Beech VS Maple: Which Is The Better Wood?


When it comes to wood, there are many different types to choose from. But which one is the best?

In this blog post, we will be comparing beech vs maple – two of the most popular types of wood.

Beech is a strong and durable wood that is often used for furniture and flooring. Maple is also a strong wood, but it is known for its beautiful grain patterns. So, which one is the better choice? Read on to find out!

What Is Beech Wood?

Beech wood is a hardwood that comes from the beech tree. The scientific name for the beech tree is Fagus Sylvatica. Beech trees are native to Europe, Asia, and North America. The beech tree grows to be about 100-130 feet tall and has a trunk diameter of 3-5 ft feet.

Beech wood is often used in the manufacture of lumber, veneer, flooring, boatbuilding, furniture such as chairs and tables, cabinetry, and musical instruments like pianos.

What Is Maple Wood?

Maple wood is a type of hardwood that is most commonly found in Asia. Some originate from Europe, northern Africa, and North America. The wood is heavy, strong, and stiff, which makes it ideal for a variety of different applications.

When it comes to woodworking, maple is an excellent choice for a variety of different projects like flooring, veneer, and paper for example. The wood is also popular for musical instruments such as guitars and drums because of its unique acoustic properties.

Maple is a very popular choice for a lot of different applications because it is such a versatile wood. It is important to note, however, that maple can be difficult to work with because of its hardness. This means that you will need to use sharp tools and take your time when working with this type of wood.

maple wood

Beech Vs Maple – Price

Maple is more expensive. Beech is less so. But what does that mean for your wallet when you’re trying to buy wood for a project?

Here’s a rough breakdown of the cost of these two kinds of wood. Maple will set you back about $8-$14 per board foot, while beech will only cost around $6 per board foot. So, if you’re looking to save a few dollars, beech is the way to go.

Now, let’s take a look at the quality of these two kinds of wood. Maple is more rigid and denser than beech, which means it’s more durable. Beech is also strong and sturdy, but it’s not as resistant to wear and tear as maple.

So, if you’re looking for a wood that will last longer and stand up to more wear and tear, maple is the better choice. But if you’re working on a budget, beech is a great option.

Beech Vs Maple – Janka Hardness

In terms of hardness, both beech and maple are equally tough. The Janka hardness test is a way of measuring the resistance of a piece of wood to denting and wear. It’s also a good way of comparing the hardness of different woods. Beech has a Janka hardness of 1300 lbf, while Maple has a Janka hardness of 1450 lbf. So, in terms of hardness, Maple is the tougher of the two kinds of wood.

Of course, hardness is just one factor to consider when choosing a wood for your project. You’ll also want to take into account the grain pattern, color, and other aesthetic factors. But if you’re looking for tough, durable wood, beech and maple are both excellent choices.

Beech Vs Maple – Durability

When it comes to durability, Maplewood is the clear winner. It is a tougher and more durable wood that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Beech wood is as tough as Maple but is still a tough and dense wood. If you are looking for durable wood for your furniture or floors, Maplewood is the better choice.

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Beech Vs Maple – Wood Type

Both beech and maple are considered to be hardwoods. However, maple is harder than beech but there are some species of maple that are softer than others.

Beech is a type of hardwood that’s often used in Lumber, veneer, flooring, boatbuilding, furniture, cabinetry, and musical instruments such as piano pin blocks. On the other hand, Maple is a type of hardwood typically used in Flooring from basketball courts and dance floors to bowling alleys and residential, veneer, paper, and many more. Beech is typically the more affordable option for the two kinds of wood. However, maple is often considered to be more valuable because of its strength and beauty.

Both beech and maple are beautiful woods that would make a great addition to any home. But when it comes down to it, the best option for you will depend on your budget, project needs, and personal preferences. So take some time to compare the two and see which one is the best fit for you.

Beech Vs Maple – Tree Size

When it comes to tree size, both beech and maple come in a range of sizes. However, beech trees tend to be larger, with the average height being 100-130 feet. Maple trees are typically smaller, averaging around 80-115 feet in height.

Beech Vs Maple – Location

Beech trees are located in Europe, Asia, and North America; while maple trees are found in Europe, Asia, and North America as well. Beech is the preferred tree for wood floors in the United States. Maple is the preferred tree for wood floors in Canada.

