Why Is Walnut Hardwood Flooring So Popular?

Known for its beautifully rich color, walnut hardwood flooring can provide a stunning statement in your home. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons for this type of flooring, as well as an example of walnut used in a local home.


About Walnut Hardwood Flooring

Walnut hardwood flooring comes in two varieties: American Walnut and Brazilian Walnut.

  1. American Walnut Flooring: Also known as American Black Walnut, American Walnut, Black Walnut, North American Walnut or Gunwood, this variety is mainly harvested in the central United States and rates 1010 on the Janka scale. It is known for having white sapwood and dark chocolate heartwood in addition to a wide range of grain variations, so you can find that perfect look for your home.
  2. Brazilian Walnut Flooring: Also known as Ipe or Lapacho, this variety is found in Brazil and the Lesser Antilles. Brazilian walnut flooring also has dark tones, but is a much harder species with a rating of 3684 on the Janka scale. Brazilian walnut is resistant to insects and mold as well.

Pros & Cons of Walnut Flooring

As you think about adding walnut flooring to your home, here are the main pros and cons to consider:


  • These hardwood floors are exceptionally beautiful and provide a warm feel thanks to the rich, dark colors and natural grain designs.
  • This hardwood flooring species can be adapted to fit nicely into a traditional or modern home depending on the furniture and accessories you choose.
  • For those concerned about the environment, American walnut floors come from a renewable resource, making it an eco-friendly option for your home.
  • These floors are usually a cost-effective option for homeowners on a budget.
  • Both American and Brazilian walnut hardwood flooring varieties are durable options that are resilient to moisture and that can be re-sanded over and over again.
  • Because the color is natural, scratches and dents aren’t obvious because the hues beneath the hardwood flooring’s surface match perfectly.
  • Walnut hardwood flooring is a very stable option, making it ideal for radiant heating.


  • Although it’s a durable option, American walnut hardwood flooring is also relatively soft, which means it marks, scratches and dents easily. If you have pets, young children or even wear a lot of pointy heels, you might want to rethink this hardwood flooring choice.
  • Because it’s so dark, these floors show traffic marks very easily. The dark hues can also make rooms seem smaller than they are, so choose where you put them carefully.

A great option for living rooms, dining rooms and stair treads, American and Brazilian walnut flooring can be a truly stunning species to consider.


Project Spotlight: Handscraped Walnut Hardwood Flooring

Curious what walnut hardwood flooring looks like inside an actual home? Here’s a project spotlight you won’t want to miss! Nestled in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose, California, this abode features custom-made walnut planks, character grade wood floors and more.

The project included:

  • Custom 8” hand distressed walnut planks
  • Stained flooring from character grade wood
  • Finished with Bona Traffic Water-based finish
  • One room finished with Lengo dal Dio floors to create a red hue

Hardwood Flooring Details

The homeowner for this project, Butch Kirk, also happens to own San Jose Hardwood Floors, so it’s not surprising he opted for hardwood flooring throughout the house. With the exception of two bedrooms, the full baths and the home gym (with commercial grade interlocking rubber gym mat flooring), the 3500+ square foot home dons beautiful wood floors.

Butch selected custom 8” hand distressed walnut planks because it’s his favorite type of hardwood flooring. The stained flooring is also made from character grade wood, which means it features knots, streaks and color variation to provide an interesting look and feel.

During installation, the hardwood flooring was hand beveled, hand scraped, stained and finished with Traffic Water-based finish. One of the rooms was also finished with Lengo dal Dio stain, which gives it a beautiful red tone.

Does he love it? You bet! In addition to the stunning floors, they’re extremely practical for a busy family with young kids and pets. In fact, since the original installation in 2006, hardwood flooring has only needed re-screening one time.

Want to find out more about walnut or other hardwood flooring options? Come talk to our experts in our San Jose flooring showroom! Don’t forget to contact us for a free in-home estimate, too!