FAQs

FAQs

We have collected the most frequently asked questions about our products and ranges and have answered them in order to give you the quick answer that you’re looking for. 

Can’t find what you need? Please don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable staff at your local Howarth Timber & Building Supplies branch.

Building Materials
Aggregate - GRS Bagging

Q: Are your products sold on colour?
A: Because the materials we offer are natural we cannot guarantee the colour.

Q: Are your materials tested?
A: All information regarding testing can be answered by our sales staff. All relevant documentation can also be provided. 

Q: Are your bulk bags certified?
A: Yes all our bags are certified and we can provide all paper work upon request.

Drainage and Rainwater Management - ACO

Q: Can I buy products direct from ACO?
A: ACO Water Management products are mainly sold through a builders merchant such as Howarth Timber.

Q: How do I find out the dimensions of a product?
A: There are many different ACO systems available. Once selection has been made, please visit the correct product page on the ACO website and download the main brochure.

Product codes, dimensions and installations details are all provided within this literature.

Alternatively contact your local Howarth branch for assistance.

Q: I have a broken grating, can it be replaced?
A: In most cases, the grating should be able to be replaced. But this will depend on the age of the product range and whether it is still available from ACO.

Firstly we need to identify exactly which grating you have. In order for the ACO Water Management Design Services Team to do this, you should provide as much information as you can. If possible please supply answers to the following questions:

1. What is the overall grating width?
2. Is “ACO” marked on the grating?
3. Are there any further markings on the grating?
4. What type of fixing and how many fixings are provided per half metre?

Providing a photo would also assist with this type of enquiry. Please send images along with answers to the above questions to technical@aco.co.uk. File size should not exceed 5Mb.

Q: What Load Class do I require?
A: The answer to this question is dependent on where the drainage system will be used. There are six load classes recognised in BS EN 1433:2002.

A 15 - Pedestrian, cycleways & domestic drives
B 125 - Pedestrian precincts, light vehicles, private car parks & drives
C 250 - Parking areas, service stations (cars) & slow-moving light commmercial vehicles
D 400 - Parking areas for all vehicle types
E 600 - Industrial areas, heavy wheel loads, slow-moving HGV’s & forklifts, service stations
F 900 - Airport runways, very heavy industrial & military installations, service yards & lorry parks

Q: Which products are suitable for use with level access thresholds?
A: Many ACO channels are suitable for level thresholds and are Part M compliant. ACO recommend systems such as ACO MultiDrain PPD, ACO MultiDrain MD or ACO ParkDrain are used for public thresholds where security of the gratings needs to be taken into account.

These systems are all available with “Heelguard” gratings which limit the possibility of stiletto heels being caught.

Q: Do I need a sump / universal gully?
A: This is dependent on the requirements for sediment collection or a foul air trap. If either of these are required then a sump or gully is necessary. If not, you can use any of the other outlet options available. The ACO Universal Gully (product code 33601) has a roddable foul air trap built into the side of the unit. Note that the hydraulic capacity of end outlets and bottom outlets will be much less than the capacity of a sump or gully.

Q: Is there a regulation regarding “Heelguard”?
A: No. “Heelguard” is name created by ACO for gratings where the slot width is around 8mm. The standard for surface water drainage BS EN 1433:2002, states that the maximum slot width in most pedestrian situations is 10 - 18mm.

Q: How many outlets are required in a run?
A: This depends entirely on the length of channel and the catchment area expected. For help on this matter or if a specific hydraulic calculation is required, please contact the ACO Water Management Design Services Team on 01462 816666.

Q: Are ACO channels self cleansing?
A: Not entirely, but the V shaped channel bore improves speed of water flow and promotes a degree of self cleansing. If there is a significant ground slope, for instance in excess of 2%, self cleansing could be achieved. We recommend any channel system is cleaned at least once a year to ensure optimum performance.

Q: I need technical advice. Who do I talk to?
A: The ACO Water Management Design Services Team can provide advice on the specification, hydraulic design or installation of any ACO product. You can contact the team in a number of ways:

1. Call the team on 01462 816666
2. Email the team at technical@aco.co.uk

Q: I require pricing. Who do I talk to?
A: Contact your local Howarth branch for details.

Insulation - EcoTherm

Q: What thickness of insulation board do I need?
A: Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to this question as it really depends on various key factors. 

Firstly, there’s the matter of where the insulation is going to be used in the building envelope, for example in a cavity wall or in a pitched or flat roof. You also need to consider which other building materials form part of this particular element (i.e. brickwork / blockwork in a wall, or tiles and plasterboard in a roof).  Cavity spaces will also have an effect on the insulation thickness. Contact our knowledgeable staff at your local Howarth Timber & Building Supplies branch who will be happy to help.

Q: What about U values?
A: Insulation itself does not have a specific U-value, as this is based on the different building construction elements i.e. wall, floor or roof.

Contact EcoTherm on 01702 520166 to determine the correct thickness of EcoTherm insulation to achieve your target U-value that complies with Building Regulations.  They will then produce a U-value calculation for you (including condensation risk analysis if required) to show your Building Control Officer that you comply.

Alternatively EcoTherm’s U-value calculator is available 24/7 online at www.u-value-calculator.co.uk

Q: What compressive strength should I be looking for in a board?
A: Typically for floors, we would recommend using a board that exceeds 140KPa when tested to BS EN 826: 1996, our Eco-Versal and Eco-UFH boards are ideal for this application.

For flat roofing single ply applications then 150KPa is required.  All our flat roof range of boards exceed this figure.

Q: How do I cut EcoTherm insulation boards?
A: They can be cut with a sharp knife or a fine toothed saw. As a responsible company, we recommend that users take a sensible approach to the cutting of boards with strict regard for health, safety and environmental standards.  Eye protection should be worn when cutting boards. Cutting with power tools generates dust so should be kept to a minimum.  Operations which produce dust should be carried out in well ventilated conditions and where possible an appropriate dust mask should be worn.

Q: What is the typical temperature resistance of insulation boards?
A: For our boards, we recommend that for a long duration of extreme temperatures then -50°C to +110°C are not exceeded.

Q: What about durability?
A: If the PIR board has been correctly applied then it has an indefinite life and will deliver design insulation values for the lifetime of the building.  However this does, of course, depend upon the method of application, supporting structure and conditions of use.

Q: Can foil / foil boards be used under a screed in a flooring application?
A: Yes, and EcoTherm® Eco-Versal is ideal for this application. We recommend placing a sheet of polythene (1000 gauge / 0.25 mm) over the insulation before pouring your screed. This will protect the foil surface of the insulation from the alkalinity / dampness of the screed and prevents it entering the joints between the boards.

If using a wet under floor heating system the Eco-UFH is ideal.  The unique facing is gridded and meshed and speed up the installation process.

Q: Can you full fill a wall cavity with PIR board?
A: PIR board is not designed for a full fill cavity and typically requires a minimum 25mm cavity from the external brick / block course to prevent moisture transference.

Q: My boards have got wet – what do I do now?
A: Dry your boards before using them by natural means only. Do not use direct heat, such as a naked flame to dry the boards. Do not lay the boards in temperatures of less than 5°C as condensation may occur. If work is interrupted, the laid boards must be protected to prevent water penetration. Store the boards in a flat, dry area clear off the ground and away from sources of mechanical damage or ignition.  Boards should be completely covered with waterproof sheeting if stored outside.

Q: Can EcoTherm’s flat roofing boards be used for inverted flat roofs?
A: No, EcoTherm flat roofing insulation boards should always be protected under a waterproof layer and therefore would be unsuitable for an inverted flat roof application.

Q: Can electric cables be installed in contact with EcoTherm Insulation?
A: If electrical cables are installed in contact with the insulation there should be no detrimental effect to the PVC coatings of the cables, whereas other types of insulation may cause issues.  Always consult a qualified electrician when any electrical work is to be carried out.

Insulation - Knauf Insulation

Q: What U-value is required from 2010 to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations when insulation is laid at ceiling level in a pitched roof?
A: The U-value should be no worse than 0.18W/m2K. One way to achieve this with 38mm x 150mm deep rafters at 600mm centres is to install 150mm (2x75mm) of Earthwool Rafter Roll between the rafters. To fully fill the depth of the rafter would mean using a certified breather membrane and battens/counter battens above. The rafters are then underlined with a 35mm Knauf PIR Laminate Board.

Q: What is the maximum U-value required to comply with the 2010 Building Regulations when insulation is installed between rafters when building a new house?
A: The U-value should be no worse than 0.20W/m2K. One way to achieve this with 38mm x 150mm deep rafters at 600mm centres is to install 150mm (2x75mm) of Earthwool Rafter Roll between the rafters. The rafters are then underlined with a 35mm Knauf PIR Laminate Board.

Q: When installing downlighters within a ceiling, are there any specific measures that need to be taken when insulating the loft?
A: Yes, you should ensure that there is a minimum clear space of 75mm all around the downlighter unit to ensure that it does not overheat. Alternatively install an “F-Capped” approved loft cap in accordance with the manufacturer`s instructions.

Q: What thickness of Earthwool DriTherm Cavity Slab 37 Standard (full fill application) is required in a masonry cavity wall consisting of a brick outer leaf and a 7 N/mm2 block inner leaf to achieve a U-value of 0.27W/m2K?
A: To calculate a U-value you need to know the thermal conductivities and thicknesses of all the components of the wall and it is the thermal conductivity of the block, not its compressive strength that is needed for the calculation. In the absence of this information, a cavity wall of this construction (finished with 12.50mm plasterboard on dabs) will achieve a U-value equal to, or better than 0.27W/m²K if the block has a thermal conductivity of no worse than 0.19W/mK and the cavity is fully filled with 100mm of Earthwool DriTherm Cavity Slab 37 Standard.

Q: What thickness and type of insulation do I need in a 63 x 38mm timber frame partition with studs at 600mm centres and a layer of 12.5mm Knauf Wallboard on each side to achieve the Building Regulation requirement of 40dB for internal walls in houses, flats and room for residential purposes?
A: Installing 50mm of Earthwool Acoustic Roll or 50mm of Earthwool Flexible Slab between the timber studs will achieve the 40dB requirement.

Q: What thickness and type of insulation do I need in a 50mm Knauf C steel stud partition at 600mm centres with 12.5mm Knauf Wallboard on each side to achieve the Building Regulation requirement of 40dB for internal walls in houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes?
A: Installing 50mm of Earthwool Acoustic Roll or 50mm of Earthwool Flexible Slab between the C studs would achieve a Sound Reduction Index of at least 40dB.

Q: What Knauf Insulation products are covered by British Board of Agrément Certification for fully filling masonry cavity walls?
A: British Board of Agrément Certificate No 95/3212 covers the following products for fully filling masonry cavity walls:

a. Earthwool DriTherm Cavity Slab 37 Standard
b. Earthwool DriTherm Cavity Slab 34 Super
c. Earthwool DriTherm Cavity Slab 32 Ultimate

Q: What insulation would you recommend for insulating between suspended timber floor joists?
A: We would recommend installing Earthwool Loft Roll 44 or Earthwool Flexible Slab. This can be laid between the floor joists and supported by a polypropylene netting or chicken wire netting. The thickness of insulation needed depends on the U-value required. Both products are suitable for friction fitting between the floor joists and are usually installed to the same depth as the floor joists.

Q: Are Knauf Insulation mineral wool products safe in the event of a fire?
A: Yes, Knauf Insulation mineral wool products are manufactured from inert raw materials, such as sand for our glass mineral wool products and rock for our rock mineral wool range. As a result, our Earthwool products have the highest possible Reaction to Fire rating of Euroclass A1 and they are also non-combustible to BS 476: Part 4

Q: Which of your products are classified as ``mineral wool``?
A: All of our glass and rock products are classified as ``mineral wool`` BS 3533 states that mineral wool is a generic term for mineral fibres of a woolly consistency normally made from molten glass, rock or slag.

Insulation - Superglass Insulation

Q: What are Superglass products made from?
A: Superglass products are manufactured from recycled glass bottles and a carefully controlled mix of raw materials which are heated to a high temperature until molten. The molten glass is then spun and formed into a flexible, fibrous mat for further processing into finish product. It is a very versatile material and can be manufactured to many different densities to give varying properties. The range of products includes slabs for cavity walls, batts for timber frame walls and roofs and rolls for lofts and partitions.

Q: Does Superglass products have any recycled content?
A: Yes, Superglass products have up to 84% recycled content; 24 bottles in every roll of Multi-Roll 44.

Q: How will Superglass products perform in the event of a fire?
A: Superglass products are the ideal fire protection material as they are classified as non-combustible with a Reaction to Fire Classification A1 when tested to BS 13501-1.

Q: What is the difference between Superglass products and Rockwool products?
A: Superglass products are manufactured for molten silica and Rockwool is manufactured from molten rock.

Q: What are the Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of Superglass products?
A: Superglass products are classified as hazing zero GWP and zero ODP. All Superglass products are classified as having an A+ BRE Green Guide Rating.

Q: What is the thermal conductivity of Superglass products?
A: The thermal conductivity (W/mK) of Superglass products at a mean temperature of 10°C ranges from 0.044W/mK to 0.032W/mK. The thermal resistance (m²K/W) can be found by dividing the thickness of the product in meters by the thermal conductivity.

Q: What is the vapour resistance of Superglass products?
A: Superglass products possess negligible vapour resistance allowing vapour to pass freely through the insulation.

Q: How should Superglass products be stored?
A: Superglass products are supplied compression packed in polythene to provide short term protection and for long term protection on site, the product must be stored indoors or under a waterproofing covering in order to protect against weather damage.

Q: What is the temperature limitation of Superglass products?
A: Superglass wool has a limiting temperature of 540°C, though with temperatures in excess of 230°C partial loss of binder may occur at a hot surface. This does not impair the thermal performance of the product.

Lead - Calder

Q: What is Patination Oil?
A: In rainy or damp conditions new lead will quickly develop an uneven powdery which coating of lead carbonate, which is aesthetically unacceptable.  The staining of times and brickwork spoils the overall appearance of the building.  Patination Oil has been designed to minimise this uncontrolled formation.

Q: Can I use Lead Sheet Sealant to stick two pieces of lead together?
A: Lead Sheet Sealant has been designed to replace mortar pointing where lead flashings are turned into brickwork or masonry – it is not a ‘glue’ to stick two pieces of lead together.

Q: What type of nails should I use?
A: Nails and screws should have a similar life expectancy to that of the lead, therefore use copper, brass or stainless steel – never galvanised or aluminium fixings.

Q: Will Lead Sheet Sealant only keep my flashing in the brickwork?
A: Using a Morton Flashing Wedge will secure lead flashing in place in accordance to BS6915.

Q: Are there different types of lead?
A: Yes there are but not all Lead sheets are the same. Only Rolled Lead Sheet manufactured to BS EN 12588: 2006 is the most durable, with consistency of thickness and thermal movement properties.  Even some within the construction industry itself are not aware of the different types of Lead sheet that are available today.  Ensure that you use Rolled Lead Sheet manufactured to BS EN 12588: 2006 in your project for the best results.

Q: Is there a guarantee with the lead produced by Calder?
A: Calder are so confident of our lead’s longevity that we are now offering a 50 year warranty on the lead that we sell.  This guarantee applies to our rolled lead sheet that has been installed since October 2013, providing it is installed in accordance with the LSA Rolled Lead Sheet Manual and BS 6915.

Q: Is there any where I can be trained to use lead?
A: Yes, the lead sheet association offer training and advice on all lead work.  You can contact them or look on their website www.leadsheet.co.uk.

Q: What are the standard sizes and codes of lead sheet for construction?
A: Code 4 (1.80mm) is the most commonly used code for the construction industry generally for a lead flashing.  And that’s generally the code you’ll find in most merchant outlets.  Code 5 (2.24mm) is also used in some cases but more towards your specialist roofing outlets.  In terms of length and width, 6.0m lengths remain our most popular length, with widths varying generally from 150mm – 600mm.  

Q: Lead is heavy, how do I know what a roll weighs?
A: Simply multiply the length (m) by the width (m) by the weight per square meter and that will give you the approximate weight of the roll.  

Modular Building Solutions - Durisol Walling System

Q: Is Durisol BBA Accredited?
A: Durisol has full BBA accreditation, BM TRADA, and ETA accreditation giving a CE mark. Durisol also has confirmation of compliance from Zurich Insurance Group.

Q: Does Durisol have cold bridging at the break in insulation?
A: Cold bridging does not occur as the insulation quality, R Value, provided by the width of the complete Woodcrete is similar to that of concrete and mineral wall insulation. A solid woodcrete unit 365mm wide would provide a U value of 0.22.

Q: How does Durisol compare in cost against a brick finish?
A: Durisol compares favourably against all construction methods, and a brick finish is no exception. As of 2010, the average cost within the UK to have a block and brick finish supplied and installed is between £90-£120m2. Meanwhile, the average costs to have the Durisol system (depending on the unit required) supplied, installed, with concrete and labour included is between £45-£65m2, correct as of 2011.

Q: Does Durisol need a damp-proof course?
A: While a DPC (damp proof course) is not always necessary, UK building control division would always recommend that you have one to comply with Building Regulations within the UK. A DPC will prevent moisture rising through the poured concrete core and Durisol would be unaffected.

Q: What is thermal mass and how does it work?
A: Thermal mass is the ability of a material to store heat (or cold). High thermal mass materials act as thermal sponges, absorbing and storing heat from the sun or heaters to release it at night. Yet, thermal mass is not a substitute for insulation as it generally stores and re-radiates heat. Insulation stops heat flowing into or out of the building. The right combination of these two elements, plus a building design that allows the capture of solar light and heat can improve the thermal performance of new buildings and lower energy requirements. The key benefit of Durisol’s Sustainable Construction Materials is that the majority of the insulation is located on the exterior of the concrete core.

