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What is the Difference Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple?

By Megan Everhard

Within the Maple species, there are characteristic variations which are typically separated into two main groups – Hard Maple and Soft Maple.

How do you tell the difference between Hard and Soft Maple?


Both species can produce a variety of unique grain effects. Hard Maple grows at a slower rate, so Hard Maple growth rings will be tighter than the growth rings on a Soft Maple board.


Hard Maple is usually lighter with a more uniform color. Soft Maple is darker, with hues of reddish/brown, or sometimes even gray.


Hard MapleSoft Maple


Hard Maple is often heavier and denser than Soft Maple. If you were to press your fingernail into Hard Maple virtually no dent would be left; Soft Maple has a greater chance of being dented.


Over the years, Hard Maple has been consistently more expensive than Soft Maple. While the price difference has significantly decreased, there is still about a 10% difference.

Hard Maple and Soft Maple both provide exceptional millwork components. Oak Pointe can provide all your millwork needs in whichever species you prefer.


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