Designing a beautiful wood floor
When designing a beautiful wood floor, you have to start by sorting the various strips. Different wood species have different classifications. These classifications differentiate between the calm, even strips of our City-grading, while strips with more knots, graining and greater colour variation are found in our Country-grading. Floors in our Town-grading are characterised by subtle variations in tone and pattern.
“You really need good senses to sort the wood,” says Adivije Dalipi, who has been a Design Operator at Kährs for 24 years. She explains that it takes three years to learn how to sort and to be able to distinguish between the wood’s different tones and expressions. The classification training programme takes six weeks to complete, and to be accepted you have to have perfect colour vision and excellent eyesight. Once completed, you can carry out coarse sorting. Fine sorting, meanwhile, requires a lot of experience and professional knowledge.
We use our fingertips to feel each and every strip of wood and to sort it. We can feel differences down to a hundredth of a millimetre and sort the strips accordingly.Adivije Dalipi, Design Operator at Kährs
Manual review of camera work
Kährs sorts wood both manually and automatically. But the camera can only sort the longer strips. And behind the camera is a Design Operator who checks that everything is being done as it should. The operators work according to what are known as standards, which provide design templates for the various strips. They also have detailed product specifications for each and every floor that indicate what deviations are acceptable. These specifications help them with their day-to-day work.
The magic of patterning
Patterning takes place on the basis of a number of pre-defined programmes. The quantities and appearances are a well-kept secret. Before the strips are glued, a Design Operator checks the overall look and, where necessary, turns any knots on the strips to face downwards and inwards so that they do not remain at the outer edges and affect the joints. Cross ends and knots must never remain in contact with joints.
Adivije explains that maple is the easiest wood species to sort, while cherry and walnut are also rewarding in their own way.
“They’re not the most enjoyable, but they are the easiest. They look absolutely fantastic right from the start. Oak is the hardest. We have most classifications for oak, as oak represents almost 70% of our total volume. And this also requires most reviewing and repeating.”
Kährs: best in class in quality
Kährs Design Operators, themselves, point out that systematic quality work is what makes Kährs wood flooring beautiful and competitive.
“Nobody sorts their wood as consistently as Kährs. We adjust the boards by feeling with our fingertips. The strips in Kährs boards are separated by a space less than the thickness of a single sheet of paper,” explains Adivije, with pride.