Q: Can I leave Durisol unfinished long term or do I need to cover it?
A: While Durisol can be left unfinished it is recommended that an external finish is applied, both internally and externally. 

Q: Does Durisol allow water penetration?
A: Durisol units are made from 80% recycled timber that is specially treated not to rot, burn or support capillary action. This means it is not possible for moisture to be ‘sucked’ through the construction, although it may allow water through if forced under pressure. It is recommended that an external rain screen is provided and wet plaster or plasterboard attached directly to the walling units either by ‘dot & dab’ or by screwing directly into the unit.

Q: Do I need to use concrete for the infill with Durisol?
A: Durisol recommends that you do use concrete or hemp for the infill. This will ensure that you gain the full benefits of the Durisol system, comply with the structural engineers and building control requirements, and do not compromise the structural integrity of the building.

Q: Do I need to use rebar with Durisol?
A: You will need to ensure that you use reinforcement over openings to form lintels unless preformed lintels are used. While many builds in the UK up to two-storeys have no other reinforcement, each project will vary in design and structural requirements; therefore consultation with a structural engineer is needed in each case.

Q: How does Durisol compare to Hemcrete?
A: Durisol is made from waste materials that will not rot or burn and provide excellent U vales for Eco Friendly Building. What’s more, the Durisol system can be built in all weather and quickly dries. Hemcrete needs to be constructed under controlled conditions and can take many months to dry out.

Multifoils and Breathable Membranes - Web Dynamics

Q: Is TLX accepted by Building Control?
A: TLX Silver and TLX RafterFit have BBA certificates and when installed as outlined in the certificates are approved by Building Control. The complete TLX range is currently being assessed for LABC Registered Details.

Q: Does TLX need to be used with additional insulation?
A: Yes. Web Dynamics advocates the use of multi-foils with a further layer of insulation. In 2008 the LABC issued a new guidance note over the use of multi-foils and strongly recommending the use of British Board of Agrément certified (BBA) multi-foils and that they should be used as part of an insulation system, and not as a single layer, in order to meet the normal roof U-value requirement of 0.2.

Q: How much PIR (rigid insulation) needs to be used to achieve a U-value of 0.2?
A: This depends on the roof structure, but TLX Silver, the across rafter solution, can achieve a 0.2 U-value with 60mm PIR while TLX RafterFit, the between rafter solution, can achieve 0.2 with 50mm of PIR.

Q: Is it possible to use glass wool instead of PIR with TLX Silver?
A: Yes. 105mm of glass wool can also achieve a U-value of 0.20 with TLX Silver.

Q: Is it possible to use TLX as a single layer to achieve a U-value of 0.2?
A: No. TLX is fully certified with a hot box tested R-value that needs extra insulation to achieve a U-value of 0.2. Web Dynamics advocates the use of multi-foils with a further layer of insulation. In 2008 the LABC issued a new guidance note over the use of multi-foils and strongly recommending the use of British Board of Agrément certified (BBA) multi-foils and that they should be used as part of an insulation system, and not as a single layer, in order to meet the normal roof U-value requirement of 0.2.

Q: Is it possible to use TLX on new build as well as renovation projects?
A: Yes TLX is accepted by NHBC so it can be used on new build properties too.

Q: Can TLX be used in floors and walls?
A: Web Dynamics has recently gained BBA approval for the use of TLX in timber frame and masonry walls. This is the first BBA certificate given to a multi-foil insulation product for use in walls. Web Dynamics’ other BBA certificates cover the use of TLX in pitched roofs, dormer cheeks and dwarf walls.

TLX RafterFit can also be used in suspended timber floors or intermediate floors, although the BBA certificate does not yet cover this use. See installation instructions for TLX RafterFit for further information.

Q: Can TLX be used as a vapour barrier?
A: When TLX is installed on the underside of rafters it acts as a vapour barrier. If TLX is applied to the topside of rafters, a traditional vapour barrier such as a polythene sheet should be fitted between the plasterboard and rafters. It must be securely taped to be a vapour barrier.

Q: What is the vapour resistance of TLX?
A: The vapour resistance of TLX is 1200 MN.s/g as measured by the BBA.

Q: What are the dew point considerations for TLX?
A: There are no condensation risks with any of the solutions shown in the TLX installation instructions. A condensation analysis can be supplied on request.

Plastic Plumbing and Building Solutions - FloPlast

Q: Are PVC cladding products suitable for use in swimming pools?
A: Yes, contact with water from a swimming pool is not detrimental to PVC.

Q: Are woodgrain laminated products guaranteed for external use?
A: Yes, they are guaranteed for 10 years.

Q: Has hollow soffit got a Class 1 Fire Rating?
A: Yes, hollow soffit was tested by the BBA to BS476-7 and delivered a rating of Class IY

Q: How do I connect Corners, Joints and Trims to fascia and soffit?
A: FloPlast recommended that the use of Low Modulus Silicone or a proprietary adhesive such as super glue to fix corners, joints and trims.

Q: How do I stop the lower section of Sarking felt from rotting?
A: FloPlast supply an Eaves Protection System, please refer to our website www.floplast.co.uk  section on Ventilation and Eaves.

Q: The Building Regulations require ventilation of the roof area in certain circumstances, what products are available to comply with these regulations?
A: FloPlast produce a range of ventilation products, please refer to our website www.floplast.co.uk section on ventilation products.

Q: What expansion gaps are required when installing FloPlast products?
A: When installing white coloured products an expansion gap of 5mm per 5 metre length is required (i.e. when butting two boards, a 10mm gap should be left). 

Woodgrain products have a greater linear expansion and a gap of 5mm to 8mm per 5 metre length is required.

Q: What is the required air gap when fixing shiplap cladding for both white and laminated products?
A: For both foiled and white products we recommend 25mm air gap.

Q: What size is cladding available in?
A: FloPlast cladding is available in two sizes and profiles. 150mm Shiplap, and 100mm V Joint.

Wall Ties - Ancon

Q: What wall tie is suitable for use in a separating (party) wall and is in accordance with Part E of the Building Regulations?
A: The Staifix HRT4 Housing Tie has a measured dynamic stiffness of <4.8MN/m3 at a cavity of 50-100mm and 125-150mm, and is therefore suitable for use in separating walls within this cavity range at a standard density of 2.5 per m2. 

Q: What about Ancon products that are not currently covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) or ETA – can I still specify, sell or use them?
A: Yes, this is completely acceptable. Ancon holds a number of voluntary, third party approvals for its products. These have similar or sometimes even greater compliance requirements than CE marking.  We are continuing to monitor the position with regards to new European Standards, and will publish any changes at www.ancon.co.uk.

Decorating and Finishing
Exterior Masonry - Johnstone's Trade

Q: I have painted my house with your Johnstone’s Smooth Masonry paint. In one small area the coating has flaked off the surface leaving a white powder?
A: The white powder is often natural salts drawn through by moisture this is called efflorescence and should be removed by dry brushing and checked on a regular basis. This should only be overcoated when the salts have ceased appearing on the surface.

Q: The masonry paint has washed off in a rain shower, why?
A: Most masonry coatings are water based, therefore, as in this case, it is highly likely that the paint film had not had time to fully cure, before the shower of rain. Water based coatings dry mainly by evaporation. Drying can be slowed or even stop during and immediately after application of the paint by cold, damp or humid conditions. It is recommended that a solvent based masonry coating like Stormshield Pliolite Masonry Paint is used in lower temperatures or when rain is imminent.

High levels of moisture in the underlying surface and temperatures, 5ºC and below prevent the paint from drying properly, and therefore it should not normally be applied during these conditions or just before they are expected.

Q: Why have I not achieved the coverage rate quoted on the tins?
A: The covering or spread rate of masonry paint will be determined by the condition, porosity or texture of the surface on to which it is applied.

Most of the surfaces on to which theses paints are normally applied are naturally absorbent. It may be necessary to quench this absorbency as unsealed surfaces will absorb more material, thus reducing the spread rate. The profile of the surface will also affect the spread rate of the coatings. In some instances, particularly on heavily textured masonry surfaces, the raised profile can increase the surface area by 30 per cent.

Q: Is a stabilising primer/solution really necessary?
A:
If the surfaces which are to be treated with a masonry paint are highly porous, chalky or friable, then they should be treated with stabilising solution. Johnstone's Stabilising Solution is a highly penetrative material designed to bind unstable and quench highly absorbent surfaces, this provides a suitably bound or sealed surface which will receive a masonry coating.

To ensure good adhesion of the masonry coatings following application of the stabilising solution it is essential that a non-glossy surface be produced. The stabilising solution should be initially applied to a small test area, if it dries to and leaves a glossy finish then it should be thinned and a new test area undertaken until a non-glossy appearance is achieved.

Exterior Metal - Johnstone's Trade

Q: Can I paint over new Plastisol Cladding?
A: With the chemicals normally present in new fresh cladding it is advisable to allow the surface to fully weather before considering applying any paint coating.

Q: I have a stretch of metal railings, is there any easy way to paint them?
A: The Johnstone's Smooth Metal Paint eliminates the need for a primer and undercoat and can be applied direct to the railings after appropriately preparing them. Another advantage is that as 2nd coat can be applied within 2 hours of the 1st coat.

Q: Do I need to prime powder coated metal?
A: It is always advisable to prime this type of surface and the Johnstone’s Single Pack Primer is ideal.

Q: Do I need to treat galvanised metal?
A: Pre-treatment of galvanised metal is dependent on the condition. If it is well weathered then once cleaned it generally will accept a paint coating. If the galvanised metal is new, bright and shiny it’s advisable to pre-treat with Johnstone’s Mordant Solution. Johnstone’s Steel and Cladding Semi-Gloss Topcoat or Water Based Steel and Cladding Topcoat will provide perfect finishes for galvanised metal.

Exterior Wood - Johnstone's Trade

Q: What paint would be best for my new tanerlised/pressure treated timber shed and fence?
A: Tanerlised/pressure treated timber should be allowed to weather before considering applying a Johnstone’s Woodworks paint coating. This increases the absorbency allowing the coating to penetrate and bond to the timber

Q: I have applied a decking stain which has started to flake badly over the winter how can I remedy this?
A: Due to the level of wear and site conditions of water sitting on the surface we would recommend allowing the substrate to completely dry out before removing any loose/flaking product and  applying one thinned coat and a minimum of two coats on the Johnstone’s Decking Stain.

Q: I would like to paint my external window frames?
A: Once suitably prepared apply Johnstone’s Stormshield Flexible Gloss or Stormshield Flexible Satin system.

Q: My gloss paint has a matt appearance and has not fully dried, why?
A: This effect is commonly known as “Blooming”. It is usually caused by exposure of the still drying coating to cold or damp conditions before it has fully cured. Atmospheric conditions of dampness and low temperatures are not conducive to the film forming characteristics of this material. In some instances they also affect the drying properties and cause it to remain tacky for some time.

Fire Retardant - Arch Timber Protection

Q: What is the difference between DRICON and NON-COM Exterior fire retardant treatments?
A: DRICON is a waterbased, Humidity Resistant (HR) type formulation that is applied under controlled conditions in a vacuum pressure impregnation plant, followed by kiln drying to return the timber to an acceptable or specified moisture content. The DRICON treated timber/sheet materials are suitable for all interior applications and also for weather protected external use - materials must be protected from direct wetting by the application of an applied and properly maintained stain or paint finish. Typical end uses for DRICON treated material would be internal building timbers, linings material, staircases, scaffold boards, swimming pool environments, lifeboat stations, rail and transport industries.

NON-COM Exterior is a polymer based, Leach Resistant (LR) type formulation. It is applied to the timber/sheet material by the same process as DRICON - pressure impregnation process and kiln drying - but the treated material is then also subject to a high temperature curing process to return it to an acceptable or specified moisture content. The NON-COM Exterior treated timber/sheet materials are suitable for full exterior and severe damp applications, without the need of a protective coating, although material can be decorated, if desired. Typical end uses for NON-COM Exterior treated material would be exterior cladding, exposed timber structures, cedar shingles and shakes and Yorkshire boarding material.

Q: How do fire retardant treatments for timber work?
A: When subjected to fire the chemicals in both DRICON and NON-COM Exterior treated materials react with the combustible gases and tars normally generated by untreated wood, converting them to carbon char, carbon dioxide and water vapour. The insulating layer of char formed on the timber retards the process of combustion, reducing ignition, the rate of surface spread of flame and the amount of heat released, all providing additional time for the safe escape from the burning structure.

Q: What timbers can be DRICON treated?
A: A wide range of timber and sheet materials can be treated with DRICON - see below.

SOLID TIMBERS 

European Whitewood, European Redwood, Hem-Fir, Hemlock, Douglas Fir Western Red Cedar, Tulipwood, Siberian Larch, Willow, Sycamore, Maple, Oak, Ash, Sapele, Mahogany, Accoya®.

WBP PLYWOODS 

Far Eastern, Far Eastern Marine, Gaboon or Okoume, Spruce, Douglas Fir Birch throughout, Birch Combi, Flexiply®, Bendiply.

Q: What materials can be NON-COM Exterior treated?
A: A wide range of timbers can be treated with NON-COM Exterior - see below.

SOLID TIMBERS 

European Whitewood, European Redwood, Hem-Fir, Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Western Red Cedar Shingles and Shakes, Siberian Larch, Thermowood®, Plato®wood, Iroko, Red Louro, Oak, Oak Shingles and Shakes*, Accoya® .

SPECIFIC COMMODITIES 

Cedar Shingles, Oak Shingles, Whitewood , Yorkshire Boarding.

Q: What are Euroclasses?
A: Under the Construction Products Directive there has been a move away from the traditional Class 0 & Class 1 under BS476 Parts 6 & 7, towards a European harmonisation of standards for fire retardant treatment of timber - Euroclasses B & C.

To meet Euroclass B or C Specifications, timber/plywood is tested to EN ISO 11925 (Ignitability Test) & BS EN 13823:2002 (SBI or Single Burning Item Test).

The SBI test records parameters relating to the rate of fire growth, lateral flame spread and total heat release.

Euroclass Classifications are in accordance with BS EN 13501-1 (Fire classification of construction products and building elements)

The thresholds for compliance in relation to the above SBI criteria are higher for Euroclass B than for Euroclass C. Therefore, by definition, if timber/plywood conforms to Euroclass B then it also conforms to Euroclass C.

Q: What fire performance is required for external timber cladding?
A: The fire performance of timber cladding for a building is commonly stipulated by Building Control and the main criteria when determining the fire performance required is the proximity of the building in relation to those around it.

If an elevation or elevations of a building are within 1 metre of a boundary, then a Euroclass B specification is usually required. Commonly, the timber battens and horizontal fire stops should also be treated as well as the timber cladding.

Occasionally Building Control will stipulate a 30 minute or 1 hour Fire Resistance. This relates to the fire performance of the STRUCTURE as a whole, not just the cladding. If this is the case, we recommend you seek advice from Arch Timber Protection in relation to the project in question.

Please note that the type of fire retardant treatment recommended, i.e. NON-COM Exterior or DRICON, depends on the type of timber cladding to be used and, very importantly, whether a coating is to be applied. Timber cladding treated with DRICON can only be used externally when a coating is applied to the timber and this coating must be maintained throughout the life time of the timber.

Q: Can you recommend a decorative coating for use with Arch fire retardant treated timbers?
A: Firstly, a decorative coating is only required for DRICON treated timbers that are to be used in an external situation. NON-COM Exterior treated timbers do not normally require a decorative coating, but can be coated with an approved finish/coating, if desired.

However, if a decorative coating is preferred, it should be established that the coating will not downgrade the fire performance of the treated timbers, For instance, highly flammable finishes such as nitro-cellulose based lacquers must not be used.

The RESTOL range of high performance translucent finishes for wood from Arch have been used on many fire retardant projects to give a superior, long lasting decorative finish. For more details on RESTOL visit www.restol.info

Whichever decorative finish is to be used, the manufacturers own recommendations, as well as the recommendations on sound painting practices detailed in BS6150 - Code of Practice for the Painting of Buildings - should be followed.

Q: Can scaffold boards be given a fire retardant treatment?
A: DRICON treatment is approved by the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation for scaffold boards. Treatment is normally to Euroclass C and air dried following treatment. Each end of the board is usually sprayed, providing a colour code reference to indicate DRICON protection.

Q: Can you fire treat windows and doors?
A: Both windows and doors have a tendency to twist and distort within the fire treatment process and therefore we do not recommend treatment.

Q: What types of metal fixings and fastenings are best to use with fire treated timbers?
A: Both DRICON and NON-COM Exterior treated timbers have been extensively tested with a wide range of metal fixings and fastenings and proofed to be no more corrosive than untreated timber. We would always recommend the use of high quality fixings and a check with the manufacturer of the fixings as to their suitability.

Interior Floor - Johnstone's Trade

Q: I have applied Johnstone’s Flortred to my garage floor. How long should I leave it until I can park on it?
A: Johnstone’s Flortred will be recoatable after 24hours however the coating should be allowed to fully cure for a minimum of 5 to 7 days before subjecting the floor to stationary or standing vehicles

Q: I’ve just had a new floor laid how long should I wait until I can paint it?
A: Firstly the moisture content of the substrate should be checked. This can be carried out by various methods but the best way is by using a moisture meter specifically designed for this purpose. If you don’t have access to this equipment then, as a guide, it is recommended that a drying period of a month is allowed for every inch of concrete laid in depth.

