FAQs

redoak

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1. What makes Charles Peterson Signature Flooring different from other flooring?

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Try and imagine the same quality of wood and craftsmanship used to craft a Stradivarius violin and you have a Charles Peterson Signature Floor. To date the highest grade of wood flooring was meant for a mass produced commodity product. Our flooring is hand crafted from a quality of wood that was previously unavailable for wood flooring. Perfect flooring can only be made from perfect logs. Perfect logs are rare, prized for their consistent color, tight grain patterns, uniformity of ring spacing and lack of any blemishes. We are the only craftsmen to acquire these logs for wood flooring. Please read “OUR DIFFERENCE” page for details about our wood selection, color sorting, perfect vertical grain and perfect rift grain, and how we grade out all natural defects in our flooring.

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2. How are we able to craft the most perfect wood flooring in the world?

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We start with perfect logs. Since the advent of the modern veneer mill perfect logs became unavailable to the flooring industry. Veneer mills are able to pay a premium price for logs due to their higher yields producing paper thin products. The flooring industry is left trying to manufacture their top grades from the lower quality logs passed over by the veneer industry and export market. We have developed intimate relationships with the logging industry allowing us to select the finest of the perfect logs directly from the forests. To produce perfect flooring you start with perfect logs

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3. So, why don’t other companies do this also?

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The quality of our wood is beyond the comprehension of the wood flooring industry. Our grade of wood exceeds existing industry standards by too far of a margin. Acquiring perfect logs is cost prohibitive and their availability is scarce. Processing the logs into perfectly quarter sawn flooring is labor intensive and, therefore, too slow to generate a satisfactory profit. The average flooring mill simply does not want to invest their time and money in a low volume, very custom product.

Acquiring enough perfect logs to handcraft a Charles Peterson Signature Grade of Flooring requires extended lead times. In a few cases clients have tried to have our flooring matched elsewhere. This has lead some small mills to go out of business believing they could manufacture a Charles Peterson Signature Grade from industry grade lumber. A larger mill with access industry grade logs just had 10,000 square feet of quarter sawn walnut returned after a failed attempt to match Charles Peterson Signature Grade Flooring.

Other small custom mills generally buy processed kiln dried lumber to machine into flooring and thus do not have access to the quality of wood we have. In order to produce Charles Peterson Signature Flooring we hand select our logs from the forest, saw them “in-house” with our proprietary Radial Sawmills to our very high standards to our standards. Only then do we gently slow dry them in our proprietary kilns. By controlling the entire process from the forest to your home, we are able to achieve a new quality standard “new quality standard”. We are not a volume production facility. Most mills make more flooring in one to two days than we do all year. As craftsmen, we are personally invested in every one of our floors.

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4. How do we achieve uniform natural color for each species in our flooring?

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Color matching our flooring starts from hand picking our logs from the forest and continues all the way through to the final inspection prior to shipping. A Signature Grade floor is manufactured from the smallest number of logs possible (approximately 200 square feet of flooring per log, over 300 sq.ft. of flooring if we are allowed “random widths”) for the least variation in log color and grain matching possible

We use only the rarest veneer grade logs to craft each floor. Logs are selected that located within the same area with similar growing conditions. Cutting true defect-free Quarter sawn plank flooring that contains no sapwood or pith requires the largest most perfect logs available. From these logs we only use the ones in the midrange of the color spectrum for each species.

Due to our thin kerf re-sawing equipment and also our Proprietary Radial-Sawmills, we are able to produce more square footage of flooring per individual log, thus maintaining that log’s individual color throughout more of your floor. We know of no other manufacturer that even attempts to saw an entire floor from one, perfect log.

 

Each Charles Peterson Signature Floor is custom milled to order.

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5. What is TRUE “Quarter Sawn Flooring”?

