maple vs red oak floors

<p>I can't argue politics, or economics, so...</p>

<p>I already had red oak floors in a prior house and I liked them..but now I moved and maybe it is a time for a change...</p>

<p>Who likes or dislikes their maple floors? I'm going to use them possibly for the living room, dining, room, kitchen and stairs..</p>

<p>And do you shine them up..or just leave them natural?</p>

<p>I had maple floors in one house (LR/DR/Kitchen) and I have red oak in this house (LR/DR/Kitchen/FR. To be honest, if Ihad been able to afford maple when we built this house I would have chosen maple. It is a clearer wood, lighter in color, with less color variation and less grain. Don't get me wrong...I love my oak floors too...but I really LOVED my maple ones.</p>

<p>In both cases, wood was sanded and clear poly was put on it. Our current floors have a finish called StreetShoe. I don't even know if they make it anymore...it was what was used on bowling alleys when we built this house. It is terrific. After 16 years...only our kitchen really needs a new do...but of course we have to do it all so the color matches.</p>

<p>Our poly is a satin finish...so not dull but not high gloss either. It looks very nice...it is a water based poly.</p>

<p>I have Swedish-finished maple floors in the kitchen/entryway/powder room area. No matter what the experts say, my experience with the both types of wood floors is that maple is a bit softer and less patterned than oak and therefore will show more scratches. Since we are fairly gentle on the floors, so far I see no need to refinish ours (12 years).</p>

<p>I wash my maple floors with Bona once a week and clean them with a swiffer-type dust mop as needed.</p>

<p>I have had both. My advice= whatever you do, make sure it complements the furniture and kitchen cabinets you plan to have in there and the paint you will have on the walls. </p>

<p>We have maple that is natural in many parts, but has a deep mahogany stain in some key areas where we have light colored furniture and kitchen cabinets. It looks stunning but yes, you will see every speck of dust more easily.</p>

<p>Funny thing is we used to love our red oak floors in our old house but now if we were to do it again we'd choose maple.</p>

<p>I also think a good maple creates a more expensive look so I suspect it may be better for resale value.</p>

<p>So ..with maple i get floors that show scratches but are more expensive looking ....</p>

<p>looks like a contradiction...</p>

<p>I put in maple floors last year, and still so happy. The red oak was a little orangey, and clashed with some of my furniture. The maple has enough variation to be interesting but not grainy.</p>

<p>I've had both. Frankly, they're floors, designed to be walked on. Either will last. Go with whatever you like. Good quality finishing will matter more than anything else.</p>

<p>Scratchiness depends on how good your (polyurethane) coat is.</p>

<p>^^That, and the number of non-declawed cats you have, as well as your ability to notice minute imperfections. :)</p>

<p>Mine are Pine. I just think it depends what you like.</p>

<p>Dstark, what sort of floors to you plan to install? Site finished? Prefinished full hardwood or prefinished engineered hardwood? (I don't mean wood-look laminate, but real engineered wood flooring.) </p>

<p>We had prefinished engineered maple floors in a previous house that were supposed to have a very long life span (maybe 50 yrs?) for their finish. Within six months they looked worse than any wood floors, of any type, we'd ever had before. I do think that the lack of grain makes every little scratch show up far more than on a more heavily grained wood.</p>

<p>For our next house, I'd like a very pale finish on our wood floors again (we now have dark stained red oak.) Carlisle (Carlisle</a> Wide Plank Floors) does a finish called Whitewash Fence that looks great on white oak flooring. Armstrong has a solid hardwood plank floor in oak that's available in a finish called Winter White. They also sell an engineered hardwood plank (oak) in a finish called White Linen. You might want to check those out. Even if you do site finished floors, it can help to have pictures to show your contractor.</p>

<p>The wood is not going to be prefinished. Sanded down and finished on site after the planks or whatever you call the pieces are installed.</p>

<p>I can get a little anal about the scratches for a couple of months...then it is time to move on.</p>

<p>feathergirl...I love pine...but not for this place...</p>

<p>In my area of older houses, maple is for kitchens and upstairs, oak for living rooms and dining rooms. Maple is very pale when refinished, and darkens a bit with age. The upstairs in my current house are rather pale brown in color, and have not been refinished in the 20 years I've been in this place, and probably not for decades before. I tried to refinish the old maple in my kitchen and ended up being unable to due to water damage which turns maple black. Unfortunately my now 20 year old maple floor has one black spot from a water problem with the ice maker. Supposedly this can be bleached out. The lesson-make sure water never stands on a maple floor, and keep the finish intact. </p>

<p>Yes, it is a nice light look, and I like having wood in the kitchen. Far less work than many other flooring materials as well.</p>

<p>I have bamboo in my kitchen, it has a really cool grain pattern and matches our cabinets well. I don't think I'd want it in my whole house, but in one room it looks great. It's a very green material too, being renewable in a few years instead of decades.</p>

<p>Technically though, it's a grass, not wood. :)</p>

<p>I have white oak everywhere else, which I like better than red oak.</p>

<p>Given maple's subtle grain compared to oak's prominant grain, scratches will show quite easily on maple. Even using a high quality poly coat will not change this issue. If you aren't thrilled with the grain on standard oak, you can opt for quarter-sawn oak, which completely changes the look due to a tighter grain. Our 1920 colonial has it and it is beautiful. </p>

<p>When we bought the house 17 years ago, we had the floors refinished before we moved in and I told the floor guy that I wanted it to look like a basketball court - high gloss. He used an industrial strength sealant and we have done anything to them since. (no dogs or cats, however). </p>

<p>PS - we used prefinished oak when we installed our kitchen floor 15 years ago and hate it.</p>

<p>We've got maple flooring (quarter-sawn) throughout our house (except for tiles in the bathrooms). In the house we had before this one, I had white oak. I like them both, but I find that the maple shows the scratches more than the oak. Also, really high heels can make little dents in the maple floors. I never noticed that with the oak. I clean the floors with a product called Bona. Floor guys recommended it.</p>

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The lesson-make sure water never stands on a maple floor, and keep the finish intact.

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</p>

<p>We love our oak flooring in the kitchen (which has had a few extra coat of poly added in the 17 years). A friend warned us to put small rugs in front of the fridge and sink. That has been key to keeping them nice. Every few years I buy new ones to get a changed look in the kitchen. It could be a good trick also to cover water damage.</p>

<p>oak is harder but why red oak? We have the yellow oak with a matte finish. I would not do the matte but would stick with the oak for durability. We have SO much sun on the floors at certain times of the day that I was concerned about a shiny finish being too reflective but find the matte shows things like dog claw surface scratches more.</p>

<p>We had site finished Brazilian Cherry floors in our last house and they were really stunning but I have to say that I am happy to be with the more neutral oak floors in our latest house - also site finished (can't stand the ridges in the pre-finished) and wider planked, stained a very nice sort of honey, not too dark and not too light. They are twenty years old but in fantastic condition, was told by our home inspector that the installation was done extremely well (home was built by a builder for himself). I love these floors because they provide a very warm but not obtrusive foundation for each room. </p>

<p>Have had friends do maple floors. Personally, the lack of grain makes them look kind of manufactured in my view and the stain is generally fairly light in color which, while often pretty, just doesn't work well, imo, over time. I do like maple cabinets.</p>

<p>Stepdaughter just moved into a house built in the early 1800's that has maple floors. I am not sure if they are original - but although they have been refinished, they still look very worn. The effect, however, is perfect for her home.</p>