Common Misconceptions About Oak Beams

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Here at Traditional Beams we have discovered there’s a few misconceptions about oak beams. These may deter some people from creating their dream fireplace which seems a shame when oak beams provide that rustic charm a fireplace really needs.


Misconception 1:  You can’t use real wood above a wood burning stove.


Some people believe with wood being a combustible material, it's not safe to install one above a heat source. This is a shame when you simply can’t beat the beauty that natural wood provides - with its unique grain and character in every piece! It is perfectly safe to install oak beams above heat sources, so long as you follow building and HETAS regulations. You can read more about this in our blog on ‘How Far above A Wood Burning Stove Can I Install an Oak Beam’.


 Misconception 2: Real Oak Beams will crack and twist


This misconception stems from people using oak beams which are simply not dry enough to use above a stove. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to do plenty of research into the company you buy from to ensure the beams you are buying are well air dried. 

If a beam has too much moisture in it, it will dry out too quickly when above a heat source which causes excessive movement. At Traditional Beams, we are so sure of the quality of our oak beams, we offer a lifetime guarantee. If your beam is to move more than it should, we replace it (providing it has been installed within HETAS regulations)

You can read more on the importance of air dried oak beams here.


Misconception 3: Oak beams and oak sleepers are the same thing.

Some people think they can simply get a sleeper for cheaper to use above their fire. Oak sleepers are for garden timber and are ‘sleeper grade’. With sleeper grade timber there is no limit on knot size and lots of wayne is permitted as well as wood worm. The overall quality of wood is much lower than the structural grade timber we use for fireplace beams.

Companies selling oak sleepers as ‘fireplace beams’ are not going to provide the same quality fireplace beam as we do.   

With our oak beams you can be confident you are buying the best quality possible for you home. 


Misconception 4: Installing an oak beam is difficult

There are many ways in which oak beams can be installed. At Traditional Beams we help make this as easy as possible. All our beam except for the 7.5” x 5.5” come supplied with fixings positioned in one of the larger sides. (If you would like the 7.5” x 5.5” size we also have a guide on how to install this)

Depending on the section size of the beam you choose, we will provide a unique fixing method to suit.  Installing your oak beam is as easy as installing a picture frame on the wall. You can install our beams to a finished wall, so they can be added at any stage.

This makes them incredibly easy to install on your wall and to add some character to your home. 



Ready to create your dream fireplace?  Shop our range of Oak Beams here. 



If you've got questions, wether it's how to install your beam, or choosing the right one, we're happy to help. Get in touch with us.  You can even pop down to our showroom for heaps of inspiration and Ready To Go Products which you can take away the same day.

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