The Ultimate Guide To Walnut Wood

Walnut trees are also known as Juglans because it’s one of the tree species in the plant genus Juglans. Furthermore, it has almost 21 different types, and famous ones include English Walnut, Japanese Walnut, butternut, little walnut, California black walnut, and Andean walnut. It grows in different climates but commonly grows in deep, drained, and fertile soil. Most walnut trees can’t withstand icy areas and usually like summer weather. However, some walnut trees also grow in cold areas.

Furthermore, some walnut trees are not harsh, but most of their types are extremely toxic. That’s why no one grows vegetables around them. Since its seeds are brain-shaped, Europeans used to call it Karyon or skull. Its seeds are high in oil, and the tree contains an excess amount of minerals and vitamins. Its leaves are highly used for decreasing glucose levels after harvesting and processing. It might be unbelievable for you, but a walnut tree can live up to 250 years.

What Does a Walnut Tree Look Like?

A Walnut tree looks like a large, deciduous tree with a spreading crown. Walnut trees can grow to be 100 feet tall and have a trunk diameter of up to four feet. The leaves are alternate, simple, and pinnately compound with 20-23 leaflets. The Walnut tree produces a drupe that is enclosed in a green husk that turns brown when it ripens.

The Walnut tree is native to the Mediterranean region and was introduced to California by the Spanish in the 18th century.

What Does Walnut Wood Look Like?

Walnut wood looks like a dark chocolate color with dark brown streaks. The wood has a smooth grain pattern and is known to be one of the hardest woods. Walnut is also a very dense wood, meaning it doesn’t dent or scratch easily.

Walnut Wood Color

Walnut wood color features dark brown or chocolate, but this color is at the center of the tree. However, it can also have reddish, lighter brown, grey, and purple color in some other parts of the tree. Mainly, it’s a coffee color, which is incredibly easy to recognize.

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Walnut Wood Grain Pattern

Walnut wood grain pattern is straight, but sometimes it can be curled as well, enhancing the grace of the material.

Thus, we can conclude that it can be straight and fine but may also contain irregular patterns in some cases. Its highly-figured patterns, sometimes also referred to as burls, originate from knots in the walnut. These highly-figured patterns are priced comparatively more than a regular one. When compared with other wood patterns, it falls between the uniform texture of maple and prominent oak.

Walnut Wood Price

The price of walnut wood varies depending on the quality of the lumber and can range from $11.99-$20.99/board feet. You can order natural, high character and premium walnut boards.

Natural Walnut Boards (Abundant color mix, 83%+ clear, most economical) approx. $11.99/board feet

High Character Walnut Boards (Wide widths, tight knots & cracks, 90%+ heartwood) approx. $11.99/board feet

Premium Walnut Boards (90%+ heartwood, minimal knots, high-demand color spec) approx. $17.99-$20.99/board feet depending on dimension

Walnut Wood Odor

Walnut wood’s odor smells earthy, nutty, pine, and like citrus.

However, it tastes good, and if you rub its leaves on your hand, it smells like furniture polish. When compared with Eucalyptus wood, it smells a lot better. If the piece you get smells bad, there’s no need to worry about it. You can add one part of vinegar to four parts of water and spray the mixture on a piece of cloth. Then you can rub the dipped cloth on the wood to prevent the smell. However, there’s a smell of vinegar itself, but it smells a lot better than the wood you’re rubbing.

Walnut Wood Rot Resistance

Walnut wood rot resistance level is high and it is suitable for various climates. However, walnut is also susceptible to rot if it isn’t properly cared for. Walnut is a durable wood, but it still needs to be sealed and maintained in order to prevent water damage.

Walnut is also susceptible to insect infestation, so it’s important to choose a reputable supplier who can provide you with high-quality walnut lumber that has been treated for pests.

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Walnut Wood Sustainability

Walnut Wood is sustainable. Walnut trees are a renewable resource. They grow quickly and can be harvested in as little as four years. Walnut wood is also durable and strong, making it an ideal material for furniture and flooring.

Since the walnut represents about 5% of the natural forest wood, we can say it does love the sun and thrives in open-grown sites. Also, its species is not listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species or the CITES Appendices.

Walnut Wood Uses

Walnut wood can be used for furniture, cabinetry, gunstocks, veneers, interior paneling, cutting boards, marquetry inlays, checkboards, flooring, millwork, desks, dining tables and butcher blocks.

Characteristics of Walnut Wood

  • Hard and Stable
  • Attractive and Elegant
  • Durable
  • Easy to Turn and Carve
  • Glues and Nails Well
  • Rare and Unique
  • Rot and Decay Resistant
  • Good Bending Qualities and Finishes Well
  • Features Straight Grain

Walnut Wood: What Makes it Great for Furniture?

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Is Walnut A Good Furniture Wood?

Yes, walnut is good furniture wood for many reasons. It is a very strong and hard wood, making it ideal for furniture that will see a lot of use. It is also easy to care for and polish, so your furniture will always look its best.