Q: Do I need a sealer or primer for my bare concrete floor?
A: None of the floor coatings within the Johnstones range require a sealer or specific primer for bare surfaces, ideally thin the first coat to allow the paint to penetrate into the structure of the floor. Polished or oversealed floors must be treated by approved methods prior to painting.

Interior Walls and Ceilings - Johnstone's Trade

Q: How would I paint over existing Vinyl Silk with Matt emulsion?
A: Once the surface has been suitable prepared, use one coat of the Johnstone’s Ultra Primer Sealer before the application of the Matt emulsion,

Q: After applying two coats of your Johnstone’s Acrylic Durable matt over bare plaster the appearance seems patchy?
A: We would recommend using the Johnstone’s Ultra Primer Sealer on dry bare plaster, however due to already applying the finishing coat we would recommend an additional third coat to help create the film build required.

Q: I am wanting to paint over new fresh plastered walls with Johnstone’s Covaplus Vinyl Matt, is there anything I should apply first?
A: The plaster must be allowed to dry out thoroughly before application we would suggest testing the surface with moisture meter. Once the surface is dry we would recommend one coat of the Johnstone Covaplus Vinyl Matt slightly thinned followed by two full coats of the Johnstone’s Covaplus Vinyl Matt.

Q: I have a water stain on a ceiling that keeps appearing what can I do?
A: As with any water stain the cause has to be rectified prior to undertaking any painting. Once any repairs are complete and the surface is full dry initially treat with a coat of Johnstone's Stain Block Primer prior to your chosen top coat.

Interior Wood - Johnstone's Trade

Q: I have painted my doors in Johnstone’s white oil based professional gloss. The back side of the door has started to discolour and turn yellow?
A: Oil based product use UV light to stabilise the paint, in areas of low light we would recommend using a water based alternative such as the Johnstone’s Aqua Water Based Gloss.

Q: How do I redecorate my internal woodwork which has a solvent based gloss finish using Johnstone’s Aqua Water Based Gloss?
A: After thoroughly abrading the glossy surfaces apply one coat of Johnstone’s Aqua Water Based Undercoat followed by two coats of Johnstone’s Aqua Water Based Gloss. Alternatives in a satin finish would be an initial coat of Joncryl Water Based Primer Undercoat followed by the Acrylic Satin.

Q: I have internal timbers that I would like to remain looking as natural as possible, what can I use?
A: Water based varnishes such as Woodworks Quick Dry Polyurethane Varnish have the ability to offer a high level of protection and durability without changing the appearance of the timber onto which it’s applied. Oil based varnishes like Woodworks Polyurethane Varnish will initially deepen the colour of any timber which will over time only become richer and darker with age.

Q: Can I paint my timber floor?
A: The Johnstone's Flortred is formulated to produce a tough hardwearing finish for not only traditional concrete but also timber. Its satin appearance makes it an ideal decorative coating for internal timber floors with the added advantage of a choice of thousands of colours from our tinting system.

Preservatives - Arch Timber Protection

Q: What are the recommended areas of use for TANALISED E pressure treated timber?
A: TANALISED E pressure treated timber is designed for a wide range of end uses from internal building timbers through to external timbers in ground or fresh water contact. These are classified as Use Classes 1-4 as defined in BS EN 335-1. TANALISED E pressure treated timber has a natural pale green colouration that blends perfectly with outdoor environments. For internal building timbers where a natural colouration is required, VACSOL Aqua clear treatment should be considered.

Q: What are the recommended areas of use for VACSOL Aqua treated timber?
A: VACSOL Aqua treated timber is designed for use in internal and external building applications above damp proof course level. These are classified as Use Classes 1-3.1 as defined in BS EN 335-1. Typical applications are timber frame components, truss rafter material, internal and external joinery, flooring and roofing timbers. VACSOL Aqua treatment can contain a pale yellow colourant to facilitate identification of the treatment. 

When VACSOL Aqua treated timbers are used in external situations, Use Class 3.1, they should be subsequently protected with a maintained and appropriate surface coating.

Q: With regard to the specification of preservative treated timbers, what are 'Commodity Codes' and 'Z12'?
A: Commodity Codes are a series of typical end uses for preservative treated timber created by the Wood Protection Association, currently ranging from C1-C12. both TANALISED E and VACSOL Aqua treated timbers meet various of these Commodity Codes.

'Z12' relates to specifications for different types of industrially applied wood preservative and fire retardant formulations from the National Building Specifications, part of RIBA Enterprises Ltd. All Arch preservatives and fire retardant products are Z12 compliant.

Q: Can I use TANALISED E pressure treated timber around my fish pond?
A: TANALISED E pressure treated timber is suitable for use in, around and over garden ponds and lakes. However, where fish are present in garden ponds we recommend that direct water contact of the timber is avoided.

Whilst we are confident about the safety of TANALISED E pressure treated timber, fish are very sensitive creatures and may respond unfavourably to changes in their surroundings.

Prior to use, you should ensure that the timber is in a dry condition; two weeks post treatment is usually sufficient time to allow for drying although this is weather and storage condition dependent. Please also ensure that the timber you use has been treated to the correct specification - Arch Specification Code TE/Gfa if the timber is to be used above ground (Use Class 3) and TE/GFb if it is to be used in ground (Use Class 4).

A Code of Practice and Consumer Information Sheet for more information on the use of TANALISED E pressure treated timber is available from the arch Timber Protection web site. – www.archtp.com

Q: Can I use TANALISED E treated timber for making bat shelters?
A: Bat roosts and shelters are closely protected by conservation legislation. You must consult the Statutory Nature Conversation Organisation for your area (Natural England, the Countryside Council for Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage) before doing anything.

The Bat Workers' Manual published by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee provides initial guidance. It can be downloaded from: http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-2861 

or ordered from: 

NHBS Ltd
2-3 Wills Road
Totnes
Devon
TQ9 5XN

The Bat Workers Manual recommends the use of pre-treated timber therefore we can confirm that it is safe to use TANALISED E and VACSOL Aqua treated timber.

A Code of Practice and Consumer Information Sheet for more information on the use of TANALISED E pressure treated timber is available from the arch Timber Protection web site. – www.archtp.com

Q: Can TANALISED pressure treated timber be used for the construction of bee hives?
A: TANALISED E pressure treated timber is suitable for use in a bee hive. However, you should not use it for internal elements of the hive that will come into direct contact with honey.

Prior to use, you should ensure that the timber is in a dry condition; two weeks post treatment is usually sufficient time to allow for drying although this is weather and storage condition dependent.

A Code of Practice and Consumer Information Sheet for more information on the use of TANALISED E pressure treated timber is available from the arch Timber Protection web site. – www.archtp.com

Q: Is TANALISED E pressure treated timber safe to use in nature reserves and aviaries?
A: TANALISED E pressure treated timber is suitable for use on a nature reserve or for constructing aviaries.

Prior to use, you should ensure that the timber is in a dry condition; two weeks post treatment is usually sufficient time to allow for drying although this is weather and storage condition dependent.

A Code of Practice and Consumer Information Sheet for more information on the use of TANALISED E pressure treated timber is available from the arch Timber Protection web site. – www.archtp.com

Q: Is TANALISED E pressure treated timber safe to use in children's playgrounds?
A: TANALISED E pressure treated timber is safe to use for structures in and around children's play areas.

With regard to any concerns that the children may 'chew' or 'eat' the treated timber, we have to conduct safety studies to demonstrate safe use of our products as part of their approval process. These studies have shown that the preservative within the timber would not cause harm to a child in the quantities that they are able to 'eat' or 'chew'.

Prior to use, you should ensure that the timber is in a dry condition; two weeks post treatment is usually sufficient time to allow for drying although this is weather and storage condition dependent.

A Code of Practice and Consumer Information Sheet for more information on the use of TANALISED E pressure treated timber is available from the arch Timber Protection web site. – www.archtp.com

Q: Is TANALISED E pressure treated timber safe to use for compost bins and earth retaining structures for organic vegetable beds?
A: TANALISED E pressure treated timber is suitable for the construction of compost bins and for use as earth retaining structures for organic vegetable beds. The Soil Association - www.soilassociation.org. states that if the timber used for organic vegetable beds is preservative pre-treated then there are no issues in terms of organic status. If, however, the wood is treated once the raised bed has been built (brush applied preservative) then this would affect the status of the land.

Prior to use, you should ensure that the timber is in a dry condition; two weeks post treatment is usually sufficient time to allow for drying although this is weather and storage condition dependent.

A Code of Practice and Consumer Information Sheet for more information on the use of TANALISED E pressure treated timber is available from the arch Timber Protection web site. – www.archtp.com

Q: I am doing a COSHH assessment on the treated timber we stock. Can you send me a material safety data sheet for your preservative products?
A: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations refers to substances. Preservative treated timber is not a substance but an article and therefore COSHH regulations do not apply to the actual treated timber.

The preservative treated timber should be delivered to you in a surface dry condition. This is safe to handle as recommended and can be handled in the same way as untreated timber.

Consumer Information Sheets on both TANALISED E and VACSOL Aqua treated timbers, which provide health and safety handling recommendations, may also assist in carrying out your COSHH risk assessment. These are available directly from the Arch Timber Protection web site – www.archtp.com

Q: What happens to the preservative protection when treated timber is cut or notched?
A: Ideally timber should be cut or notched before treatment. However, where these procedures are required on-site, the surfaces exposed by the cutting or notching should be further protected with either ENSELE (for TANALISED E pressure treated timber) or VACSELE (for VACSOL Aqua treated timber) brush-on end grain preservative to maintain the integrity of the preservative protection.

Further information on these brush-on end grain preservatives products is available from the Arch Timber Protection web site – www.archtp.com

A Code of Practice and Consumer Information Sheet for more information on the use of TANALISED E pressure treated timber is available from the arch Timber Protection web site. – www.archtp.com

Q: How do I dispose of TANALISED E and VACSOL Aqua treated timbers and can they be incinerated?
A: The concentration of the hazardous components in both TANALISED E and VACSOL Aqua treated wood waste is below the European Waste thresholds and therefore both wastes are not hazardous.

Processing wastes, such as sawdust and off-cuts, must not be used for animal litter or bedding.

Preservative treated timber should not be used as a fuel in barbeques, cooking stoves or grates.

Generally, small quantities (less than 0.5 tonnes) can be burnt at any one time in the open, providing the fire is positioned to enable adequate dispersal of the smoke. The residual ash is non-hazardous. However, due to a few recent developments from some local councils under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, we would recommend that consultation should be made to these regulations, and preferably to the local enforcement agency, before burning any waste on site.

Householders should dispose of the timber or sawdust through the ordinary waste collection service or at local authority amenity/disposal facilities.

Any waste timber, sawdust or redundant timber from commercial or industrial use (e.g. construction sites) should preferably be recycled by re-use or disposed of to an authorized landfill or to a correctly controlled and approved waste contractor.

A Code of Practice and Consumer Information Sheet for more information on the use of TANALISED E pressure treated timber is available from the arch Timber Protection web site. – www.archtp.com

Q: Can zinc or hot dipped galvanised sheeting be used in contact with TANALISED E pressure treated timber?
A: Pure zinc or hot dip galvanised sheeting can be used in contact with TANALISED E pressure treated timber used in dry internal situations or where the moisture content of the timber will not exceed 20%. There may be some tarnishing and if the sheet is galvanised, the zinc coating may become damaged, increasing the possibility of corrosion.

Where the moisture content of the timber is likely to exceed 20%, contact areas between the metal and timber should be separated where condensation is possible using a bituminous, epoxy or other impervious barrier or electrically insulating coating. The use of nylon/plastic washers or other insulating physical spacing barriers is recommended.

It is important to attach the sheeting and any fasteners after preservative treatment and only when the timber has re-dried to less than 20% moisture content. The zinc sheeting should be of a quality suitable for the intended end use situation.

It is also important that sheeting and fasteners are compatible to prevent bimetallic corrosion; for example do not mix galvanised and stainless steel components.

Any fixings used should of a quality that is consistent with the end use. We generally recommend hot dipped galvanised as a minimum standard. Electro galvanised components are not recommended for external use.

We would advise that you always contact the suppliers of connectors, fasteners and sheeting or roofing for specific recommendations about their particular grade of product.

Please note that there are many thicknesses of galvanised coating available and the thicker the galvanised coating the longer the expected service life of any metal system. Performance of metal fixings is influenced by the environmental conditions including moisture content, temperature, atmospheric pollution, proximity to coastal locations and timber species as well as the thickness of any zinc coating and it is impossible to accurately predict the service life of any specific installation.

Sealants - Geocel

Q: What is the difference between acetoxy and neutral silicone sealants?
A: Acetoxy silicones are ideally used for non-porous surfaces like sanitaryware and glass as they have good adhesion and flexibility. Often acetoxy silicones are used incorrectly on porous surfaces for example brickwork and mortar, this is not recommended as there can be an acid alkali reaction with the surface causing the sealant to lose adhesion creating unsightly deposits on the facade. Acetoxy silicones have a glossy, bright finish which makes them particularly suitable for internal jobs. 

Neutral curing silicones are most suitable for porous surfaces like masonry or stone and where a higher flexibility is required for example brickwork to PVCu and for high movement expansion joints in external facades.

Q: Can silicone sealants be overpainted?
A: It is not recommended to overpaint silicone sealant. Sealants such as Geocel theWORKS and 201 Polymer sealant is overpaintable with most oil and water based paints. Also Geocel Painters Mate and many of the acrylic sealants in our range can be overpainted, as can Geocel 580 Oil Based Mastic.

Q: Which is the most suitable sealant for weather sealing my PVCU windows to the brickwork?
A: Dow Corning 796 PVCU and Glazing Sealant is ideal for this application.

Q: Which of your sealants will withstand temperatures of 300°C?
A: Geocel Trade Mate Plumba Flue is a high temperature silicone sealant suitable for sealing gas flues, chimneys and other high temperature applications.

Q: Are any of the silicone sealants suitable for use in areas where food contact is likely and meet the requirements of FDA 21CFR177.2600?
A: Dow Corning 786 Mildew Resistant Silicone Sealant and Geocel Trade Mate Plumba Flue are suitable for these type of applications.

Q: I wish to use a non silicone sealant for sealing expansions joints in brickwork, are there any products available?
A: Geocel 201 Polymer is an alternative to silicone sealants for joint sealing.

Q: Is there a translucent silicone sealant that does not release acetic or ethanoic acid during curing?
A: Dow Corning 799 Plastic & Glass Silicone Sealant is a neutral curing silicone sealant.

Q: I am looking for a translucent silicone sealant to seal my polycarbonate conservatory roof to the brickwork, which product do you suggest?
A: Dow Corning 799 Plastic & Glass Silicone Sealant.

Q: Is Dow Corning Firestop 400 suitable for high temperature applications?
A: This product is fire rated and designed for maintaining integrity of seal in a fire situation, for example a perimeter seal around a fire door, it is not designed for prolonged exposure to high temperature. For high temperature application Dow Corning Trade Mate Plumba Flue may be more suitable for the application.

Q: Are any of your products suitable for sealing to damp surfaces?
A: Geocel theWORKS, Trade Mate All Weather Seal and Roofers Seal may be used on damp surfaces.

Q: I wish to fill large voids and gaps in and around my home. Are any of your products suitable for this?
A: Our moisture curing expanding polyurethane foams from the Dow Great Stuff Pro series are ideal.

Q: How can I remove misapplied polyurethane foam?
A: Fresh wet foam spills can be removed immediately using Geocel PU Foam Cleaner. Cured foam can be removed mechanically.

Q: I am looking for a filler for between my skirting board and the wall. I want a product that is flexible that I can overpaint, which do you suggest?
A: Geocel Painters Mate is ideal for this situation.  

Q: Is there a grab adhesive in your range suitable for fixing skirting boards and dado rails to plaster?
A: Geocel Quickgrip and Quickgrip Supergrab SF should be used for these type of applications.

Q: Can silicone sealant be used to draught proof windows?
A: To seal the small gaps that cause draughts a formed in place silicone gasket may be used. A silicone sealant, such as Dow Corning 781, unobtrusively applied to window frame, will form such a gasket seal, and produce a tight fitting contoured draught exclusion system, when fully cured

Gardening and Landscaping
Decorative Concrete Paving - Castacrete

Q: What is this white powder on my paving slabs?
A: Efflorescence – for more information click here.

Q: What are these dark patches in the middle of my paving?
A: Click here to read our download on dark patch staining.

Q: How do I keep my paving clean?
A: Click here to read our cleaning tips.

Q: I am having trouble pointing my paving, do you have any tips?
A: Click here to read our download on pointing.

Q: Do you have any suggestions on how to use the product?
A: Click here to read our tips on using the product.

Log Cabins - Forest Garden

Q: What sort of timber are they made of?
A: Kiln dried slow grown spruce - whitewood.

Q: Is the timber FSC and from a sustainable source?
A: Yes, they are all manufactured from FSC certified timber.

Q: What log thickness would you recommend?
A: 28mm log thickness is suitable for summerhouses but for home office we would recommend either 34mm or 44mm and a double glazed option. This will make the building more suitable for all year round use.

Q: What sort of windows do the buildings have?
A: 28mm log buildings are single glazed, 44mm and selected 34mm buildings are double glazed as standard 4mm/6mm/4mm. The windows are casement windows with weather seals featured on double glazed units. Windows on 28mm cabins are top hung outward opening and all 34m and 44mm windows are tilt & turn inward opening.

Q: Do the buildings come with the floor and bearers?
A: Yes, pressure treated 40mm x 55/70mm floor bearers with either 19mm or 28mm tongue and grooved floor boards depending on the model log thickness.

Q: What thickness are the roof boards? Do you use any sheet material for the roof?
A: There is no sheet material used in the log cabins, all roof boards are19mm tongue and grooved.

