Morning everybody, my name’s Rob from Thames Valley Windows, and I’m here to talk to you about timber windows and doors.
There’s a couple of things that we need to cover with the timber world at Thames Valley Timber which is the underlying principles. You might call this the design and engineering principles that underpin our range of timber products and there’s a couple of really important things. But first of all, let’s understand what it is that people dislike about timber.
Well, of course, it can get rotten and it needs maintaining and people don’t want to spend their Saturday afternoons up a ladder painting, understandably. What do they like about timber though? Let’s look at the corollary. Well, it’s the original isn’t it, it’s the authentic, it’s the beautiful, it’s the lovely, it’s the organic.
It’s really quintessentially the English door, the English window. Sliding sash windows are absolutely delightful and typify the English town and countryside. If it’s well maintained, longevity is actually a good side of wood windows they can last for over 100 years as any Victorian property owner in London’s terraced streets will tell you.
Colour choices as well, you’re not restricted to a manufacture’s palette. The colour choices of timber are anything that Farrow and Ball make, anything that Teknos make, anything that pretty much any timber paint manufactures makes so you’re not restricted. The ability to self-maintain can be seen as a negative but it’s also a positive because some people, of course, want to paint their wooden windows and doors and of course you can do that with timber.
Now, it does need maintaining, let’s not kid ourselves. The downside of timber is that you have to paint it and you have to look after it or it goes rotten. So, there are a couple of innovations that underpin everything that we do here at Thames Valley and it’s important that you know about them because they do make a difference and there are two big ones, one is the paint.
In the bad old days, everybody used an oil-based paint called gloss and the problem with gloss is it locks the water in the wood. It traps moisture in the wood so it can’t get out and the other thing is the movement of timber in line with its moisture content. In the winter months, when it’s wet and damp, timber swells because it takes moisture on and in the summer months when it’s drier, it loses that moisture and it shrinks a bit and you get various problems associated with that movement of wood.
If you can slow it down or prevent it altogether, the products perform much better over the long term and there are two things we do to help that.
Number one is we engineer the timber, which means we cut it into thinner laths and then glue it back together. It makes it more stable and less likely to change shape with moisture.
Number two, the paint itself. Modern paints are called microporous paints. We use a team called Teknos, but we also use Farrow and Ball, as well and they allow the moisture to move in and out of the timber so it doesn’t push the paint away causing those well-known bubbles that flake, break and then eventually water gets in and starts to rot.
So, with microporous paints and engineered wood, it lasts much longer between maintenance cycles and when you do come to repaint it, after maybe 15 or 20 years, that’s the current expectation in the industry for the length of maintenance for the first paint of a new window or door. It’s just a green pan scourer, little rub down as much as getting the muck off as anything else and a very light clean and then you can paint straight over so it’s a much better technology for a longer-term casement window. OK, and those are the things that underpin Thames Valley’s timber products.
Right, just a quick close up on engineered timber.
Here’s a cutaway of a door. Can you see that this frame member here has been cut into thinner laths and then glued back together and the same with the outer frame?
Then the English panel, a nice raised and fielded panel, which are beautiful, standard, traditional English doors. It’s got a polyfoam core and it’s 54 millimetres thick so it’s a chunky piece of timber, not your average front door. The other thing is that most front doors are 44 millimetres thick, Thames Valley’s timber is 60 millimetres so they’re just more robust.
We also use hardwood in the sills and the lower jambs and that’s because of course the stuff that goes rotten in a window or a door is typically the bit that’s in puddling water. Anything that’s left in water in the timber world has a tendency to rot. So with Thames Valley timber, we don’t just use softwoods at the bottom, we use hardwoods because they’re much more resistant to rot so everything in the lower elements of a door or a window in our world is made of hardwood.
If you are interested in the double glazed timber windows in Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire and the product range we have to offer here at Thames Valley Windows, contact us today to see how we can help enhance the energy efficiency performance, natural beauty and value of your home.
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