Walnut is also a very popular wood choice for furniture, so you’ll be able to find pieces that match your style easily. Walnut furniture is a great investment that will last for many years. So if you’re looking for high-quality, beautiful furniture, walnut is a great choice.

Since this wood is often finished in a natural or dark stain, it complements the dark shades while warming up the entire place in furniture. The wood offers a smooth finish and is known as the best wood in the hardwood category, making it perfect for protective and durable furniture, such as bedroom furniture, cabinets, dining room tables, and many more.

Is Walnut Wood Expensive?

Yes, walnut wood is expensive. It can cost in the price range of $11.99-$20.99/board feet.

As discussed earlier, walnut wood never comes in large sizes due to the knots. That’s why it becomes rare, and some other restrictions make its availability less than other hardwoods. In that case, it’s relatively expensive and costs more than many similar kinds of wood.

Still, the wood is worth purchasing because it looks stunning, gives a gorgeous shape to any material, and lasts longer. For exterior use, it’s the best choice as it resists rot, direct sunlight, rain, and other factors except for some insects’ attacks.

What is Walnut Wood Good for?

Since the walnut wood is stable, hard, durable, and not heavy at the same time, its use increases to a wide range, making it good for exterior and interior decoration. For interior furniture, it’s a great choice for furniture, dining room tables, bookcases, desks, bedroom furniture, decorative pieces, and cabinets. As the wood is durable and highly resistant to hard outside conditions, such as rotting, sunlight, rain, it can be used as doors, fences, decks, and railings. In addition, it is resistant to decay, easy to work for turning and carving, making it exceptional for carving.

Is Walnut a Hard or Softwood?

Walnut is a hardwood, but it’s not as hard as some other woods like maple.

There’s a misconception about hardwood and softwood difference — one may think that softwood is not strong and hard enough to withstand rough conditions, such as twist, decay, and rot. At the same time, hardwood is extremely strong and can be used for rough use while protecting the material against sunlight, insects’ attacks, rotting, and twisting. This is not true at all.

Instead, hardwood means the wood that came from the dicot tree, and softwood is the type of wood that came from gymnosperm trees, such as conifers. When these are the conditions, walnut is a hardwood, and some other hardwoods include oak, maple, and cherry. Common softwoods include cedar, fir, and pine.

Where Can I Find Walnut Wood?

You can find walnut wood at most lumber yards or home improvement stores. There are even thousands of online stores that supply walnut wood worldwide.

You can easily find the best supplier around you, but before buying the walnut wood, make sure it’s the original walnut wood and research the wood price. Make sure you identify the walnut wood, or you might end up buying the alternative cheaper wood.

In case you get the walnut furniture, trust a reliable supplier backed up by years of warranty, authenticity, and work by highly skilled woodworkers. The best way to judge the online store is to check out their feedback, reviews, and testimonials. Also, don’t end up buying at a higher cost; for that, check the rates first.

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Is Walnut Better than Oak?

Walnut is not better than Oak if your looking for affordability and durability for your project. Walnut is a premium hardwood that will cost you at least twice as much as Oak. Walnut is also not as durable as oak and is more susceptible to scratches and dents. Walnut is however, a beautiful wood with a deep rich color that can add value to your project.

When we talk about durability and strength to withstand wear and tear, outside hard weather conditions, and routine, Oak is rated 1360 on the Janka Hardness Scale, while Walnut is rated 1010 on the same scale.

It means oak is comparatively durable and can withstand rough conditions. On the same scale, red oak and white oak rates higher than walnut, making the oak better in other types as well.

Is Walnut Wood Toxic to Humans?

Yes, Walnut wood can be toxic to humans. Walnut wood contains a chemical called juglone which can cause skin irritation, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. Walnut wood dust can also cause respiratory problems in some people. If you are allergic to Walnut wood, it is best to avoid using it or working with it.

If you are not allergic to Walnut wood, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from its toxins.

First, wear gloves, use dust collection and a dust mask when working with Walnut wood.

Second, wash your hands thoroughly after working with Walnut wood. Finally, avoid ingesting Walnut wood or products made from Walnut wood.

We have already discussed in the start that since its roots are extremely toxic, you can never grow fruits and vegetable plants around these trees. Actually, its leaves, roots, and fruits contain juglone that never lets other plants grow around it. When it comes to humans, the same juglone chemical can poison, and that’s why it’s labeled as toxic wood. However, these are safe for all livestock except horses.

Is there a Difference Between Walnut and Black Walnut Wood?

Yes, there is a difference between Walnut and Black walnut wood. The color is darker in black walnut, and the grain is more pronounced. Walnut is a little lighter in color and has a smoother grain. Both woods are strong and durable, but black walnut is slightly harder.

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Is Walnut Better than Mahogany?

Yes, Walnut is better than Mahogany if you’re looking for a modern and sleek wood. Walnut is a very versatile wood that can be used in many different ways. It’s also a popular choice for furniture and cabinets because it has a smooth finish and is durable.

Mahogany, on the other hand, is more traditional and may be better suited for older homes or antique furniture. Walnut is also more expensive than Mahogany, so it’s important to consider your budget when making a decision. Ultimately, the best wood for you depends on your personal preference and needs.

