Just a short note to let you know that we were really pleased with the individual items, that Shaw Stairs Ltd made for our new house. We have had numerous complimentary comments from visitors, and my clients regarding staircase etc. Your staffs were also courteous and professional, I will definitely be recommending Shaw Stairs again.

My husband and I would just like to say how delighted we are with our recent staircase renovation. From the initial enquiry right through to the completion of the project the service we received was first class. It was a real pleasure to do business with your company and would have no hesitation in recommending you to others.

Please pass on our thanks once again to everyone involved.
Kind regards
John and Karen Hayes from Milton Keynes

Wow! What a transformation! Just wanted to say thank you for our staircase renovation. Excellent job, first class in every respect and superb craftsmanship. Your team were a pleasure to have in the house and nothing was too much trouble for them. Thank you,
Jim & Clare Cooksley, Cardiff

What a great company, from the first meeting with Chris (designer) to plan our new stairs, through to the survey with Chris, to the fitting carried out by Brian and Jowel (whose workmanship is exemplary). All concerned made this a pleasant experience. We are absolutely delighted with the end product and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Shaw Stairs to anyone.
Wayne and Helen, Warwick

"I must let the world know what a fantastic job your guys did, with oak and glass, to remodel our staircase. It is stunning and the care taken with tiny details has been quite amazing. Moreover, it was a pleasure to have the pair of them in our home. Permanent smiles on their faces, obviously loving the job and proud of the result, Great stuff, Thank You All."
Mr & Mrs Bolton, Chepstow

Oak Tiger Grain Explained.

Oak Grain Explained

We call them "Tiger Marks", Some customers complain to us that they look like "Filler Marks" or "Laquer Splashes". They are in fact found on all pieces of oak furniture or stair materials and show that the piece of furniture has been produced from one of the best cuts of Oak from the tree. We have tried to explain below how they are naturally produced and included links to wikipedia.

Why choose Quarter Sawn Oak?

In order to produce quarter-sawn wood you must cut away from the growth rings at a 90-degree angle. This will produce a vertical uniform grain pattern. Quarter sawn boards will have a grain with straight tight lines running the full length of the board. The better this is done the better the chance for achieving the sought after medullary ray flecks. In addition to being a beautiful piece of wood quarter, sawing increases the structural soundness of the board. They are less likely to twist, warp or cup, holds a better finish and does not allow fluids to penetrate easily. 

During the growth phase of the tree the purpose of medullary ray is to transport nutrition between the core of the trunk and the outer parts. The medullary rays are almost an unnoticeable colour in some other wood species. They radiate from the centre of the oak log to the bark, and when the log is quarter sawn, the rays are cut at a very low angle which reveals more of their surface than if the log was slabbed off which in turn increases the chance to getting the famous medullary ray flecks.

There are also some attractive structural benefits to quarter sawn oak. It is about 50% more stable than plain sawn which results in significantly reduced expansion, contraction, twisting, warping and cupping, it holds finishes better and it does not allow liquids to readily pass through it.

Medullary Rays
In botany, Medullary rays refer to a characteristic found in woods. In this context the term refers to radial sheets or ribbons extending vertically through the tree across and perpendicular to the growth rings. Also called pith rays or wood rays, these formations of primarily parenchyma cells allow the radial transmission of sap and are essential in the process of tylosis. In quartersawn material, where the wood is cut into boards with the growth rings roughly perpendicular to the face of the board, the medullary rays often produce beautiful figure such as silver grain, medullary spots, pith flecks, etc.

Protecting Your New Staircase - Varnish - Painting - wax

After your new feature staircase has been delivered and installed and it looks great but there is still one stage to go through before it can be called finished. You cannot leave the timber untreated as the open grain will accept all the moisture, dust and dirt that is trodden into it and will absorb any moisture from plastering ect, grease marks and stains from spills. In a very short period of time, regardless of the quality of the wood, your new staircase will look worse for wear and if it is not treated some of the damage will be permanent. The solution is quite simple the timber has to be treated with a protective material, varnish, lacquer or painted even if you are not ready for the final finish a base coat will protect your wood until you are read for the final finish.