Walnut Flooring

Walnut Flooring

Walnut Flooring

What does a walnut floor look like? Dark, with darker veins and swirls. A walnut hardwood floor is not as hard as oak, so not as durable. Walnut flooring is making a comeback.

Did you know that hardwood flooring comes in walnut? From a formal home to a contemporary home, walnut hardwood flooring can make your home stand out among the rest! Walnut flooring is more of a dark wood, but it comes in different grades of darkness so that you can find the perfect look for your home. Walnut flooring is sure to add that perfect amount of coziness to any room in your home.

Walnut trees have been grown in North America for hundreds of years. The early colonists even sent walnut wood to England as early as 1610. Walnut was one of the most prized woods of this time period and was used to make different kinds of furniture. It became scarce, however, due to the wide use of it in the Eastern states. It was used in the Midwest for fences and railroad ties. The popularity of walnut increased in the 1970s, but lighter colored woods like cherry and oak again edged it out. It has become more popular again for use in hardwood flooring and cabinets, as well as furniture.

What does a walnut floor look like? A lot depends upon the stain and finish of the hardwood that you purchase. Unfinished walnut flooring has a dark brown to purplish black color to it. It looks great in any kind of home from country to contemporary. It can be purchased in almost any length and width of plank size and is even available in parquet patterns. This variety can help you to custom floor each room in your home to make each one look like a masterpiece!

Walnut hardwood flooring is easy to work with, including cutting and sanding. Because it is a softer hardwood, having Janka rating of 1010, it takes stains and finishes well, and it usually has a smooth finish. This makes it easy to keep clean whether you have pets or children, or are just accident prone! Hardwood flooring of any kind is great for people with allergies as it can be cleaned much more thoroughly than carpets can. The allergens can be picked up with a dust mop and do not get imbedded in the floor as they do when you have carpet.

Walnut floor registers are a great addition to your walnut flooring. The registers in the same kind of wood as your floor helps to make them disappear and they are not noticed as much as the metal registers would be against your walnut flooring.

If you are looking for a darker wood floor for your home, then walnut floors are right for you. Walnut is an excellent choice for any style of home from contemporary to country and it goes with many different decor styles as well. This is why many people choose walnut floors for their home.

If you are looking to add warmth and character to your home, then walnut may be the choice for you!


Can anyone help I need some advice about my floors? We have very dark almost black prefinished walnut floors that I cant keep clean! I have to mop almost every day because you can see footprints. I am driving myself and my family nuts we have tried everything we dont wear shoes in the house ever and we always wear socks because if we dont its worse. I have tried several cleaners and nothing has worked by two days it looks horrible! Please help

Sounds like the best thing to do is call the manufacturer and ask them what’s up with your floor. They need feedback from customers — good or bad. There may be certain products that they recommend for maintaining their flooring.

I need 2 walnut 4×14 floor registers please let me know if available and cost.

james cook at September 24, 2008 8:11 AM

Sorry James, I don’t sell anything — this site is for information.

The Flooring Lady at September 25, 2008 5:49 AM

I’m planning to use Walnut for a small office space. My designer, you is going with an overall residential modern style, has suggested Walnut on the floor to contrast against the other lighter woods in the space (using a lot of Rift Cut White Oak which modernists like for the straight wood grain lines).

My local Wood Flooring company can do Walnut but seems to be hinting at concerns (or disappointments) I might have with the Janka rating for Walnut. The flooring company isn’t coming right out and saying not to use Flooring but introduced me to the Janka ratings which I had not heard of until now.

My questions is, from a practical point of view, how concerned should I be with the somewhat lower (relative to other flooring woods) of Walnut? My designer either didn’t mention this practical hardness rating or isn’t aware of it. going with walnut for the look. Obviously Walnut is being used for flooring and perhaps is having a resurgence of popularity of woods.

On a scale of 1-10 should I be concerned about potential hardness (wear and tear) or should I view it as a potential risk that isn’t high enough to outweigh the design look. Or should I be considering something else?

Part of the «modernist» design is trying to stay away from any grainy or country looks in wood which is why I probably wouldn’t do Oak (even stained dark to make it appear dark).

Thank you for any and all comments or suggestions!

William at October 17, 2008 9:04 AM

Hi William — what kind of walnut wood are you considering? Different species have different Janka ratings. Acacia Walnut, for example, has a Janka rating of 2400, Brazilian Walnut at 3684 (the hardest wood species), 1010 for American Walnut.

I would be concerned with denting/gouging with American Walnut, but if you like a naturally distressed look then you shouldn’t be too concerned.

The Flooring Lady at October 17, 2008 9:29 PM

Its American Walnut and yet I realize that relatively speaking it has a lower Janka than other more normative wood flooring options.

However, because Janka is a relative/relational number systems which effectively communicates («higher is good»). what I don’t have is any practical/useful experience regarding whether or not I should be using American Walnut or not.

