Luxbaum is a manufacturer of extremely high-end, luxury, solid-wood, windows and doors. Luxbaum differentiates itself from other manufacturers with its selection of materials used in fabrication, the methods and techniques used in construction, and the level of service it supplies throughout the process of custom production from conception to fruition.
The story of the company starts with a trip by its owner Laszlo Wagner to Bali, Indonesia. Laszlo was an accomplished home-builder servicing primarily The Palm Beaches in Florida. He was sent by a client to visit Bali for ideas and inspiration when he made the discovery that would change the course of his life. Invited for dinner by a supplier to his house, Laszlo and he dined in the supplier’s back yard at a large wooden table maybe 6 inches thick and 4 feet wide and 15 feet long carved out of a single piece of wood. Laszlo noticed that there was no checking, or ticking or warping in this monolith of work. Inquiring as to its age the supplier said he had planted it in the backyard as part of a celebration for the birth of his son. The boy was now 23 years old. The table had been exposed to the tropical elements for the same period of time. Laszlo convinced his host to take a sample from the leg of the table to have it analyzed. It was discovered to be Merbau, a tropical hardwood with extraordinary properties and the rest, as they say, is history.
Laszlo had become increasingly aware that the high-end wood window market was moving away from Honduran Mahgoany (which was becoming less and less available and increasingly expensive due to the lack of planning for sustainability in Central America) and towards African “Mahogany.” African “Mahogany” is mahogany in name only and not the same species of wood. The African trees are typically plantation grown in sandy soil and lack the characteristics of a tropical hardwood grown in the rainforest with denser clay soil and a variety of ground-cover which nutrients the roots of the tree absorb making them denser and stronger. Merbau became not only an excellent solution, but in fact a superior product.
Merbau is nearly twice the strength of Honduran Mahogany and is thus more durable. Merbau is more termite-resistant than Honduran Mahogany. Merbau is more water-resistant than Teak. Merbau is used extensively in Australia as it is a flame-retardant wood and they have brushfire codes that must be considered.
In terms of finding a species of wood to make solid windows and doors from…Merbau was a remarkable discovery and an unsurpassed choice.
Luxbaum has an advantage over its competitors in that it owns and operates a factory in Bali, Indonesia. The Indonesian government protects its resources as well as its labor force by not allowing Merbau to be shipped as a raw material. It must be fabricated in some way before it can leave the country. Luxbaum’s factory employs over 100 carpenters who have handed down the trade from generation to generation of how to work this fine species of wood.
Merbau’s strength allows for great flexibility when designing custom windows and doors. The best evidence of this is the tremendous sizes that Luxbaum has been able to achieve in designing and building wood windows and doors. In Florida, everything has to pass Hurricane Testing where building products are put through a series of rigorous tests designed to mimic intense storm-like conditions. As such, windows and doors are hard to make in very large sizes because they often “fail” the tests that include firing 2×4 lumber at them at over 100 mph.
Luxbaum proudly has the largest sized units in every category of window and door that it manufactures. Every single category…
What that means is that there may be a competitor who can build a door as large as Luxbaum, but then fall short when trying to match the size of a casement window. What it also means is that there is no single door or window size that Luxbaum cannot achieve with a Florida Product Approval of passing testing.
Luxbaum seeks to be the best in everything we do and the construction and fabrication of the units are illustrative of that. Anytime two pieces of wood are put together in the process of fabrication, they joined with a process known as coping and doweling. This process has been deemed to create the strongest possible joint by the German Institute of Fenestration. Coping is a process of profiling the wood to create a greater surface area, doweling refers to the minimum of 3 and up to 15 dowel rods that are placed in the joint to give it strength and structure. A differentiation between Luxbaum and many of its competitors is that Luxbaum uses this method every single time wood meets wood. Competitors will sometimes use this method, sometimes use an inferior method known as mortise and tennon, sometimes use mechanical fasteners (like screws, which have a tendency to shift and “back-out”) or any combination of these inferior methods…sometimes in the same window or door! Luxbaum’s method represents the reference standard and creates a quality and consistency of construction that allows for a stronger, more durable, window or door that will stand the test of time. Customers won’t have to wonder in five years why their doors are not opening and closing properly…it all goes back to the joinery.
