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 color variations are found in our Country-grading. Floors in our Town-grading are characterized by subtle variations in tone and pattern.
“You really need a good sense for sorting 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 wood and to achieve the right colors and expression for the wood. The training program for classification takes six weeks to complete, and to be accepted for it you have to have perfect color vision and excellent sight. You can do coarse sorting after completing the program. 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 an inch and sort the strips accordingly.Adivije Dalipi, Design Operator at Kährs
Manual and electronic review
Kährs sorts wood both manually and electronically. However, the camera can only sort the longer strips. Behind the camera is a design operator who checks that everything is being done just right. The design operators work according to 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 predefined programs. The quantities and visual specifications are a well-preserved secret. Before the strips are glued, a design operator checks the overall look and, when 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 the locking mechanism.
Adivije explains that Maple is the easiest wood species to sort, while Cherry and Walnut are also rewarding in their way.
“They are not the most enjoyable, but they are the easiest. They look absolutely fantastic right from the start. Oak is the hardest. We have more classifications for Oak, as it represents almost 70% of our total volume. This also requires the most reviewing and redoing.”
Kährs: best in class in quality
The design operators at Kährs 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.