6 Types of Walnut Wood Used for Flooring, Cabinets and Furniture

Walnut wood is super popular for cabinetry and furniture. What you may not know is that there are several types of walnut wood. We list them out below.
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Kitchen with walnut flooring and island

You may have heard about walnut wood but are you familiar with all its types? Click here to learn about different types of walnut wood!

Whether you are looking for a new coffee table for your lounge or are planning to redo your kitchen, in order to make a wise and informed decision, it is important to know all about the kind of wood that is in consideration. In other words, you don’t have to be in wood business to learn about the different kinds of wood. Come to think about it, we are surrounded by wood. From the desk you work at to the core structure of your house, everything is made out of wood! This makes it utterly important to take some time to learn about the various varieties of wood.

“How different can wood be? After all, it’s just wood!” If this sounds like something you would say, you are in for a surprise! There are hundreds of types of trees. Naturally, there are different types of wood, each having its own unique look, properties, and characteristics. While wood types like Pinewood, Oakwood, Cedar, and Mahogany are fairly popular, it is difficult to resist the texture and rich brown color of walnut wood. There is no doubt that walnut is a great wood. It is not only interesting to work with it, but the end result of working with walnut generally turns out to be exceptionally mesmerizing. Scroll down to learn a bit about this beautiful wood.

About Walnut Wood
Lumber of walnut wood

Walnut wood is obtained from the trees of the Juglans genus. It is important to understand that walnut wood is highly diverse and comes in quite a few types. This means that the term “walnut wood” is extremely generic! This is one of the main reasons why people have drastically varying experiences with walnut wood.

Depending on the type of the wood and the method used to dry it, the color and sturdiness of walnut wood can vary drastically. Generally, lumber that is kiln dried to speed up the drying process is flat brown in color. On the other hand, if walnut wood is allowed to air dry, it results in dark purple color which works to increase the overall visual appeal and effectively adds an X-factor to the wooden items when used for decorative purposes.

Another important thing to know about walnut wood is that it is categorized as a type of hardwood. However, keep in mind that there is a common misconception about hardwood vs. softwood. Contrary to popular belief, it does not indicate the heartiness of the wood. Instead, the term “hardwood” simply means that the wood is from a dicot tree. On the other hand, “softwood” refers to limbers obtained from gymnosperm trees. Make sure you don’t confuse these term again!

While most of us would love to decorate our houses with beautiful and unique walnut wood, most walnut woods are typically too expensive to be used for the construction of kitchen cabinets and counters. However, you can always use it as kitchen highlights! Bringing in a few furniture items made out of walnut wood is another excellent way to revamp your space by using walnut wood.

What is walnut wood used for?
Walnut cabinets in modern white kitchen

Since walnut wood is strong, beautiful, and sturdy, it is no surprise that it has been used for centuries by mankind for a number of purposes. The color and the ability of walnut wood to be shaped, curved, and elaborately carved, made it a popular choice for creating furniture.  Moreover, during World War I, it was discovered that walnut wood is also great to be used in the production of firearm stocks and grips. Today, walnut wood firearms are quite valuable and are cherished by collectors all over the world.

Other than that, there are a lot of ways to introduce walnut wood into your house. For example, it works wonderfully for embellishments like baseboards and corbels. If you are a hobbyist and a music enthusiast, you can even use walnut wood for creating one-of-its-kind instruments. Surely, nothing beats a classy walnut guitar!

Walnut wood is commonly used in knickknacks, and if you are up for spending a few extra bucks, you can even use it for flooring, kitchen cabinets, and wood veneers. It might be a little heavy on the pocket, but the end results are lasting and totally worth the money!

Related: 16 Types of Hardwood Flooring

Types of Walnut Wood

Walnut wood comes in a wide variety. In order to make sure that you get the wood that suits your requirements the best, it is important to know all your options. Here’s all you need to know about different kinds of walnut wood.

1. English Walnut WoodVintage wooden drawers

English walnut wood comes from the trees that are the most common source of edible walnuts! It goes around by a number of names including Circassian walnut, French walnut, Common walnut, and European walnut. English walnut trees are widely distributed throughout western Asia and Eastern Europe. They can grow up to 35m long and are usually around 2m wide. English walnut is rather expensive. This is one reason why it is frequently seen in veneer form only.

