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Maple Wood vs. Cherry Wood: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 26, 2024
Maple wood is hard, light-colored with subtle grain; cherry wood is moderately hard, reddish-brown with a smooth, distinctive grain.

Key Differences

Maple wood is known for its light, creamy color, often with a subtle, straight grain that can include bird's eye or curly patterns. Cherry wood, in contrast, has a rich, reddish-brown hue that deepens over time, with a smooth, straight grain that's more pronounced and elegant.
Maple wood is one of the hardest domestic woods, making it highly durable and resistant to scratches and dents, ideal for heavy-use items. Cherry wood, while still hard and durable, is slightly softer than maple, making it easier to work with but slightly less resistant to wear.
Maple wood's density makes it a bit more challenging to work with, often used for flooring, cutting boards, and furniture. Cherry wood's workability, along with its attractive appearance, makes it a popular choice for fine furniture, cabinetry, and woodworking projects.
Maple wood takes stains and finishes well, often used to create a contemporary look, maintaining its light color over time. Cherry wood naturally darkens with age and exposure to light, offering a warm, rich patina that is highly sought after in traditional and high-end furniture.
Maple wood is generally more abundant and less expensive than cherry wood, making it a more cost-effective option for large projects. Cherry wood, being less common and highly valued for its color and grain, tends to be more expensive.

Comparison Chart


Light, creamy color
Rich, reddish-brown hue

Grain Pattern

Subtle, straight grain
Smooth, straight, and pronounced


Very hard
Moderately hard

Common Uses

Flooring, cutting boards
Fine furniture, cabinetry

Aging and Patina

Maintains color over time
Darkens and enriches with age

Maple Wood and Cherry Wood Definitions

Maple Wood

Ideal for heavy-use items.
This maple wood cutting board can withstand daily use.

Cherry Wood

Ages to a richer, darker patina.
Over the years, the cherry wood's color has deepened beautifully.

Maple Wood

Known for its subtle grain patterns.
The bird's eye pattern in this maple wood is stunning.

Cherry Wood

A moderately hard, reddish-brown wood.
The cherry wood dining table glows in the sunlight.

Maple Wood

Popular in flooring and furniture.
Our new kitchen cabinets are made of solid maple wood.

Cherry Wood

Features a smooth, distinctive grain.
The grain of this cherry wood gives it a luxurious look.

Maple Wood

Takes finishes and stains well.
We stained the maple wood to match our decor.

Cherry Wood

Commonly used in fine furniture.
He crafted a beautiful cherry wood bookcase.

Maple Wood

A hard, durable light-colored wood.
The maple wood flooring remained pristine for years.

Cherry Wood

Prized for cabinetry and woodworking.
The cherry wood cabinets added elegance to the kitchen.


Does cherry wood darken over time?

Yes, it develops a richer patina with age.

How durable is maple wood?

It's very durable and resistant to wear.

Can maple wood be easily stained?

Yes, it takes stains and finishes well.

Is cherry wood suitable for outdoor use?

It's not the best choice for outdoor due to weathering.

How does sunlight affect cherry wood?

It can cause the wood to darken more quickly.

Is maple wood eco-friendly?

Generally, it is, especially when sustainably sourced.

What is the cost comparison between the two?

Maple is usually less expensive than cherry.

Is maple wood naturally light-colored?

Yes, it has a light, creamy hue.

What is cherry wood primarily used for?

Fine furniture, cabinetry, and detailed woodwork.

Can maple wood be used for cutting boards?

Yes, it's ideal for cutting boards due to its hardness.

Does cherry wood scratch easily?

It's moderately hard, so less prone to scratching than softer woods.

Is maple wood good for furniture?

Yes, especially for contemporary styles.

How does cherry wood's grain look?

It has a smooth, straight, and pronounced grain.

What is the maintenance like for maple wood?

Regular cleaning and occasional refinishing.

Are there different types of maple wood?

Yes, including hard and soft maple varieties.

Can cherry wood be used for flooring?

It can, but it's more common in furniture.

Can cherry wood be easily carved?

Yes, it's easier to work with than harder woods.

What's a unique feature of cherry wood?

Its ability to develop a deep, rich color over time.

Is maple wood good for acoustic instruments?

Yes, it's often used in violins and guitars.

What's the environmental impact of using cherry wood?

It depends on sourcing; responsibly harvested wood has less impact.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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