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True Quarter Sawn Flooring is a specification exclusive to Charles Peterson Signature Flooring. Our proprietary “Radially Sawn” technology results in each every board having the nearly identical, uniform quarter sawn grain structure of 80 to 90 degrees throughout the entire board. Industry standards for standard Quarter Sawn flooring allow the grain to be as low as 45 degrees along with only the half of the board possessing quarter sawn characteristics. So, do not be deceived. Other flooring may claim to be Quarter Sawn. Yet, Charles Peterson Signature Flooring will consistently offer the 80 to 90 degrees that sets it apart from the rest.

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6. Why do we use engineered flooring?

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• We wanted our flooring to outlast the home it is installed in and be worry free. A properly crafted engineered wood flooring out performs solid wood flooring.

• The flooring would require approximately three times the quantity of wood significantly impacting the lead time needed to acquire perfectly color matched logs.

• Drying thinner wood results in less induced stresses and provides more uniform moisture content gradients during the kiln drying process. The extra time required to properly kiln dry the thicker wood would significantly impact the lead time needed to manufacture our flooring.

• Another reason is not wasting rare perfect wood where it would serve no benefit hidden at the bottom of solid flooring. Our flooring is manufactured with the same usable wear layer as solid wood flooring. The price of solid flooring would be outside the budget constraints of most projects.

Engineered flooring is more dimensionally stable to moisture content changes than solid wood flooring. Multiple layers of wood are adhered together. Each layer is orientated perpendicular to the other and by pure physical force limit the dimensional change of the board. Engineered flooring is able to be installed in areas that solid wood flooring is not.

A three inch wide solid plain sawn red oak flooring board can gain about 3% moisture before the edges of the board start to cup up. This is about half the range needed for a house located in a humid area near the water. The same board in a perfectly quarter sawn cut will be able to take up to 5% – 6% moisture content gain before problems occur.
Note: True Quarter Sawn flooring is not available through industry standard graded methods. Industry standard grading allows flooring boards to be cut with the grain angle as low as 45 degrees along with only the half of the board possessing Quarter Sawn characteristics. Charles Peterson Signature Flooring “True Quartered Sawn” specifies a grain angle of 80 to 90 degrees.

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7. What are some of the ways engineered wood flooring is made?

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All engineered wood flooring designs will perform well when manufactured with quality materials and workmanship. There are three main designs of engineered wood flooring.
Wood ply construction (“sandwich core”): uses multiple thin plies of wood adhered together. The wood grain of each ply runs perpendicular to the ply below it. Stability is attained from using thin layers of wood that have little to no reaction to climatic change. The wood is further stabilized due to equal pressure being exerted lengthwise and widthwise from the plies running perpendicular to each other.
Finger core engineered wood floors are made of small pieces of milled timber that run perpendicular to the top wear layer of wood and bottom layer. The bottom layer is made from a compatible wood with the top wear layer or the bottom layer is made from plywood.
A third design employs a softwood core laid perpendicular to the top wear layer with backing layer made of compatible wood with the top wear layer

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8. Why did we pick Russian Baltic Birch plywood as the foundation to engineered flooring?

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Time and experience have shown us that all engineered wood flooring designs perform well when manufacture with quality materials and workmanship. The Russian Baltic Birch plywood has proven itself through billions of square feet of flooring all over the world to be an established benchmark for durability and stability. Russian Baltic Birch plywood is 25 times more dimensionally stable than plain sawn red oak.

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9. Flexible adhesive vs. rigid adhesive to bond the wear layer to the plywood platform.

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A flexible adhesive performs very well but allows the wear layer to dimensionally change independent of the Russian Baltic Birch plywood. Our Baltic Birch plywood, used for the foundation of our design, is about 25 times more dimensionally stable than plain sawn red oak. By rigidly gluing our wear layer to the Baltic Birch platform, we create the most stable floor possible.

Two things that allow us to marrying our wear layers to the Baltic Birch plywood with a rigid adhesive:
i. Our wear layers are cut perfectly Quarter Sawn resulting in the greatest stability possible for each wood species.
ii. Our wear layers are cut from perfect logs and are defect free.

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10. Can your flooring be installed as a floating floor?

