Is walnut durable?

Q: I am going to put hard wood in my entrance way and kitchen. I do not like the grain in oak. I do like walnut. Will it be durable enough for a hallway and kitchen?

We are a small family with one small cat, no heavy usage, but I am concerned with denting it if I drop something.

A: Walnut of course is very beautiful wood but like any natural wood product it will dent to one degree or another depending on the weight of the item dropped. Walnut is somewhat soft. If it is finished with a good product the finish itself will hold up well, but it won’t prevent denting. Hickory is much harder but is prone to gapping with large swings in humidity.

Your cat won’t hurt your floor but I think you need to realize that it is a floor to be walked on. it isn’t a dining room table top. Otherwise, you will always be stressed out about every little dent or mark and will end up becoming a slave to what you are walking on. This is probably why some have chosen to distress their floors such as pine from the start so other dings aren’t a big deal.

Related Q: We are doing a major renovation on our first floor which will have wood floor throughout. We are painting all our trim white and love the slight wider planks and darker walnut color. It was suggested to us to do walnut floor as opposed to oak and stain. I am afraid walnut will not hold up well, but I do love the look of it. A lot of the floor will be in high traffic areas: kitchen, entrance, great room. What are your thoughts on walnut floors and are they more durable than I am hearing?

A: Oak can have a lot of heavy grain which, if you have pets, tends to hide nail impressions a lot better than wood that doesn’t have that type of grain. This has nothing really to do with the finish itself. If you don’t have dogs, get what you like most.