Preserving, Refinishing, and Installing Hardwood Flooring since 1980.

Walnut

American Black Juglans nigra

Shown below with water-based finish (top),
and oil-based finish (bottom)

walnut

 

APPEARANCE

Color: Heartwood ranges from a deep, rich dark brown to a purplish black. Sapwood is nearly white to tan. Difference between heartwood and sapwood color is great; some flooring manufacturers steam lumber to bleed the darker heartwood color into the sapwood, resulting in a more uniform color.
Grain: Mostly straight and open, but some boards have burled or curly grain. Arrangement of pores is similar to hickories and persimmon, but pores are smaller in size.
Species & Grade Variations: Great variety of color and figure within species, as well as variation in color among boards. Especially in lower grades and from material that isn't steamed prior to kiln-drying.

PROPERTIES

Hardness (Janka): 1010; 22% softer than Northern Red Oak.
Dimensional Stability: Excellent (change coefficient .00274; 26% more stable than Red Oak).
Durability: Moderately dense, very strong, good shock resistance. Not as dent-resistant as Oak.

 

WORKABILITY

Sawing / Machining: Easily worked with hand tools, and has excellent machining qualities.
Sanding: Sands satisfactorily.
Nailing: Fair resistance to splitting; good holding ability.
Finishing: Finishes nicely, with a handsome grain pattern.
Comments: Distinctive sweet aroma when worked. Frequently used as a highlight material for borders or other inlay techniques.

COST

(Relative to plainsawn select Red Oak.)
Multiplier: 3.00

AVAILABILITY

Moderately available, normally in unfinished parquet, strip and in various plank widths as a special order. Available in fancy parquet patterns as a special or custom mill.

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