Walnut vs. Cherry Wood: Best Wood For Furniture, Flooring, and Cabinets

Are you about to move into a new home? Or do you need a new furniture piece in your house? You are probably thinking of the best wood for your furniture. When it comes to choosing the best, it is essential to consider all types of wood and their properties and benefits.

This will enable you to choose what fits your purpose best. Walnut and Cherry wood are two types of hardwood perfect for different woodworking purposes. They are both advantageous, but of course, they have differences.

One significant difference between walnut wood and cherry wood is the color. The sapwood of the walnut tree is creamy white, while the heartwood is a rich dark brown color. On the other hand, the cherry wood ranges from a light pink to a rich reddish-brown which darkens over time.

Walnut vs Cherry Wood
 Walnut woodCherry wood
CostThis wood is more expensive than cherry wood; it costs approximately $11-$13.35 per board foot.Cherry wood is the cheaper option when compared to walnut wood. It costs roughly$5.40-$6.10 per board foot.
Availability It is not readily available compared to cherry wood.It is readily available.
DurabilityThis is considered to be more durable because of its strength. The Janka hardness test gave the walnut wood a rating of 1010.The cherry wood is softwood; therefore, it is not as durable as walnut wood. The Janka hardness test gave the cherry wood a rating of 950.
WorkabilityWalnut wood glues well, nails well, screws well, and polishes well. The dark colors do not go well with paint but are enhanced when an oil finish is used.Cherry wood is easy to work with because of its softness. It cuts well, nails well, glues well, stains well, and dries fast. It produces an excellent finish.

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Walnut Wood

The walnut tree (genus Juglans) is a deciduous tree that belongs to the ‘Juglandaceae’ family. It is a native of Southern Europe, Asia, North America, and South America. When mature, the trees can reach 100-120 feet (Black Walnut) and a height of 80 feet (English Walnut).

Walnut wood has a straight, hard, and dense grain which can be irregular, sometimes with semi-porous end grain. It is a tough and heavy wood, considered very durable, absorbs shock well, and can resist warping. This wood is resistant to decay but is susceptible to scratches, dents, and insect attacks.

The sapwood color ranges from a pale yellow to a creamy white, while the heartwood ranges from a light brown to a dark brown color. The overall color has hints of gray, black, and even purple and blue tones. A natural oil finish brings out the colors of the walnut wood nicely.

What is Walnut Wood Used For?

Walnut wood can be used for a couple of things, and some of them are listed below:

  • Walnut is used in making stringed instruments.
  • It is used in making veneers.
  • It is commonly used to make rifle and shotgun stocks.
  • Walnut wood is suitable for making furniture, especially cabinets.
  • It is suitable for knickknacks and carvings.

Pros and Cons of Walnut Wood


  • It is solid and durable wood.
  • It has unique colors.
  • Has an attractive and straight wood grain.
  • It has a good shock resistance.
  • It is resistant to decay.
  • The wood is easy to work with, which reduces stress.


  • It is an expensive choice of wood, compared to cherry wood.
  • This wood is susceptible to scratches and insect attacks.
  • It is not moisture and weather-resistant, making it a wrong choice for outdoor furniture.
  • It is a heavy wood and can be challenging to transport.

Cherry Wood

This is a popular selling wood, perhaps because of its durability and attractive color. It comes from the cherry fruit tree, which has different species. The sweet cherry tree (PrunusAvium) can reach a height of 35 feet, and the sour cherry tree (PrunusCerasus) grows up to 10-14 feet, making it a smaller size.

The cherry wood is obtained from the PrunusSerotina species, known as the black cherry. It is a deciduous tree that belongs to the Rosaceae family and can reach a height of 60-80 feet. It has a smooth, fine, and straight grain with occasional knots.

Cherry wood is moderately durable and strong, with the heartwood able to resist decay and rot. Even though it is hardwood, it is still softer, but that does not reduce its durability. Its flexibility makes it easy to work with, alongside its delicate texture.

The color of the sapwood ranges from white to a light red-brown. The heartwood color ranges from a rich red to a reddish-brown which will darken due to age or when exposed to sunlight. It has black pitch marks and may contain gum pockets.

What is Cherry Wood Used For?

Below are some of the things that cherry wood can be used for:

  • It is commonly used in the making of cabinets.
  • It is also used in making other kinds of furniture.
  • You can use it to make veneers.
  • You can use it for flooring and doors.
  • It is used to make musical instruments such as violin bows and pianos.
  • It can be used to make boat interiors.

Pros and Cons of Cherry Wood


  • It is a flexible wood.
  • It has a very attractive color.
  • Cherry Wood has a straight wood grain and smooth texture.
  • It is easy to work with.
  • Even though it is soft, it is still durable and is resistant to rot and decay.
  • It is not expensive when compared to walnut wood.


  • The color of the wood can change when exposed to direct sunlight.
  • The color darkens over time due to age, which some may not like.
  • It is not resistant to moisture and water.

Differences Between Walnut Wood and Cherry Wood

The significant difference between walnut and cherry wood is the color. Cherry wood is very popular for its rich colors, which is an attractive sight to see, while the colors of walnut wood shine when a natural oil finish is applied.

In terms of furniture, walnut wood is the better option because of its hardness and durability. Walnut wood is a stronger wood and will last longer. Cherry wood is softwood, and even though it may be durable, this makes it more prone to scratches and dents.


The cherry wood has an attractive color, is rot and decay-resistant, and is durable to a certain extent. The walnut wood has rich brown hues, is highly durable, and has good shock resistance. It is up to you to choose which best suits your needs and taste.

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