Is a Walnut Adjustable Desk the Best Option for Your Home Office? - Brick Mill Furniture

Is a Walnut Adjustable Desk the Best Option for Your Home Office?

Walnut is one of the best wood species for furniture, with a timeless look and heirloom quality. If you've been looking for some solid wood furniture, walnut is a solid wood choice all around!

This article will discuss the wood characteristics of walnut and what makes it an excellent material for a height adjustable desk. It will also discuss common issues associated with walnut furniture and how to maintain and care for your walnut adjustable desk. Finally, we will provide the best wood alternatives for walnut wood for your adjustable desk.

Walnut Wood Characteristics

There are different species of walnut trees across the world. The black walnut is native to North America and the most popular among woodworkers in the US. It is a premium hardwood that is easy to work with, shock-resistant, and strong.


The wood can have different coloring between the heartwood and the sapwood. To combat this, some woodworkers use steam in the drying process to even out the color. However, this may cause the wood to grey altering the natural color range of walnut.

The color of the heartwood ranges between dark chocolate brown and light brown, and may contain some dark streaks. In comparison, sapwood is pale yellow with a straight grain pattern.

Walnut is one of the most popular dark woods. Unlike other dark woods, a walnut desktop lightens up over time, especially with exposure to the sun.  The color can also be altered slightly using a finish. (For example, an oil finish brings out its luster and adds a honey-like tint to the wood.)

Grain and Texture

Generally, walnut wood has a straight grain, which is usually not stained. However, it may also have waves and curls. The wood has a medium texture and is resistant to decay.

It is super easy to work with as it is easy to cut through, and holds glue, and finishes well. It has a wide range of use even outside of making a work surface, including making flooring, musical instruments, dining tables, desks, cabinets etc.

Benefits of Walnut Wood for Adjustable Desk Tops

Fits Well with a Wide Range of Styles

The walnut color and grain pattern are timeless. It fits well in with various home designs including farmhouse, country, and modern. Even as the interior designs change over the years, a walnut adjustable standing desk will remain a classic.


Walnut is highly durable, with high resistance to heat and humidity. It does not warp or rot even with extreme exposure to heat and humidity. With that said, it is not suited for use outdoors.

Eco-friendly and Sustainable

Walnut wood has a minimal carbon footprint. However, conservationists may be concerned about the rate of cutting down trees, particularly with the decline of the walnut population across the USA.

Indeed, walnut trees have become fewer over the years but they are not endangered. With sustainable sourcing, there is a minimal negative impact on the environment when making walnut furniture.

In fact, a walnut piece of furniture can last 50-150 years as long as it is built with optimal craftsmanship. In that time, someone else might have tossed tens of particle board office furniture pieces in the trash, contributing significantly to environmental degradation.

Cons of Walnut Wood for Adjustable Desk Tops


Walnut is one of the costliest hardwoods. As such, walnut adjustable desks are priced premium. But, the price is worth it as the desk delivers in quality and durability.

Susceptible to Insects

Walnut can be prone to insect damage, but a good quality seal helps to keep away the insects and prevent scratches.


Walnut wood is heavy, which may pose a challenge when transporting or moving your adjustable desk within your home office. It also means that your desk will need a strong and sturdy base frame, to give it a high weight capacity.

If you want a height adjustable standing desk, the frame should have an automatic or motorized adjustment mechanism to enable efficient and smooth height adjustment.

What to Look for in a Walnut Adjustable Desk


Since you will be paying a premium price for your walnut adjustable desk, you want to ensure that the wood is real and natural. Beware of counterfeiters who are able to make adjustable desks with laminates that look like walnut.

Some manufacturers may also use walnut veneers on a different species of wood to make adjustable desks. While this option is more affordable, it compromises the overall quality and durability of your sit stand desk.

The best way to ensure that you are buying an adjustable desk made of authentic walnut wood is to buy from a reputable furniture maker such as Brick Mill.


Pay attention to how the walnut wood is cut, sanded, and finished. Check for unacceptable defects. It is expected that natural wood will have minor defects such as small knots, cracks, and wormholes. However, if the defects are too many they compromise the aesthetics and structural integrity of your adjustable table.

If you are keen on a consistent color range on your furniture, go for adjustable desks whose wood has been steamed. Otherwise, expect outright color disparity between the sapwood and the heartwood.

Also consider the type of finish used on your walnut adjustable desk. Oil-based finishes are the best for walnut wood. If you are keen on uniform color, go for a walnut adjustable desk that has been finished with a dark brown oil gel stain.


Other than ensuring that the desk is made of real walnut wood, the wood should be of the highest quality. Ideally, from mature trees that are well dried. Buy your desk from a manufacturer who has a reputation for high-quality natural wood furniture. Preferably, they should source and dry the wood themselves to make the best standing desk possible.

Care and Maintenance for Walnut Adjustable Desk

The required care and maintenance procedures for your walnut adjustable desk depend on the type of finish used to seal the wood. The goal is to protect the finish and reapply it as soon as it thins out or chips. Below are 5 key maintenance tips for your walnut adjustable desk top.

  • Oil and dust the wood regularly. While a clear coat of oil will not prevent the color change over the years, it minimizes the rate of lightening.
  • Do not use alcohol-based cleaners on the desk. They thin out the finish exposing the wood to moisture, heat, and humidity.
  • Put your desk away from direct sunlight.
  • Clean with a damp cloth and gentle liquid detergent. Do not soak the desk with water when cleaning. Wipe any spillages immediately. Apply a layer of natural oil and leave it to dry after cleaning the desk.
  • Do not use sharp objects on the desk as they could scratch the finish, breaking the seal.

Best Walnut Wood Alternatives for Your Adjustable Desk for Your Home Office

If you can’t find a walnut adjustable desk or the ones available are too pricey for your budget, oak, cherry, and maple adjustable desks are an excellent alternative. However, note that these woods have different color hues and grain patterns than a walnut. They are not walnut look-a-likes, but they are a quality substitute.

Oak is available in two varieties- red and white. White is better preferred by woodworkers for making furniture. Like walnut, it is strong and easy to work with, and is moisture and rot resistant.

There are two types of maple -  soft and hard maple.  Hard maple is difficult to work with while soft maple is easier to work with. As such, soft maple is best suited for making an adjustable computer desk.  It has a fine and straight grain, is sturdy, and is less expensive than other types of hardwood.

Cherry is another popular and great quality type of wood that would be suitable for adjustable desks. It is similar to walnut in that its color hue is in the darker range. Also, the heartwood and sapwood contrast in color.  It is easy to source as it is readily available across the USA.

Where to Buy Your Walnut Adjustable Desk

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At Brick Mill Furniture, we specialize in live edge furniture. We source the highest quality of wood and dry it ourselves. While our adjustable desks are made of oak, we are open to custom-making ones with walnut wood. Reach out to us with your adjustable desk size and design specifications.

Walnut makes a premium-quality adjustable electric standing desk. With quality craftsmanship, it can last up to 100 years or more. The main challenge with walnut adjustable desks is that they are expensive. However, they deliver great value for the high price. Ensure to buy one from a reputable seller, with a sturdy frame that can handle the weight of the desk top.

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