When it comes to having customized furniture made, there are many different types of material that you can choose from. When you want something that is strong and durable, yet also provides you with a look of true elegance, you can’t go wrong by using quality maple lumber. There are two varieties of lumber that we can get from maple trees. They are hard and soft maple. These varieties are used to make all types of home furnishings from bed frames to cupboards, chairs, and luxurious dining room tables. But why is soft maple considered to be the best over hard maple, and what is the difference between the two?
The Difference Between Soft Maple and Hard Maple
When choosing the type of lumber, you want to use for a customized piece of wood furniture, there are usually two varieties of maple lumber available, hard maple and soft maple. Even though these two types are derived from different species, they are both hard woods and can be used to make long-lasting pieces of furniture.
If they are both considered to be hard woods, then why is soft maple given its name? The name isn’t used to describe the quality or strength of the wood, and you don’t have to worry about getting a poor-quality piece if you have one made using soft maple wood. The wood is given its name because it is soft in comparison to hard maple. It is still much stronger than many other types of lumber out there and can also help create some beautiful accents that hard maple cannot.
Various species of maple can fall under the soft maple category. They each come with their unique set of properties and characteristics as far as hardness, strength, and weight are concerned. However, they are all overall less strong and hard than hard maple, which makes them more affordable and easily available. Some of the maple species that are considered soft maple include box elder, bigleaf maple, red maple, striped maple, and silver maple.
As far as for what you can buy, this varies based on your location and which species grow in your area. For example, if you live in the eastern United States you’ll likely end up with furniture made of silver maple or red maple. If you live out west, bigleaf maple is all the rage. Of course, this only applies as long the company you employ uses trees that have been harvested locally. At the end of the day though, the species isn’t that important – if it falls under soft maple, you’ll be able to enjoy all the advantages listed below.
The Facts About Soft Maple Wood
This type of wood is sought after by many furniture makers because it offers a wide range of benefits to both the designer and the customer. Here are a few facts that you may not know about soft maple wood.
Soft Maple is Highly Sustainable
Soft maple can be sourced from many different types of maple trees. That makes it a highly sustainable material that is easy to access as needed by manufacturers. Being available from various sources of maple tree species allows soft maple wood to be available in larger quantities than other varieties such as hard maple. Plus, it grows twice as fast which means that a soft maple tree can be planted and harvested in half the time it takes to grow and harvest a hard maple tree. For companies that hope to use soft maple as their primary source of lumber, this can be a great benefit.
The sustainability of soft maple also means that customers receive customized furniture pieces that match well and have a consistent appearance, unlike tables and chairs that are made from different types of maple wood or other species.
It is Less Expensive Than Other Types of Wood
Along with being strong and durable, soft maple is also much less expensive than many other types of wood used to make customized furniture. Even though it has a lower price tag, that doesn’t mean that soft maple is a bad choice for your furniture. The fact that it is so readily available makes it cost less. And even though furniture experts will tell you that it’s one of the most durable types of lumber out there, it still doesn’t get the recognition that it deserves in terms of quality, making it a less desirable option for some customers simply based on that factor alone. That is another reason for the price of soft maple to be much less than other wood varieties.
Soft Maple Wood is Extremely Versatile
Soft maple is versatile enough to be used in a broad range of furniture. It may be shaped and cut to suit the custom design of your choosing. And once it has been kiln-dried, the wood is resilient against issues such as molding, cracking or warping, regardless of what type of humidity it is exposed to. This type of wood works very well with different stains so that you can use it with your current home furnishings. Many people prefer to use soft maple over hard maple for their customized furniture because hard maple doesn’t work well with stains and isn’t as versatile when it comes to creating customized pieces.
Soft Maple is an excellent material to choose when purchasing custom furniture for your home or office. The lumber has many of the same qualities as hard maple, however it is much less dense. This makes it softer and easier for furniture designers to work with. It is preferred by many furniture creators because it is able to provide beautiful results that are less time consuming for the company and more affordable for the customer. When it comes to choosing a durable yet beautiful and highly sustainable material for your new customized furniture, be sure to consider soft maple wood.