Asian Walnut Hardwood Flooring: Everything You Need To Know Before You Buy
Asian walnut hardwood flooring is one of the most unique hardwood species available on the market today. Often known as Acacia, this walnut hardwood flooring is obviously harvested in Asia. Asian walnut hardwood floors have become increasingly popular in recent years. Although oak is still the number 1 selling hardwood floor, exotic species such as Asian walnut and Brazilian cherry have made great strides to become the main options for hardwood floors. If you are looking for a highly distinctive floor that is considered a centerpiece for your room or home, Asian walnut hardwood flooring is worth considering. There are several things to know when considering the exotic Asian species of Acacia Walnut floors.
Most Asian Walnut flooring is offered in a factory finish. Factory finish means the factory has applied multiple protective layers of polyurethane, aluminum oxide, or a combination of the two. These finishes protect the floor from minor scratches and wear. Of course, any hardwood floor can be scratched, but today’s factory finishes are much better than they were 20 years ago. The best option is to find an acacia hardwood floor with an aluminum oxide finish or a combination of aluminum oxide and polyurethane. If you purchase unfinished Asian Walnut hardwood flooring, you will need to apply the protective finish after installation in your home. This type of home finish is not very comparable to a factory finish, as an installer cannot duplicate the heat and pressure of the boards as much as a manufacturing process in a factory.
Asian Walnut is usually available in 3 colors or stains. Natural is the most common color. Natural is not actually dyed but has a protective finish. Natural Asian Walnut table tops will have a wide variety of color ranges from dark to light. However, the darker colors will be a bit more predominant. Another commonly sold color is Cinnamon or sometimes called Cherry. This color has slight red tones to give an elegant and semi-formal look. Cinnamon is a very rich and deep stain. The final color you may find is a stain sometimes called Smoke or Toffee. Smoke-stained Asian walnut floors look very similar to another species, black walnut. The stain isn’t actually black or extremely dark, but it’s a deeper, darker hue than the other colors you’ll find. A smoke stain, Asian Walnut is a good alternative to its cousin, Black Walnut, as the Asian version may be priced a bit less.
One tip to remember when getting Asian Walnut hardwood flooring samples is to order two samples. Asian walnut or acacia wood has very different characteristics between each board. Two samples will give you a much better idea of what the floor will look like. Another tip is that once you’ve decided to go with a specific color or distributor, buy a box first. When you get the box, lay it loose in an area of your home to make sure you like the color and style. You may or may not be able to return the box to the dealer, but your initial investment will be much less than if you had purchased the entire work. If for some reason you don’t like acacia hardwood flooring, you’re only going to lose about $100 instead of thousands.
Some design and construction notes to consider are the characteristics of Asian walnut hardwood floors. Asian Walnut is almost always a 3/4″ solid board that is designed for a nail-on installation. Asian Walnut hardwood flooring species also has a distinct grain pattern. Large swirls and a loose grain structure make make Asian Walnut one of the most unique looking of any wood species sold today.This unique grain pattern works great in large rooms and areas.Another characteristic of Asian Walnut or Acaica hardwood flooring is that boards generally don’t exceed 4 feet in length.The tree itself is not a tall growing tree, so boards tend to be a bit shorter than traditional walnut trees.A final note on Asian properties of the acacia nut is that it has a very high rating on the Janka scale, which is around 2300. The Janka scale is a measurement used to determine the hardness of a species of hardwood.The higher the number or, the harder the wood. At 2,300, Asian Hickory is much harder than common oaks, which are around 1,300. As a reminder, any hardwood floor is subject to denting, ie ratcheting, scratching, etc., however, the harder the wood, the stronger it is.