Beech Vs Maple – Color

When it comes to color, beech and maple are very different. Beech has a pale color and it sometimes has a reddish hue. Maple, on the other hand, is usually white, to an off-white cream color. It’s also important to note that maple can darken over time, especially if it’s exposed to sunlight.

Beech Vs Maple – Grain

When it comes to wood grain, beech has the upper hand. Beech grain is straight, while maples are generally straight but may be wavy. This can give each piece of furniture made from these woods a slightly different look.

So, which is better? It depends on your personal preferences. If you like the look of straight grain, then beech is the better option. If you prefer a little bit of variation in your furniture, then maple may be the wood for you.

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Beech Vs Maple – End Grain

Another thing to consider when choosing between beech and maple is the end grain. End grain is the part of the tree that you can see when it’s been cut into lumber. It’s important to consider because it affects things like how the wood will absorb stain and how strong the final piece will be.

Beech has a very fine end grain, which means that it will absorb stain evenly. Maple, on the other hand, has a more course end grain. This means that it will absorb stain differently, resulting in a streaked or mottled finish.

As far as strength goes, beech is slightly stronger than maple. This is because beech has longer fibers than maple. However, both kinds of wood are strong enough for most applications.

So, which is the better wood? It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want wood that will absorb stain evenly, go with beech. If you want a slightly stronger wood, go with maple. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which is the better wood for your project.

Beech Vs Maple – Rot Resistance

When it comes to rot resistance, both beech and maple fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. Neither is particularly resistant to rot, but both are more resistant than some other common woods. If you’re concerned about rot, you’ll want to take steps to protect your wood furniture, no matter what kind it is.

Beech Vs Maple – Odor

Beech has no characteristic odor. Maple also has no characteristic odor. Therefore, when it comes to deciding between beech and maple, the smell of the wood is not a factor. Both kinds of wood are suitable for use in homes and other buildings. Odor is not a deciding factor when it comes to choosing between Beech and Maple. So whether you’re looking for wood to build furniture with or to use in construction, either of these woods would be a good choice.

Beech Vs Maple – Sustainability

There are a few things that make Maple trees more sustainable than Beech trees. For one, they grow faster. A beech tree can reach its full size in 40-60 years, while a maple tree takes 20-30 years. This means that more Maple trees can be harvested in a shorter amount of time, which is better for the environment.

Maple trees also have a higher density, which makes them more durable and long-lasting. This means that they don’t need to be replaced as often, which further reduces the impact on the environment.

Finally, both don’t require as many chemicals and other treatments, which can be harmful to the environment. As you can see, both Beech and Maple have their pros and cons when it comes to sustainability.

So, which is the better option? When it comes to sustainability, Maple is the clear winner. With a shorter growth time, higher density, and less need for chemicals, Maple trees are a more sustainable option for wood.

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Beech Vs Maple – Uses

Beech is used for a variety of applications such as lumber, veneer, flooring, boatbuilding, furniture, cabinetry, and musical instruments.

Maple, on the other hand, is used for a variety of applications such as musical instruments, flooring, cabinets, countertops, cutting boards, and many more because maple wood is a hard type of wood.

Beech Vs Maple – Related Species

The two species are distantly related, belonging to different plant families. Beech is a member of the beech family (Fagaceae), while maple is a member of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae).

Beech related species:

  • American beech (Fagus grandifolia)
  • European beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  • Japanese beech (Fagus crenata)
  • Copper beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Atropunicea’)

Maple related species:

  • Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
  • Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)

Sugar maple is the primary source of Maple syrup. The Norway maple is an introduced species, considered invasive in some areas. The silver maple is sometimes known as the soft maple, as it is not as hard as the sugar or rock maple. The Japanese maple is a popular ornamental tree, grown for its distinctive foliage.

Beech Vs Maple – Pros And Cons

There are many pros and cons to each type of wood. We will go over some of the key points for each type to help you make a decision on which is best for your project.

Beech wood pros:

  • Beech is a very hard wood, making it ideal for furniture that will get a lot of use. It’s also less likely to dent or scratch than softer woods.
  • Beech has a beautiful grain pattern and can be stained or painted to suit your taste.
  • Beech is an affordable option for those looking for high-quality wood furniture.

Beech wood cons:

  • Beech is not as widely available as other woods, so it may be more difficult to find beech furniture.
  • Beech wood can be difficult to work with, so it’s important to make sure you have the proper tools before beginning a project.
  • Beech wood is susceptible to damage from water and humidity, so it’s important to take care when cleaning or storing beech furniture.

