Wood beams can make your home look cozy and traditional while retaining its contemporary feel. Many homeowners are choosing oak beams to complement their decor and to add architectural depth to an otherwise unused space�” the ceiling. These beams don’t just make your ceilings appear even higher or more vaulted, they can also be used as mantelpieces and wall shelves when you select the right length and width. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous retailers online and offline, which is why you should consider educating yourself on the product you’re buying.
*Is the beam properly air dried?
Many people choose to use these beams above their wood fireplaces or in an environment where the home is centrally heated. It is important to choose oak beams that are completely air dried and are resistant to shrinking, splitting, cracking or warping as they further dry out. How can you tell that a beam has been properly dried out? Usually, these beams will contain existing cracks as the beams have already dried out naturally. If you see a beam that contains virtually no cracks, it probably hasn’t started the drying out process.
*Does the beam contain the characteristics you’re looking for?
Air dried oak beams will have numerous characteristics that make them unique, and this also includes numerous factors that your need to consider while shopping. First and foremost, cracks can be eye-catching, but they can also become unsightly if they are too large or too many in number. The most beautiful characteristic of all beams made from oak are the knots that are present. On average, these knots can and will vary in size and color but should not be larger than 50 mm.
*How are you able to fit your beam?
It’s important to consider how you will fit the beam in your desired location. In most instances, a concealed bracket is the most suitable option for affixing your beam to blocks, wall studs, stone, and brick. Unfortunately, if you have plasterboard, you will need to explore other options that can ensure your beam stays put and doesn’t cause any damage in your home.
*Are you okay with further cracking?
Before you spend money on an oak beam, you need to understand that there’s a possibility of further cracking and drying out as it gets acclimatized to your home. As your beam will adjust to your indoor air temperatures, a few minor cracks may develop. However, make sure you store your beam inside your home for the first two weeks before installation and only increase the temperature of your stove gradually while the beam is still fresh.
It may seem like a great deal of effort to fit wooden beams in your home, but once you understand what to look for and the quality of the material, you can add plenty of flair to your surroundings. Just consider the look you want to achieve, and you’re guaranteed to find the perfect beam!