Oak Performance Consultancy
Whippletree are often asked to help with establishing the best ways of making our English Oak perform to its optimum ability. This often covers looking at existing and final site conditions, levels of expected movement, and practical ways of allowing for movement within the situation or environs.
Project: Winchester Cathedral South Transept renovation
Challenge: With massively thick stone walls without damp-proofing and a generally cool environment, the question was at what moisture content should the English Oak flooring be and how can movement be allowed for across large areas of unsealed flooring.
Whippletree's part: We were introduced to Nick Cox Architects through the contractor Owlsworth IJP. Together and with the help of the Cathedrals building team, we looked at 12 months of environment data, this lead to coming up with the optimum Moisture content for the 240mm and 290mm wide solid English Oak boards, but also that there could be a potential movement from season to season of between 1.2mm and 1.45mm that needed to be allowed for.
With this established, we then produced two test samples with the correct widths, moisture content and fixings. These were left within the Cathedral throughout the initial stages of the renovation. We monitored the samples on a regular basis checking for any changes in moisture content, board width, and any cupping.
The test samples performed very well, the Oak flooring was dried accordingly and laid. After many months we returned to check the floors and the wide boards were all very flat with no signs of movement.
Test Samples ready for delivery to site for monitoring.
Test sample on site with monitoring details written on the Wide Oak boards
Test sample on site showing the still flat Wide Oak boards.
Months after completion a site survey showing no change in board width.
Bespoke Sample panel service
Whippletree offer a bespoke and finished sample service to help specifiers with larger projects
A pair of finished sample boards the left is wide character English Oak, the right is matching herringbone blocks both with an Osmo Stained hardwax oil finish.
*Please note that full bespoke sample panels are charged for with a redemption of the cost once the project proceeds with an order to Whippletree.