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, uniform texture and is generally straight-grained, but it can also occur as "curly," "fiddleback," and "birds-eye" figure.
Flooring, furniture, paneling, ballroom and gymnasium floors, kitchen cabinets, worktops, table tops, butcher blocks, toys, kitchenware and millwork: stairs, handrails, moldings, and doors.
Hard maple dries slowly with high 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 to an outstanding finish. Polishes well and is suitable for enamel finishes and brown tones.
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.