Exploring the History and Importance of Wooden Moulding and Beading in UK Architecture
Wooden mouldings and beading, in particular, are essential elements in many historical buildings throughout the UK, often found in door frames, staircases, and windows. However, sourcing authentic and unique-to-the-building profiles can be difficult and restoring them to their original condition can be even more challenging. In this blog, we will delve into the rich history of wooden moulding and beading in the UK, examine the challenges of sourcing and restoring them, and provide information on custom and replica options available.
Beads have multiple uses. Wooden beading is used for glazing, trims, panels and much more. Buy custom and made to measure beading online.
A Brief History of Wooden Moulding and Beading in the UK
Wooden mouldings and beading have been used in the UK since the Middle Ages, with many examples still visible today in the form of wainscoting, door frames, and window frames. The Victorian era saw a significant increase in the use of wooden mouldings, with many architects and designers incorporating them into their designs. These mouldings were often custom-made to fit the specific shape and size of the building or room they were used in, and were crafted from various woods such as oak, pine, beech, ash and, historically, although less so now, mahogany and other tropical hardwoods.
Understanding Beading Types
Beading is a type of wooden moulding used to finish off the edges of doors, windows, and other structures. It has a long history in the UK building industry and is a popular choice for restoring historic buildings. There are many types of beading available, each with its own unique characteristics.
Some popular options include:
Timber beading is a popular choice for window frames due to its strength and versatility. It can also be used to create decorative mouldings for door frames, as it is easily cut and shaped to the desired size. Used in glazing of wooden windows to hold the glass against the frames or rebates of the window structure.
Door beading is a decorative moulding used around the edges of a door frame. It comes in a range of sizes and styles, allowing you to choose the option that best suits your needs.
Wooden beading is a popular choice for home renovations, as it adds a touch of elegance and character to any space. Wooden beading can be used as a cover fillet or trim.
Choosing the Right Wood Species for Restoration Projects
When restoring a historic building, it's essential to choose the right wood species for beading to retain the character and charm of the building while providing added protection. Some popular options include:
Oak beading is a popular choice for restoration projects due to its rich, warm tones and its durability and resistance to rot and decay. In the UK, Oak, has been a popular choice for wooden mouldings and beading for centuries.
Teak Wood Beading
Teak wood beading was another popular choice for its elegant finish and versatility for both indoor and outdoor use, it less frequently used now due to the environmental restrictions imposed on the use of Teak. Iroko is often used as a teak alternative and although durable and more readily available it is no real comparison to teak. Some consider teak to the be the ultimate wood due to its workability, durability and beautiful appearance.
Walnut beading has a deep chocolate brown colour that adds a touch of sophistication to any project. Walnut beads tend to be used for more decorative applications rather than for practical use. This is due to its expense and the fact that it can be knotting and not suitable for long lengths or small section sizes.
Meranti beading is known for its strength and lightweight properties, making it a great choice for restoration projects. Sapele is another, similar option for beading and finishes well.
Pine or softwood (redwood) beading is great and popular choice. This does need to be treated for external use.
Accoya beading is great option. Accoya is a modified timber that possesses amazing durability properties and finishes well. It is dimensionally stable and does not twist or split like other wood species. This makes it perfect for external applications. A word of warning though – you must use non-ferrous fixings with Accoya due to an adverse reaction to ferrous metals. You have been warned!.
Using Wood vs Other Materials for Beading
When it comes to beading, one of the most important decisions you must make is what material to use. Wood is often the go-to option due to its natural beauty, durability, and timeless style. But there are a variety of other materials available, such plastic window beading, stick-on window beading, UPVC window beading strips, UPVC beading strips, glazing beading, glass window beading, and aluminium window beading.
Other materials such as PVC, UPVC, and rubber have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their low maintenance, durability, and affordability. However, it is important to consider that these materials lack the natural beauty, warmth, and character that wood provides.
Additionally, wood can be more easily customized and shaped to match the unique characteristics of the building, making it a better option for restoration projects.
When it comes to beading, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of different materials and choose the one that best suits your needs and the needs of the building. Whether you choose wood or another material, be sure to consider factors such as durability, maintenance, and aesthetics before making your final decision.
Choosing the Right Beading for Your Building
When choosing beading for a building, it is important to consider the age, style, and character of the building. For example, traditional wooden beading is a great option for restoring a Victorian or Georgian-style building. Additionally, it is important to consider the environment in which the building is located. For example, if the building is in a coastal area, it may be beneficial to choose a wood species that is resistant to rot and decay, such as Iroko, Sapele or Accoya.
When restoring a historic building, it is also important to consider the original materials and design of the building. If possible, try to match the original beading as closely as possible in order to retain the character and charm of the building. Often, if a building is listed, it is not a case of try to match the wood species, it is a legal requirement to do so. We have worked on projects where the source and species must be identical to that of the existing wood within the listed building or element being restored.
The Challenges of Sourcing and Restoring Beading
Sourcing and restoring beading can be a challenging task, especially for older or historic buildings. Many older buildings feature unique and custom-made beading that cannot be easily replicated or sourced. In these cases, it may be necessary to have a carpenter or craftsman create a custom replica of the original beading. Another challenge is restoring beading that has been damaged or deteriorated over time. This can involve a lot of time and effort to remove the damaged beading, repair or replace the damaged wood, and then reinstall the beading. It is also important to consider that the cost of restoring beading can be high, especially for larger or more complex projects.
This is where we come in. Our, unique, system allows you to identify and explain the beading you need to match, copy or replicate and we connect you to the best manufacturers, millworkers and moulding suppliers to ensure your beading is made to match.