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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?

Grain

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.

Color

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

Density/Weight

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.

Cost

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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