Residential Floor Care
More and more homeowners are turning to the natural warmth and beauty of northern hard maple.
MFMA northern hard maple is regarded as the premium species among hardwoods; it is easy to care for and clean, increases the value of your home, is remarkably hard and extremely durable. Its unique character offers a wide range of design uses and a natural lighter color that complements all styles of homes and interior settings from modern to traditional to rustic. Northern hard maple is the “green” choice, being renewable, recyclable, biodegradable and reusable.
The quality of this exquisite hardwood begins in the northern forest - 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 comes with peace of mind and quality assurance.
An MFMA mill number is embossed into the back of every strip of MFMA maple. It is our guarantee that strictly enforced MFMA grading rules and quality standards have been painstakingly followed in the production of each strip of flooring.
Grades of MFMA Northern Hard Maple
The highest standard MFMA grade is hand selected to minimize the natural character variations of the species.
Second & Better Grade
The most commonly specified flooring, this grade exhibits more natural variations than First grade.
This grade has the same structural integrity as First and Second & Better, and exhibits more natural variations than either grade.
Note: The above grades, types, widths and thicknesses also apply to MFMA beech and MFMA birch flooring.
Types of MFMA Northern Hard Maple
Typical Widths & Thicknesses
- MFMA-RL (Random Length) - strip maple flooring of various lengths
- MFMA-FJ (Finger Jointed) - strip maple flooring of various lengths finger jointed together
- MFMA-PQ (Parquet) - square and rectangular panels in a variety of dimensions
- MFMA-RL and MFMA-FJ standard face widths: 1-1/2", 2-1/4", 2-1/2" and 3-1/4"
- MFMA-RL and MFMA-FJ standard thicknesses: 1/2", 25/32" (most commonly selected) and 33/32"
- MFMA-PQ individual picket widths ranging from 7/8" to 1-1/8", and picket lengths ranging from 5-1/2" to 12"
- Minimum thickness of MFMA-PQ northern hard maple is 5/16"
The MFMA recommends that the home environment where your maple floor will be installed be stable when the flooring materials arrive - air temperature between 55 and 75 degrees and indoor relative humidity between 35 and 50 percent. Moisture absorption causes wood to swell; moisture loss causes wood to shrink.
To properly acclimate, the maple should be stored in the room where it will be installed. After installation, your maple flooring will take about a year or two to further stabilize through a complete cycle of seasonal changes. Your floor will continue to respond to environmental changes throughout its life span.
As a homeowner, it is very important for you to understand how dry or humid conditions will affect your MFMA maple flooring. All hardwoods will react to changing environmental conditions. MFMA maple should be installed on or above grade only. Below grade installations are not recommended.
Separations - The appearance of shrinkage cracks during dry winter months is common and expected. These separations will normally close in the spring and early summer, as the floor picks up moisture from the air. We recommend the use of a humidification/dehumidification system in your home to maintain proper humidity levels.
Squeaks - Squeaks in the floor can also be caused by the seasonal expansion/contraction cycles, and can be minimized by maintaining a constant indoor environment.
Cupping - A “washboard” appearance across the width of one piece of flooring has only one cause: moisture imbalance through the thickness where the moisture content is higher on the bottom of the board than the top. The moisture source, be it excessive indoor relative humidity or water leakage, must be eliminated before any repair work is performed.
Your MFMA maple flooring should be delivered at least 72 hours before installation and placed in the room to begin its acclimation. Your home's geographic location and the time of year of the installation must be taken into account by the installer for proper acclimation. All “wet” trades (i.e., painting) should be completed before the flooring is delivered to your home. Heating or air conditioning should be in full operation prior to delivery of the flooring and throughout the acclimation period.
MFMA maple flooring may be installed over concrete slabs in which radiant heating pipes are embedded. However, slightly higher water temperatures may be required. There are a number of important precautions to follow. We recommend discussing this option with your MFMA flooring installer.
Sealers & Finishes
There are many different types of sealers and surface finishes available to create the perfect look for your solid maple hardwood floor. While sealers can be used alone on the floor, generally they are applied as an undercoat for a finish. Recommended finishes include oil-based urethanes, moisture-cured urethanes, Swedish finishes and water-based urethanes. We recommend that you discuss these options with your MFMA flooring installer to obtain the ideal look for your home.
Never use water to clean your hardwoods. Soaps, detergents, “oil soaps,” wax removers, polishes 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 your maple floor is recommended at least once a week.
Cleaning agents are available for your maple floor; contact your installer or finish manufacturer for more information.
We are confident that you will enjoy the beauty and durability of your 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!
Established in 1897, the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association is a trade association representing the maple flooring industry. If you have any additional questions or would like to receive a list of our members, call us at 888-480-9138, or email us at email@example.com.
Residential Floor Care
Six Steps for Proper Daily Maintenance:
- SWEEP THE FLOOR DAILY with a properly treated dust mop.
- IMMEDIATELY WIPE UP SPILLS and any moisture on the floor surface.
- MAKE SURE THE HEATING/VENTILATING/AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM IS FUNCTIONING PROPERLY and set to maintain indoor relative humidity level between 35 percent and 50 percent year round. In areas of consistently high or low outside humidity, a 15 percent fluctuation will not adversely affect the maple.
- REMOVE HEEL MARKS using an approved floor cleaner applied with a soft cloth or a dust mop. Contact your floor finish manufacturer for approved cleaning products.
- INSPECT FLOOR FOR TIGHTENING OR SHRINKAGE. During wet weather, check for water leakage around doors and windows. Remove debris from expansion voids.
Never Do the Following:
- ALWAYS PROTECT THE FLOOR when moving heavy equipment or furniture.
- NEVER shut down the ventilation system in your home for a prolonged period of time.
- NEVER clean your MFMA floor using water or steam. Water is your floor's worst enemy!
- NEVER attempt to modify or repair your MFMA maple floor without first consulting your MFMA contractor.
- NEVER use household cleaning products or procedures to clean your floor. They can be harmful to the floor finish and to the wood and may leave floors sticky or slippery, and potentially harmful. Your finish manufacturer will recommend the proper cleaning and maintenance materials for your MFMA maple floor.
Wood is naturally porous and can absorb and release moisture. If the humidity in your home rises, your wood floor will absorb that moisture, causing it to expand. If the humidity falls, your wood floor will release moisture, causing it to shrink. Many installations include expansion voids around the perimeter and around columns or floor inserts. These features permit natural, normal expansion and contraction without damage to the floor. Too much moisture causes abnormal expansion, which can lead to cupping or buckling of your floor. In abnormally dry conditions the wood will contract, leaving separations between flooring strips.