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installing ceiling beams

Helpful Tip Tuesday - The Shrinkage Factor: Acclimatize

Helpful Tip Tuesday - The Shrinkage Factor: Acclimatize Ready to get started on your project? Be sure your beams and planks are ready too. You don’t want to get “short-changed” on the final result. There's nothing like the sight of a pile of newly delivered beams to get you going on the project you've been planning. But not so fast. Before you start measuring and sawing, be sure to let all your materials get used to their new home.   Polyurethane beams and planks get longer and shorter as the temperature changes. If they've just come off a truck, or have been sitting in your garage or basement for a while, they're not ready to install yet. Before you get started, lay all your materials in the room where they'll be installed. Then slowly back away. Don't come back until they've had enough time to acclimatize to their new environment. How much time is enough? If you can lay out all the beams and planks in a single layer, wait 24 hours. If you have to stack them in a pile, wait an extra day to be sure they all come to room temperature. Remember that polyurethane is a good insulator, so piling them up really slows down the acclimatizing process. When it's time to measure and cut, remember that the faux beams and planks will continue to expand and contract with temperature after they're installed. So will the room, of course. But to make sure no cracks open up, fit them tightly as you install them, cutting them about 1/8 inch long and compressing them into place. (Use our plastic bag tip to help fit beams tightly into place.)   Also to help prevent the issue of expansion and contraction use the glue on top of the beam as prescribed in the basic installation instructions. This way the ceiling and the beam are more apt to expand and contract together.