Engineered Walnut Flooring

Considering adding walnut flooring to a lower grade of your home? Not just any product can go into a basement or underground space, however. Because of moisture, solid hardwoods, including walnut, have a tendency to expand. As a result, the flooring, under such conditions, warps and buckles, taking on a tent-like appearance. To prevent this from happening, going with engineered walnut flooring is essential.

Walnut is known for its dark and distinct appearance of light tan or white sapwood contrasting with deep, rich dark brown or purplish-black heartwood. The ratio of the two varies with grade, with higher options having little to no light colors. In terms of installation, walnut hardwood has a Janka scale rating of 1010, being moderately dense with solid shock resistance and offering an excellent surface for machining, sanding, and finishing.

Engineered flooring allows walnut's beauty to be applied anywhere in your home. Although 100 percent hardwood, engineered flooring is essentially a composite product, with a top or wear layer and three to nine wood veneers of the same or different species below. Each veneer's grain faces a different direction. This composition makes the hardwood more stable, drastically reducing contracting and expanding from humidity.

Yet, not all engineered walnut flooring is identical, and before you decide to purchase a product from Hurst Hardwoods, consider the following factors:

  • How thick is the wear layer? Engineered planks are 1/4" to 3/4" thick, with the wear layer composing 0.6mm to 3/16ths of an inch. Thicker wear layers can be sanded down and finished as many times as solid hardwood.
  • How long are the planks? Engineered flooring, regardless of species, typically goes no longer than 42 to 48 inches.
  • Where is the wood being installed? Although engineered walnut flooring is a must for below-grade areas, on or above grade spots with concrete or radiant heat also require stable flooring.
  • How is it installed? Not all engineered products are installed the same way. Planks can be glued down, floated, clicked or tapped together, or stapled.

Aside from deciding on the right type of engineered flooring, determine if prefinished or unfinished walnut hardwood is better for your home. Although most engineered hardwoods are prefinished, Hurst carries unfinished options, which are ideal for choosing a stain. However, understand that color drastically impacts walnut's appearance, and for preserving the natural deep color or variance, consider multiple coats of a clear varnish or polyurethane.


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