Walnut Countertops, One Of The Most Popular Woods For Countertops

Wood kitchen countertops are a classic favorite for all kinds of homes from urban industrial to traditional or rustic. There are many choices for the species of wood but a long running favorite is Walnut. Being grown and harvested in the US gives this hardwood a leg up on the “green” scale. Frequently a plantation grown wood it's a rapidly renewable resource providing jobs and revenue here in the US.

Plank style walnut countertop in 1-5/8" thickness with an undermount sink.

Walnut Durability

At 1010 on the Janka scale, walnut is about midway along the hardness lineup which gives it plenty of durability to hold up to the wear and tear of a busy household while being very workable for the fabricator.

Walnut Color

The natural dark color of walnut is probably the real clincher when choosing a species for a new countertop. A rich neutral, it complements both warm or cool colors and goldens with age to grow more beautiful through time. The grain of the wood is tight, primarily heart wood, (the darker shade) with a limited number of knots. The lighter color within the walnut is called the sapwood which makes a lovely counterpoint for the darker heartwood. The fabricator can use as much or as little of each to create a custom look. 

Walnut island top with sink and faucet


Price is another factor pushing walnut countertops to the top of the list. It's not the cheapest by any means but for a naturally dark wood it does have great value compared to wenge or ebony. A per square foot price of $100-$120 should be budgeted for typical countertop thicknesses. Unlike most hard wood its density allows the lumber mills to successfully dry it up to 3" thick making plank construction countertops of up to 2-5/8" thick possible. Plank style construction overall is the most economic choice as less wood is required to make a given top while allowing the beautiful grain of the wood to show at its best.

Wide plank walnut island top with a 1/4" round over edge profile and satin polyurethane sealer.

Walnut kitchen counters and island tops are worth a long look if you're building or remodeling. Solid home grown durability and classic beauty at a reasonable price. Can't beat that!

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