Compare Oak vs Maple Hardwood Flooring
Oak has long been an extremely popular choice for wood flooring, particularly in traditional-style homes. It has a warm, rich tone and a distinctive grain pattern. Oak flooring is also strong and durable; it can last for generations.
There are two basic types of oak flooring: red oak and white oak. Red oak has a reddish tone and a more distinctive grain pattern. White oak has a browner tone and a less pronounced grain pattern, and it is harder than red oak.
Like most other types of wood flooring, oak is available in engineered or solid wood form, pre-finished or unfinished, and in a variety of grades.
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How Much Does Oak Flooring Cost?
Oak flooring varies in price depending on the quality. The average price for materials and installation is about $8 to $12 per square foot, but in some cases you could pay as much as $20 per square foot. Installing the floors yourself saves a significant amount of money, usually $3 to $7 per square foot.
Pros of Oak
- Durable - Oak is a strong wood that is highly resistant to dents and scratches.
- Lots of character - The distinctive wood grains and warm tones give oak lots of character. The unique patterns of the wood grains stand out even more when the floors are stained.
- Stains well - Oak’s slightly porous surface takes well to stain. You can achieve a beautiful finish with light or dark stain.
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Cons of Oak
- More expensive - Oak is slightly pricier than maple.
- More imperfections - To some, the distinctive wood grain is not an attractive feature. Oak is probably not the best choice if you like a clean, modern look.
Maple flooring has a blondish tint and is much lighter in color than oak flooring. It has a smooth texture and a less prominent grain pattern than oak. It’s ideal for creating a clean, modern look. Maple is also extremely strong and durable; it too can last for generations.
Like oak, maple is available in solid or engineered form, pre-finished or unfinished, and in a variety of grades.
How Much Does Maple Hardwood Flooring Cost
Maple is slightly less expensive than oak, with an average price of $7 to $11 per square foot for materials and installation. In some cases, you could pay $15 or more per square foot. As with oak, d0-it-yourself installation can shave $3 to $7 per square foot from the total price.
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Get free maple flooring samples from our partners at BuildDirect.com. You don't need to return them and you will not pay for shipping. The samples are shipped directly to your door so you can make a decision from the comfort of your home.
Pros of Maple Hardwood
- Durable - Maple flooring is extremely hard and dent-resistant - even more so than oak flooring. This is largely because it is virtually non-porous.
- Fewer imperfections - Maple has a consistent grain pattern that is more subtle than oak with fewer imperfections.
- Less expensive - Maple is slightly lower in price than oak. The price difference is usually anywhere from $1 to $5 per square foot.
Cons of Maple Hardwood
- Less character - For some people, the lack of a distinctive grain pattern makes maple less attractive than oak. If you love traditional style and lots of character, maple is not the best choice.
- Doesn’t stain well - Maple’s non-porous surface doesn’t take to stain very well. Dark stains in particular might look blotchy or uneven.