What is Walnut Lumber?

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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2019
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Walnut lumber is a type of wood that is generally used for construction purposes. Due to its durability and sheen, walnut wood is a popular choice for cabinets and flooring. There are two different varieties of walnut lumber: black walnut and common walnut or white walnut. The color of walnut lumber tends to fluctuate according to the drying process that a selection of wood goes through.

When walnut lumber is dried in a specially made kiln, the wood tends to take on a darker hue. While prized for its lush color, this darker wood is also expensive. Walnut wood that has been left to dry naturally in the open air tends to have a purple hue. This type of walnut is slightly less expensive than kiln-dried walnut. Still, both types of walnut are quite popular throughout the world. When strips of walnut are first cut from a tree, these pieces tend to be white in color, though this pale hue does not last long.


Cabinet and furniture makers often choose walnut lumber over other types of wood. Not only is walnut aesthetically pleasing, but it is also durable and long lasting; this is also why gun makers tend to choose walnut over any other type of wood. In addition to gun making, walnut is also frequently used to make instruments. Many luthiers around the globe choose walnut over any other type of wood in order to concoct some of the best, and most expensive, instruments in the world.

Technically, the term lumber can refer to wood in any stage. From the time that wood is harvested from a tree, it can be called lumber. Some lumber is used for scraps and firewood, while other lumber is used to make goods. Since walnut is a highly prized type of wood, walnut lumber is hardly every used for scrap wood. Instead, walnut wood is specifically harvested in order to supply various manufacturers with wood that can be use for a number of different purposes.

Walnut trees can be found in Europe, Japan, throughout the United States, Canada, and Argentina. Walnut that is derived from Europe or Japan is referred to as "Old World" walnut, while wood that is taken from North American and Argentinian forests is called "New World" walnut. Generally, the price of walnut lumber changes according to the area that it is taken from with Old World walnut being more expensive than New World walnut. In either case, walnut is an excellent choice for any home improvement or other project.


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