FAQ—Good Stuff to Know
Below, you'll see a list of several informative topics so you don't say, "Why didn't I know that?" Click any of them to learn more about wood and our products.
Are All Hardwoods Hard?
Hardwood is actually a botanical classification for a deciduous tree, one that loses its leaves every year. Hardwoods generally are harder than softwoods (coniferous trees). Does that make any difference in the choice of species for the mouldings you choose? It can, depending on the usage. For example; Red Alder is a medium soft wood that would not stand up very well as a stair tread. Cherry is harder than alder, but as a flooring material or stair tread, it will dent and show wear much more than a harder wood like red oak or hard maple. Poplar is a great wood for painting. It is 15% harder than white pine so will stand up to more abuse without denting. Continuing the same thought though, if one wanted a better, more dent resistant wood, hard maple or birch would be a good choice. Here is a listing of hardwoods and their relative hardness. Hickory is the hardest species listed and is assigned a hardness of 1. The rest are a comparison to this standard.
Hickory - 1.0, White Oak - .94, Hard Maple - .88, Red Oak - .88, Yellow Birch - .86, Black Walnut - .80, Soft Maple - .78, Cherry - .73, Yellow Poplar - .63, Red Alder - .58, Aspen - .55, White Pine - .55, Basswood - .50.
Finishing Ferche Mouldings
Ferche hears from Prefinishing companies that the surface finish on our products is one of the best in the industry. It gives them a good "canvas" on which to apply their finishes. Ferche doesn't sand their mouldings. That great finish is what we get right from the moulders!
Generally a prefinisher will have a sanding wheel or two in-line with the finishing system that they run. The fine sanding which occurs doesn't change the moulding shape but merely "softens" the surface left from the cutting action of the knives, providing a surface which accepts finishes more uniformly.
Different species of wood take stains and finishes in varying ways. Some wood like soft and hard maple, pine, some mahogany and brazilian cherry, to name a few, absorb stain in an inconsistent manner causing blotchiness or streaking. Using a conditioner before staining will help the wood appear more consistent in color and stain absorption. Follow the instructions listed on the stain and/or finish container for best results.
Sanding is the key to a quality finish, so don't skip the sanding! Read more about our sanding policy here.
How do I decide what mouldings to choose?
Viewing homes during a Parade of Homes, looking at photographs in magazines, on the web and in the Ferche Literature are all great ways to see how others have used mouldings in various ways and can help you refine your thoughts about what you like or dislike.
The size of the space in which you are installing the trim can dictate the general size of the mouldings used. A house with eight foot ceilings would look fine with casing from 2 1/4" to 3" in width and base from 2 3/4" to 4 1/4". Crown and chairrail could be used as an accent in one room or more. Nine foot ceilings would see larger mouldings. Casing might range from 3" to 4" in width, possibly with a back band, and base being 4" to 6" tall. Crowns will be larger, ranging from 4 1/4" to 5 1/2" in width, or, building up the height of the crown assembly by using a 3" to 5" base beneath the crown. Incorporating other features such as transom windows or toppers above doors and windows can add distinctive styling to these areas (see Photo Gallery/Windows and Doors). Larger homes or taller ceilings allow designers and homeowners to really express their creativity with mouldings and details that can add rich dimension to a home's interior. (see Photo Gallery)
Searching our website's Products By Series section is a great way to find a collection that is cohesive, architecturally sound, and in a style to match yours!
We manufacture mouldings in any species of wood you can imagine. The most common being red oak, hard maple, poplar, cherry, soft maple and birch. The decision on type of wood becomes one of personal preference, budget and style you are trying to create. Again, the best way to determine what you want is to see as many examples of mouldings as you can. We hope this site will help you in that decision. Check out our wood species guide for more info.
More information on wood and moisture
More information on wood and moisture from Lignomat. Click on the link below:
Mouldings - Stained or Painted?
You've heard the expression "the warmth of wood". A room with wood floors, paneled walls, crown, tall base and wide casing all add to that feeling a room has which makes you want to spend time in it. The many species and variety of patterns Ferche offers gives a homeowner countless options for designing a house moulding package that will give them the home of their dreams. And for those who must have painted trim, Ferche's fine finish is available in poplar, birch or maple.
Water and Wood Don't Mix
Add moisture to wood and it expands. Decrease moisture in wood and it will shrink. Wood expands and contracts most across the face or width of a board, less in the thickness, and minimally in the length. These simple properties of wood need to be considered in the storage, use and handling of mouldings.
