The sapwood is creamy white with a slight reddish brown tinge and the heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The amount of darker brown heartwood can vary significantly according to growing region. Both sapwood and heartwood can contain pith fleck. The wood has a close fine texture and is generally straight grained, but it can also occur as curly, fiddleback and birds-eye figure.
Hard maple dries slowly with a large shrinkage, so it can be susceptible to movement in performance. Pre-boring is recommended when nailing and screwing. With care, it machines well, turns well, glues satisfactorily, and can be stained and polished to an outstanding finish.
The wood is hard and heavy with good strength properties, in particular its high resistance to abrasion and wear. It also has good steam bending properties.
Rated as slightly or non-resistant to heartwood decay. Sapwood is liable to attack by furniture beetle. The heartwood is resistant to preservative treatment but the sapwood is permeable.
Flooring, furniture, panelling, kitchen cabinets, worktops and table tops, interior joinery: stairs, handrails, mouldings and doors.