Luxbaum pre-finishes all of their products in the factory. Trying to finish or paint products in the field during construction at a construction site allows for a host of problems. Trying to complete that process on a water-front home with the sea air and salt spray makes it even more difficult to do well, if not impossible. Luxbaum uses Sikkens finishes and asked Sikkens to develop a proprietary product specifically for Merbau. Luxbaum uses a 5 coat process as opposed to many of its competitors who do finish with a 3 coat process. UV degradation of wood finishes is a concern when using a wood product and Luxbaum plans accordingly. In a south facing elevation of a home, one can expect to lose 10-15 microns of finish each year, simply due to the sun’s UV rays. 1000 microns = 1 millimeter. Luxbaum’s 5 coats of finish = 240 microns. Luxbaum’s competitor’s 3 coats of finish = 140 microns. If a unit is losing 10-15 a year…you can do the math and conclude whichone is preferable…more coats of finish or less? Because Luxbaum has the carpenters to do it, we hand-sand each unit between each coat of finish. No one…I mean no one can afford to do this and it is another touch that separates Luxbaum from its competitors.
Luxbaum uses a true multipoint locking system in its doors, casement windows and folding door systems. The design of the sash and its dual gasket system assure that no hardware components are exposed to the weather. The location of the primary gasket at the outside edge of the sash seals the airspace between the sash and the jamb, thereby protecting all other hardware components from corrosion.Gaskets are uninterrupted and continuous…interruptions in gaskets mean leaks of air and water which windows and doors should be designed to keep out.
Luxbaum’s double-hung and single-hung windows utilize a true weight, chain and pulley system, harkening back to the original design of the elegant North American creation.
Luxbaum’s lift and slide system uses twice the operating track hardware allowing for 1000 lb panels to glide easily with the simple push of a finger or two.
Glazing (or putting the glass into a unit) is a pretty important part of the process when making a window or door. Luxbaum completes all of its glazing in West Palm Beach at it’s headquarters. We use a method called wet-glazing and we wet-glaze on all three profiles of a piece of glass (front face, back face and edge) which completely encapsulates the glass into the wood geometry. Many competitors will wet glaze on the front face profile and use trim and finishing nails on the back face. Triple wet glazing is more difficult and more costly, however it performs unbelievably and that’s why we do it. Luxbaum will never be known for trying to cut corners to increase profit; we want to do everything in the best possible way.
Luxbaum uses SGP glass when installing impact resistant products vs. PVB glass. SGP glass is more expensive but it is hydrophobic…meaning it repels water. The PVB interlaminate is hydrophilic, meaning it attracts water. If water were to ever get to the interlaminate…which sometimes it does, an occurrence of clouding appears around the edges of the glass. A complete failure of the glass sometimes is next and is called de-lamination. De-lamination requires the entire glass assembly to be removed and replaced. Luxbaum again spends more money in its standard offering where competitors either cannot offer SGP, or when they do charge a premium.
Luxbaum units arrive at the job site in their own individual crates. Many competitors units will arrive on a truck stacked one against another…not the best solution for a fine piece of wood “furniture.” Any peripheral components like brickmold, casings or jamb extensions fabricated for each unit will be included in each individual crate. Finally a shop drawing of each unit is included in each crate so there is no guesswork in the field as to which unit goes where. Another touch that separates Luxbaum…
Luxbaum attempts to engineer quality control into their units, thereby mitigating some of the mistakes that can occur during installation. All units are pre-drilled for fasteners and then finish is applied to the drilled penetrations. At all costs we want to avoid penetration of the beautiful surface and finish of our products. Channels are cut (at the architects discretion) into the interior side of the jamb so they can accept trim, casing or jamb extensions…again, eliminating any guesswork in the field…it’s all been engineered. Brick mold is handled in the same fashion and pops into place with biscuit joints. Finally, we engineer a small piece of trim to cover the fasteners so when one opens a casement window, all they see is the beautiful wood in the frame…no steel screws…which is what you would expect from a fine piece of furniture.
Only Luxbaum uses Merbau, and because of that, only Luxbaum can make the largest windows and doors on the market with the slimmest profiles with Hurricane testing approvals. Luxbaum’s craftsmanship is unparalleled and its service is unmatched.
Luxbaum builds the finest wood windows and doors in the world…
And we would love to build yours.