Oak Vs Walnut Vs Rosewood: Which Wood Type Should You Choose?

Understanding its properties is critical before picking the best wood, whether for furniture, flooring, or other purposes. Each kind is associated with a different set of features. Among the diverse types of hardwood available in the market, oak, walnut, and rosewood are prevalent. 

This article will take a close look at oak vs walnut vs rosewood and point out the differences among these 3 wood types to make sure you get the best option for your demands.


Overview Of Oak, Walnut & Rosewood

Oak, Walnut, and Rosewood are all hardwoods typically known for condensed structure, durability, superior resilience, and versatility.


Oakwood is commonplace around the world and is easily seen in furniture and flooring design. While the surprising number of oak species can be more than 500, all these variations have some mutual characteristics. Oakwood is remarkable for its high level of strength, durability, and workability. 



Customers usually recognize walnut for its straight-grained pattern. This type of wood is often a top pick by woodworkers to make flooring, wood veneers, and furniture. Its widespread popularity amongst countries is attributed to its dimensional stability, strength, shock resistance, and beautiful colorations.



Rosewood was widely used in Asian countries at first, and now it is supplied across the globe because of its outstanding properties and varied applications. Undoubtedly, rosewood is super durable, tough, and hard that makes it a common choice for making tough doors or windows. Most of the rosewood varieties have dark-tone colors and straight grain. 


Oak vs Walnut vs Rosewood: Detailed Comparison


While hardwood and softwood are different, all three types of wood are hardwood, which leads to their similar properties in some aspects.

First off, hardwood grows slowly in comparison with softwood; therefore, they are frequently relatively costly. 

Secondly, hardwood is heavy and comes with close grain, while softwood is regularly associated with loose grain. Hardwood also comes with high durability. Indeed, it is less likely to decay and rot, thereby requiring low maintenance, ideal for making furniture. 

Lastly, hardwood is well-known for its low sap content and excellent fire-resistant ability. Consequently, it is widely utilized for wooden flooring with different styles and colors.


4 main differences 


In terms of the different appearances amongst these wood species, colors and grains are two main factors worth looking at. 

Oakwood comes in many colors since there are plenty of species available. The hues of them vary from pinkish red to blonde. Regarding its grain, oak has visible straight grain patterns that give it a distinct look and a coarse and uneven texture. However, the stain of oakwood sometimes darkens and exaggerates the grain that forms a less attractive two-toned appearance. 

On the other hand, walnut is often known for its characteristic dark brown color with darker brown streaks. The colors can also vary from chocolate brown to yellow, depending on the portion of the tree. Besides, walnut has moderately open grains. The grain of walnut is commonly straight but irregular sometimes.

Lastly, the coloration of rosewood varies considerably depending on the source country. Rosewood can be seen with golden-brown or deep purplish-brown colors. About its texture, rosewood has a uniform, medium to coarse structure, pretty tiny pores, and narrowly interlocked grain.


Oak is mainly used for making homeware, molding, trim, flooring, paneling, turning, joinery, decking, and veneers. In addition, the medium hardness of oak makes it an excellent choice for hardening flooring.

Walnut is greatly desired for high-priced furniture and carpentry due to its dense, firm structure and easy workability. Indeed, it can take intricate carving and turning. Walnut is also a top pick for flooring, making musical instruments, decorative objects, and veneers. 


Rosewood is commonly used for both indoor and outdoor applications. Some most popular rosewood uses are high-end furniture, veneer, musical instruments, and turned wood objects. Rosewood is also widely used for flooring due to its great hardness.


Both oak and rosewood are significantly hard and strong, while rosewood is a winner regarding the level of hardness. However, this feature is a drawback of rosewood as its overly heavy structure may trouble the transportation process. On the contrary, walnut comes with medium texture, thereby having fairly lightweight. 


The workability of wood hinges on the density level and grain pattern. It is normally more challenging to work with highly dense and heavy wood. Walnut has good workability properties, while oak is slightly more significant than that. 

On the contrary, working with rosewood is quite difficult sine rosewood is way harder and denser with 1,780 LBF (7,900 N) of Janka Hardness while Oak and Walnut have 1,120 LBF (4,980 N) and 1,010 LBF (4,490 N), respectively. 

Which Is Better: Oak vs Walnut vs Rosewood? 

Whether you use oak, walnut, or rosewood for any purpose, you’ll find it difficult to decide which one is better because it depends on your personal preference and demand. 

Each has its characteristic properties. You better take into consideration the way the wood will look in its final location. Also, if you prefer something more affordable, oak might be your ideal option. 



Overall, all these 3 wood types are different to a certain extent, yet similar in some aspects. Therefore, knowing how to tell the differences between oak vs walnut vs rosewood should help you make a sound decision based on your purpose.Lastly, don’t forget to revisit us for more valuable tips updated regularly. If you want a more interesting explanation of this subject, please refer to this video.