MFMA MAPLE FLOORING: The Logical Choice for a Beautiful Home


More than 100 years of research, application and unmatched product performance have made MFMA northern hard maple solid strip flooring the most widely specified and installed sports surface in North America. With such a reputation, it's no wonder that MFMA Maple is quickly becoming the preferred flooring material for residential applications as well.

Overall, wood flooring is quickly regaining a strong market share in the floor covering industry. More and more homeowners and commercial tenants are turning to the natural beauty of wood for aesthetic and health benefits.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently working to regulate indoor air quality. According to their list of poor air quality sources, carpeting, among many other sources inside the home and office, contributes to poor air quality due to its makeup of alcohols, formaldehyde, 4-methylethyl-benzene, 4-phenylcyclohexene and styrene. Within the selection of wood floors, consumer preferences are shifting toward lighter colored woods.

MFMA northern hard maple is regarded as the premium species among hardwoods. MFMA maple is dense, strong, remarkably hard and extremely durable. Its unique character offers a wide range of uses and a natural lighter color that complements all home furnishings from ultra contemporary to country decor.

The quality of this premium hardwood begins in the northern forests above the 35th parallel where shorter growing seasons and longer winters produce a densely grained maple with rich, consistent color and fewer imperfections.

MFMA maple is subject to stringent grading rules that create three grade choices: First, Second & Better and Third Grade. First Grade is the most commonly used in the residential market. For more detailed information, you may contact MFMA Headquarters for a copy of the one of the Grading Rules for Hard Maple booklets, or ask your installer for a copy.

The MFMA Certification Mark embossed on the underside of every strip certifies that the flooring is guaranteed by the manufacturer to conform to the MFMA-established standards covering species, quality and grade. Each piece is also marked with the MFMA mill identification number. Without these markings, the flooring is not certified by MFMA for grade, quality or species.

The following is a resource guide provided by the MFMA for those who may be considering installing maple flooring in their home or business. We recommend these items be discussed with the MFMA flooring installer BEFORE installation begins.

Typical Widths and Thicknesses

  • MFMA random length strip and finger jointed strip maple flooring is manufactured in the following widths: 1-1/2", 2-1/4" and 3-1/4".

  • MFMA random length strip and finger jointed strip maple flooring is available in two thicknesses: 25/32" (most commonly selected) and 33/32".


Bleaching and Staining

  • Due to the extremely tight cellular structure and the variable grain patterns inherent in northern hard maple, the MFMA does not recommend bleaching or staining. Northern hard maple does not stain and/or bleach uniformly and attempts to stain or bleach may result in a mottled, blotchy appearance.


Moisture Control

  • Wood is a hygroscopic material. When exposed to varying temperatures and humidities, it will release or absorb moisture until it is at equilibrium with the home's surrounding atmosphere. Moisture absorption causes wood to swell; moisture loss causes wood to shrink.

  • The MFMA recommends that the environment (where the maple will be installed) be stable when the flooring materials arrive — air temperature between 55 and 75 degrees and relative humidity between 35 and 50 percent. To properly acclimate, the maple should be stored in the room where it will be installed.

  • After installation, maple flooring, as is the case with all wood flooring products, typically requires a year or two to further stabilize through a complete cycle of seasonal changes. The floor will continue to respond to environmental changes throughout its life span.

    As an architect, it is very important for you to understand how dry or humid conditions will affect your clients' wood flooring. All wood will react to changing environmental conditions.


Sealers and Finishes

  • There are many different types of penetrating sealers and surface finishes available to specify for your solid hardwood floor. While sealers can be used alone on the floor, generally they are applied as an undercoat for a finish.

  • In the finish category, oil-modified polyurethanes, moisture-cured urethanes, Swedish finishes, and water-based urethanes are the typical products applied. Advantages and disadvantages are inherent in each product. We recommend that you discuss these options with your MFMA flooring contractor.


Maintenance

  • Never use water on wood. Soaps, detergents, "oil soaps", wax removers, polishers and so on, will damage the wood and finish and leave a discoloring residue, making refinishing difficult. It is very important to keep the floor surface free from dust, grit, sand and abrasive particles.

  • Dust mopping and vacuuming at least once a week is recommended. Cleaning agents are also available for use on the finished floor. Ask your installer or finish manufacturer for more information.

  • We are confident that your clients will enjoy their MFMA maple flooring for many years to come. In fact, with proper care and maintenance, most MFMA maple floors will last for generations. That's a product well worth investing in!
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