The installation of wooden items starts with the receipt of the goods and the need for care and protection. Key points:
- Handle with care – caution with sharp edges and avoid knocking/bruising.
- Check on delivery – all ok? Correct quantity and all, expected, parts included?
- Remove coverings – if wood is covered with plastic sheeting and this is left on, it will sweat and the wood will ruin.
- Storage – consider exposure to the elements and moisture. Apply protecting coating, if relevant.
- Allow wood to acclimatize to its final environment. E.g. internally flooring to placed in the room or space where it will be installed for a few days/weeks to allow the wood to adjust to the temperature and moisture levels. Wood will expand and contract as it takes on water or dries out.
Fitting and installing wood products
It is recommended that you employ a professional carpenter or joiner to carry out the installation of any timber products. You can of course, have a go yourself, DIY is a growing hobby, pastime or, sometimes, necessity. If you are going to try to install wooden items and woodwork products to your home or a building – we have some simple tips and things to consider.
What fixings should I use for wooden products in construction?
The method of installation will be determined by product type and what it is being fixed to. Careful consideration as to the type and number of fixings is also needed. As a general rule; use non-ferrous metals or stainless steel for external timbers. Some timbers do react with metals leaving stains – our wood database has more notes on the specific materials and will identify, potential, conflicts. For internal products you may wish to use ferrous metals or adhesives. But the internal environment still needs to be considered- an area of high humidity may cause similar problems to that of external exposure.
Fixing through timber to cover screw heads or nails
To reduce the visual impact of a fixing we recommend the use of a timber pellet (in the same species as the timber being fixed) these can be extracted from an off cut of the timber using a specific pellet cutter with a corresponding drill bit to form the hole (for the fixing). Better still; secret fixings could be used either with clips/brackets or fixed through faces that are not ultimately seen.
There are also, many, suitable adhesives but caution is needed when using this method; if there is movement and the timber is adhered to a surface, splitting can occur.
Fixing of wooden cladding, panelling, flooring or decking boards
When fixing cladding, decking or flooring (or any timber boarding that is covering a large surface area) it is important to introduce expansion gaps. This will depend on exposure and moisture content. It is also important to allow the boards to move in these situations. As the timber takes on moisture it will expand forcing against adjacent boards if gaps are insufficient. By the same affect; if boards are already very wet and then exposed to dry, hot conditions they will shrink - increasing the gaps between the boards.
Linear Boards - For wide boards being fixed to a wall or flat substrate – consider the use of more than one fixing across the board width to reduce ‘cupping’. The number of fixings along the run of timber can vary but 400-600mm (1-1/2 to 2-ft) centres is a common spacing.
There are many factors to consider when fixing and installing wood or wooden things to or in a building and every application will have a specific, correct, method. This includes but is not limited to:
Moisture of the wood and its subsequent exposure to changing conditions (direct water, temperature , humidity, sunlight, heating and more..)
The substrate – what you are fixing to.
The end usage – will it be subject to applied forces (weight, wind, torsion, bending) or traffic. Will you need to consider the surface for protection, non-slip or other exposure.
The finishing – how the wood needs to look/feel may determine your fixing methods.
Maintenance and ease of access – you might need to consider the timber being removed in tiem for either the maintenance of the wooden item, something that it is covering or other components of the wooden item (moving parts or fittings).
How to best maintain and look after Wood
Most timber products are designed and engineered to meet the requirements and expectations of modern living and construction, curtaining all of ours are. Any product - whether it is a boiler, washing machine, car, window, and door (of any material) – will need some form of maintenance in order to ensure a long service life. Failure to keep to a planned maintenance schedule may, at best, ruin the products appearance and, at worst, lead to the early deterioration of the components or a short life in service.
Solid timber products are relatively easy to look after – but they still need care. This will depend on their intended use and location (exposure to the elements). You may have already made your timber species selection and you will have an intended use for a product. You may also have decided how to install (see above), you now need to plan maintenance/monitoring schedule and the following needs to be considered to help determine this.
The timber species and the location of a wood product determines the maintenance type and frequency – it is external? Is in a south facing position? Is it exposed to sunlight? Is it in a room with high humidity?If the answer is yes to any of these questions the chances are your maintenance should be fairly regular.
The type and level of maintenance required will depend on the item’s location and exposure to the weather. An external wooden item in a south facing position in a coastal area, for example, will deteriorate far quicker than one that is north facing and sheltered from the wind and rain.
It is important to remember that regular, minimal maintenance will make re-decorating a far easier job.
Mould and algae on external wood
All external items can suffer from mould and algae caused by airborne spores, which settle on the surface (which is why exterior plastic products go green and then grey over time).
To remove mould and algae, wash with a solution of one part bleach to two parts water and leave for 20 minutes to work. Then rinse. If the blemish is stubborn, scrub with a stiff nylon bristle (non-metallic) brush. Avoid wire wool and steel fibrous brushes or tools when cleaning wood as this can lead to rust marks from the residual fibres, over time.
Cleaning and washing - Wash external, decorated products with hot water and liquid detergent every 6 months. Rinse with clean water. During this process it is advisable to inspect for defects and act if necessary.
What to do when you find damage, breaks or flaking of protecting coatings of wood products, such as doors, windows and cladding - If any part of the items coating system is damaged to the point of showing bare timber you should consult the coating manufacturer’s guidelines, determine the appropriate coating material to use and apply their practical instructions on how to maintain/reinstate the coating.
Tips, Advice and further information about wood and wood care.
We recommend that you spend time to explore our website and use our links to make an informed choice in a timber product and species. Choosing the wrong wood or product for your intended use can lead to on-going, costly problems. We have designed this site to help you through this process and we hope you will find some useful information. We are confident that you will find a product that suits your requirements. If you have any queries, or, in the unlikely event that you cannot find what you need, please do not hesitate to contact us email@example.com