I find the whole Janka rating system (as interpreted by people more expert than I) as more confusing than helpful. It sort of like saying per a rating that this car can only go 150 mph but most others are buying cars that can go 250 mph, therefore 250 mph is better than 150 mph. If most people only need a car that can go 90 mph, the excess focus on the higher relative rankings seems misplaced. That’s where I find myself honestly.

I’ve not found a single resource that says this is the lowest Janka that you should use or this is a tangible result from doing practical XYZ actions on the floor. this is what you can expect.

I’ve tried a few experiments myself with sample pieces and I can see where signficant accidental/intentional attempts to damage it can induce knicks. but the imagery I’m getting from others solely on the Janka (which I perceive as simply being used relatively) is that I’ll be unhappy after a few years of normal wear and tear.

If that is true, then it seems like designers and others who are recommending American Walnut flooring would be committing malpractice for recommending it.

William at October 21, 2008 8:57 AM

Hi William,

Yes, I see where you’re coming from. American Walnut is softer than most wood flooring and I would think that it’s safe to assume that you’re going to see more wear & tear on it than you would a much harder wood. Will this bother you or will you look at it as though your floor has a character all it’s own?

It will get dents/impressions easier — even with much harder woods, behaviors such as wearing spike heals are considered a no-no, so even more so with the Am. walnut.

It would probably be worth your while to seal/finish it really well with something like Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane which will actually help to make the wood stronger.

I wish you the best with your flooring choice, though others have tried to discourage your choice I’m sure you’ll love it because it’s what *you* want. Just don’t set yourself up by expecting it to look brand new forever and you’ll be ok, you’re floor will develope it’s own warmth & character.

The Flooring Lady at October 22, 2008 12:05 AM


I’m in the process of building a new home. We have a very open plan home. We will have hardwood flooring throughout except for the baths and laundry room.

I have made my kitchen cabinet selection. They are a cherry with a dark brownish/black burnished heirloom glaze. My husband and I love the darker less red toned wood flooring. We’re seriously considering going with Brazilian Walnut, however the sample pieces that we’ve taken home all vary in depth.

We started off going to Lumber Liquidators a discount wood flooring center. They gave us four pre-finished samples about 3 1/2 x 6″ pieces. As mentioned before they vary in color and out of the four that we have, we really like only one or two of them. We’re concerned that if we go with walnut, we will have a streaky busy looking floor and we favor a more consistant looking color. Also, most people we ask in the industry recommend that we go with «unfinished flooring» vs. «pre-finished.» We’re leaning towards the unfinished at this point with just a polyurathane coating.

My questions/concerns are:

Do you recommend unfinished vs. finished?

Does walnut go by grade and if so, does grade have anything to do with the color outcome?

Does walnut always have such variance in color?

Do you recommend going through a discount center or is that a risk in quality woods?

If walnut does have such a range in color, is there any other would species that you would recommend that would have the brown depth and hardness of walnut with out the variation of tone and depth?

Your prompt response is greatly appreciated.

Vanessa at October 30, 2008 10:58 AM

Hi Vanessa,

As you’ve noticed, walnut can vary a LOT. I’d suggest going with unfinished and staining it the color that you want yourself, then finish with polyurethane. It’s going to take some doing on your part to find wood with little variation in color — for the most part, when you order your flooring, the bundles are just pretty much put together at random. Most people want variation in the wood (from my experience). I would suggest having it made by a local lumber company or at least order from a lumber company that will work with you on putting an order together of unfinished flooring where the planks are of similar color.

We just did a major Kitchen reno,right down to the studs.It was always our intention to do the american walnut in our living room and bedroom,however in talking to many people they all suggested to put it throughout the kitchen and dinning room to have continuom(spelling?)So after removing a small half wall to open everything up we went ahead and installed the american walnut throughout.Well it didn’t take long to realize that quite possibly we made the wrong decision.The simple act of dropping a fork has left the floor with little gauges.I have to agree with you when you said that it’s the look we were looking for and trust me the look is stunning!!Any suggestions on how to fill in these gauges and I read that maybe we should seal it with varathane to make it stronger,how would we do this?And I agree with another post,smudges all over and personally I know that water is not good but I find that a very damp cloth followed by a dry cloth is the only way they will come out.Most of the wood cleaning products do not work.Any help would be greatly appreciated.Thanks Laurie

Laurie at January 16, 2009 7:10 AM

Hi Laurie,

Yes, varathane would make it stronger. The dents can be filled in and stained, then sealed with the varathane. I don’t know what has been put on it already (including cleaning products) so I don’t really have a good grasp on what to advise you to do. Is it solid hardwood or engineered? Usually engineered flooring is already coated and you can’t put the varathane over it. You can read more about engineered flooring if it applies to you. Some more info would be most helpful.

The Flooring Lady at January 16, 2009 8:38 AM

Hello..I posted on Jan 16th in regards to our american walnut flooring.You ask me if it was engineered and it has taken me this long to get back and I apologize.Yes we have the Mercier name and it is engineered.The finnish is not shiny it’s more of a matte finnish..that’s probably why foot prints and pet prints linger on!!

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