American black walnut is a highly sought after timber species when it comes to hardwood flooring but its luxurious appearance comes with a luxury price-tag. This coupled with its negative environmental aspects due to its relative scarcity puts many people off of solid walnut flooring. Here are our 5 suggested alternatives to solid walnut flooring which are both cheaper and in a lot of ways more eco-friendly.
City Central American Walnut 3 Strip Engineered Flooring
Engineered flooring is often mentioned nowadays but a lot people mistake it for laminate flooring. Sure they’re both technically engineered but what is pictured here is made entirely of wood. The top couple of millimetres are actual high grade walnut whereas the rest of the plank is made of plywood. The City walnut flooring is both cheaper, stronger and more eco-friendly than solid walnut as a majority of it is made up of readily available pine and spruce while looking and feeling identical to solid walnut.
Series Woods 10mm American Black Walnut Laminate Flooring
There’s a lot of debate as to whether laminate flooring is more eco-friendly than solid wood flooring and I suppose it just comes down to what you find more important. If your main concern is trees being cut down and animal’s habitats being disturbed then you might find laminate flooring more eco-friendly but if you care about the creation of non-biodegrable plastics and chemical emissions then natural wood flooring might be better. Either way walnut laminate is certainly cheaper than solid walnut. Note that this laminate costs slightly more than the cheapest AC3 grade floors but will last a lot longer saving the environment and you money in the long run.
Apply Dark Wood Oil To Unfinished Oak Flooring
While walnut might be an expensive and scarce wood type, oak is readily available and widely used. If you’re really keen on having solid wood flooring then it could be an option to buy some unfinished solid oak such as this Galleria Classic flooring.
Most wood floors are sold finished with some sort of lacuqer, oil or stain which gives them a certain style and also protects the wood. You can buy unfinished oak and finish it with either a walnut oil or a dark stain coupled with a protective lacquer for a great looking, affordable solid oak floor that has the characteristic dark brown colour of walnut.
This DIY approach is great because if you decide to change your interior design in a few years time you can simply sand off the top layer and choose a different finish.
Spectra American Walnut Vinyl Flooring
As with laminate flooring, whether vinyl flooring is more eco-friendly depends on whether you find the cutting down of forests or the creation of plastics to be more detrimental to the environment. However vinyl is considered to be worse for the environment than laminate but is considerably stronger giving it a longer lifecycle and therefor ultimately leading to less floors being created. Vinyl is also waterproof making it great for kitchens and bathrooms.
Galleria Elite American Black Walnut Engineered Flooring
This is another example of engineered walnut flooring but it is probably as close in appearance as you can get to solid walnut flooring. It costs slightly more than the aforementioned 3 strip variety as it makes use of larger pieces of authentic walnut whereas the former can make use of smaller offcuts.
The floors featured in this top 5 list are from UK Flooring Direct. If you need more flooring inspiration view our article on examples of grey wood flooring.
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