Special care is taken to produce mouldings with a moisture content of 6 – 8 percent. The reason for that moisture percentage is that at 70 degrees and a humidity of 25 – 30 percent (an average between summer and winter temps and humidity), wood will naturally reach an equilibrium moisture content of 6 – 8 percent. Place wood in an environment that is more humid than this and it will expand. If later it is subjected to drier conditions, it will shrink. This dimensional change can be problematic if you fit parts together while they are expanded and later, in drier conditions, the fit is no longer acceptable.
You may have seen miter joints in casing that have a space between the two joined ends. If it had been properly fit during installation, it means the moulding had too high a moisture content when installed. This could have been the result of the lumber being too wet when the mouldings were manufactured (couldn't be a Ferche moulding), or, the moulding may have taken on moisture after being made. In new construction, a home's interior is very humid due to the concrete, lumber and drywall all drying out. If unfinished mouldings are stored in the home during a high humidity period for an extended period (say 2 weeks) they will take on moisture. The worst scenario in new construction might be if mouldings were stored on a freshly poured concrete floor. The mouldings will pick up moisture and expand. During the heating season, the mouldings will dry and shrink noticeably.
Putting a sealer or varnish on mouldings will reduce the amount of moisture the wood will absorb. Sealing the wood on one side only though will still allow moisture absorption on the unfinished side, which in turn, will cause the unfinished side of the board to expand, forcing the board to cup. The lesson is to seal both sides of the wood.
When do I start planning for mouldings in my house
Before you dig the foundation! As you start gathering information on floor plans, exterior design, and interior elevations, think about the moulding styles and the desired size or proportions that the mouldings will have. If you decide on a wide casing or a tall base (larger than what might be considered standard trim), there are considerations that may need to be given to wall structures, hall widths, distance back from doors to adjacent walls or possibly even ceiling heights that will affect how the house is designed and built.
For example: Let's say you decided to use casing F130 in red oak which is 3 ½" wide. You chose this pattern because you want your mouldings to have a heavier look that imparts richness and warmth to a homes interior. If the framers didn't know you were planning to use a wider casing they may not leave enough room around a door or cased opening where the wall intersects another wall. An extra framing member needs to be added to the framed opening to give enough space for the wider casing.
Or, let's say you want to install a "Topper" (a frieze board with an attached crown that rests above the doors) on the main floor. The crown's projection and its return to the wall will necessitate leaving additional space on the side of the door for the crown to return to the wall. This will amount to an extra 2" to 3" more on each side of the door. If that door is at the end of a hall, the hall will need to be 6" wider to accommodate the topper. This same consideration needs to be given for any opening which comes close to an intersecting wall.
A customer decides he wants an impressive built-up ribbon of crowns and other mouldings at the ceiling line. He also wants the toppers previously described over a transom window in the living room. The ceiling is 9 feet. There isn't enough height to do what the owner had envisioned.
The owner decides after the house has been drywalled that a "heavier moulding package would be nice and decides to put in an 11" mopboard-style base and wide casing. The air handling grills are 7" above the floor. It's either time to tear into the drywall in order to move the grills or abandon the desire for a mopboard base.
The point is to bring the moulding decisions into the early planning stages of a project to be sure that installation goes smoothly and with the desired products.
Why Choose Ferche?
One of the biggest reasons to choose Ferche you may not even see – how the lumber is dried. If the boards used for mouldings aren't properly dried, the mouldings won't be as stable and may cup and change shape after being manufactured. Properly dried lumber machines to a smoother finish and results in a better surface for finishing. Also, lumber which is dried too much can lead to casehardening causing the mouldings to become brittle and more susceptible to cracking when being nailed. We have the capacity to dry over 1,000,000 board feet of lumber at a time, giving us the control over the drying schedule of the boards we use to ensure the moisture content is correct and the boards have had the proper conditioning to make the best mouldings.
We have several types of Weinig moulders, each designed for a specific type of production run. This gives you mouldings which have been manufactured efficiently and accurately. Our moulder operators have an average of 20 years experience at their craft. They are very good at what they do! They maintain the tolerances on the mouldings to ensure consistent results and mouldings that match from one run to the next.
Last year we manufactured 13,000 different products in over 90 different species. That's variety! We produce solid mouldings, flat veneered products such as skirtboards and door jambs, and, wrapped veneered jambs. Whatever your moulding needs, we can accommodate. From custom to commodity, we do it all, and, with the same high level of quality on every piece.
We can respond quickly to your order. Most items that we manufacture have a two week lead time. Many items can be shipped immediately from our extensive inventory.
We have been pleasing customers for nearly 60 years. We sell our products from coast to coast as well as internationally. We produce the highest quality products, offer outstanding service and stand behind everything we sell. We worked very hard to earn the reputation as being the standard by which other moulding programs are measured. We continue to invest in equipment, people and new technologies to ensure the continued satisfaction of our existing and new customers.