Q: Do the buildings come with any roof covering?
A: Yes with black/green fleck shingles 2.2mm in thickness.

Q: Are the log cabins treated with any preservative?
A: Log cabins come in kiln dried timber and are not treated with any preservative.

Q: Do I need to treat my log cabin? If so, how often?
A: Yes, as soon are your cabin is built you need to treat it with a suitable timber preservative in order to protect it against water increase and potential fungal decay. Your cabin should then be regularly re-treated every year.

Q: How difficult are they to build?
A: All cabins are perceived as an advanced DIY project. If you are in any doubt please opt for the assembly service.

Q: What base do I need to build my cabin on?
A: The choices are either a concrete base or a timber raft frame.

Q: What size do I need to make my base?
A: Ideally to the outer wall measurement. To work this out you need to subtract the log ear measurement from each end, which is in all cases 100mm. So, for example if the cabin is 4.0m x 4.0m, for this measurement the base needs to be 3.8m x 3.8m. Make up to 100mm larger if you wish, but try to avoid splash back from dripping water off the roof as this could affect the lower wall logs long term performance if not treated and maintained regularly.

Q: Have you got a plan of the base?
A: Yes a footprint plan is in the Forest Garden Buildings brochure via the Forest Garden website. Alternatively, you can contact Forest directly, info@forestgarden.co.uk, and they will e-mail one to you. They are sent out in the customer order confirmation pack too.

Q: Is there any guarantee with a log cabin?
A: Yes, a 12 months structural guarantee. These buildings are made from a natural live product and as such will expand and contract so expect some movement in the first 12 months of ownership.

Q: Is delivery included in the price of the cabin?
A: The price shown includes a kerbside delivery via a truck with an in-built crane.

Q: If I got stuck on the build or have any questions can you help me?
A: You will be sent instructions and plan drawings of your building once the order has been accepted by Forest, usually within 5 to 7 days. Please contact Forest customer services if you have any questions during the build and our technical services department should be able to advise on any further queries you may have.

Q: Will we be advised when delivery will be?
A: Yes, this will be outlined in the letter and the haulier team will contact you to book in a delivery slot five days in advance.

Q: Can we request a timed delivery?
A: You can ring the day before or day of delivery to find out whether it is an AM or PM delivery.

Natural Stone Landscaping - Natural Paving

Q: Can patio cleaners be used on natural stone paving?
A: We only recommend the Pavetuf range of cleaners and sealants - please see www.pavetuf.co.uk

Q: Does natural stone need to be sealed?
A: Stone does not have to be sealed, but it can help protect stone from staining and it can also enhance the colour of the stone in some cases. We only recommend that Pavetuf invisible Sealant or Pavetuf Satin Sealer is used, subject to your specific needs. - please see www.pavetuf.co.uk Always take professional advice before carrying out any type of sealing.

Q: Can natural stone paving be used for driveways?
A: Natural stone can be used for driveways, however we would recommend using our 50mm thick block paving stones for a driveway. It is also recommended to use a darker coloured stone which is less likely to show up tyre marks and occasional oil droplets.

Q: My flagstones/block paving/walling/stone accessories are not exactly the same as the sample I received, Why?
A: Samples only represent a typical example of that particular stone type and finish but does not represent the overall proportions of colours that will be found in any final deliveries of the product. This is due to the fact that natural stone products are characteristically subject to colour variations and markings. The degree of colour variations and markings cannot be pre-determined prior to delivery or changed on receipt of the product.

Q: Is natural stone better than concrete?
A: Yes, we would recommend natural stone over concrete equivalent products because it is a sustainable product, which retains its beauty over time. Please visit http://www.naturalpaving.co.uk/page.php?p=benefits-of-natural-stone&c=about-us to find out more about the benefits of natural stone over concrete.

Q: How do I lay natural stone paving?
A: Please refer to our laying guides for advice by visiting http://www.naturalpaving.co.uk/page.php?p=install-tips&c=downloads    

We also have a number of Approved Landscape Professionals that can design, install and maintain your garden/patio/driveway. Please visit http://www.naturalpaving.co.uk/installer_locator.php?p=search-for-approved-landscaping-professionals&c=home-owner to find your Approved Professional or contact the Customer Service Team on 0845 072 1150.

Q: How do I clean my natural stone paving?
A:
Please refer to our www.pavetuf.co.uk for advice.

Q: How do I give feedback, leave a praise or make a complaint?
A: Your feedback is very important to us and we would love to hear from you. You can submit your comments direct via our feedback form, please visit http://www.naturalpaving.co.uk/feedback.php?p=feedback-form&c=contact-us

Timber Care - Forest Garden

Q: What’s the point of treating garden timber – surely it takes care of itself?
A: Wood is a beautiful, practical material that gives years of solid service outdoors. But the weather – good and bad – does take its toll, and before winter’s rain, wind and frosts set in I recommend giving all your garden timber a simple ‘health-check’ every year to maintain both looks and safety:  

1) Check the condition of all panels, posts and pergola rafters. Securing any loose joints and replacing weakened or broken items.  
2) Treat with a good timber care product to enhance the colour and protect the surface.

Q: Why are my golden fence panels turning grey and what can I do?
A: Most garden timber products are dipped in a dye during the manufacturing process to make the wood grain look consistent, but this colour isn’t permanent and gradually fades when exposed to the elements. 

In time wood that is left untreated becomes silvery grey and rough, like the bark on a tree, as the grain gradually opens and lets in moisture - but wait this long and it may be almost impossible to reverse! Instead, when timber is around one year old, apply an annual coat of good quality wood preservative. This will enrich and revitalise the surface of the wood just like a skin moisturiser. They also contain anti-fungicides that will help prevent rot, mould and lichens.

Q: My fence panels warped last year after treatment. What went wrong?
A: I suspect you applied the treatment in hot weather, causing the wood to bend and rapidly dry out. Here’s a good tip to ensure success; choose a dry, mild day, drip a little water onto the panel surface and watch. If the droplets stay on the surface, the wood is too waterlogged and will not absorb what you apply. If the water soaks straight in it is ready for the treatment.  

Q: How should I care for my wooden decking?
A: Decking is an investment and proper care will keep the surface texture smooth and attractive. Each autumn give your deck a good wash with a hosepipe or pressure washer to remove any slippery build-up of dirt. If you want to refresh or change the colour of your deck, let it dry thoroughly and apply a decking wood stain that has been specially formulated to withstand wear from foot traffic. Finally, you need to seal the wood with a decking protector, with waxes to help prevent moisture damage, a preservative to keep the surface free from decay, and an algaecide to prevent mould growth. If you have a hardwood deck, you should also consider an annual treatment of revitalising decking oil.   

Q: How can I keep my shed and other timber structures in good shape?
A: The same principles apply to sheds and structures, as to fences. Check the condition of the timber, clean and protect with a good quality water-based preservative. If roofing felt has been torn or damaged, replace and ensure it is fully secure. Give all glazing a good clean. Oil hinges and your window fixings. If metalwork shows signs of rust - clean and apply a paint treatment. Check all fixings are tight and then your building will be ready to withstand the winter weather to come.

Kitchens, Bathrooms and Furniture
DXD Refrigeration - Rangemaster?

Q: What are the electrical requirements required to install my appliance?
A: You can connect your DxD to a main supply. It comes with a cable that is 1.5m long attached to a 13amp plug. The plug MUST be accessible after the appliance has been positioned. Make sure that the refrigerator does not trap the electric cable. Do not step on the cable. Avoid damage to the electric cable when moving the refrigerator.

Q: What do I need to do if the electrical cable is damaged?
A: If the electrical cable is damaged or worn, turn off the refrigerator and call Consumer Services on 0870 789 5107.

Q: What is the warranty on my DxD?
A: Your DxD comes with a standard 1 year warranty. But if you register within 30 days of delivery, you will receive a further 12 month warranty for absolutely free.

Any cosmetic damage to the appliance must be reported within 90 days of delivery.

To register your warranty, visit http://www.rangemaster.co.uk/contact-us/warranty. Once your details have been processed, you will be sent your policy document outlining your cover. 

Alternatively, fill in and return the registration form which will be enclosed with your new fridge-freezer, or call us free on 0800 587 5747 where our trained operators will take your details.

Q: What water supply do I need to install my fridge-freezer?
A: It is recommended to have this product installed by a qualified technician.

Cut the water pipe according to need and avoid bending the water pipe too much. Usually, the pipe length should be less than 5m. If the water pipe is too long, the ice and cold water content will be affected because there may be insufficient water pressure.

Insert one end of the water supply pipe into the water inlet on the rear of the appliance. Connect the other end into the plastic adaptor. Screw the adaptor onto a suitable ¾” check valve or washing machine valve.

The water pressure should be between 207-827 kPa (21-123 psi) for correct operation of the cold water dispenser and ice maker. Open the water valve to flush the pipe, check leakage in the water pipe joints and allow the water to run until it is clear.

Q: What do I do if there is an error code flashing on my display?
A: In the event of an error occurring, the main control digital display screen will show one of the following codes: F1, F2, F3, F5, F6, Ed, ER, ES, E0, E1, E2. If this happens, please contact Consumer Services on 0870 789 5107 to have the refrigerator repaired.

Q: The water filter light is illuminated
A: When the water filter indicator light is illuminated this means the water filter may need to be changed. If this is not used regularly, then it is suggested that the water filter is replaced annually or when the water taste has obviously changed. Please pay attention to your local conditions, as you may need to change the water filter more frequently due to the different water properties.

After the water filter is changed, press the ‘Water Filter’ RESET button. The water filter indicator light will go out. Note: If the water filter illuminator light does not go out when the RESET button is pressed then try the following: Make sure the freezer is in Quick Freeze mode, then press and hold the EXPRESS FRZ and the RESET buttons for 3 seconds. The water filter indicator light will go out. You can purchase a water filter from us on 0870 789 5107.

After installing a new water filter discard all ice produced during the first 24 hours.

Q: My ice maker is noisy
A: Occasionally you may hear sounds, like the flowing of water or ice cubes dropping. These sounds are quite normal and are not a cause for concern or complaint. In periods of infrequent use ice cubes may stick together; again this is quite normal.

Q: What is the best way to keep my fridge-freezer clean?
A: Disconnect the appliance from the power supply before cleaning. To keep internal odours to a minimum it is best to periodically clean the inside shelves, crispers, bins and wall. Empty the appliance of food and remove the shelves. Clean the interior using warm water and bicarbonate of soda with a soft cloth. Make sure that the interior is then dried carefully with a suitable cloth.

DO NOT use harsh abrasives, or aggressive cleaners as these can damage the interior of the appliance.

Shelves and other accessories (plastic and glass parts) can be cleaned in the sink using liquid dishwashing liquid and warm water. Make sure all soap is rinsed off and all parts are dry before replacing them inside the appliance. Always keep the door seals clean. The fridge is heavy. When moving the refrigerator be careful to protect the doors. Keep the refrigerator vertical and do not tilt the refrigerator – this helps prevents damage.

Q: Do I need to defrost the freezer?
A: Defrosting is done automatically so there is no need to manually defrost this appliance.

DO NOT use mechanical devices to accelerate the defrosting process.

Hoods and Splashbacks - Rangemaster

Q: What electrical connection do I need to install my hood?
A: Connect the hood to the mains through a two-pole switch with a contact gap of at least 3mm. The hood comes with a cable and it can be fitted with a standard plug plus a 3 amp fuse, or it can be hard wired on to a 3 amp spur.

Q: What size ducting do I need to use?
A: When ducting to the outside, connect the hood to the chimney using either a flexible or rigid kit measuring 125mm or 150mm - this will depend on the length of ducting you require. If you require up to 1m, a flexible kit is recommended. If it is longer than 1m and up to 3m, a rigid kit is required. The ducting kit must be positioned using sufficient pipe clamps (the ducting kit is not supplied). You must also remove any activated charcoal filters as they are not required. You can purchase Ducting Kits directly from us by calling Consumer Services on 0870 789 5107.

Q: What can I do if I cannot duct my hood to an outside wall?
A: If it is not possible to duct to an outside wall, you can re-circulate the air using carbon filters that fit on to the side of the motor. Your first set of carbon filters will be included inside the hood packaging. You can purchase additional carbon filters directly from us by calling Consumer Services on 0870 789 5107.

Q: Where can I find the serial number for my hood?
A: The serial number is located inside the hood which is next to the motor on a white sticker (a ten digit number). It is also on the user guide.

Q: How do I clean the metal grease filters?
A: The filters must be cleaned every two months of operation, or more frequently for particularly heavy usage, they can be washed in a dishwasher. 

To wash the filters, please follow these steps:

1) Remove the filters one at a time by pushing them towards the back of the hood and - pulling them down at the same time.
2) Wash the filters, taking care not to bend them
3) Allow them to dry before refitting
4) When refitting the filters, make sure that the handle is visible on the outside

Q: How often do I need to change my charcoal filters?
A: The filters are not washable and cannot be re-used and must be replaced approximately every four months of operation, or more frequently for particularly heavy usage. 

To change the filters, please follow these steps:

1) Remove the metal grease filters
2) Remove the saturated activated carbon filter by releasing the fixing hooks
3) Fit the new filter by hooking it into its seating
4) Refit the metal grease filters

You can purchase replacements filters from us by calling Consumer Services on 0870 789 5107.

Q: How do I change the light bulb?
A: To change the lights bulbs for a standard canopy hood, follow the below steps:

1) Remove the metal grease filters
2) Unscrew the bulbs and replace them with new ones that have the same characteristics
3) Replace the metal grease filters

For other types of hoods, refer to your User Manual for instructions on how to change the light bulbs.

Q: What are the clearances required for fitting a hood?
A: A minimum space of 650mm is required between the top of the hotplate and the hood.

Any cooker hood should be installed in accordance with the hood manufacturer's instructions.

Note: Any splashback must be fitted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.  Allowance should be made for the flue trim, which is fitted to the cooker hob

maia Worksurfaces - Sylmar

Q: How are maia worktops made?
A: A maia worktop is a hard synthetic material acrylic with natural fillers, primarily used for horizontal worktops and vertical wall applications, such as kitchens, bathrooms, service counters, tub and shower walls, etc. A 3mm layer of acrylic surface is specially bonded to a particleboard substrate.

Q: How long does a maia worktop usually last?
A: Our worktops are manufactured using the very latest techniques and carry a 10 year guarantee against manufacturing defects, however, they can quite easily last a lifetime.

Q: Can I put a hot pot on a maia worktop?
A: The surface of our worktops are not totally ‘heat resistant’. To prevent heat damage, always use a hot pad to protect your solid surface. Hot pans, as well as some heat generating appliances like frying pans, can damage the surface.

Q: Are maia worktops heat resistant?
A: Not totally, while very high and direct heat will damage most solid surface products, solid surface materials do not burn or combust. In most cases the worktop can be repaired. It’s much better to take precautions from the outset, use mats etc to ensure your worktop retains its pristine finish.

Q: What is the best way to clean a maia worktop?
A: Just use regular soapy water for day to day cleaning. The use of a mild abrasive such as Cif Cream has a positive effect on the surface and will remove most minor marks that cannot be removed by soapy water.

Q: What about my choice of colour, will some colours last longer than others?
A: Light colours do show less wear than a darker colour shade. It really does boil down to personal preference though.

Q: Can a maia worktop really be repaired?
A: Yes, it’s true, a maia worktop can be repaired. We would always advise our customers to maintain their worktops as recommended though.

Q: Is this a Corian worktop?
A: No – Corian is a different product that is usually manufactured on a bespoke basis specifically for your installation. Therefore the cost will tend to be significantly higher than maia. maia worktops are sold in pre-fabricated blanks of various lengths and widths.

Q: Is the surface the same as Corian?
A: The maia surface material is an acrylic sheet very much the same as Corian and a number of other sheet materials such as LG Hi-Macs and Staron. All have very similar qualities in use and can be refurbished and repaired.

Q: Do maia produce a Corian worktop
A: maia manufactures a highly competitive range of worktops that offer all the benefits of a Corian worktop without the increased costs. A maia work surface is designed to be appealing to the eye and offer total durability. As the construction of maia worktops uses a thinner layer of the sheet material, maia is more affordable.

Q: How does maia compare to marble or granite worktops?
A: Marble and granite are often products that people aspire to having in their kitchens. Whilst being an impressive and hard wearing materials there are some drawbacks;

- They can be quite porous and some liquids can stain the worksurface permanently.
- If damaged or scratched the surface can be difficult or even impossible to repair satisfactorily.
- The joints used in natural stone worktops are typically very visible and can be dirt traps.
- Being natural materials it is not possible to guarantee the consistency of pattern or veining.

The maia option is a refreshing alternative – Low cost and high manufacturing standards coupled with a vast array of colour options. Non-porous, repairable and with the possibility to achieve virtually inconspicuous joints.

Q: Is a laminate worktop my best option?
A: Laminate worktops are probably the most affordable worktops available today. A wide range of decors, finishes and thicknesses generally offer something to suit most kitchen designs on a budget.

All surfaces will scratch to some degree and laminate is no different. If scratched or burnt there is no means of repairing them unlike maia.

Q: What is a solid wood worktop?
A: Solid wood worktops are usually made from strips (staves) of solid wood (many retailers sell beech worktops, oak worktops, bamboo worktops, wenge worktops, acacia worktops etc). Most have to be oiled before installation and regularly through the life of the product. They are repairable to a degree.

milano - Symphony Group

Q: What is the milano kitchen collection?
A: Milano is one of the retail brands of the Symphony Group PLC; the UK's largest privately owned manufacturer of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture. For more information about Symphony and the wide range of products we offer please see http://www.symphony-group.co.uk 

Q: Do you supply accessories and gadgets to go with your kitchens?
A: Yes, we offer a wide range of finishing touches including lighting options, worktops, storage accessories, drawer organisers and shelving, plus all our drawered units come with full extension, soft close drawer boxes as standard. It's up to you how many extras you want to add, from some simple spotlights or a wine rack, right up to illuminated shelving or even a drop down television.