Maple wood pros:

  • Maple is one of the hardest woods available, making it ideal for furniture that will get a lot of use. It’s also less likely to dent or scratch than softer woods.
  • Maple has a beautiful grain pattern.
  • Maple wood is an affordable option for those looking for high-quality wood furniture.

Maple wood cons are:

  • Maple is not as widely available as other woods, so it may be more difficult to find maple furniture
  • Maple wood can be difficult to work with, so it’s important to make sure you have the proper tools before beginning a project.
  • Maple wood is susceptible to damage from water and humidity, so it’s important to take care when cleaning or storing maple furniture.

So, which is the better wood? Beech or maple? There is no definitive answer, as it depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you are looking for hardwood furniture that will withstand a lot of wear and tear, then beech or maple would be a good choice. If you prefer wood with a beautiful grain pattern, then either beech or maple would be a good option.

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What Are The Differences Between Beech Vs Maple?

The first difference between Beech vs maple is in the grain. Beech has a straight, close grain that’s easy to sand smooth. Maple, on the other hand, has a slightly wavy grain pattern. This can make it a bit more difficult to get a completely smooth surface.

Another difference is in the color. Maple is a light-colored wood, while Beech has a bit more of a reddish hue. This difference is mostly cosmetic, but it can be important if you’re trying to match existing furniture or décor.

Finally, there’s the price. Maple is typically more expensive than Beech. If cost is a factor in your decision, beech may be the better choice.

What Are The Similarities Between Beech Vs Maple?

The similarities between Beech vs maple:

  • Both beech and maple are hardwoods. This means they’re both denser than softwoods like pine. Hardwoods are also more durable and less likely to warp or dent.
  • Maple is a bit harder than beech, but both of these woods are strong enough to handle heavy use. They’re also both good choices for furniture or flooring.
  • Both beech and maple are also easy to work with. They can be cut, drilled, and sanded without too much trouble. And both kinds of wood take stain and paint well though maple may blotch a bit when staining.

So, if you’re looking for a durable, strong, and easy-to-work-with wood, either beech or maple would be a good choice.

Beech Is Best For:

If you’re looking for a hardwood floor that will stand up to wear and tear, a Beech is a great option. Beech is one of the hardest woods available, which makes it ideal for high-traffic areas. It’s also resistant to dents and scratches, so you won’t have to worry about your floors looking worn down over time.

Another advantage of beech wood is that it’s easy to clean and maintain. Unlike some other hardwoods, beech doesn’t require special cleaners or treatments. A simple sweeping and mopping will keep your floors looking like new.

If you’re looking for a beautiful hardwood floor, beech is a great option. The wood has a natural grain that can add depth and character to any room. Beech is also available in a variety of colors, so you can find the perfect shade to match your décor.

beech tree

Maple Is Best For:

There are many applications where Maple is the better wood to use. 

Here are some examples:

  • Veneer: Maple is also a popular choice for veneer because of its smooth grain and uniform texture.
  • Paper: Maple is often used for pulpwood in the paper industry because of its high density.
  • Musical Instruments: Maple is a popular choice for musical instruments, thanks to its warm tone and resonance.
  • Flooring: Maple is a popular choice for flooring because of its hardness and durability.
  • Cutting Boards: Maple is a popular choice for cutting boards because it is hard and resists dulling knives.
  • Butcher Blocks: Maple is a popular choice for butcher blocks because it is hard and resists bacteria.
  • Workbenches: Maple is a popular choice for workbenches because of its hardness and strength.
  • Baseball Bats: Maple is the preferred wood for baseball bats because of its hardness and strength.
maple tree

Which Is Harder Beech Or Maple?

Maple is harder, but beech is more pliable than maple. Maple is stronger and stiffer than beech. Beech has a higher shock resistance than maple. If you are looking for wood to use in construction, then maple is the better choice.

Is Beech Good For A Workbench?

Beech is a very popular wood for workbenches because it’s both strong and shock-resistant. It’s also quite easy to work with, which makes it ideal for beginners. However, beech isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for a beautiful finish – it can be quite blotchy.

Maple, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for a workbench. It’s extremely strong and shock-resistant, and it takes a beautiful finish. If you’re looking for wood that will last longer, maple is the way to go.

So, which is the better wood for a workbench? the answer is Maple! It’s stronger, more durable, and it looks great. If you’re looking for the best possible workbench, Maple is the way to go.

beech wood

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Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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