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Maple vs. Walnut Wood (For Furniture, Flooring, and Cabinets)


Kitchen with maple cabinetry, granite countertops, and slate appliances.

Deciding which type of wood you want for your furniture, cabinets, and flooring can be pretty intimidating when there are so many different types of wood out there. Although both Maple and Walnut wood come from the hardwood of the tree, they are different from each other. How does each of these feature in furniture, flooring, and cabinets?

Maple wood is rich with streaks and variations that contribute to unique wood grain and works well in contemporary furniture. Walnut wood is a beautiful rich deep brown that looks incredibly stunning in a natural or linseed oil finish and is a great candidate for stunning dining furniture.  

Although Maple and Walnut are popular woods used for various purposes in various constructions, they have pros and cons. One wood can work better for flooring, while another is more suited for cabinets. Taking a closer look into what makes each of these woods popular will give you an idea of what to expect.

Related: Pine vs. Maple Wood | Maple vs. Poplar Wood | Maple vs. Beech Wood | Maple vs. Cherry | Cherry vs. Walnut | Pine vs. Walnut Wood | Poplar vs. Walnut Wood | Cedar vs. Walnut | Oak vs Walnut | Types of Walnut Wood | Oak vs. Maple Wood

Is Maple and Walnut Wood Great for Furniture?

Since furniture is a sizeable investment, making the decision that best suits you is important.  

Maple Wood for Furniture

Close-up of maple cabinet with two doors.

Maple wood, much like Cherry Wood, is one of the softer hardwoods. What makes this wood appealing for furniture is that it is very durable and sustains any nicks and dents that may occur through use slightly better than Oak or Walnut furniture.

Most maple wood is known for variation, with a quirky grain pattern and an irregular finish. As it has a much smoother grain, it is the best hardwood to paint. This means that if you’re looking for brightly colored furniture or furniture with a white finish, Maple wood is your best choice.

Maple wood is considered a popular choice for furniture because it can fit any style, from traditional to contemporary and even country. It is also popular throughout homes as it can furnish bedrooms, dining rooms, etc.; because it is one of the least expensive hardwoods, you can look forward to quality furniture at a lower price.    

Walnut Wood for Furniture

Walnut table paired with green upholstered chairs.

Walnut is considered one of the most beautiful wood types. It is dark and smooth and has a luxurious feel and look to it. Is it the correct wood type for any new furniture that you may be thinking of acquiring?

You may be wondering why Walnut wood is a great choice for furniture. Well, several distinctive characteristics make Walnut wood an excellent choice for your furniture. It is among the most stunning wood types for furniture, but there is a lot that should be considered apart from its beauty.

First, Walnut is a naturally dark-colored wood that varies in tone from medium to dark brown shades. It also features a fine, smooth grain with a consistent pattern and very little texture. It has subtle waves and long narrow loops that are interrupted by dark-colored knots.

This wood is about average hardness for hardwood, and its construction is highly durable, although it may take scratches or dents with heavy use. Walnut wood won’t warp, and it absorbs shock well and naturally resists decay. This makes it an excellent choice for indoor furniture as it is premium wood.

How is Walnut and Maple Wood the Best for Floors?

Take a look to determine which wood will work best for your floors.

Maple Wood for Flooring

Maple wood plank flooring with natural grains.

Hardwood flooring is very popular and trending heavily. Maple is a slightly harder wood when compared to oak, and it is also lighter in color. Although it is pricier, Maple wood is more modern and has less grain, presenting a sleeker and smoother look on floors.

However, it is more likely to turn a bit more yellow over time, particularly if the flooring is in rooms exposed to more light. Unfortunately, Maple wood is not a good absorbent of stain; therefore, the flooring will develop blemishes and spots when something spills on them. It tends to absorb stains differently, particularly dark stains, which can turn grey.  

Walnut Wood for Flooring

Dark walnut flooring with herringbone pattern.

Walnut wood is the most sought-after domestic hardwood. Walnut is a superb flooring choice as it has a refined look and is a beautiful interior design gem that will instantly enhance the appearance and décor of your home. Its color tones range from light brown to a darker chocolate brown.

With its artistic grain markings and exciting figuring, the wood makes the flooring very unique and lively. The flooring can either be done in wood that has color variation and no knots or wood that has knots and color variations. The latter is the more popular choice for flooring.

Because it is not as hard as other flooring woods, it is often made in a natural finish so that dents and scratches are less noticeable. However, the dents and scratches are considered to add character to the beautiful and rustic Walnut wood flooring.

Is Maple and Walnut Wood Good for Cabinetry?

What is the difference between Maple and Walnut wood when it comes to cabinets?

Maple Wood for Cabinets

Close-up of maple kitchen cabinets accentuated with beige marble tile backsplash.

When it comes to purchasing the best cabinet collection, the wide variety of selections can pose a great challenge. Maple wood is a household name in cabinetry, as it is a common sight in many kitchens.

It is considered an extremely hardwood with a fine texture with natural colors ranging from creamy-white to dark reddish browns that mellow over time. Maple wood may contain some wavy, curly, etc., graining, making it appealing for cabinets.

Walnut Wood for Cabinets

Kitchen with sleek walnut cabinets and peninsula.

Walnut is a classic wood for cabinetry as it is a dynamic wood due to its numerous possibilities. Although it usually brings a vintage look to kitchen cabinets, it can elevate your cabinetry to more modern levels when paired with other materials like metals.

It is a complex wood due to its colors, varying grains, patterns, and textures. This means that your kitchen will look unique, even when your neighbor used Walnut wood for cabinetry, too, as no design is the same.


Being knowledgeable about which wood works best for cabinets, furniture, and flooring can be a great resource to have prior to shopping for it. This article has provided insight into which wood would go with your decorating theme.

However, it all comes down to your opinion, individual needs, your budget and preference, and which wood will fit in with your décor.


Real Simple: The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Wood for Furniture

SFGATE: Comparison of Walnut & Maple Kitchen Cabinets