Q: Do your products come with a guarantee?
A: All our furniture is manufactured to a very high standard and we are confident that it will give you many years of service, which is why all our products come with a manufacturer's warranty. The length of the warranty may vary depending on the product so please speak to your local retailer for more information.

minerva Worksurfaces - Sylmar

Q: How long does a minerva worktop usually last?
A: Our worktops are manufactured using the very latest techniques and carry a 10 year guarantee against manufacturing defects, however, they can quite easily last a lifetime.

Q: Can I put a hot pot on a minerva worktop?
A: Minerva worktops are highly heat resistant but we would still recommend that extreme heat is avoided. To prevent heat damage, always use a hot pad to protect your solid surface. Hot pans, as well as some heat generating appliances like frying pans, can damage the surface.

Q: Are minerva worktops heat resistant?
A: Not totally, while very high and direct heat will damage most solid surface products, solid surface materials do not burn or combust. In most cases the worktop can be repaired. It’s much better to take precautions from the outset, use mats etc to ensure your worktop retains its pristine finish.

Q: What is the best way to clean a minerva worktop?
A: Just use regular soapy water for day to day cleaning. The use of a mild abrasive such as Cif Cream has a positive effect on the surface and will remove most minor marks that cannot be removed by soapy water.

Q: What about my choice of colour, will some colours last longer than others?
A: Light colours do show less wear than a darker colour shade. It really does boil down to personal preference though.

Q: Can a minerva worktop really be repaired?
A: Yes, it’s true, a Minerva worktop can be repaired. We would always advise our customers to maintain their worktops as recommended though.

Q: Is this a Corian worktop?
A: No – Corian is a different product that is usually manufactured on a bespoke basis specifically for your installation. Therefore the cost will tend to be significantly higher than minerva. minerva worktops are sold in pre-fabricated blanks of various lengths and widths.

Q: Is the surface the same as Corian?
A: The Minerva surface material is a blended acrylic sheet. Corian and a number of other sheet materials such as maia, LG Hi-Macs and Staron are 100% acrylic. All have very similar qualities in use and can be refurbished and repaired.

Q: Do Minerva produce a Corian worktop?
A: Minerva manufactures a highly competitive range of worktops that offer all the benefits of a Corian worktop without the increased costs. A Minerva work surface is designed to be appealing to the eye and offer total durability. As the construction of maia worktops uses a thinner layer of the sheet material, maia is more affordable.

Q: How does minerva compare to marble or granite worktops?
A: Marble and granite are often products that people aspire to having in their kitchens. Whilst being an impressive and hard wearing materials there are some drawbacks;

- They can be quite porous and some liquids can stain the worksurface permanently.
- If damaged or scratched the surface can be difficult or even impossible to repair satisfactorily.
- The joints used in natural stone worktops are typically very visible and can be dirt traps.
- Being natural materials it is not possible to guarantee the consistency of pattern or veining.

The Minerva option is a refreshing alternative – Low cost and high manufacturing standards coupled with a vast array of colour options. Non-porous, repairable and with the possibility to achieve virtually inconspicuous joints.

Q: Is a laminate worktop my best option?
A: Laminate worktops are probably the most affordable worktops available today. A wide range of decors, finishes and thicknesses generally offer something to suit most kitchen designs on a budget.

All surfaces will scratch to some degree and laminate is no different. If scratched or burnt there is no means of repairing them unlike minerva.

Q: What is a solid wood worktop?
A: Solid wood worktops are usually made from strips (staves) of solid wood (many retailers sell beech worktops, oak worktops, bamboo worktops, wenge worktops, acacia worktops etc). Most have to be oiled before installation and regularly through the life of the product. They are repairable to a degree.

Range Cooking - Rangemaster

Q: Where can I find, view or buy a cooker?
A: We have kitchen showrooms at the following Howarth Timber Branches:

Accrington – 01254 380500
Blackburn – 01254 699696
Darwen – 01254 873552
Derby – 01332 360233
Malton – 01653 697776
Mansfield – 01623 624455
Leeds – 01132 000100
Wakefield – 01924 372291
York – 01904 629931

We advise that you contact your nearest showroom prior to your visit to check stock availability and whether the products you would like to view are on display.

Q: Where can I find my model or serial number?
A: All of our range cookers have the silver serial number data badge in 3 locations:

- User & Installation Guide (on the front cover)
- Front of the cooker (see below)
- Back of the cooker (on the back of the top left hand side)

The serial number is located on the frame of the main left-hand oven at the base near the plinth. For earlier specification110cm models, remove the storage drawer and the silver data badge will be located on the front right upright of the cooker framework.

Q: What power supply do I need to install my cooker?
A: Please ensure your fitters refer to the fitters guide before installation.

Ceramic and Induction models may be connected to a suitable 6mm cable with a 32-amp breaker (providing the isolator switch, which turns the power on and off to the cooker, does not incorporate a 13 amp socket). However to provide greater flexibility, we recommend a 10mm cable with a 45 amp breaker.

Note: These are guidelines and other factors may alter the cable/breaker power. Therefore we cannot provide electrical information as the qualified electrician has to make calculations based on what is around the cooker e.g. boilers etc.

Q: Why is the oven not coming on?
A: Check that there is power going into the cooker by seeing if the oven light is coming on. Then check if the clock is illuminated. If the clock is flashing 'auto' or is not illuminated this will be the reason why the oven is not coming on. Refer to your User Guide for instructions on how to re-set the clock on your model.

If there is no power to the clock but there is power to other areas of the appliance (the top of the cooker and oven light should be working) there may be a fault with the clock.

Please contact our Consumer Services Department on 0870 789 5107 for further advice.

Q: What do I do if I smell gas?
A: 1. Do not turn electric switches on or off

2. Do not smoke
3. Do not use naked flames
4. Do turn off the gas at the meter or cylinder
5. Do open doors and windows to get rid of the gas
6. Do keep people away from the area affected

Call your gas supplier or National Grid on 0800 111 999

Q: Who do I speak to if I receive a faulty cooker or a part is missing?
A: If you are experiencing problems with your Rangemaster appliance and it is still within the manufacturer's warranty, call us on (0870 789 5107). Please have your serial number and appliance details to hand (To find your serial number, refer to 'where can I find my model or serial no?'). Once we have diagnosed the problem we can usually arrange for one of our approved engineers to attend. If you have a new cooker and find that there may be a missing or damaged part please report this to us ASAP on 0870 789 5107 or email consumers@agarangemaster.co.uk

Q: Do you offer a repair service?
A: If you are experiencing problems with your Rangemaster appliance and it is no longer covered by the manufacturer's warranty, we can offer a number of services to help. If you would like an approved Rangemaster engineer to repair your appliance just call us on 0870 789 5107. Please have your serial number and appliance details to hand (To find your serial number, refer to 'where can I find my model or serial no?’). Once we have diagnosed the problem we can arrange for one of our approved engineers to attend. Rangemaster provides:

- A nationwide network of approved Rangemaster engineers, fully trained on our entire product range
- Fast access to genuine Rangemaster spare parts
- A fixed price quote, which includes parts, labour and VAT
(exceptions apply, please call Consumer Services on 0870 789 5107)

Q: What does a multifunction oven do?
A: The multifunction oven offers up to eight functions for really flexible cooking. From crisping up the base of your pizza to browning your favourite pasta dish. This feature offers a variety of functions all in one oven.

Rapid response (only available on a selection of models) - unique to Rangemaster, this feature heats the oven 30% quicker than a regular fanned function and allows cooking to start immediately.

Fan oven - a fan oven draws air from the interior of the oven, heats it up and forces it back into the cavity again. The heat within a fan oven is evenly distributed for multi-level cooking.

Fanned grilling - enables the door to be closed whilst grilling, which grills food more evenly, while preventing cooking smells from permeating the room.

Base heat - using the lower element only, this cooking method is best used for finishing off your dishes, such as crisping up the base of a pizza or ensuring the base of a pastry flan is fully cooked.

Fan assisted oven - utilising the conventional oven elements alongside the fan, this produces zoned cooking with the hottest zone being featured at the top of the oven.

Conventional oven - this traditional cooking method uses heat sourced from both the top and base of the oven, which results in a natural convection process that centres the heat in the top of the oven. For baking cakes etc, cook in the centre of the oven and slightly reduce the temperature.

Browning element - to use at the end of cooking for the finishing and browning of cheese topped dishes that are already hot.

Defrost - an incredibly safe way to speed up the defrosting process, as it uses the fan to circulate unheated air, so won't accidentally cook the food like a microwave can. Remember not to defrost meat or poultry in this way.

Q: How do I register my warranty and how long is it for?
A: Our cookers come with a standard 1 year warranty. But if you register within 30 days of delivery, you will receive a further 12 month warranty absolutely free.

To register your warranty, go to http://www.rangemaster.co.uk/rangemaster-owners/warranty-registration. Once your details have been processed, you will be sent your policy document outlining your cover.

Alternatively, fill in and return the registration form which will be enclosed with your new cooker, or call us free on 0800 587 5747 where our trained operators will take your details.

Q: Why are my hotplate burners not lighting up on my dual fuel/all gas cooker?
A: Make sure that the burner parts have been replaced correctly after wiping or removing for cleaning.

Check that there is not a problem with your gas supply. You can do this by making sure that other gas appliances you may have are working.

Do the burners spark when you push the button? If not, verify that the power is on by checking that the clock is illuminated.

If you are still experience problems call us on

0870 789 5107 or email consumers@agarangemaster.co.uk.

Q: What products do you recommend for cleaning your cookers?
A: For inside the oven cavity you must make sure that the cleaning product is safe to use on vitreous enamel. 

You must never use products that can cause the enamel to peel or tarnish handles and control knobs. Please remember to read and follow the instructions very carefully on all cleaning products. We recommend that any strong or caustic cleaner be first tested on an inconspicuous part of the cooker.

For coloured panels we do not recommend anything other than hot soapy water and a soft cloth. Refer to your User Guide for more tips.

Q: Can I purchase an LPG cooker?
A: Certain models are available to order as an LPG cooker. Please check the brochure or the website (www.rangemaster.co.uk) for availability. Please note that the cookers need to be ordered as all LPG. Dual fuel models can be converted.

Q: Can I convert to an LPG cooker?
A: Yes, only if your cooker is dual fuel and gas is supplied to it. Please call consumer services on 0870 789 5107 with your serial number to hand and order a LPG conversion kit. This will need to be fitted by a Gas Safe fitter.   

If your cooker is gas only then you cannot convert it to LPG.

Q: What clearances are required between a cooker top and cooker hood?
A: For hoods that sit above Dual Fuel or all gas cookers the minimum clearance is approximately 650mm. This is increased to 670mm if a splashback is being fitted

For hoods that sit above all electric cookers, the hood clearance can be no less than 650mm.

The maximum height we recommend for our range hoods is 750mm, as anything above this will begin to affect the performance.

Please refer to the User and Installation Guide.

Q: Can you explain how induction works?
A: The electricity supply generates a magnetic field. By placing a pan onto the induction zone you complete the circuit, the pan becomes hot and in turn heats the contents of the pan.

Induction pans need to be ferrous based; a magnet should stick to the base. Stainless steel, or cast iron is ideal. Induction cooking is 90% efficient, fast, powerful, controllable and safe. Easy to clean; the glass hob stays cool preventing spillages from burning on.  

Important information for pacemaker and implanted insulin pump users: The functions of this hob comply with the applicable European standards on electromagnetic interference. If you are fitted with a pacemaker or implanted insulin pump, you must make sure your implants are not affected by the induction hob. Please consult your doctor for medical advice. The frequency range of the induction hob is 20-60kHz.

Q: What size baking trays can I fit into the right hand fan ovens of the 90cm, 100cm, 110cm ranges?
A: Right-hand ovens 

The optimum sizes are:

90cm: 285mm (11") x 210mm (8")
100cm: 310mm (12") x 240mm (9.5")
110cm: 340mm (13.5") x 340mm (13.5") 

The left- hand fan ovens on range cookers use a tray up to 340mm (13.5")

For the best results we recommend that you do not use larger baking trays in Rangemaster fan ovens. 

Q: Why is steam coming out of the oven?
A: When cooking food with high water content (e.g. oven fries) there may be some steam visible at the rear grille, this is perfectly normal.

Take care when opening the oven door, as there may be a momentary puff of steam when the oven door is opened. Stand well back and allow any steam to disperse.

Q: What gas connection will I need to install my cooker?
A: All gas appliances must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer and Gas Safe Regulations.  A copy of the User and Installation Guide can be downloaded prior to delivery of your appliance should your installer require information about the location of the gas connection point on the cooker. Alternatively, please telephone Consumer Services (0870 789 5107) who can help with any information required.

SxS Refrigeration - Rangemaster

Q: What are the electrical requirements required to install my appliance?
A: You can connect your SxS to a main supply. It comes with a cable that is 1.5m long attached to a 13amp plug. The plug MUST be accessible after the appliance has been positioned. Make sure that the refrigerator does not trap the electric cable. Do not step on the cable. Avoid damage to the electric cable when moving the refrigerator.

Q: What do I need to do if the electrical cable is damaged?
A: If the electrical cable is damaged or worn, turn off the refrigerator and call Consumer Services on 0870 789 5107.

Q: What is the warranty on my SxS?
A: Your SxS comes with a standard 1 year warranty. But if you register within 30 days of delivery, you will receive a further 12 month warranty for absolutely free.

Any cosmetic damage to the appliance must be reported within 90 days of delivery.

To register your warranty, visit http://www.rangemaster.co.uk/contact-us/warranty.  Once your details have been processed, you will be sent your policy document outlining your cover.

Alternatively, fill in and return the registration form which will be enclosed with your new fridge-freezer, or call us free on 0800 587 5747 where our trained operators will take your details.

Q: Where is the best place to install my fridge-freezer?
A: This appliance should be installed in a room that is dry and well ventilated. To provide adequate ventilation, make sure the refrigerator is at least 15mm clear on all sides of any kitchen cabinetry. Any units placed above the appliance must be clear by 15mm to allow sufficient ventilation.

If locating the refrigerator close to a corner, sufficient spacing must be left for opening the doors and removing the shelves. The appliance should be at least 100mm from any electric or gas cooker and 300mm from any coal or oil stove. If this is not possible, make sure that appropriate insulation is used.

Avoid exposing the appliance to direct sunlight, and sources of heat (such as radiators, heaters or cookers). If this appliance is situated in a cold environment (such as a shed, outhouse or garage) it will affect its performance. You may find that the performance of the appliance is not consistent and this may damage foods. A consistent ambient temperature of 10 °C or above is recommended.

Q: How do I level the doors on my fridge-freezer?
A: Make sure that the appliance is on solid level flooring. If the refrigerator is placed on a plinth, it must be flat, strong and fire resistant materials must be used.

The SxS has front adjustable feet, which can be used to level the appliance.

Insert a suitable flat screwdriver into the slots of the adjustable feet. Turn the screwdriver clockwise to raise the feet, and counter-clockwise to lower the feet.

The doors may require some alignment before connecting the fridge-freezer to the electrical supply. Adjusting the levelling feet at the bottom of the fridge- freezer can align the doors. Please follow the below instructions:

- To raise the left-hand door, turn the left-hand foot clockwise until it is level.
- To raise the right-hand door, turn the right-hand foot clockwise until it is level.

Q: How do I fit and change the water filter?
A: Fitting the water filter:

Measure out and cut the length of pipe required from the filter to the fridge-freezer, and from the filter to the water supply. Make sure that you achieve a square cut using a sharp knife. Push fit one of the pipes into the water filter. Secure the pipe to the filter by sliding a locking clip into the groove as shown. Repeat the procedure on the other end of the filter.

Connect the end into the plastic adaptor. Screw the adaptor onto a suitable ½” BSP connector water outlet. Open the water valve to flush the pipe, check leakage in the water pipe joints and allow the water to run until it is clear.

Q: There is a red light showing on the display panel
A: To maintain water quality, the filter will need replacing from time to time. We recommend that the water filter is replaced every 2 years. A filter timer is included after the refrigerator has been switched on. The cold drinks icon becomes red to remind you to replace the water filter.

Press the ice cube switch for 5 seconds and the display should return to normal.

However, if the water quality shows signs of deterioration, either visually or in taste, then the filter should be changed sooner. You can purchase a water filter direct from us on 0870 789 5107.

Q: How do I change the light bulb?
A: To remove the lamp cover:

1) Rotate the disc on the bottom right-hand side of the lamp cover, counter-clockwise to remove.
2) Pull the lamp cover down, by gripping inside of the hole from where the disc has been removed

To replace the lamp cover:

1) To replace the cover simply push it gently and it will click into place.
2) Replace the disc, by rotating it clockwise

Q: What should I do if I have a power cut?
A: In the event of a power cut, food should remain safely cold for about 3 hours. Should there be a prolonged power cut you may need to remove food from the freezer compartment and store it in a cold place, wrapped in layers of newspaper to preserve suitable temperatures.

Once power is restored replace the food back into the freezer compartment. Should food begin to defrost, or the power cut last longer than expected, it is advised that you consume any food removed from the freezer. If the power cut is short term, most foods can be left inside the freezer compartment – this is the best way of preserving temperature is to surround the food by ice cubes from the icebox.

