Walnut wood flooring is one of the most distinct domestic species. Rather than a neutral shade, this hardwood's deep, rich dark brown or purplish black demands attention as the stark backdrop to a room. The darker heartwood is juxtaposed with light white or tan sapwood, and this extreme color variance intensifies with lower grades.
Higher grades, in general, have more even color. This appearance is created through steaming the lumber, which bleeds the darker shade of the heartwood into the sapwood. Lower grades have greater color contrast, and with the exception of a finish, the wood is in its natural state.
No matter if you prefer walnut wood flooring for its overall dark hue or great contrasts, this hardwood is characterized by a straight and open grain, with a pore arrangement similar to hickory but smaller in size. A Janka scale rating of 1010 makes this wood moderately dense with good shock resistance. In the same vein, the mid-level density translates to excellent machining qualities, presenting no issues with sanding or finishing.
Because of its intense appearance, walnut wood flooring is either installed alone across a full floor. The darker color blends in with or plays off the rest of the space's decor. Or, because of its distinction, walnut can be incorporated into a floor as a highlight material for a border or inlay.
When it comes to unfinished walnut wood flooring, the look ultimately must be preserved. Darker stains, unfortunately, obscure the color contrasts or detract from the deep, rich color. For finishing the wood and preserving its natural heartwood and sapwood contrast, using multiple coats of clear varnish or polyurethane is recommended.
As a domestic hardwood, walnut wood flooring is available in several products. The purest form, solid walnut wood flooring, can be placed on or above grade. Should you want hardwood below grade, in an area with moisture, or on top of concrete or a radiant heat source, engineered walnut wood flooring has the necessary qualities. Both varieties, as well, are sold prefinished or unfinished.
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