Oak Beams - The Blean
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Oak Beams

When it comes to choosing the right oak beams for your home, it’s important to know how to spot the difference between Air dried oak and Kiln dried oak. In this article, we’ll explain how to distinguish between the two types and what each one offers for the DIYer. Kiln dried oak is the preferred choice for home construction projects, as it is a more sustainable option than green, reclaimed, and air dried oak.

oak beams

Air dried oak beams

When looking for quality oak beams, air dried is the way to go. The term air dried oak refers to seasoned oak beams that have been exposed to the elements for a long period of time. Because of this, the internal moisture level is in equilibrium with the humidity levels outside. This means that it won’t warp, crack, or swell due to outdoor humidity fluctuations. While air dried oak beams are the best option for external features, kiln dried oak is the best choice for interior uses. Green oak is typically used for structural oak beams or large timber that needs to be kiln-dried.

Green oak is often used for structural purposes and is easier to work with. This type of oak has a relatively high moisture content, which makes it easy to cut and join. It also tends to be cheaper than air dried oak because of its lower cost. However, you should note that green oak has a tendency to blunt, so it’s important to select kiln-dried beams whenever possible. If you’re buying oak beams for a new building, you’ll want to find out how long air-dried oak is stored and how quickly it dries.

Kiln dried oak beams

What are Kiln Dried Oak Beams? Despite the name, this type of oak does not actually exist. Kiln dried oak beams are thinly sawn timbers that are typically one to three inches thick. These beams are generally used in furniture manufacturing. However, if you want to get a true kiln dried oak beam, there are some factors to consider. These considerations should help you choose the right type of oak beams for your project.

While green oak is ideal for construction projects, it is prone to movement. This is because green oak has a higher moisture content than air and kiln-dried oak. The low moisture content of kiln-dried oak makes it less likely to move, improving the integrity and character of your building. If you are going for a clean, modern look, kiln-dried oak is the way to go.

Reclaimed oak beams

Reclaimed oak beams are lengths of solid wood that have been removed from a building and reused for a variety of purposes. This type of oak is exceptionally stable and has minimal movement. The natural patina of the oak adds unique character to your home. You can even choose to use reclaimed oak beams for flooring in your home. In addition to their natural beauty, reclaimed oak beams also look fantastic in the home.

The look of salvaged wood beams is perfect for rustic and mountain lodge spaces, but they can also work well in contemporary spaces. While many contemporary designers are drawn to simple, sleek lines, reclaimed timber beams provide visual framework in otherwise minimalist spaces. And if you’re looking for strength, you can use reclaimed barn wood beams as the load-bearing portion of your structure. The benefits of using reclaimed timber beams for architecture are unmatched.

Green oak beams

When buying timber, consider green oak beams. The term green oak refers to wood that has recently been felled. This timber has the same moisture content as wood that is growing, making it easier to work and cut into more intricate shapes. As it dries, it begins to change colour and develop small cracks. Most oak framed buildings in the UK are made from green oak, which is suitable for both large and small beams.

Freshly cut oak has a water content of sixty to eighty percent. Once fell, this tree stops taking in water from the surrounding environment. This water content is highest in the sapwood, which experiences the most shrinkage and water loss. Because timber always shrinks tangentially around the log’s heart, this is where the most shrinkage occurs. It also develops drying fissures that cause splits to appear along the length of the log. Different ways to compensate for this shrinkage affect the structure of beams.