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Maple is a large family of trees from the very dense sugar maple (the source of our maple syrup) to relatively "soft" soft maples (all other maple species except the sugar maple). We only use the sugar maple because it is significantly denser, thus wears better than its cheaper and softer cousins. Sugar maple is also brighter and whiter, characteristics sought after by many of our customers.
We make maple hardwood steps in two grades. A select and better grade and a rustic grade.
Natural maple stair treads, as with all of our hardwood stair treads, are guaranteed to be sanded to a quality finish. Sugar Maple is a tough wood to work with but we have invested heavily in industrial planning and sanding equipment to handle even these kind of nasty woods.
You'll be smiling with the quality finish and minimal sanding required before you apply the final stain and finish of your choice, although with maple stair treads we do suggest fanatical sanding to 160-200 grit, not to smooth the surface, but to aid in even absorption of stain if this is the route you are going.
Be aware that maple is not the easiest wood species to stain, thus talk to your local finishing expert for advice. Often they will recommend the use of a wood conditioner, prior to staining.
If you are matching it to a wood floor, ask if your wood is "hard" or "sugar" maple, soft maple or birch. These species can look similar but have different staining characteristics & durabilities.
Maple Steps are selected for colour as with all our select & better grade treads... 90% premium white Appalachian hard maple.
Occasional small mineral lines can exist in the some treads, but this is held to a minimum. We only use "sugar" or "hard" maple lumber for these treads, to gain the brighter, lighter colours and a denser wood to resist denting.
Note: Much of the lower grades of maple flooring are made from "soft" maple that is much more colour variable and tends to lean on the gray side of the colour wheel... and yes it is not as dense or "dent resistant" as the "hard" maple... again ask your flooring supplier if you are trying to get an accurate match!
Rustic Grade Maple treads can have significant colour variation from gray/black streak lines and small 1/2" knots to large reddy brown colour bands. Matches beautifully with the lower grade floors especially if staining in a dark colour to give some real underlying character and match a country living style of interior decorating.
Make sure to specify this option, if it is a better match to your flooring installation. It will save you some money!