Walnut Flooring Pros and Cons You Should Know

Walnut FlooringHomeowners often prefer natural walnut flooring because of the warmth it adds to any room; however, there are walnut flooring pros and cons you should know about. Also known as Black Walnut, this wood has a very fine, straight grain. Its color is rich brown, similar to chocolate brown. You may find some variations in the color of this wood since the sapwood may vary in color from light tan to medium brown. The Janka hardness rating for walnut is 1010, which means that it is a softer wood species. If you want to use walnut to floor a high traffic area, it is better to opt for its more exotic variation. Using this wood will add value to your home, so mentioned below are a few pros and cons of installing walnut flooring.


Pros: Why is walnut flooring so popular with homeowners?

  • Walnut is a durable wood, often lasting for generations. This wood is extremely resistant to insect damage. The process of processing it ensures prevention of damage due to water. People who reside in areas of high humidity will definitely benefit by installing walnut flooring.
  • Most hardwoods need to be mopped, and in the course of doing this they become damaged. If water seeps inside them, they are likely to become creaky and develop mould. This may result in rotting. In contrast, a walnut floor is a low-maintenance floor, which doesn’t require need-based mopping. The best part about walnut is that it is resistant to water damage and mold.
  • It is easy to install a walnut floor compared to other types of wood flooring. If you want to install it yourself, then you can buy the planks from suppliers. These planks are readily available. All you have to do is fit them together to create an entire wooden floor. You don’t have to worry about the wood becoming damaged because the process of treating this wood after it is harvested is pretty intensive thus giving it strength.
  • Walnut wood is dark in color, although variations do occur. Over time floors accumulate dust and dirt. Although the dark color of the wood will not immediately show the dirt it is wise to clean it regularly. Walnut floors can be easily cleaned in order to prevent any grime build up. You can use light oil instead of wax to keep it looking fresh. It is maintained easily – all you need is a vacuum with a soft brush attachment.
  • The rich, chocolate tone of the floor exudes warmth and gives a classic feel. If your furniture is also of dark colored wood, then this will look really great on your walnut flooring. However, it also compliments light colored furniture, making it versatile enough to fit in with any home décor. The wood will show discrepancies in color throughout, making it even more interesting.
  • If you want to alter its color slightly, you will be surprised to know that walnut takes stain very well.
  • Homeowners often look for variety in order to match the floor with the rest of their interior décor. Walnut offers this, as its color can be changed depending on the manufacturing process. So you can find purplish-brown to dark brown tones. Many homeowners use Brazilian Walnut, which has a deep tone. Its grain is straighter and it has great resilience to temperature and bug infestation. So, basically, you have two choices for walnut flooring – standard walnut wood and Brazilian Walnut wood.

Cons: Reasons not to install a walnut floor

  • One of the main reasons why homeowners don’t go for walnut flooring is that it can be quite expensive. Ranging from $4 to $9 per square foot for the wood boards alone, this is definitely expensive. black walnut wood is cheaper than Brazilian Walnut. The high price is due to the cost of sourcing and shipping it to the manufacturers. Installation costs will make it rise further by $4. While the cost of flooring depends on the type of walnut a homeowner uses, using engineered walnut will bring down the cost, as this kind of wood doesn’t require staples or nails.
  • If you are a beginner, it can be difficult to install it since the process involves several steps. Any mistake will cost you further.
  • Black Walnut is prone to scratches and scuffs if furniture is moved over it.
  • Just like any other wood, a sealant is added to the wood surface. However, this sealant can break down leaving it open to environmental damage. Homeowners need to apply a new coat of sealant to seal the floor every few years.

Comparison between walnut, pine and oak woods

Janka Hardness Rating:
Black Walnut: 1010
Brazilian Walnut: 3680
Janka Hardness Rating:
Southern Yellow Pine (short leaf): 690
Southern Yellow Pine (long leaf): 870
Janka Hardness Rating:
Red Oak: 1290
White Oak: 1360
Walnut is strong, hard, with color variation and durable and it is not excessively heavy.Pine is soft, white or pale yellow, and is lightweight.Oak is strong, heavy, light colored.
It has straight grain and takes finishes very well. European Walnut is light in color.It has straight grain and lacks figure.Oak is ring porous and exhibits prominent rings and large pores. Because of this it has prominent grain and coarse texture.
Very durable. Resists damage from water and resistant to bug infestation.Pine resists shrinking or swelling. The long leaf pine flooring is more durable than other pine flooring wood species.Oak absorbs water very fast and so it cannot be used in places where humidity is high. Other than bathroom, it is recommended for any room in the house.
Due to walnut wood’s versatility, it is used in all types of cabinetwork and flooring.Pine is used to make country or provincial furniture.Oak is mostly used to craft country designs.

There are so many walnut flooring pros and cons, but it’s the pros that outweigh the cons. Overall, the fact that walnut wood is chosen by so many homeowners is because it requires very little maintenance. Brazilian Walnut (Janka hardness rating 3680) is a great option for areas with high traffic as it is very strong. The fact that walnut wood has a rich, warm chocolate brown color gives a luxurious feel to any interior.

Here’s an article you would like to read for more info on Walnut Hardwood Flooring.

Author: John Clax

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