Walnut is also harder than Mahogany, so it’s more resistant to scratches and dents. It’s a good choice for high traffic areas or homes with pets. Mahogany is softer and more susceptible to damage, so it may not be the best choice for busy families.

Walnut is also easier to care for than Mahogany. You can simply wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Mahogany requires more care and attention, such as regular polishing and oiling.

Is Walnut A Heavy Wood?

Yes, Walnut is a heavy wood because it is a very dense wood. Walnut is three times as dense as pine. This makes Walnut one of the best woods to use for furniture and other projects that need a sturdy piece of wood.

Is Black Walnut Wood Hard?

Yes, Black Walnut wood is hard because it is a very dense wood and is ranked on the Janko Scale of Hardness at 1010, which is considered relatively hardwood. Still, it’s a lot softer than oak but a lot harder than pine. If we talk about its species, black walnut wood is hardwood from North America.

Furthermore, black walnut is dark, tight-grained, and denser than other walnut wood types, making it relatively heavier than similar woods in the same category. However, it polishes to a smooth finish, and color ranges from creamy white to dark chocolate black. It’s harder than cherry as well.

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Is Walnut Wood Rot Resistant?

Yes, Walnut wood does resist rot, and also resists decay, sunlight, rain, and other hard weather conditions.

It is a lot harder than many kinds of wood, making it resistant and lasts longer than you expect. That’s why its outdoor use is widely increased because of its strength. However, some insect’ attacks like powder-post beetles might find it easy to affect it.

Otherwise, the wood is transformed to last longer while sustaining the original look and color. That’s why you can use it for railings, outside doors, garden furniture, and more.

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Does Home Depot Sell Walnut Wood?

Home Depot does sell walnut wood in the form of boards, planks, and panels.

Also, you can have lumber and composites to get the desired look after shaping the wood in any form, including indoor furniture, decorative pieces, bedroom furniture, dining room tables, and many more. Also, you can make outdoor furniture, doors, and railings. Home Depot can offer you authentic walnut wood at relatively lower prices than other online stores. Also, it’s a great platform to get many types of wood in bulk at a lower cost.

Is Walnut Cheaper than Oak?

No, walnut is not cheaper than Oak because it is more scarce than Oak. Walnut is usually found in North America while Oak is more prevalent in Europe. Walnut trees also take longer to mature than Oak trees, and Walnut wood is harder to work with because it is difficult to split and nail.

Since only 1% of all US hardwood growing stock is walnut, it’s considered rare and not easily available. At the same time, oak is widely available in any form you need, but wood walnut doesn’t come in extra-large sizes. So, here, it plays the availability factor or high demand and less production, making walnuts more expensive than oak. Otherwise, oak is harder than a walnut and features tons of benefits that could make it more expensive than a walnut. But the case is totally different, and walnut is not cheaper than oak.

Is Walnut a Good Choice for Flooring?

Yes, walnut is a good choice for flooring because of its hardness and durability. It holds up well against scratches and dents and it is easy to clean. Walnut is also a beautiful wood with a rich, dark color that can complement any home décor.

What Is the Best Oil For Walnut Wood?

Danish oil is the best oil for Walnut wood because it penetrates the wood grain and hardens to give it a durable finish. Walnut oil is also a good option because it will darken the wood slightly and bring out the natural beauty of the grain.

Oil is necessary to preserve the beauty of wood but finding the best one that comes at an affordable price is quite hard. That’s why we came across some of the best oils for walnut wood that you can consider if you own walnut wood to preserve a better look and for increased durability. Let’s see what’s in it for your walnut wood.

Watco Danish Oil for Walnut Wood is ideal for indoor furniture, keeping the original shape except for the floor. Its oil-based formula deeply penetrates into the pores of wood for ultimate protection. The oil covers more area and takes about 6 hours to dry, which is less than most oils. It is incredibly easy to apply and provides protection against spills, scratches, peels, and more. While enhancing the natural look and feel of the wood, it creates a rich, warm and glow of walnut wood.

Why Is Black Walnut Poisonous?

Black walnut is poisonous because it contains a chemical called juglone. This chemical can be found in all parts of the tree, but is most concentrated in the leaves, nuts, and bark. When black walnut trees are growing, they release juglone into the soil around them. Juglone is toxic to many plants, especially tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers. If these plants are grown too close to a black walnut tree, they will not be able to grow properly.

Juglone is also toxic to animals. Horses, cows, goats, and sheep can all get sick if they eat black walnut leaves or nuts. Symptoms of juglone poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, and weakness. In severe cases, juglone poisoning can lead to death.

Black walnut trees are also a problem for people with allergies. The pollen from black walnut trees can cause sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. People who are allergic to black walnut pollen may also have trouble breathing.

Facts About Walnut Wood

Walnut wood is an excellent choice for steam bending and is widely used in musical instruments, such as guitar and violin. What’s interesting about walnut wood is that it changes color over time, unlike many hardwoods. It changes its color to lighter over time and may become a rich honey color as well. It might be toxic for some plants and humans, but overall, walnut wood is eco-friendly.

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Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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