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clovelly fireplace beam with stoves

Beams

What is a beam?

In early houses a beam in a fireplace was typically a large piece of oak timber used as a lintel to support the chimney breast. These might be a huge rustic oak beam to span a large inglenook, or a more modest pitch pine beam in a cottage. The beam was quite often both a support and protruded beyond the chimney breast by six inches or so to make a useful mantel. Nowadays these structural supports tend to be exposed to make pleasant architectural features in many homes from country cottage to converted loft apartments.

When is a beam not a beam?

In later houses, wooden beams were replaced either with the construction of a brick arch above the chamber of the chimney breast or with a metal beam or concrete lintel. So, the beam was only used for decorative effect as mantle or shelf. The wooden beam was only surface mounted on the front of a chimney breast and had no structural use. These were in many shapes and sizes and came as oak beams and pine beams or even old railway sleepers.

Is it safe to have a wooden beam?

We come across many old wooden beams that are charred and burnt and clearly not safe with an open fire or log burner. They do not comply with the stringent fire safety regulations and can become a major fire risk in your house.  There are amazing wooden effect beams that are hand crafted in fire resistant materials and look so realistic.

Can you beam me up?

We can design, supply and fit your fireplace with a real wood effect non-flammable beam (seeing is believing) so you will never have to worry about protecting your family from fire. Nor will they twist or distort from the heat like a wooden beam. This will still look like an old cottage beam and be a great place for ornaments and birthday cards. We have several different sizes, finishes and styles from very rustic to precise sawn and colours from dark to light oak. Many of the styles are named after towns and villages in north Devon including the Bideford Beam, Berrynarbor beam, Clovelly beam, Hartland Beam, The Exmoor and The Dartmoor from the Inglebeam collection. Fire resistant beams all manufactured in the UK by local craftsmen.

Why not ask one of our experienced team to help match the right beam for your Wood Burner or Gas Stove.

We supply Newman beams so to see more from their range have a look here.

 

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