we mentioned here can help you, it can be challenging to detect real maple furniture unless you’re a wood expert.
It’s always best to get your wood furniture from a reputable company, and that’s why we’re here to help. Contact Woodcraft today to discuss your needs and find out what your options are.
If you’re looking for high-quality maple wood furniture, you can trust Woodcraft to give you what you want and need.
FAQs on Everything You Need to Know About Maple Furniture
Can you stain maple wood furniture?
Maple stains well, but since it has a dense and tight grain structure, achieving a uniform stain might be a problem. Sanding may help to get rid of those scratches and clear the wood.
Can maple wood furniture be used outside?
Maple wood furniture is often used indoors, but you can put them outdoors as long as it’s properly sealed and maintained. However, continuous exposure to direct sunlight can darken maple furniture used outdoors faster than those that are relegated to indoor use.
How should you take care of furniture made out of maple wood?
The proper ways to take care of maple furniture depend on the type of wood finish these have. Maple tends to have a yellowish colour over time when sealed with oil finishes. With lacquer or varnish, however, maple furniture is generally care-free and only requires little maintenance.