The heartwood color for English walnut wood can range from a pale brown to a dark chocolate brown and sapwood is nearly white. Depending on the drying method, it can have traces of various colors. In fact, it is common to notice a grey, purple, or reddish cast in English walnut. Keep in mind that while English walnut is typically graded as moderately durable, it is susceptible to insect attacks.

2. Black Walnut WoodDecorative carving on black walnut wood

Black walnut wood is extremly popular among the woodworkers all around the US. It is not only strong and easy to work with but it also has excellent dimensional stability and shock resistance. Black walnut wood is obtained from trees that are widely distributed in the eastern United States. They can grow up to 37 m in length. However, the trunk diameter is only about 0.6 to 1m thick.

Just like English walnut, the heartwood color of Black walnut wood ranges between pale yellow and dark chocolate brown. However, its sapwood is usually pale grey-yellow to almost white in color. If you are looking for wood that is highly durable and rot resistant, black walnut is the thing for you! However, keep in mind that just like its cousin, English walnut, Black walnut is also susceptible to insect attacks.

The good news is that Black walnut wood is abundantly available. The price is still high for domestic wood but it is generally more affordable. Taking advantage of the relatively low price, a lot of people use it for building cabinets, interior panels, furniture, and even novelty items.

3. Claro Walnut WoodWalnut and wood furniture

Also known as California Black walnut, claro walnut wood is most closely related to Black walnut wood. It is generally found in California and Oregon. The trees are usually 9 – 18m tall and 1 – 1.5m wide. The color of the heartwood can fall anywhere between light brown to a darker shade of chocolate brown. However, grafting claro Walnut trees with English walnut can produce wood having multicolored colored streaks near the grafting point. This wood is sometimes referred to as Marble Claro Walnut.

Like most other types of walnut wood, claro is also susceptible to insect attacks. On the bright side, it is durable and highly resistant to decay. Typically, the price of Plain claro walnut is only slightly higher than Black walnut. However, it does not come as a surprise that Marble claro wood is very expensive and is mainly sought out for gunstock only.

4. White Walnut WoodWhite walnut wood texture

Also known as Butternut, as the name suggests, white walnut wood is generally lighter than Black walnut. However, that’s not the only difference. Butternut is also considerably soft as compared to other types. Butternut heartwood is usually tan (light to medium) with a hint of reddish tint. While it is susceptible to insect attacks, White walnut wood is not as durable in terms of decay resistance as its cousins.

While Butternut is easy to work with, due to its softness, it tends to have fuzzy surfaces, even after planning and sanding. The good news is that White walnut is generally less expensive and widely available. Moreover, while Butternut trees may not provide the best quality wood, they are a great source of delicious walnuts!

5. Bastogne WalnutCarved walnut wood

Bastogne walnut is a result of cross-pollination of English walnut and claro walnut. The experiment resulted in a puzzling new breed, Bastogne.  It grows faster than both of its parent and provides stronger lumber, but the quality and quantity of its walnuts is nowhere near the once produced by claro or English walnut. Hence, the name – Paradox!

Bastogne walnut trees are distributed throughout California. They can grow up to 30m in height and have a trunk diameter of about 1 – 1.5m. The color of heartwood varies from light golden to reddish brown. Sometimes, the wood has evident streaks that are generally very dark, almost black, in color.

6. Peruvian Walnut WoodCarpenter working with walnut wood

Sure, it is called Peruvian walnut, but technically, it does not only come from Peru. In fact, the trees are distributed through southern Mexico and central and southern America. The trees are usually 9 -18m tall and 0.6 – 1m wide. Also known as Tropical walnut and Nogal, Peruvian walnut is fairly famous among hardwood dealers and woodworkers.

The heartwood is usually darker than most other types. It has a deep chocolate brown color, sometimes with a purple tint. It is also common to find Peruvian walnut wood with light colored streaks. It is a bit pricier than most domestic types of wood. However, the rates are not drastically high for imported lumber.

Whether you work with wood or are simply looking to buy a piece of furniture for your house, it is important to know about different types of walnut wood. Now that you know all your options, it’s time you invest in the right kind of wood that fits your requirements the best!









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