This is also an ideal solution for power cuts you may have been pre-warned about. When experiencing a power cut of any kind, do not add any extra foods to the freezer.

Q: The display panel does not stay on
A: After 30 minutes the digital display will switch off until the fridge-freezer is used again. This is for energy saving.

Q: Where can I find my serial number?
A: The serial number is located inside the fridge on the side of the walls. It is also in the User Manual.

Plumbing and Heating
Casing - Pendock

Q: What lengths does the pipe boxing come in?
A: All profiles come in 2500mm lengths and MX 8mm profiles are also available in 3000mm lengths

Q: Can pipe boxing be made to different sizes than shown in your brochure?
A: The TK profiles are all a set size, while MX profiles can be adapted if required to different heights and widths. If boxing is required over a 300mm leg length flat panels can be added to achieve required size.

Q: Can you paint the pipe boxing?
A: MX and TK profiles are pre finished white this makes a good base for painting. Profiles can be lightly sanded and painted.

Q: Can pipe boxing be easily cut?
A: Yes as the pipe boxing is made from plywood it is easily cut using a sharp saw.

Q: Do you provide casing to hide pipes under boilers?
A: As standard a casing of 200 x 380 x 200 x 500mm high is stocked, this can easily be cut down in depth and height. If this does not suit requirements bespoke products can be manufactured.

Q: Which product do you recommend to use at skirting level to cover 15mm copper pipes?
A:The TK is more suited to skirting level and comes in a variety of heights and depths.

Q: Are Safe heat radiator guards suitable for use in a Hospital?
A: Yes they have been designed for use in Hospitals, Care homes, Schools and Nurseries and in any application where a risk of burning on radiators can happen.

Q: Do radiator guards come in set sizes?
A: No all orders are made to customers’ requirements and are of a bespoke nature.

Timber Products
All About MDF

Q: What is MDF?
A: Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood-based sheet material made by bonding together wood fibres with a synthetic resin adhesive. MDF is extremely versatile and can be machined and finished to a high standard. As a result, MDF has replaced solid timber as a low-cost alternative in a wide range of applications across industry.

The majority of MDF is mainly composed of softwood, although some brands may contain a higher percentage of temperate hardwood if this is locally available to the manufacturer. High levels of hardwood can be found in MDF board from outside the UK and Ireland.

The most common binder for boards intended for dry environments is urea-formaldehyde. Other binders may be used depending on the grade of board and its intended end-use. For example, melamine urea-formaldehyde, phenolic resins and polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanate (PMDI) are generally used in boards that require an improved moisture resistance. PMDI binder is not formaldehyde-based and consequently does not emit any formaldehyde. The exact constituents of an MDF board will vary from product to product.

Q: What are the dangers of working with MDF compared with softwoods, hardwoods or other panel products?
A: The atmosphere created by machining or sanding MDF board contains a mixture of softwood dust and hardwood dust (if it is present). In addition, there will also be free formaldehyde, dust particles onto which formaldehyde is adsorbed and potentially, the resin binder itself and its derivatives. However, the levels of free formaldehyde in boards made within the EU at levels of formaldehyde class E1 are thought to be insignificant. This is because at these levels the resin is fully reacted (polymerised) – see Q.4 & Q.5 for information on standards and classes.

Under current legislation softwood dust, hardwood dust and formaldehyde are considered to be hazardous to health. Both softwood and hardwood dusts are known to be respiratory sensitisers and may cause asthma and other respiratory problems. Hardwood dust can also cause a rare form of nasal cancer.

Formaldehyde is classified in the UK, and in the European Union as a carcinogen and it carries the hazard statement ‘suspected of causing cancer’.

Because of the additional presence of formaldehyde in MDF the simple precautions detailed in Q.7 and Q.8 should be followed.

Q: What is formaldehyde and where does it come from?
A: Formaldehyde is a simple but essential organic chemical that occurs naturally in most forms of life, including people, some foods we eat and trees. All products made from wood will therefore emit some naturally occurring formaldehyde. It is widely used in the manufacture of numerous products including shampoos, plastics, carpets, clothing, resins and glues etc.

A range of materials found in the home or workplace may therefore release formaldehyde. The US Consumer Products Safety Commission provides the following information on formaldehyde on their website .

Formaldehyde is normally present at low levels, usually less than 0.03 ppm,(parts per million) in both outdoor and indoor air. The outdoor air in rural areas has lower concentrations while urban areas have higher concentrations. Residences or offices that contain products that release formaldehyde to the air can have formaldehyde levels of greater than 0.03 ppm. Products that may add formaldehyde to the air include particleboard used as flooring underlayment, shelving, furniture and cabinets; MDF in cabinets and furniture; hardwood plywood wall panels, and urea-formaldehyde foam used as insulation.

Similar levels are quoted in the World Health Organisation (WHO) report WHO guidelines for indoor air quality: selected pollutants, published in December 2010. This states for buildings, some of which contain wood based panels, ‘levels on the average are less than 0.05 mg/m3 (0.04ppm) in homes and about half that in public buildings’. It is important to note that these levels are from all sources, not just building products.

Q: How much formaldehyde is released by MDF board?
A: MDF boards manufactured in Europe for construction purposes must meet the appropriate European standards. These are BS EN 622-1:2003 Fibreboards-Specifications - Part 1: General requirements and BS EN 622-5:2009 Fibreboards - Specifications - Part 5: Requirements for dry process boards (MDF). There are two European formaldehyde classes, E1 and E2, depending on levels of formaldehyde emission measured. The release of formaldehyde from E1 boards is less than 0.1 ppm (parts per million) and for E2 boards it is between 0.1 ppm and 0.3 ppm.

In Europe, the majority of manufacturers produce only low emission boards. There are some boards available on the market with extremely low formaldehyde emissions and some with ‘no added formaldehyde’, for example those using formaldehyde free binders such as PMDI, i.e. these boards will only have the naturally occurring emissions from the wood itself. Manufacturers from outside Europe may however produce boards that have higher emissions.

Q: How are MDF boards labelled?
A: Wood based panels, such as MDF, that are used in construction should be CE marked according to – Characteristics, evaluation of conformity and marking. In complying with this standard, formaldehyde levels will have to be tested on a regular basis and a class will have to be declared (E1 or E2).

Other than compliance with the Construction Products Directive via CE marking (soon to be superseded by the Construction Products Regulation), there are no regulatory compliance schemes in the UK for emissions of formaldehyde.

There are a limited number of third party labelling schemes that do operate in the UK which specify amongst other things, maximum formaldehyde limits as part of their requirements. Such schemes include BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) for the assessment of buildings and for furniture products and the Furniture Industry Research Association ’FIRA Gold’ scheme.

Around the world there are certification and labelling schemes for products that can be specific to formaldehyde release, such as the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) scheme or other schemes where a range of emissions may be considered, such as the AgBB scheme in Germany.

Q: Is MDF banned in other countries and, if so, why not in the UK?
A: HSE is not aware of any countries in the world where MDF is banned.

Q: What precautions should be taken when working with MDF?
A: Employers have duties under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) to control risks to employees’ health arising from work activities. This means they need to ensure exposures to wood dust and formaldehyde are kept as far below the Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) as reasonably practicable.

WELs are the concentrations of hazardous material in the air averaged over a specified time period – called the Time Weighted Average (TWA).

Two periods are used, long-term (8 hours) and short-term (15 mins) – the long-term representing a working day and the short-term to help prevent effects such as eye irritation which may occur after only a few minutes exposure.

The WELs for hardwood dust, softwood dust and formaldehyde are expressed in the number of milligrams (mg) of material in one cubic metre of air (m3). Levels of formaldehyde are also expressed in parts per million (ppm). The current WELs are:

Formaldehyde - 2.5 mg/m3 or 2 ppm for both the long-term exposure limit and the short-term exposure limit

Hardwood and softwood dust - 5 mg/m3 for the long-term exposure limit. There is no short-term WEL

To control exposures, employers should follow the ‘hierarchy of control’ set out in the COSHH Regulations. This means:

First, try to reduce risks at source where possible by using a lower risk alternative, where one exists. An example of this could be to use a ‘no added formaldehyde’ MDF board or low-emission MDF board if practicable to do so.

There should be an effective dust extraction system in use whenever MDF is machined or sanded. This is often termed local exhaust ventilation (LEV).

Use vacuum cleaners with high performance filters (HEPA) to clean up MDF dust, or use a hose connected to the LEV system. Airlines and brushes should not be used as these produce clouds of fine dust that is easily breathed in.

Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) may also be needed but this will generally be the last line of protection, see Q.8.

Q: If I do need to use respiratory protective equipment (RPE), what should I use – is a dust mask sufficient?
A: RPE should not be used as the only means of control as it should complement other control measures such as a dust extraction system. Where you need to use RPE you should:

- select the right mask and cartridge;
- ensure it fits properly by having it ‘face fitted’, and by being clean shaven;
- look after it / change it regularly in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

RPE comes in three types FFP1 (4x protection), FFP2 (10x protection) and FFP3 (20x protection).

FFP3 is the most advisable type to have if you are exposed to high levels of dust and one combined with an organic vapour filter will also provide protection against any formaldehyde vapours that are present.

Further information on RPE can be found in:

Respiratory protective equipment at work: A practical guide (HSG 53)

Further information on fit testing can be found in:

The HSE supported fit2fit campaign 

See also:

LEV website
COSHH website

Frake Timber Cladding

Q: Is Plato Wood Frake a hardwood?

A: Yes, Frake is a non-durable hardwood sourced from abundant FSC certified forests in West Africa. Because of its light density and cell structure, Frake is ideal for the environment friendly Plato process, making it more durable and much more stable.

 

Q: How sustainable is Frake?

A: Plato Wood Frake is arguably one of the most sustainable cladding products available in the market. It is FSC certified, so independently guaranteed as coming from sustainable forests. What’s more, it is a LKS (lesser known species) – so each time Plato Wood Frake is specified and used, some pressure is spared on the more indiscriminately requested cladding species such as Western Red Cedar and Louro. Although these famous species can be sourced with certification, they are still finite. Therefore, to use Plato Wood Frake is to truly make a responsible choice.

 

Q: What sizes can I get Plato Wood Frake in?

A: Individual solid sizes range from 18x90 to 40x185mm, with lengths going up to 5m. Larger sizes for Frake are available (up to 650mm) through modern techniques such as glulam and finger-joining.

Q: Can Frake be used in direct ground or fresh water contact?

A: No. Although the durability of the Frake timber species has been upgraded with the Plato Wood process, it is only recommended for exterior use outside of direct ground and water contact – that’s why cladding is by far its main application.

 

Q: How strong is it?

A: Although there are stronger timber species to build bridges with, Plato Wood Frake is perfect for its main intended purpose: cladding. When properly installed, Plato Wood Frake can last you many years.

 

Q: Is Frake more stable than hardwoods?

A: Absolutely yes. The unique Plato Wood process carefully kiln dries the timber to very low levels – much lower than typical hardwoods are usually taken to. This ensures the timber has minimum movement.

 

Q: Can it be stained and fire-treated?

A: Yes, there are numerous case studies where Plato Wood Frake has been stained and/or fire-treated. Recent projects have also achieved the new Euroclass B for fire treatment, the highest rate of fire protection.

 

Q: What happens to timber after the Plato process?

A: The Frake timber species becomes lighter (less water content), darker, more stable, more durable and slightly more brittle.

 

Q: How does Frake differ from other modified timbers?

A: Plato Wood Frake is a first on many levels. It still is the only exotic timber to be thermo treated. It has no knots and is available in 185mm widths as a single solid piece. Its treatment and maintenance are free from chemicals and it can be stained and fire treated

 

Q: Is Frake FSC certified?

A: Yes, Plato Wood Frake is available with FSC chain of custody certification from your own stockist, making it traceable all the way back to its original source forest.

MDF - Medite

Q: If I want to veneer Medite Ecologique for use in a sensitive area, what glue options are available to me?
A: The normal urea-formaldehyde glues cannot be used as these would negate the ZAF quality of the panel but PVA and particularly polyurethane glues can be used for either hot or cold pressing.

Q: How should I store Medite MDF panels?
A: Panels should be stacked flat on a level surface with all four edges flush. The panels should be sufficiently clear of the ground to avoid any potential splashing from water on the ground. Stacking of panels on edge should be avoided, whenever possible. The ideal base for the stack is a close boarded or slatted pallet. If this is not possible, then the panels should be carefully stacked on battens of equal thickness at centres not exceeding 600mm.

Q: What is Medite Exterior?
A: Medite Exterior is a high quality, exterior grade medium density fibreboard (MDF). Medite Exterior is a smooth finished wood-based board, intended for exterior use, when suitable coated finishes or laminates are applied. It is machine workable using ordinary joinery tools and may be routed, carved and worked.

Q: Why do some of the boards have a dye through them?
A: The dye is used to distinguish and identify between Medite Product ranges. The dye does not enhance any physical, chemical or structural properties of the MDF panel board.

Q: Are Medite MDF products CARB2 Compliant?
A: Medite has progressed to a stage where all Medite products are CARB2 compliant or better, conforming to one of the strictest controls of formaldehyde emission levels. They also carry the relevant identification associated with this rigorous standard. As a result of our on-going commitment to produce products which comply with a range of international standards, we are continuing in our objective to make the sustainable and responsible choice easier for our customers.

Q: Does Coillte Panel Products have security of supply?
A: Yes, Coillte Panel Products are part of Coillte who own 442,000 hectares of FSC® certified forests in Ireland. We plant 16 million trees per annum ensuring security of supply for the future.

Q: What coatings are recommended for Medite Premier FR products?
A: Any coating, which maintains the classification of the substrate, can be used on FR MDF products. If water based coatings are chosen, the preferred option would be to ensure drying is forced to prevent excessive moisture absorbency. Oil based paint is not recommended.

Q: What types of Adhesives are best used with Medite Exterior?
A: To complement the exterior performance of Medite Exterior, an exterior grade adhesive must also be used. There are four main groups recommended, Phenol/resorcinol, Epoxy, Polyurethane and Exterior grade PVA. Each adhesive type has advantages/disadvantages, depending on the application requirements. Please consult adhesive manufacture or Medite Exterior Technical Guidelines found on http://www.medite-europe.com/downloads.

Q: Why is it necessary to round all sharp edges prior to coating Medite MDF?
A: Virtually all paints have a tendency to draw away from a sharp edge or corner and weathering will consequently cause cracks in the paint film at these points. The easing of all edges and rounding of corners to a minimum 3.0mm radius, by routing or light sanding, will retain the sharp appearance of a profile, yet allowing the correct paint film thickness to be applied.

Q: What type of screws should I use for fixing Medite MDF?
A: Screws provide a higher strength fixing than nails or staples but can be more expensive and time consuming to install. Because of these factors it is customary to use, for a given installation, fewer screws per area. This may call for the use of a thicker panel than would be required with high density nailing or gluing. The use of screws is not therefore recommended in large areas of panel which have a thickness less than 6mm. Screws into the panel edge should be not less than 70mm from corners. The main types of screws used with wood based panels are conventional woodscrews, parallel shank woodscrews and double threaded parallel shank woodscrews. For fixings into panels the parallel shank type screw is generally preferable. When screws are used for panel to panel fixings, a slightly oversize hole should be drilled in the uppermost panel. Pilot holes should be drilled for screw fixings. The hole diameter should be larger than those recommended for solid wood and particleboard; typically the holes should be 85 to 90% of the screw core diameter.

OSB - SmartPly

Q: What is SmartPly?
A: SmartPly is Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and is the smart, cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to many plywood's. It is suitable for use in structural and non- structural applications. It comes with unrivalled quality and environmental certification. It is manufactured from a locally – grown sustainable forest resource in an energy efficient process, and therefore has a lower carbon footprint than many types of plywood, making SmartPly one of the most environmentally efficient building materials on the market. It is the Smart OSB answer to plywood.

Q: Can SmartPly OSB be used in a flooring application?
A: Yes, SmartPly OSB3 is an incredibly strong, moisture resistant OSB3 panel engineered to perform in the most demanding load bearing floor applications. Panels are available in various sizes with both square edge (SE) and Tongue and Groove (T&G) profiled edges which enable quick easy and reliable installation in almost any timber floor design. Suitable for structural use in humid environments, providing a reliable distribution of strength, stiffness and spanning capacity along and across the board.

Q: Can SmartPly OSB be used in roofing applications?
A: Yes, SmartPly OSB3 is a highly engineered and moisture resistant panel and can be used for the most demanding roofing applications including: pitched roof (cold & warm), sarking/bracing, flat roofs (cold deck, warm deck sandwich, warm deck inverted), roof cassettes and dormer windows, Panels are available in various sizes with both square edge (SE) and tongue & groove (T&G) profiled edges which enable quick easy and reliable installation in almost any timber roof design.

Q: What is the difference between OSB2 and OSB3?
A: OSB2 is designed for structural, non-load bearing use in dry conditions. OSB3 is for use in structural, load- bearing, humid conditions.

Q: Can I use SmartPly OSB for my Site Hoarding requirements?
A: Yes, SmartPly is incredibly strong and versatile and is ideal for use in site hoarding applications. SmartPly OSB comprises of a range of products developed specifically for use, in combination with a timber framework, as a secure barrier for construction and temporary works to help prevent towards unauthorized access. SmartPly OSB2, OSB3 and SiteProtect hoarding boards, when constructed on a timber framework support, have superior strength and stiffness to provide a long lasting and robust barrier to an enclosure.

