I am interested in using silver maple hardwood flooring on my main floor in my home. I know it is a soft maple and just want to make sure it is durable enough for our family.  We also have two dogs as well as young children so we need a floor that will stand up to a busy family environment.  Any information you have would be greatly appreciated as there is conflicting information out there on flooring.

"Hard maple" is the common term for two species of maple trees: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Black Maple (Acer nigrum). Hard maple is commonly used in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets, billiard cues and other finished wood products. "Soft maple" is the common term for four species of maple trees: Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Red maple (Acer rebrum), Boxelder (Acer negundo) and Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). Soft maple is commonly used for railroad crossties, boxes, pallets, crates, furniture, veneer, wooden ware and novelties. The flesh of soft maple trees -- in particular silver and red maple -- resembles that of hard maple, but is not as heavy, hard or strong.
All MFMA maple flooring is manufactured exclusively from Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum). This hardwood is the best type of maple for flooring due to the unique characteristics of this wood species. Characteristics that make Acer saccharum perfect for MFMA flooring include fine and uniform texture, straight grain, resistance to shock, hardness and strength, resistance to dents and scratches, and stiffness.
For additional detailed information, consult the following source:
Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material; Robert Ross, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report FPL–GTR–282, March 2021. Link to downloadable publication
Soft maple would be a poor choice for flooring, especially with the dogs and kids.
Disclaimer: The MFMA provides general information to architects, specifiers and consumers. The MFMA, its members, officers and agents disclaim any responsibility whatsoever for the accuracy or applicability of these guidelines under all circumstances and conditions.
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