Staining maple (or oak, ash, birch)

Q: We are ready to lay in a new entry way-kitchen-dining room wood floor. Today we were told not to go with unfinished maple because it can not be stained due to it being closed (close?) grain. What hardwood floors, other than oak, can we substitute for maple?

We do not want a dark wood. We would like to stain and finish after the cabinets have been installed. We are going with the stain and finish floor because our builder told us you cannot repair prefinished flooring without seeing the repair. Correct?

A: I would not say it is true that you cannot repair pre finished floors without seeing the repair. You take one board out and put another board in.

Maple is not the best wood to stain, and the National Maple Manufacturing Assoc. Does not recommend it. It is possible to stain as are all woods, but it could look blotchy. That is the nature of the wood.

Oak and Ash stain well and look similar with wide grain. Birch is closest that I know of in grain but is somewhat softer.

Ash resource

Here’s a post all about ash you might find interesting. The site also has pages on oak, maple, etc.