As someone fairly new to darkroom, perhaps I can help. How are you getting your exposure times on the enlarger? test strips? I started doing this and found trying to learn the relationship between exposure time and contrast grade when printing different negatives with different densities a real steep learning curve when you have an inexperienced eye. In fact I decided my eye was so inexperienced that I bought a machine to help - the RH analyser pro. One of the revelations of this is that it allows you to take the "readings" and then adjust contrast and exposure time - seeing how changing one affects the other and the relationship between them is a true education in itself. I have found that with different negs putting highlights where you want them and blacks where you want them is still a skill even with technical assistance - but I'm getting better.
My guess is wrong contrast and underexposure. Are you re-using paper developer? I do find it lasts a week re-bottled, but fresh is best. Also, I found I was taking prints out too quickly at first.
I think talk of toning is to some extent "running before you can walk". I haven't started toning yet, as I am still learning the basic processes to get the best image I can from standard tools. FWIW I am all Ilford - HP5/Delta/FP4 into LC29 then multigrade paper dev onto RCIV paper, and I find following the Ilford "cookbooks" precisely works for me.
BTW, I now find that for most prints, - those that are OK images, but aren't really "special", I get it right first time using the analyser pro - straight to 8x10 which is mostly what I print. I very rarely waste paper these days, and never do test strips except when I have something special I want to refine.