Skip to main content

Floor Grades

Maple Floor Installation

Maple floors set the court’s ambiance, offer numerous benefits over other woods, and captivate the crowd with their timeless appeal

When you’re considering installing a hardwood maple floor, aesthetics play a vital role. Your home court sets the tone for every game, after all. The maple wood grading largely dictates the design of a sports floor. While performance remains consistent across grades, each grade offers its own distinctive appearance.

Explore these distinct and innovative strategies for utilizing various grades of maple flooring before embarking on your next court installation.

First-Grade Maple

First-grade maple floors, as outlined by the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association, adhere to the strictest standards compared to second and third-grade options. They exhibit minimal dark spots or exposed grain patterns, resulting in a lighter, brighter appearance with fewer wood marks or streaks. Typically found in higher-level athletic courts such as those in high schools, colleges, or professional leagues, first-grade hardwood floors are renowned for their pristine quality.

Second-Grade (Better Maple)

As outlined by the MFMA, second and better-grade maple floors are permitted to include tight knots or streaks, provided they are not positioned near the ends of each board. In comparison to first-grade floors, these floors tend to exhibit more natural variations, leading to a slightly darker tone. Nevertheless, they maintain the ability to showcase the innate beauty of the wood, ensuring that the overall appearance of your floor remains uncompromised.

Third-Grade Maple

This grade of sports flooring offers a distinct advantage by accentuating the most natural wood variations, which contributes to a darker and more authentic aesthetic when compared to first-grade or second and better-grade maple. The presence of inherent streaks and marks can infuse character into your sports floor, providing a unique charm that resonates with the environment. Ultimately, the choice to select this grade over others boils down to personal aesthetic preferences, allowing you to tailor the appearance of your sports floor to align perfectly with your vision.

Mix & Match Grades

Combining different floor grades within one court can produce a striking visual effect, with sections varying in darkness and lightness. Utilize this technique to delineate different zones on the court, directing attention to specific action areas for your audience. Moreover, it aids players in navigating the court, facilitating optimal positioning for shots and an exciting gameplay experience.

Incorporate Stain Designs

Leverage the inherent contrast of diverse wood grains by applying stains to accentuate various sections of the floor. Experiment with altering the hues of significant zones such as the 3-point arcs or incorporating intricate logos and designs directly onto the floor using stains instead of conventional paint. This emerging trend offers a unique touch to court customization, diverging from the commonplace painted logos found in most gyms. Stained designs not only stand out but also imbue your floor with a contemporary allure.

Infuse Vibrancy

Traditionally, adding color to gym floors evokes the use of paint. However, staining the natural wood grain presents an alternative method to introduce captivating colors that set your floor apart. Unlike paint, which conceals the wood’s texture, stains enhance the maple floor’s grain patterns while infusing it with vibrant hues, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing effect that adds individuality to your space.

Ready to kick your sports floor up a notch?

Reach out today to grab a complimentary floor inspection and estimate

Sport Floors

Tear Out
Game lines
& Graphics
& Coat

Home Gyms

Strength &

Have a dream for your sports facility?
Let’s turn it into a reality.