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ThermoChar®: An Overview


What is ThermoChar®?

ThermoChar® is a range and process that we began implementing around 6 years ago. Our ThermoChar® range is created by charring our thermally-modified timbers. We are the only provider of charred ThermoWoods in the UK. The most popular finish in our ThermoChar® range is the heavy charred Ash, which produces a snakeskin texture and appearance. To achieve the heavily charred finish, we burn several millimetres into the surface which also makes the boards UV resistant.

This can be achieved with a hand-held burner or you can run the boards through a machine. At QTD Ltd we usually opt to use a handheld burner to keep a close eye on the material and its reaction to the charring, making the process very labour-intensive.

Effectively with ThermoChar®, you are applying an aesthetic to the surface which gives the surface a completely different look and texture compared to a natural ThermoWood. With our TigerLite (lightly charred Ash) finish we will char the surface to highlight the grain structure and then apply an oil to finish it. You can then re-oil the timber when it begins to weather. Or let it weather to an attractive silver hue with a dark grain structure.


Installing your ThermoChar® boards

When installing our ThermoChar® range we would always advise using stainless steel screws. You would fix the screws through the bottom corner of the profile and in most cases pre-drill slightly to minimise disruption to the board. You could also use stainless steel pins if you prefer, installing through the bottom of the profile at 45 degrees into the cladding battens. If you opted for a smooth all-round profile you could use an Invizifix® clip. This is installed by screwing the clip into the batten so that you don’t have to penetrate the surface.

When we wrap and pack your orders each layer of boards will have a foam layer between them to protect the surfaces. You should take care when unwrapping your boards following all of the guidance provided to you. If you plan to store your material whilst waiting to install we would suggest keeping the foam layer between the boards and the material under a cover to protect it from the elements. You must handle your ThermoChar® material with more care than you would any other construction timber. If you do happen to knock a board on installing, you can apply the touch-up sealer provided with your order to restore the timber.

When installing your boards we would suggest leaving about a millimetre gap. Although ThermoChar® is cured at a 7% moisture content and will never shrink, it may experience subtle expansion when it takes on moisture during the colder months. The millimetre gap will allow the timber some room to breathe. If you ran the profiles tightly together and the boards began to expand, then the boards may start to bow if there is no room for them to move. So we would always suggest leaving a small gap between the boards.


Do I need to maintain my ThermoChar® boards?

Once your ThermoChar® boards have been installed there is not much maintenance to do with them. If your boards are susceptible to being splashed by mud, then all you need to do is use a sponge with warm soapy water and simply wipe off any dirt or muck. Do not use a jet wash or a hose on the boards as this will damage the surface.

If at some point you feel that the medium or light charred finish is starting to fade due to UV exposure, you can always reseal the timber with the touch-up paint or apply our Messmers UV Plus Oil to your lightly charred boards.

It is not advisable to re-char them once installed. This is because they already have a sealer on them, and the charring process applies a lot of heat to the surface. That heat would then transfer through to the membrane behind the fixings, which could potentially cause a fire. So, never re-char the surface when it has been installed.

If you are in the position to take your boards off the façade, depending on the profile then it is possible to take them down and bring them back to QTD Ltd to be re-charred. However, none of our customers has ever worried about this. Instead, they simply re-apply the sealer which will give the finish and the longevity you are looking for. Irrespective of the finish applied to the timber, this does not affect the durability of the material.

If you have any more questions about our stunning ThermoChar® range, please call our Sales team on 0118 373 2211.

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