Sport floors have become the “calling card” for many NBA, NCAA, high schools and
even K-8 gyms. With so much variation between the grades of the maple, graphics,
tints, logos, stains and three-point shot areas – each sport floor has become a unique
symbol of a team and the school. Floors are now almost as recognizable as the mascot
or the logo on center court.

One of the most effective ways to achieve a unique sports floor look is to use maple
grade variations. Using Third and Better or Third Grade maple will give a sports floor a
warm hue, make a clean and effective border or provide a contrast. Remember, the grade
of maple flooring products affects aesthetics, not performance. So if you are looking to
stand out, specify MFMA Third and Better or Third grade maple.

Third and Better & Third Grade Maple Sports Floors 

MFMA Northern Hard Maple
  •  Dense, strong, remarkably hard and durable
  •  Wide color possibilities and easily covered with attractive finishes
  •  Close-grained, hard-fibered, free from slivering and splintering, and polishes well under friction
  •  Naturally beautiful and suited for a variety of uses
  •  Resists point pressure without abrasion

The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) is the authoritative source
of technical and general information about maple flooring and related sports flooring
systems. Through cooperative member programs, MFMA establishes product quality,
performance and installation guidelines; educates end users about safety, performance
and maintenance issues; and promotes the use of maple flooring products
worldwide. MFMA members consult with architects, contractors, school
officials and maintenance personnel to answer questions about the
specification, use and care of MFMA maple flooring.

Third and Better Grade
This grade of MFMA maple is comprised of a mixture of all grades of MFMA
Northern Hard Maple flooring. A description of Third and Better Grade is a mixture
of a minimum of 60% MFMA Second and Better Grade Northern Hard Maple and
40% MFMA Third Grade Northern Hard Maple. The grade contains all the visual
characteristics of all three maple flooring grades, from clear First Grade boards to
Third Grade boards with greater length variation, increased color variation, visible
knots and pinholes. Third and Better Grade floor delivers the same use and service
as First and Second and Better, but with a unique wide color variation providing a
pleasing visual appearance.

The grade will not admit voids on edges or ends, or knot holes over 3/8” in diameter;
partially unsound knots where the unsound portion is over 1” in diameter; or shakes,
heart checks, badly split ends and imperfections in manufacturing which materially
impair the serviceability of the flooring for the purpose intended.

Third Grade
This grade has the same structural integrity as First Grade and Second and Better
Grade and exhibits more natural color variation than either grade. Third Grade
maple flooring can exhibit an attractive reddish-brown hue, giving the floor a warm,
earthy look. In this grade the boards show natural character, with darker and lighter
boards, shorter board length, with an increase in visible knots and pinholes. Third
Grade floors offer a warmer, softer visual aesthetic, and when used as a border can
dramatically highlight a First Grade main playing court.
This grade has all defects common to maple, but the wood must be firm and
serviceable. It will not admit voids on edges or ends, or knot holes over 3/8” in
diameter; partially unsound knots where the unsound portion is over 1” in diameter;
or shakes, heart checks, badly split ends and imperfections in manufacturing which
materially impair the serviceability of the flooring for the purpose intended.

Purpose
The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) provides this information,
including proposals on care, as a guide to specifiers, architects, end users, and
other professionals. MFMA, its members and employees do not warrant the
information contained herein as proper under all conditions. MFMA reserves the
right to revise this information as necessary. For additional information,
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