Below are some [ FAQ ] frequently asked questions about [ chatsubu ] or "shou sugi ban".
Whats is [ chatsubu ]?
[ CHATSUBU ] which means char grain, is our trademarked method of making shou sugi ban. We remain true to the timeless preservation method the Japanese have done for centuries, with the advantage of modern technology. Chatsubu is a superior wood product crafted with delicate precision and has literally stood the test of time.
How is [ chatsubu ] “Shou Sugi Ban” made?
We remain true to the timeless preservation by using modern technology. Shou Sugi Ban is traditionally done by burning the surface of the wood with a flame or torch. We have engineered a machine to make our product in mass production. The charr layer is called alligator skin or you can brush and scrape the char, leaving a beautiful textured surface to be finished in multiple finishes.
What types of wood are used to make [ chatsubu ], “Shou Sugi Ban”
Traditional shou sugi ban is done by using Japanese Cypress or “sugi”. We also offer some other wood materials. You can read our wood tech specs HERE.
Thermally Modified doug fir
Thermally Modified Pine
Download our wood species pdf below.
What are some of the benefits to using [ chatsubu ] “Shou Sugi Ban”
Chatsubu offers many benefits:
Strengthens the wood
Rot and Mold resistant
Unique and aesthetically beautiful.
Is [ chatsubu ] “Shou Sugi Ban” environmentally friendly?
Yes. Chatsubu is environmentally friendly because it in most cases does not use chemicals or other harmful finishes. Chatsubu is a natural process by burning or charring the wood to enhance the properties of the wood materials.
How long does [ chatsubu ] “Shou Sugi Ban” last?
With proper installation by a professional or by doing your own due diligence, along with proper maintenance, chatsubu will last for several decades. The exact lifespan of chatsubu will vary depending on quality of wood, climate and weather that is is exposed to, and also maintenance schedule.
The char or burn process creates a protective layer on the surface, which helps with the lifespan of the wood. Chatsubu is resistant to moisture, which naturally benefits the durability of the materials over time.
To ensure the long-lasting benefits of chatsubu, it is very important to follow our recommended maintenance timeframes. By properly caring for chatsubu, it will maintain its natural appearance for many years.
Download our Warranty or Installation PDF below for more info.
Does [ chatsubu ] “Shou Sugi Ban” require special maintenance?
Depending upon the finish you choose, yes and no. The maintenance on any finishes is very minimal. You may want to clean the surface once and awhile depending upon area you live and re-finishing is recommended to preserve the color/finish tone with certain finishes. The burned or charred alligator skin is naturally resistant to weathering and will take decades to even start to patina.
Refer to our TECH SPECS for more info or refer to downloads above.
Can [ chatsubu ] “Shou Sugi Ban” be used for interior applications?
Yes, our product works both interior and exterior, we use different finishes for both so depending on your desired application, talk to a sales rep and explain your project in detail for the proper finish to be applied. We have done many projects from wall paneling, cabinets and furniture.
Can [ chatsubu ] “Shou Sugi Ban” be painted, stained or primed?
We would recommend to not paint or prime the materials as it will hide the beautiful textured surface and character of the wood. But if desired, yes you can. Different staines will actually make the characteristics of the wood show even more and we have a large variety of finishes and colors to choose from. We even offer custom colors depending upon your desire.
Download our recommended finishes below.
Can you recommend a professional for installation of [ Chatsubu ] “Shou Sugi Ban”
Yes, we actually have a list of certified installers we have worked with over the years. We recommend this to make sure your install is done properly for warranty, but there are plenty of very good contractors that are fully capable of install by going off our basic install recommendations.
Visit our TECH SPEC page to read more about our recommended installations.