A simple guide to hollowed oak beams

Hollowed Oak Beams

Think there is only one way to have oak beams in your home? Think again. Hollowed oak beams are a practical and visually fantastic option for any renovation or building project.

Whether you are looking to cover steel beams or want a lighter option, hollowed beams could be the answer you are looking for.

In this blog we answer your questions to help you find the perfect oak beam for your home.

What can you use hollowed oak beams for?

Hollowed oak beams have two main uses.

The first is covering steel, brickwork or pipework to create the same visual impact as a solid oak beam.

They are ideal for hiding away unsightly structural steel beams, particularly if you are looking for an historic or rustic aesthetic.

Beams can also be hollowed to make them lighter.

Hollowing for weight puts less strain on the wall, ceiling or fixing used.

For example, fireplace beams can be hollowed out to reduce weight when being mounted to a lighter internal wall.

One of the most common reasons for reducing the weight of a beam is installation.

Instead of having a 5m long 250mm x 250mm beam in the ceiling acting as a fake joist, the same beam can be hollowed to save on weight bearing from the ceiling.

A solid beam of that size would be approximately 240kg, a hollowed version can be as light as 120kg.

hollowed oak beams

What types of hollowed beam are there?

Hollowed oak beams fall into two main categories – L and U-shaped.

L-shaped beams give the appearance of a solid beam.

They can be used for anything which is visible from two adjoining sides such as a door reveal, window reveal, door head or window sill.

U-shaped beams are mainly used to conceal something which is visible on three sides. For example, a steel lintel in a ceiling, a concrete post or pillar.

Tradoak can offer advice on the best way to give your project the look of an authentic structural beam.

A less common beam is a hollowed beam with a top cap.

This can be used on a porch or post which needs to be covered and is visible on all four sides.

To create this type of beam, we cut the top face off, hollow out the centre and then attach a top to the U section.

Hollowed beams can be created using either air-dried or reclaimed oak.

What do I need to do if I want to order a hollowed oak beam?

When a beam is being used to clad something you need to measure the item being covered.

This allows your supplier to work out the optimum size beam to use. It is important to ensure there is space within the beam to cover the items required.

hollowed oak beams

How do you make a hollowed beam?

Once you have provided measurements, Tradoak will create a three-dimensional picture showing what the beam will look like.

If you are happy with the image and measurements you sign it off and we get to work.

To create the correct depth, lines are cut length ways into the beam using a chainsaw.

Horizontal lines are then cut to produce multiple blocks which are knocked out.

The inside of your beam is smoothed and regularised to ensure a consistent depth and width throughout the length of the beam.

A choice of finishes is also available for the outside of your beam to ensure it blends seamlessly into your overall home design.

How do I find out more?

Tradoak has a huge stock of reclaimed and air-dried oak beams available for delivery throughout the UK.

Visit our reclaimed and air-dried oak beam pages to find out more about both these fantastic materials.

To get in touch with us visit our Contact Us page or call 01825 723648.

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