Wood furniture has taken many beautiful forms over the centuries, from the ornately carved to the sleek and modern. Furniture makers select wood materials based on many factors, including color, grain, strength, and workability. Learn three unique characteristics of American walnut wood that make it a favorite choice for furniture artisans.
American walnut wood ranges in color. It can be creamy white, gray, reddish-brown, chocolate brown, and dark brown. The color of the wood depends on which part of the tree it comes from. The outer layers, or sapwood, tend to be lighter. The heartwood from the innermost parts of the tree trunk is darker, with a reddish-brown or dark brown tone and some dark streaks. The richness of the colors offers the opportunity to create unique pieces that display a range of hues or even stark, bi-color looks.
Strength and Durability
Walnut is famous for its durability. It has a high Janka score, which is a measurement of how much force it takes to drive a small steel ball halfway through the material. A Janka score of 1000 or above is the standard for hardwood flooring. American Walnut wood often has a Janka score of 1010. Although you wouldn’t want to put a piece of walnut furniture outside, walnut resists rotting and doesn’t warp easily, which is good news for those living in humid climates.
Because of its durability, a well-made piece of walnut furniture can last for decades. Walnut trees can take 100 years to grow tall enough to harvest, so the durability of furnishings made from walnut is a factor in the sustainability of American walnut trees as a natural resource.
Walnut has a straight, tight grain, with some whorls or waves. It takes glue, nails, and screws well and is easy to stain. Moreover, craftspeople can carve, steam, and bend the wood to shape it. These are some of the reasons American Walnut is a popular choice for modern contemporary coffee tables. These tables often feature round or oval curved shapes with beautifully stained surfaces that show the wood’s elegant grain.
These are just three unique characteristics of American Walnut wood. As you shop for quality pieces for your home, consider how sturdy, durable, and beautiful woods can enhance your living environment.