oak-versus-walnut flooring

Walnut Flooring vs. Oak Flooring Costs and Features

May 29, 2022

Oak and walnut flooring are a great way of adding value to your house or flat. Dark walnut floors look stunning thanks to the walnut’s unique colour and grain. Depending on your taste and preferences, you can adopt a rustic dark flooring style, a transitional design with visible knotholes or a subtle and formal look with a finish that lets the natural walnut grain blend in a little.

Both walnut and oak floors are known for their elegance, durability, and added value. However, walnut is a bit rare and difficult to source. So, the oak flooring costs are somewhat smaller by comparison.

So, shall we compare the two?

Walnut Flooring Look& Feel

Walnut has a distinctive grain and a naturally dark colour. It is versatile, and it can look modern or traditional according to your preferred style.

Homeowners also like its warmth which automatically adds to its beauty. The look of black walnut is quite tricky to reproduce. The sapwood portion is lighter in colour, almost creamy, while the heartwood is intensely dark brown. However, if you don’t want to splash too much on flooring, you could settle for walnut laminate floors.

With dark walnut floors, you can achieve a couple of distinct looks:

1.Visible knot holes and matte finish

If you sand the wood planks smoothly, you get a particular rustic look& feel that adds a certain depth to the room and would fit perfectly in a rustic house or a cottage.

2.Curly-grain walnut

A walnut floor with curly grains will surely be the highlight of the room. Add an excellent shiny finish, and you’ll get a flawless living room.

3.Delicate and reserved

walnut flooring look and feel delicare and reserved

Depending on the wood finishes, you can give walnut a toned-down, formal style that doesn’t scream “look at me!”.

Oak Flooring Look& Feel

You can’t name three types of wooden flooring without naming oak flooring. It’s probably one of the most common but also special type of wood flooring.

Unlike walnut flooring, oak has some warm honey tones that blend in well with most traditional oak furniture. In terms of flooring price and installation, it is less of a challenge compared to walnut.

The two main types of oak are white and red oak. So, there’s a variety of colour tones and stains to choose from. It is also cheaper than walnut, which means you can get an attractive dark floor without paying premium for it.

However, oak doesn’t look like walnut, even when stained in the same colour. So, it’s not as individual and unique-looking.

oak flooring look and feel

Oak floors are often available as “unfinished”, so you can finish them on-site if you want to make them more your style. For a more unique look, you can opt for smoked (fumed) oak. Smoking is a wood finishing process meant to turn wooden floors darker and with a more prominent grain pattern.

Oak Flooring vs Walnut Flooring Durability

Black walnut has a Janka hardness rating of about 1010. White oak has 1360, and red oak is at about 1290. So, if you have big dogs around the house or live in a big house with lots of traffic, you may want to choose oak over walnut.

oak and walnut durability

So, oak is more hardwearing. Oak species are rich in resins, so they’re also naturally more durable in the outside. That’s why oak is also very popular for external cladding, decking or fencing.

However, don’t dismiss walnut too quickly. Compared to other types of wooden flooring, walnut is resistant to insects, moisture and other threats, too. It is, indeed, softer than oak, so your high heels or other sharp objects might leave their mark quite easily.

Oak vs Walnut Wood Flooring Cost

If you’re thinking of replacing your existing floor with something more high-quality and fresher, you definitely need some price estimates.

The average cost of flooring depends a lot on the project and your expectations. Oak is usually almost available and cheaper. Choose a Herringbone or Chevron design pattern. They never go out of fashion.

Use our calculator to get an estimate for our American Walnut Engineered Wood Flooring, or simply explore the whole range of oak and walnut flooring. You can also request a free sample or swing by our North London showroom for more.

walnut flooring cost estimate

What goes well with oak flooring?

Well, for red oak floors, you need to paint your walls in colours that bring out the floor undertones, such as pastels, aquamarines, dark blues or greens.

oak flooring what goes well

White oak flooring is more rustic by design. Go for earthy colours, such as navy, cinnamon or forest green.

What goes well with dark walnut floors?

Dark floors, by design, need a lot of light. So, if you don’t have enough natural light in your room, you have to compensate with some good overhead lights or lamps. Otherwise, the floor will appear too dark, and you don’t want that.

walnut flooring what goes well

When selecting the wall paints for dark walnut floors, you need to think about the undertones in the walnut stains. However, in general, you should keep your walls neutral or in an off-white shade. What do we mean by that? Well, a soft white is what you need, a white that’s a bit toned-down, or maybe a pale peach tone.

Grey also goes well with dark walnut floors. Try grey with some blue, yellow or green undertones.

So, this is about it! Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on oak or walnut flooring. You’ll find us in our North London showroom if you want to swing by. 

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