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Could Timber Beading in Windows Snap During A Reglaze?

What are timber beading on timber windows? They are the thin pieces of timber which are fitted onto the glass to finish off the edges/front of the window.

Many timber windows have beading which is created to match the window when they are first made. Over time timber beads can deteriorate. More specifically, they are usually very thin and can break easily when removed to replace glass or reglazing a window.

Of course, all care is taken when removing such beading. However the reality is that there is up to an 80% chance of beads breaking during removal and reinstallation. The longer the beading, the more likely it is to snap.

What are your options if the timber beads break while reglazing a window?

Two main options are possible.

1. Replace the bead with brand new beading

Although this sounds like the most obvious option, there are a few things to consider.

Match the existing timber

  • Firstly, whether you can match the existing timber in the window, both type and colour. You may be lucky and fit a match to your window at a local hardware store. However, for many homes which are older, there is a chance that the timber beading does not exist anymore for purchase.
  • Which then lead you to the option of making it by hand. When the new beading must be handmade it takes a significant amount of time and can be a very tedious task. Often this results in snapping of the new beading several times before getting it right. If in the instance timber beading does break and you would like new beading to have it replaced, as additional cost of $170 will be added to the bill to cover the time and expenses of materials and labour to install brand new beading.

Why is this cost quite expensive?

You must consider in order to create more timber beading, a length of timber must be selected from a hardware store. Use a saw to cut a thin section of the timber (generally using one of the corner edges of the length of timber) to the desired length of the window. Then gently using some sandpaper, sand it back until an edge that matches existing beading from the corner is created. You must apply minimal pressure otherwise the beading may snap. The thickness of the timber that you are creating is the tricky part here. If too thin, it will be too flimsy to work with. If too thick, it will look out of place, or need more work in order to fit into the window. When considering these factors, it is easy to see why the cost adds up.

2. Re-insert the original snapped timber bead

What is the more cost effective method, both time wise and for product matching? It is to re-insert the original snapped timber bead. Use some timber putty to fill in the crack where the bead had snapped. Wait until it dries and then sand it back. This will generally match the colour relatively well. However, if it doesn’t, the best thing is to paint over the beading so all the colour matches. Even timber staining can be enough to patch up the difference. Most customers often chose that option, because once it is finished there is not too much of a difference in the final finish.