Oak beams are a brilliant joinery material, however being a living natural product, there are various factors to consider, which we always discuss with our clients.
These chunky air-dried oak mantlepieces were just one of the joinery jobs the team undertook on a new build property in Wittering for local developers Grey Tree Developments. Although slightly challenging to install, the finished fireplace looked lovely – fireplaces are great for adding a touch of architectural vitality to a house, both inside and out.
To kick-start this renovation process, we headed off to our local timber supplier, to collect a sample piece of air-dried oak, unlike kiln-dried timber, air-dried oak holds a decent amount of moisture in the wood, which as a result, once dried in the clients’ house, it will move and open with random cracks, giving it a rustic, raw and natural timber look. After we had cleaned up and got the beams to size in our workshops, we could go to the site and begin the installation.
The bespoke mantelpiece was mounted on steel rods we drilled and fixed onto the walls with chemical resin. The bricklayer on the job also sealed underneath the mantelpieces with mortar to further support the mantelpiece and tie them into the chimney breast.