CABINETRY 101 - WALNUT

In the world of cabinetry, walnut has always been a popular choice. Its workability, stability and gorgeous textures and colors make it a favorite for both customers and cabinet makers alike. However, it's important to know some key properties and characteristics about walnut before making your decision.


WALNUT CHARACTERISTICS


GRAIN PATTERNS - These are typically straight, but can be wavy or curly making for some beautiful patterns.


Left: Straight grain patterns; Right: Wavy or curly grain patterns


WATER/MOLD RESISTANT - When it comes to wood, we probably don't have to remind you that this is a BIG deal! This quality is super important when considering warping and rotting.


GOOD FOR FINISHING - Walnut has a smooth texture and is easily stained or painted. However, a clear varnish or lacquer can also be used to accentuate the natural grains.


Left: Walnut wine room; Right: Walnut dry bar with radius cabinetry



PRICE - Walnut can get a bit pricey. It grows slower than its rivals, oak and pine, and therefore is scarcer making demand exceed the supply. You'll definitely want to figure this into your decision, but it doesn't mean you have to forgo walnut altogether if your budget is on the smaller side. You can use walnut as an accent either in baseboards, trim, decorative corbels, veneers, side and back panels and more.


Left: Walnut veneer sheets; Right: Walnut veneer door & burled walnut veneer drawer front


Our showroom mudroom display with walnut bench and back panel.


COLOR - Walnut is known for its color and is actually the only dark wood found in North America. When we think of walnut, we typically think of the rich brown colors that are from the heartwood or center of the tree. It also produces lighter hues which can be found in the sapwood or outer part of the tree.


Left: A walnut grain-matched kitchen; Right: A vanity with walnut veneer applied in a fun triangular pattern.


Fun Fact: During WWI, walnut was used in the production of firearm grips and stocks, which are highly sought after by collectors.



TYPES OF WALNUT


As with most wood types, Walnut is diverse and comes in many species and types. It's used from anything from flooring, furniture, cabinetry, trinkets and as we mentioned above, even firearms! Here are the main types you see today:






ENGLISH WALNUT - Comes from edible walnut trees, moderately durable, can be expensive


CLARO WALNUT - Trees are found in California or Oregon, also known as California black walnut, has a marble claro walnut variation that is the result of the grafting point of claro & english walnut


BASTOGNE WALNUT - Comes from cross pollination of English & claro walnut, is actually a stronger wood than either of its parents and grows faster too, is the densest of walnuts


BLACK WALNUT - Strong, easy to work with, colors can vary


WHITE WALNUT - Is softer than other types of walnut, is lighter than black walnut, also known as butternut walnut


BRAZILIAN WALNUT - Found in South America but mainly Brazil, comes in a range in colors, known for luxury furniture pieces


PERUVIAN WALNUT - Found in Peru, Southern Mexico, Central & South America; also known as tropical walnut, can be pricey


FINAL THOUGHTS


Walnut is a strong, sturdy and beautiful choice when it comes to your cabinetry. We love working with it and our customers love the final product.


Got a project coming up and you're wanting to use walnut? Let us help you find the best fit for your project and also your budget!