Q: Which SmartPly product should I use for Site Hoarding applications?
A: Selecting the correct SmartPly OSB hoarding:

- Temporary or disposable hoarding/boarding, no requirement for re-use - OSB2
- Durable hoarding/boarding, potential for re-use - OSB3
- Pre coated, no need to prime, durable hoarding requirement for high quality smooth finish and potential re-use – SiteProtect
- Pre coated all sides, no need to prime, durable hoarding requirement for high quality smooth finish and potential re-use - SiteProtect Plus

Q: Should it be the rough side or the smooth side that is on top?
A: For roofing you can use either side, but generally the textured size is up because it gives a slip resistance should the boards get wet during installation. Also gives a key to the surface for when they are laying the first layer.

Q: I do not want a board containing formaldehyde. Does SmartPly’s board contain this?
A: SmartPly OSB3 contains zero added formaldehyde, however there is some that pre exists because it is a natural chemical and occurs in most things. OSB2 does contain some form, it is manufactured using a formaldehyde resin and conforms to European classification E1 for emissions. OSB2 is mainly from used in external applications so is therefore not in a confined space. Chipboard has a far stronger emission of formaldehyde.

Q: What sealer should I use on my OSB3 boards?
A: Any sealer product that is solvent based. Do not use a water based sealer as this may raise the surface.

Softwood - BSW Timber

Q: What is strength grading?
A: Softwoods are the most frequently-used timbers for loadbearing situations. In order to comply with the Building Regulations they must always be strength graded. BSW produce strength graded timber to specifications laid down in British Standards - BS4978 for visual grading and BS EN 14081 for machine grading. Timber is graded to strength classes. The most commonly specified grade for softwood carcassing is C16.

Q: What are the benefits of strength grading?
A: Strength grading is undertaken primarily to provide timber of sufficient strength for a particular function e.g. a floor joist or a roof truss. At the same time strength grading helps to ensure that both the design and the timber sizes specified are economical.

Q: What is kiln dried timber?
A: An automated process that uses heat and airflow in a controlled environment to remove moisture from sawn timber Timber is loaded into treatment vessel and an initial vacuum.

 

Timber - James Jones and Sons

Q: What is strength grading and what does C16 mean?
A: Strength grading is a means of testing the bending strength of a piece of timber to ensure that it is strong enough to do what it is being specified for. At James Jones we use X-Ray scanning which is a faster and more accurate way to grade. The vast majority of British timber sold for carcassing, i.e. timber framing and flooring in construction is C16.

Q: Is British timber inferior to imported Scandinavian timber?
A: Many people still harbour the erroneous belief that British timber is unsuitable for construction use. Whilst it is true that Scandinavian timber comes from slower growing trees, resulting in a denser fibre, British strength graded C16 timber is ideal for the vast majority of use in buildings and comes at a significantly lower price than Scandinavian C24. British timber now accounts for 43% of the UK softwood market, up from less than 30% just 10 years ago.

Q: What benefit is there in kiln drying?
A: Timber is a natural product and when it is first felled has a high natural moisture content – the exact figure will vary between summer and winter. When the timber is sawn and cut and then put in an environment which reduces the moisture level, for example in the timber frame of a centrally heated house, the timber will start to dry out, which can lead to warping and splitting. Kiln drying means that the moisture content is reduced, under controlled conditions, to around 18 – 20% which results in a more stable end product. Typically carcassing timber will be in the kiln for up to five days.

Q: What is Use Class 4 treatment?
A: Timber that is used outside – for example, has to withstand much more in the way of attack from moisture and pests. To overcome this, timber manufacturers will apply chemical treatments to minimise the impact of these attacks. Use Class 4 is the highest level of protection and covers timber that will have ground contact – typically fence posts. James Jones Incised fence posts come fully treated to UC4 and are guaranteed for 15 years against rot caused by moisture or pest attack.

Timber Decking - Arbordeck

Q: Can decking be used on a sloping site?
A: Yes - one of the main advantages of decking against other landscaping materials such as a patio is that you can build a deck on a sloping site. If you build your deck on support posts you can reclaim land that was otherwise uninhabitable.

Q: Can decking be used next to my fishpond?
A: Yes. The preservative used to protect Arbordeck components reacts with the timber structure to become ‘locked in’ and leach resistant. Prior to installation, ensure the timber is free from surface deposits, e.g. sawdust.

Q: I'm not sure where best to site a deck in my garden - can someone advise me on various designs and costs?
A: If you take along the measurements of your garden, Arbordeck distributors will be able to advise you of various options and costs to suit your budget.

Q: Do I need a specialist installer to build my deck?
A: Building a deck requires basic DIY skills - if you can drill holes, tighten screws and bolts, read a spirit level and use a saw, you will have no problems.

Q: How should deck boards be fastened?
A: Deck boards should be attached to the structure underneath using screws or ironmongery specifically for decking. Arbordeck decking products include a wide range of galvanised and stainless steel fixings for use with Osmose Naturewood treated timber. These fixings will provide a long service life to match the treated timber.

Q: Why do I need to leave a space between deck boards?
A: As timber is a natural product, it can ‘move’ slightly when exposed to the weather. This is why it is recommended that you leave a small gap between deck boards - anything from 3mm to 10mm will be sufficient.

Q: Will my deck require any maintenance?
A: We recommend cleaning with a stiff brush to remove debris. The regular application of a protective treatment, such as SEASONITE or TEXTROL as recommended by the manufacturer, will help to protect your deck against the elements.

Q: Doesn't decking become slippery in wet conditions?
A: Timber is not inherently slippery, but as with any other outside surface, a build up of debris can leave a slippery surface coating. We recommend a good regular clean up of your deck to prevent problems. A suitable anti-slip product or our enhanced grip deck board can be used in high traffic areas such as steps and doorways.

Q: Are there any regulations governing decking?
A: Although there is no specific legislation for decking at the moment, any construction is covered by Building Regulations. The Timber Decking Association, the decking industry’s professional body, is responsible for recommending best practices.

For further details regarding regulations please visit the Timber Decking Association website  

In addition, large or unusual deck structures may be subject to planning permission in your local area, so check with your local council.

Q: Can decking be used on a roof, e.g. on top of a garage?
A: Many people enjoy a deck-based roof garden or terrace. However, we strongly recommend that you consult a structural engineer before planning a high level or roof level deck. They will be able to determine whether or not the existing sub-structure is suitable and also if it will be able to support the proposed deck.

Q: Is timber decking harmful to the environment?
A: No - we import all Arbordeck timber from countries and suppliers that meet UN requirements for proper management of forest resources, including vast replanting schemes. Man-made materials can cause much greater damage to the environment during production processes.

Q: There is a drain in our garden we occasionally need to access - does this mean we cannot have a deck?
A: Not at all. Due to the versatility of timber decking, a hinged panel can be used to cover the drain and allow access when required.

Wood Composite Decking - W.Howard

Q: Is wood composite more expensive than timber?
A: Yes. The reason for this is due to the cost of the technology and cost of the recycled products and pigments. The little maintenance involved with wood composite is a significant advantage.

Q: Will it rot or splinter?
A: No.

Q: Will it fade over time?
A: It is estimated that the product will fade by 10% over the initial 6 months depending on light and weather.

Q: Does it require decorating?
A: No, only occasional washing.

Q: How do I fix it?
A: Composite decking screws.

Tools, Fixings and Accessories
Fixings and Fittings - SPAX

Q: Do I need to pre-drill?
A: No, the SPAX 4CUT point on the tip of the screw eliminates any need to pre-drill, even in hard woods.

Q: Will a SPAX screw work close to an edge?
A: Yes, the SPAX 4CUT point spreads the wood fibres as it drives in resulting in no splicing.

Q: Is the SPAX screw good for fixing hinges?
A: Absolutely, the SPAX screws multihead design features ribs which help reduce the thread being stripped when fixing all types of hinges.

Q: What materials can SPAX screws be used with?
A: Most types of wood without pre-drilling, including hard woods. Chipboard, MDF, plastic and even thin sheet metal.

Q: Is the SPAX screw only available in yellow?
A: No, our range in the UK offers both yellow and blue zinc screws with a choice of pozi or t-star bit recess.

Q: Does SPAX just make wood screws?
A: No, in addition to the universal wood screw, our range in the UK offers a full complimentary range for all end user requirements..

Q: Where can I get more information on SPAX screws?
A: Your local Howarth Timber & Building Supplies team is always on hand to advise or visit www.spax.com, a great source for product and manufacturing information.

Q: What’s new from SPAX?
A: WIROX, the brand new anti-corrosion coating that gives ten times greater protection when compared to yellow zinc plating.

Q: What screws come with the WIROX coating?
A: Currently 6.0MM & 8.0MM SPAX construction screws and the 4.5MM x 60MM SPAX decking screws.

Paslode Nail Gun - ITW Construction Products

Q: Do fuel cells have a shelf life?
A: Fuel cells have a "Best Used By" date printed on the bottom of the can. If a tool starts to work intermittently it could be because the fuel cell has expired. An expired fuel cell can loose internal pressure to degrade its performance.

Q: Will other brands of nails work in my Paslode nailer?
A: Paslode nailers and fasteners are engineered to work together as a system. Other brands of nails may not be designed or manufactured to the same specifications or quality standards as Paslode. Using nails that do not meet Paslode's specification may cause damage to the tool and injury to the operator or bystanders.

Q: Can I use other brands of fuel in my Cordless nailer?
A: Paslode fuel is formulated for Paslode Cordless nailers. Using other brands of fuel may damage your tool or increase how often it needs servicing.

Q: How long does it take to charge a battery?
A: A new battery will take up to 2 hours to fully charge. A partially discharged battery will take between 5 minutes and 1 hour to fully charge depending on the amount of discharge

Q: Do I need to do anything special to operate the nailers in cold temperatures?
A: The nailers will perform better in temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you plan on using the nailers below 32F they should be warmed up before use (such as placing them inside your vehicle while driving to work). Fuel cells can be warmed by placing them in an inside coat pocket.

Never place the tool or fuel cell in the vicinity of a fire or an open heating element.

Q: The nailer fires but no nail is being driven. What causes this?
A: There are several things that could cause a nailer to "blank fire". 

If your tool does not have a lockout, check that you haven't run out of fasteners. There may be a nail jam preventing the fasteners from moving forward. For information on clearing a nail jam refer to your operators’ manual. 

Cordless nailers may require cleaning. If the tool has driven 10,000 nails or more, it may require cleaning.

Q: What does it mean when the lights on the charger flash red and green?
A: It is normal for the lights on the charger to flash red/green for up to 20 minutes. The charger is slowly building the charge in the battery until the battery is able to accept the full output of the charger. This protects the battery and increases the life of the battery. If the lights continue to flash red/green after 20 minutes but go to a steady green when the battery is removed, it is likely there is a problem with the battery.

Q: What type of oil should I use after the nailer has been cleaned?
A: Use only Paslode Cordless Tool Lubricating Oil. It is specially formulated to withstand the high temperatures generated by Cordless nailers. Using other oils can cause the rapid build-up of combustion residue leading to poor nailer performance and more frequent cleanings.

Screws - SPAX
Spit - ITW Construction Products

Q: Values published by different manufactures for fixings of the same type and size seem to vary a lot. Why is this and how can I get a meaningful comparison?
A: There are two aspects to this. First make sure that you are comparing values on a like for like basis. Not only do different manufacturers use slightly different methods to test the performance of fixings, they sometimes use different methods to determine the allowable loads. The best comparison will be that given by values quoted in European Technical Approvals as these have been tested and assessed on the same basis.

Q: Will anchors work in cracked concrete?
A: Some anchors can be used in cracked concrete but we would usually advise that an anchor is covered by ETAG approval.

Q: What is a KN?
A: KN is a measurement used to determine the load that can be applied onto an anchor. 1 KN is equal to 100 Kilogram’s.

Q: What type of anchor can I use in a corrosive environment?
A: When looking for an anti-corrosive fix we would normally advise using stainless steel.

Q: How do concrete screws work?
A: Concrete screws are installed after drilling a pilot hole. They are then screwed into the concrete and form a thread into the material giving you a fix.

Q: When would I use a chemical anchor?
A: A chemical anchor would be used where a Mechanical anchor can't be used i.e., close to an edge or spacing distance between anchors and poor substrate etc.  

Q: What can cause an anchor to fail?
A: Below are a few reasons why this could occur:

- Incorrectly installed
- Poor base material
- Load capacity is too high for the anchor to withstand
- Corrosion

Q: What different type chemical resins does Spit manufacture?
A: Epoxy (Spit Epcon Resin) = Specifically formulated for extreme rebar & stud applications.  Can also be used in oversized, wet and diamond drilled holes.  

Vinylester (Spit Epomax Resin) = Suitable for stud applications up to M30 diameter can be used in submerged holes.  

Polyesters (Spit Cmix Resin) = Suitable for hollow base materials & stud size up to M12 designed for light load applications.   

Methacrylate (Spit Maxima) = Equally measured resin every time in capsule based system.  There is no wastage with this resin.  

Q: If a Resin is specified can I substitute with another resin?
A: Yes you can but it's strongly advisable to maintain the resin type specified for example Epoxy or Polyester etc. We also advise to check the performance values and approvals before making your decision.   

Q: Are spit chemical resins Styrene free?
A: All spit resins are Styrene free.

Windows, Doors, Floors and Joinery
Doors - Premdor

Q: Where is the lock block position on a Premdor door?
A: Standard Core doors have a single lock block. The side of the door that the lock block is situated is indicated on the top of the door. On the veneered doors, the lock block is positioned centrally. On moulded doors, the top of the lock block is located 880mm from the top of the door.

The lock block is 360mm long by 80mm deep (+ / - 15mm). 

The Semi Solid Core door (moulded only) has a full length lock block on both sides of the door. Safe 'N' Sound (moulded only), Fireshield FD30 and Firemaster FD60 doors are solid core options and therefore, there is no lock block.

Q: What do I do if the lock block position is not marked?
A: If the door is not marked with the word LOCK or the letter L, you will need to tap down either stile (the long edge) to find the position of the lock block; this should make a denser sound. Failing this, a small pilot hole can be drilled into the edge of the door. If the drill passes easily through the timber framing at around 27mm, this is not the lock side.

Q: How much can you trim off a Premdor moulded or veneered door?
A: The maximum trimming recommended is 5mm from any edge on Standard Core, Semi Solid Core (moulded only) and Safe 'N' Sound (moulded only) doors.

The maximum trimming recommended for Fireshield FD30 and Firemaster FD60 doors is 3mm from the long edges and 5mm from the bottom. Please note, that trimming the top of the fire door will invalidate Premdor’s fire certification and the door will no longer be compliant with current fire legislation.

Q: How do I work out the brickwork opening for my external door?
A: Add 10mm to the width and 5mm to the height onto the overall frame size.

Q: What are the maximum and minimum door sizes available?
A: The maximum door size is 926mm wide and 2040mm high for both moulded and veneered doors.

The minimum door size for veneered doors is 381mm wide and 1200mm high. The minimum door size for moulded doors is dependent on style. 

Q: What are the intumescent strip / smoke seal requirements for Premdor FD30 and FD60 rated fire doors?
A: The FD30 intumescent / smoke seal requirements are as follows: -

Single door leaf – 15 x 4 intumescent strip/ smoke seal fitted to top and two long edges of door or frame.

Double doors – 15 x 4 intumescent strip / smoke seal fitted to top and hanging edges of the door or frame and 10 x 4 intumescent strip / smoke seal fitted to meeting stiles (this must be offset).

If you are using smoke seals on a pair of doors, you must offset one 10 x 4 smoke seal to one leaf and one 10 x 4 intumescent strip to the other.

The FD60 intumescent strip / smoke seals requirements are as follows: -

- Single door leaf – Two 15 x 4 intumescent strips / smoke seals fitted to the top and the two long edges of the door or frame.
- Double doors – Two 15 x 4 intumescent strips / smoke seals fitted to the top and the hanging edges of door or the frame and two 10 x 4 intumescent strips fitted to the meeting stiles (this must be offset).

If you are using smoke seals on a pair of doors, you must offset one 10 x 4 smoke seal to one leaf and one 10 x 4 intumescent strip to the other.

Q: Can fire doors be supplied unglazed?
A: Fire doors can only be supplied factory glazed in accordance with our relevant fire certification.

Q: How many hinges are required for FD30 and FD60 rated fire doors?
A: We recommend 3 hinges (1.1/2 pair) of Butt hinges for Fire doors. All ironmongery must be certifier approved, please contact technical department for further information.

Q: Which Premdor doors are FSC® or PEFC approved?
A: Premdor has an extensive range of internal and external timber doors, French and folding doors, doorsets and timber windows available to supply customers with either FSC® or PEFC Chain of Custody, which offers assurance that an independently audited route to market is being followed, demonstrating our commitment to environmentally and socially responsible forest management.

Q: Can the Traditional Hardwood doors be pre-glazed?
A: The Traditional Hardwood doors are supplied unglazed only for glazing on-site by others.

Q: How do you specify hanging/hinge side?
A: This is done by the door being viewed from outside.

Doors - XL Joinery

Q: What is the difference between a door with Dowelled construction to that of a door with M&T construction?
A: Our Dowelled Hardwood doors are manufactured from kiln dried timber and are jointed using fluted dowels and modern adhesives.

Our Mortice & Tenon doors are manufactured from select kiln dried hardwoods, and are constructed using traditional Mortice & Tenon joints and modern adhesives. This ensures that the doors are constructed to the very highest standard. The panels are set in waterproof mastic ensuring that the highest level of weatherproofing is achieved.

Q: What wood (species) is the door made up of?
A: Hardwood - Red Hardwood

Pine - Radiata/Elliotti
Oak - American Oak (for doors) & Malaysian Oak (for frames)

Q: Are the doors made up of solid or engineered construction?
A: In the interest of environmental concerns and improved performance, products may contain engineered timber components including laminated Timber, MDF or Particleboard.

