American Hardwood Information Center

The Authoritative Resource for American Hardwoods

Hard Maple

Acer saccharum, Acer nigrum
Other Names: Sugar maple, black maple

DISTRIBUTION
Eastern U.S., mainly Mid-Atlantic and Lake states. It is a cold-weather tree favoring a more northerly climate.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The sapwood is a creamy white with a slight reddish brown tinge, and the heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The wood has a close, fine texture and is generally straight-grained.

WORKING PROPERTIES
Hard maple dries slowly with high shrinkage, so it can be susceptible to movement in performance. Pre-boring is recommended when nailing and screwing. With care, it machines well, turns well, glues satisfactorily and can be stained to an outstanding finish. The wood polishes well and is suitable for enamel finishes and brown tones.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
The wood is hard and heavy with good strength properties. In particular, it has high resistance to abrasion and wear. It also has good steam-bending properties.

AVAILABILITY
Widely available.

MAIN USES
Flooring, furniture, paneling, ballroom and gymnasium floors, kitchen cabinets, worktops, table tops, butcher blocks, kitchenware and toys. Can also be used in millwork, stairs, handrails, moulding, and doors.



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