Is Maple Wood Waterproof?

Is Maple Hardwood Waterproof?

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When contemplating what type of wood to use for your home or project, it is important to know which species are naturally waterproof and which will need an added layer of protection to shield against moisture build-up over time. While some types of wood can last decades looking as good as new, others are less dense and easier for liquids to penetrate, which often leads to very noticeable expanding, rotting, and warping of the wood.

The natural layer of protection provided by maple hardwood is not only telling of the species’ quality but also an obvious reason why it is one of the most highly recommended and sought-after wood species available today.

Is Maple Wood Naturally Waterproof?

When searching for a wood species that is not only visibly appealing but also extremely resistant to moisture build-up and naturally waterproof, maple hardwood is one of the best options out there.

Maple is one of the most water-resistant types of wood and is able to withstand even the most severe levels of liquid contact without any sealant, stain, or oil needed. This wood is also one of the most commonly used for flooring since high humidity levels and extreme heat won’t warp, expand, or damage the wood either.

While there are currently over 120+ different varieties of maple wood that exist in the world, the two most commonly used maple varieties are sugar maple and black maple.

These two species of wood are so similar to one another as oftentimes they are viewed as one and the same. This is not only because both of the wood types are extremely heavy, durable, and shock resistant, but also because they are both harvested from dicot trees and often used for the same type of projects.

Despite being one of the most expensive types of wood available, maple hardwood (both sugar and black) continues to be used by a high number of homeowners, contractors, and woodworkers due to the little amount of upkeep needed compared to other species.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a long-lasting wood species that won’t need any additional products in order to maximize its lifespan while also looking amazing, then going with maple hardwood is absolutely recommended.

Does Maple Wood Absorb Moisture?

Due to the wood’s overall strength, density, and durability, it is extremely difficult for moisture to penetrate the material. In fact, this wood species scored at 1,450 lbf on the Janka hardness scale, proving that it can last for generations with little to no elbow grease put into maintaining it.

Therefore, whether you are someone with young children, or you don’t currently have any area rugs in the high-traffic rooms of your home, there is no need to worry when using maple hardwood.

Does Maple Wood Rot When Wet?

While all wood will (eventually) begin to rot if it is soaking in extreme moisture for too long, maple hardwood is amongst the hardest domestic wood species, making it extremely difficult for moisture to fully penetrate the wood and cause it to rot.

Typically, when trying to determine what wood species will have the least amount of damage over time, a good rule of thumb is to look at the price of the wood type and also the Janka Hardness Scale. This is a scale used worldwide to rate the quality of wood and is something the vast majority of contractors, cabinet makers, and homeowners refer to when choosing their wood type.

Does Maple Wood Expand When Wet?

As the seasons change throughout the year, so do the moisture levels in all types of wood. For example, when summer rolls around there are typically higher humidity levels in most areas of the world for at least several months, which will cause wood to swell and expand.

Then, when the air dries out in the cold winter months, the wood will respond to the changing air by tightening and shrinking. However, with some of the more high-quality wood species that exist such as maple hardwood, these changes are extremely minimal and almost undetectable to the human eye.

Whether maple hardwood is used for indoor cabinets or high-traffic outdoor areas that see a lot of rain and weather changes throughout the year, this wood will last decades and look almost as good as new.

Does Maple Wood Warp When Wet?

Despite maple hardwood being one of the densest, most durable types of wood in the world, it is still susceptible to slight warping over time. This is why woodworking professionals recommended using either a humidifier or dehumidifier in order to avoid long-term warping if you are someone living in an area of the world with high humidity levels or extreme coldness.

However, this is only recommended to those with high levels of attention to detail. Much like when the wood species is expanding and tightening in response to seasonal changes in the air, any warping that occurs will be extremely minimal and almost undetectable by the average person.

How to Waterproof Maple Wood

Even with maple hardwood being extremely water resistant, it never hurts to know how to further protect the wood in your home and be prepared just in case some water damage occurs. When it comes to wood of any species, the two main products used for waterproofing are stains and sealants.

If you are looking for something completely transparent and clear that helps enhance the grain and natural wood color of the material while also protecting it from moisture, then you will want to go with a sealer. This is because, unlike most sealants, stains are not clear at all and often contain an added layer of pigment that is very visible when applied.


Hopefully, after reading through this article you are not only realizing how beneficial maple hardwood can be for both indoor and outdoor use but also considering it for your forever home or next woodworking project.

Yes, the species is one of the more costly wood types available, but as you will surely realize after installing it, maple hardwood will stand the test of time and require almost no upkeep whatsoever.