Q: How much timber can be taken off an Internal door?
A: When trimming an internal door to fit, it may be reduced by a maximum of 12mm in both width and height:  The reductions must be split equally from each edge, i.e. to reduce the door width by 12mm, remove 6mm from each side of the door.

Q: How much timber can be taken off an External door?
A: When trimming a door to fit, the door may be reduced by a Maximum of 12mm off each side, top and bottom.  Any reductions must be removed equally from each edge to reduce the door width by 12mm, remove 6mm from each side of the door.

Q: What thickness of veneer is used on the doors?
A: Internal Oak Doors - Stiles and rails: 0.6mm approx, Panels: 0.6mm approx

External Oak Doors - Stiles and rails: 1.2mm approx, Panels: 0.6mm approx
Internal Hardwood Doors - Stiles and rails: 0.6mm approx, Panels: 0.6mm approx
External Hardwood Doors - Stiles and rails: 1.2mm approx, Panels: Solid Laminated Hardwood
Internal Clear Pine Doors - Stiles and rails: 1.0mm approx, Panels: Solid Laminated Pine
External Clear Pine Doors - Stiles and rails: 1.0mm approx, Panels: 9mm Plywood on 2XG & Malton, Panels: Solid Laminated Pine for Stable

Q: How should the doors be finished?
A: Internal Paint: A Coat of Primer/Undercoat and min 3 coats of Topcoat

Internal Stain: Good quality internal stain/lacquer finish - min 3 coats.
External Paint: A coat of Primer/Undercoat and min 3 coats of a good quality paint
External Stain: High performance stain - min 3 coats

Q: What is the U-Value of a specific external door?
A: Certified U-Values are available for the majority of XL Joinery Doorsets. These U-Values have been determined by Chiltern Dynamics, an independent UKAS accredited testing laboratory. 

External doors sold separately are available with indicative U-Values only. These indicative U-Values are based upon information from BRE 443 2006 Edition: Conventions for U-Value Calculations, produced by the Building Research Establishment Limited.

Q: The label on the door states that I cannot use wax, teak oil or varnish…….why not?
A: When we manufacture a door it has a controlled moisture content, the above mentioned treatments will not seal the moisture content into the door, therefore allowing moisture ingress or loss to occur causing the door to either swell or shrink. Only a fully paint finish (primer, undercoat & gloss) or high performance wood stain/lacquer should be used.

Q: I have broken a piece of glass, can you supply a replacement piece? (applies to all internal doors XL Joinery supply)
A: These doors are of cassette construction therefore they are built around the glass and there are no loose beads. We do not have replacement glass. If the customer wants to re-glaze, they would need to router the mould off one side of the glazing aperture, remove the broken glass, put new glass in and acquire a new loose beading to re-glaze the door. However it is probably cheaper to buy a new door.

Q: The glazing bars on my doors are out of line, not square, what can I do?
A: The vertical glazing bars can be tapped back into line, these are dry set into the door and could move in transit.

Q: What is the thickness of glass?
A: Flat Glass: 4mm approx

Bevelled Glass: 6mm approx
Double Glazed: 14mm approx
Tripled Glazed: 18mm approx

Q: Can you give out glass sizes?
A: We do not give out glass sizes for the reason that the measurements could be taken down or given incorrectly.

Q: What if I receive an obscure glazed door and it has clear patches on the glass?
A: This effect is usually caused by a substance "filling in" the glass etching and turning it almost transparent, usually caused by silicone. It can be removed with white sprits and vigorous rubbing of the transparent patch. Once the white sprit as been applied, leave to dry and the glass should become obscured again.

Q: Can you tell what the fire rating is for my door?
A: Other than the specific fire doors sold by XL Joinery none of our Internal or External doors have a fire rating. The fire doors sold by XL Joinery all have 1/2 hour fire rating.

Q: Can the internal Oak door pair lining set be used on any other size of doors?
A: The length of the lining and door stop is 2134mm long x 20mm thick, 3 lengths of each. If you give the customer these sizes, they can work out the dimensions they need to cut the lining & door stop to. The lining is designed to be used for up to 60" pairs.

Q: What is the thickness of your Door Lining Sets?
A: The thickness of the Door Lining Sets are as follows:

Oak Door & Door Pair Lining Sets - 20mm
Walnut Door Lining Sets - 20mm
Softwood Door Lining Sets - 27mm

Ironmongery - Dale Hardware

Q: How should I clean door furniture?
A: The care taken in keeping any finish clean is all important as more finishes are ruined by incorrect cleaning than by any other means. In no circumstances should proprietary metal polishes, or abrasive materials be used on ‘plated’ finishes as this may cause irreparable damage to the deposited film.

Dust, which is usually chemically active, and moisture which is frequently acid, are the principal natural hazards. Simple but regular cleaning is more successful than severe sporadic treatment.

Polished brass - Do not use abrasive cleaners or metal polishes as they may damage the shine of polished brass products. To maintain the quality finish these should be cleaned with a slightly damp cloth. Normally brass has a lacquer, and can pitt over time if great care is not taken.

Polished/satin chrome - Regular dusting. Periodic light wash in warm soapy water, dried and buffed up to polish. If such care is not taken the finish can pit over a period of time.

Q: What is lacquer?
A: A method of producing a foil for forming a surface protection layer on an item.

Q: What is a follower?
A: A square hole within the latch or lock mechanism through which the spindle fits (before attachment to the handle or knob). As the handle/knob is turned, the spindle turns the follower and the latch is operated.

Q: What is the difference between bathroom furniture and privacy furniture?
A: Bathroom furniture must be used with a mortice bathroom lock where the latch bolt is withdrawn by the lever or knob and the deadbolt is operated by a thumbturn. Privacy furniture is fitted with a tubular mortice latch and by turning the thumbturn it locks the lever not the latch. Bathroom locks and furniture should be fitted in preference to privacy furniture as they are more reliable and are specified in all new build situations.

Q: What is backset?
A: The measurement between the outer face of the lock / latch faceplate to the centre point of the key hole / follower.

Q: What are centres?
A: The measurement between the centre point of the key hole and the follower / spindle.

Q: What is a deadlock?
A: A deadlock is fitted independently to any furniture, has no latch mechanism, only has a deadbolt and is usually operated by a key.

Q: What is an escutcheon?
A: A decorative product that covers the cut out where the key would go in to the lock and would normally be used in conjunction with a deadlock or sash lock when used with round rose furniture.

Q: What is the role of fire door hardware?
A: The role of fire door hardware is to hold a fire door in place in the event of a fire. Door closers, Intumescent strips, locks and latches are all essential ironmongery and therefore must carry the correct fire test evidence to show suitability for use on 30 or 60 minute fire doors.

A fire door is not just the door leaf. It consists of the frame, any glazing, the intumescent fire and smoke seals and all the ironmongery, these components are crucial to making up a fire set. A fire door will not work in a fire unless all the correct ironmongery has been fitted and maintained.

CE Marking is not yet required on all ironmongery components that are fitted to fire doors; however CE marking clearly demonstrates that components are fit for the purpose. Non CE products need to demonstrate through test evidence they are fit for the purpose.

Fire doors fitted in a new frame situation manufactured by members of the BWF-CERTIFIRE Fire Door & Door Sets Scheme must be fitted with CERTIFIRE tested and approved door closers and Intumescent strips. This is along with CE marked locks, latches and hinges. If this is not adhered to the guarantee on the fire door will be invalidated and should the fire door fail the contractor and the supplying merchant could be liable to criminal prosecution.

Q: What is a door closer?
A: Door closers are designed to close doors and keep doors shut. Door closers should be fitted to fire doors; door closers come in many varieties overhead, concealed spring chain, concealed pneumatic, self closing and floor spring. The type of door closer changes with the application a fire door is fitted for. The door closer should be fit for the purpose of holding a fire door shut for 30 or 60 minutes and should have the relevant test evidence to prove this. Door closers fitted to fire doors manufactured by BWF-CERTIFIRE scheme members should have CE marking tested to EN1154 and CERTIFIRE certification.

Q: What is intumescent seal?
A: An intumescent seal is a foam product housed in a plastic carrier designed to expand in a fire to fill the gap between the door and the frame. They come in plastic strip form, Gun application tube, hinge and lock template format. Intumescent fire, fire and smoke or acoustic seals should be fitted to fire doors in the door edge or in the frame.

Q: What is panic hardware?
A: Panic hardware is used on exterior opening fire doors to ensure in a fire situation that people can exit premises quickly and safely. Hence it is suitable for use in all types of public buildings, including shops, offices, hospitals, cinemas, night clubs, etc.

Panic hardware consists of panic latches, locks, push pads and outside access devises. A push bar is used to ensure that fire doors can opened quickly even in dark and Smokey conditions.

MDF Mouldings - W.Howard

Q: Is MDF Carcinogenic?
A: No,  there are reports to exonerate the product.

Q: Is it banned in the USA?
A: No, the US is the largest producer

Q: Is MDF waterproof?
A: No, it is moisture resistant.

Q: How do you fix it?
A: Gap filling adhesive.

Q: How do you hang doors to it?
A: Parallel shank screws

Q: Does it need decorating?
A: Yes, the primed products require an undercoat and gloss. Veneered products can be finished using a wax, lacquer or wood stain

Q: Does it contain formaldehyde?
A: The content of formaldehyde is less than what is found in natural products like tomatoes. Less than 1.0mg/100g which is also equivalent or less than natural timber.

Q: Are the products FSC certified?
A: Yes.

 

Roof Windows - Keylite

Q: Why would I choose a Keylite Roof Window instead of a dormer window?
A: Compared with a dormer (regarding the corresponding daylight area), Keylite Roof Windows provide significantly more light. A roof window installed in a roof pitch of 45° provides up to 40% more light than a dormer. 

The roof window allows unobstructed daylight as opposed to the dormer, where the dormer construction absorbs some of the daylight. It is much easier to install and maintain Keylite Roof Windows compared with a dormer. The dormer construction has a larger heat loss than a Keylite Roof Window.

Q: Do Keylite Roof Windows come with a guarantee?
A: Keylite Roof Windows are manufactured using the highest quality materials and workmanship, guaranteeing many years of trouble-free enjoyment. All Keylite Roof Windows have a 10 year guarantee; you can register your roof window by visiting and filling in the online Guarantee Form.

Q: What size of roof window do I need for my room?
A: Keylite recommends that the daylight area be at least 10% of the floor area to achieve adequate natural daylighting. The overall effect can be improved dramatically by increasing the ratio to around 20%.

Q: My Centre Pivot Roof Window will not remain in the open closed position – how can this be resolved?
A: If you have a centre pivot window which is not staying in the open position this may be due to the pitch of your roof. The springs can be replaced with heavier duty springs that are now as standard within all Keylite Roof Windows

Q: Is my window secure from the outside?
A: The opening lights can be fitted with a key-operated locking device, where the windows are required to satisfy the security requirements of NHBC Standards. It is the responsibility of the building designer to specify where these requirements need to be satisfied (Security against intrusion - BBA Extract). 

Q: Why have I got mould in the corners of my window?
A:
Mould will gather when the timber is continually damp or moist. This is caused by condensation and can be prevented by positioning a heater immediately under the window to provide the ideal pattern of warm air circulation.

This will help prevent condensation gathering on the glass (see window fitting instructions).

Q: How do I clean a Top Hung Roof Window?
A:
All Keylite Roof Windows rotate 180 degrees, therefore making the window easy to clean from inside the property.

Q: How much space in the roof do I need to leave for a standard roof window?
A: Window width plus 20mm-40mm, window length plus 20mm-40mm, ensuring that the top trimmer is fitted in a horizontal position and the bottom trimmer is fitted in a vertical position.

Q: Why is my roof window leaking?
A: 99% of all leaking windows are down to poor installation. The 6 common installation faults are: 

- C-Channels fitted the wrong way round
- The hood and top apron are not joined correctly (slate extension piece not fitted)
- The frame side flashing is not fitted correctly under the C-Channels
- The rubber end caps have been removed
- The flashings are not overlapped in the correct order
- The window has been fitted in a roof with a pitch less than 15°.

Q: How do Electric Blinds work?
A: Keylite can offer either an electrically operated blind, which runs off a wall-mounted transformer switch or a blind that can run off the same remote that is used to operate your window.

Q: Can I use my own fabric to make a roof window blind?
A: Keylite can supply a roller blind kit that can be used to fit the customers own fabric (we recommend that this is only sold to a blind manufacturer).

Q: Can any blind be electrically operated?
A: Keylite can supply an electrically operated pleated and integral blind. We can also provide a battery operated remote control Venetian blind (this includes a different remote than the standard and has a range of approx 2.5m).

Q: How do I fit my blind?
A: DIY installation is very common with Keylite blinds. Keylite supply fitting instructions with all our blinds to make this simple.

Q: What is the minimum roof window pitch required for installation of a Keylite Roof Window?
A: The minimum roof pitch required for a Roof Window is 15°. A Flat Roof System can be used for any roof that has a pitch of less than 15°.

Q: Can I get a white finish on any roof window?
A: The Keylite White Finish painted coating is available for the entire roof window range. The Keylite WF (White Finish) window is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms, or any room prone to smoke, dust or steam. This wipe-clean polyurethane painted coating has fantastic moisture resistant qualitities and requires little or no maintenance.

Q: Do the Fire Escape Windows have to be a certain height?
A: A fire escape roof window should have an unobstructed open area that is at least 0.33m2: minimum 450mm high and 450mm wide.

Q: How do I weatherproof the flashing on the roof?
A: Keylite offer a range of dedicated roof flashings for different types of pitched and flat roof coverings, all tested for driving rain resistance.

Flashings are supplied in a range of standard colours or can be colour-matched to specific roof coverings, including composite panel and standing seam systems.

All flashings are manufactured from fire-retardant ABS giving an AA fire rating to BS476 and can therefore be used on roofs without restriction on number, spacing or position.

Q: How many roof windows can be operated from one switch/remote control?
A: We can offer many different systems to suit the buyer, almost anything can be achieved by electric operation, for a range of multiple window electrics please contact your local Howarth Timber & Building Supplies branch.

Q: Can I order the electric kit and fit it the window myself?
A: Yes. Electric kits can be retro fitted to a centre pivot window. The kits include all fitting instructions and wiring diagrams required to do so.

 

 

Sliding Pocket Doors - Eclisse

Q: Do Eclisse frames come supplied with the doors?
A: No, you can use any standard door you like, we have a frame for each size. We do however supply frameless glass doors.

Q: What are the limits on the door sizes?
A: The standard range of frames fit all standard door sizes however nonstandard sizes can be manufactured up to 2 m. wide and 2.9 m. high to order.

Q: Do I need a threshold?
A: No the floor surface remains uninterrupted, you can continue it through the doorway. 

Q: Do you offer installation?
A: No, we supply only because these are relatively easy to assemble and install by Builders, Joiners or even competent DIYers.

Q: What guarantee do you offer?
A: We offer a 12 year guarantee against faulty materials or workmanship for the frame.

Q: Are there different jambs for different frames?
A: Jamb kits depend on the finished wall thickness, always specify this when ordering.

Q: What materials are they made of?
A: They are made of finger-jointed pine with a real wood (cherry walnut) veneer, ready for painting or staining.

Q: Why do we use brushes around the door?
A: Modern doors can warp so the brushes are used not only to seal off the pocket etc but to take any door warping into account.

Q: So who needs a wooden door post?
A: Recessed door post will let your door slide right into it giving you a perfect closure line; and it gives space to insert tiny rubber bumpers to soften closing noise.

Stair Parts - ID Modern

Q: Where can I buy id modern stairparts from?
A: You can buy id modern stairparts from your local Howarth Timber & Building Supplies branch. Click here to find your nearest branch

Q: What finishes are available in the range?
A: All id products are available in a white primed finish (ready for a top coat of paint – you may need to apply a coloured primer if you are using a dark colour). Vu and Flo spindles together with handrail, baserail, newel posts and caps are also available in Oak. Mix and match your choice of spindle Oak or White primed hand/base rails, newels and newel caps to complete the look. Visit the id modern stairparts website for inspiration - www.idstairparts.co.uk. Oak can be finished with any good lacquer and for clear finishes on Oak we suggest using a low sheen clear finish rather than high gloss.

Q: What is special about the handrail?
A: The handrail has been ergonomically designed with safety, strength and stability in mind. As well as it being aesthetically pleasing, it will fit your hand perfectly making it feel safe and strong.

Q: Can I use a standard newel with id spindles and rail?
A: That depends upon the newel. Some will be suitable but why not choose the id newel designed to complement the range? Design linked, the simple contemporary styling completes the look and feel of a design led product to give a warm welcome to the entrance of any property. 

Q: Is id expensive?
A: Not at all. id is affordably priced - For a reasonable investment, you can transform your staircase into the centre piece of your home, a beautiful feature in your hallway, adding value to your property.

Q: What newel cap can I use with id?
A: id modern stairparts have a design-linked newel cap which has a unique shape to complement and complete the look.

Q: What is different about id?
A: id modern stairparts are totally unique, refreshingly different, giving customers a choice of design-rich shapes, more modern than conventional turned spindles, more distinctive than straight square balusters and totally complementary to modern homes. Avoiding the cold industrial look of steel or glass, id modern stairparts have redefined timber balustrading. Id spindles create a 3D effect and their appearance changes from different views. You can also use you own creativity by using the spindles in different ways. Visit the id website for ideas, click here.

Q: How long do I have to wait when I order id?
A: id modern stairparts are available from stock now, so don’t delay, start creating and choosing your design today.