Choosing flooring for your home can be a significant decision. Whilst fashion trends, popular interior styles and often furniture change fairly frequently, purchasing a high-quality hardwood floor is an investment that will last many years, so it’s important that your flooring will both accommodate and outlive each of these fleeting fashions. Two of the most popular types of hardwood flooring are oak flooring and walnut flooring, and choosing between the two can be a difficult decision. In this article we highlight some of the differences so that you can make an informed choice as to which best meets your tastes and requirements.
Oak flooring has a beautiful, warm and natural appearance often characterised by tones of honey or caramel. This gives it a softer, more casual appearance than walnut flooring which often makes the room feel more spacious than it would with a heavier walnut flooring, so for a relatively small room oak is often the preferred choice. Oak flooring comes in two main types; white and red, which both have the same structure but are available in a variety of different shades. For areas with heavy traffic, pets or children oak flooring is usually better as it is more durable than walnut flooring.
Walnut flooring is rightly considered to be a high-end option thanks to it’s stylish and elegant appearance characterised by its distinctive grain. Walnut flooring’s dark colours offer a naturally rich feel, and with the colours varying slightly from plank to plank it has a truly organic feel about it. Both modern and traditional furnishings can fit well against the backdrop of walnut flooring, making it a fairly adaptable option, however due to its rich colour it can cause small rooms to feel a little tighter than a lighter flooring would. Walnut flooring is resistant to certain threats such as insects and moisture, but is a little softer than oak and therefore is more easily marked or dented. This means that high heels, sharp objects and heavy traffic can be problematic in areas with walnut flooring installed.
Choosing between walnut and oak flooring really depends on the size and style of your room and what you want to achieve for the overall appearance, alongside taking factors such as traffic and pets into account. Both types of flooring can be installed unfinished so that you can finish it exactly as you wish, or can come either oiled or lacquered. In terms of arrangement, walnut and oak floorings can both be laid in straight planks or in many different parquet patterns.