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We believe a wood floor is a permanent installation and should last as long as your home. We consider a floating floor a temporary installation. Heavy furniture and appliances can cause a floating flooring to fail. A floating sub-floor is a better alternative and allows for a normal installation of the wood flooring READ MORE. (link to our Fine Home Building article, Floors that can survive any where).

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11. How many times can your engineered wood flooring be refinished?

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Our flooring is manufactured with the same usable wear layer as solid wood flooring. Wood flooring is normally refinished down to bare wood as result of neglect or damage. Wood flooring should be recoated with new finish prior needing sanding to bare wood. The amount of times a wood floor can be sanded to bare wood is dependent on the depth of the damage needed to be removed and also the skills and experience of the person running the sander.

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12. How durable is your flooring?

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When designing our flooring we wanted it to last the life of the home. After noticing young skate board athletes competing in the rain performing acrobatic stunts on engineered wood ply skate boards, we committed to using the same materials that go into the manufacture of skate boards. Imagine the stresses and extreme environmental conditions skateboards must endure; our flooring can endure the same.

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13. How do you test your flooring?

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Test 1: We submerged and boiled the sample for 4 hours. We, then, oven dried it at 145 F down to 4% moisture content. We again submerged and boiled the sample for 4 more hours preceded by a cool water bath and then performed shear testing.
Test 2: We performed a 3-cycle submerged soak test. The sample is submerged for 4 hours and dried at 120 For 19 hours. The test is repeated two more times on the same sample.
Test 3: The sample is submerged for 48 hours.

RESULTS: OUR FLOORING SURVIVED UNSCATHED.

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14. What are the different methods to cutting the top wear layer from logs?

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Rotary-peel: The logs are placed into a high-humidity steam chamber or into a hot water vat for approximately 48 hours. The exact cooking schedule is different for each species of wood. The veneer is peeled by a blade starting from the outside of the log and working toward the center. During the process of peeling, lathe checks can develop in the underside of the veneer, as the underside is under tension during the peeling process. The side of the veneer in which checks occur is known as the loose side, whereas the check free side is known as the tight side. Veneers made this way have a plywood appearance.
This style of manufacturing tends to have problems with the wood cupping or curling back to its original shape. Rotary-peeled engineered hardwoods tend to have a plywood appearance in the grain. Engineered hardwood produced this way tends to have problems with “face checking”.
Sliced: The logs are placed into a high-humidity steam chamber or into a hot water vat for approximately 48 hours. The exact cooking schedule is different for each species of wood. The log sliced from the outside in a guillotine type method. Engineered wood flooring produced this way tends to have fewer problems with “face checking” but does experience stress from the soaking and slicing process.
Dry solid-sawn: The logs are not steamed or soaked prior to cutting. They are sawed in the same manner as solid wood flooring. This style of engineered hardwood has the same look as solid wood flooring and does not have any of the potential problems of rotary-peel and sliced products.  This method is best and that is why we use it.

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15. Why have I heard some engineered flooring does not last as long as solid flooring?

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All engineered wood flooring designs perform well when manufactured with quality materials and workmanship. Some engineered wood flooring is meant for a certain price point market. It is typically manufactured overseas with less expensive materials and low cost labor. This cheap engineered wood flooring may be composed of thin rotary cut veneers that are adhered to a low quality backing by and inexpensive adhesive.  Caveat emptor!   (Let the buyer beware!)

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16. Should I glue or nail my flooring down during installation?

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This is dependent upon how challenging of an environment your flooring is being installed in. A moisture cure wood flooring adhesive has shear strength of approximately 300 psi but adds to the cost of the installation. Fastening the wood flooring with mechanical fasteners is quicker and less expensive but provides less hold strength. A compromise is to mechanically fasten the flooring normally every six to eight inches and one to three inches from the end of the board but augment it with a 3/8 inch wide bead of construction adhesive (flexible moisture cure wood adhesive) every twelve inches. Remember the more challenging the environment the greater the need for the flooring to be held in place well to the sub-floor.