Apr 192019

We’ve featured many projects over the years where homeowners decorated their beams or mantels with rubber beam straps. Today we’ll show you a few examples and how to implement this look in your own design.

Fun fact: Duct tape was invented in 1942, by Richard Drew of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Co. Since then, it’s been a staple of pretty every home, and an essential for any toolkit; and you’d be alarmed at how much of the world is supported by the flexible adhesive tape!

Rubber beam strap attached to a faux wood mantel
Rubber beam strap attached to a faux wood mantel

But what did the world do before duct tape? When it came to architecture, the answer was often a beam strap.

A beam strap is a piece of wrought iron intended to brace, reinforce or support timber architecture. They can be original features of a timber structure – bracing and supporting joists and trusses – or they can be later additions, used to repair and support a broken or splintered beam in exactly the same way people use duct tape to repair stuff these days!

If you tour any of the great cathedrals or Europe, or the old churches of the northeastern United States, you’ll often see beautiful iron straps wrapped around or riveted into old beams.

Cross beams on a bedroom's tray ceiling decorated with rubber beam straps
Cross beams on a bedroom’s tray ceiling decorated with straps

When you’re working with faux wood beams or mantels, one of the ways to achieve this old-world look is by adding our strap accessories. They are made from flexible black rubber, and can be installed onto our products with construction adhesive. Once installed, they resemble real wrought iron straps, but their rubber material allows them to be wrapped or folded over the beams in an almost limitless variety of ways.

These straps are a great addition to many beam designs for a number of reasons. Besides adding another level of authenticity, they’re perfect for covering up seams when two lengths of beams are connected together, and can also cover up joints and connections.

A decorative beam hangar mimics the look of a real beam bracket
A decorative beam hanger mimics the look of a real beam bracket

Prior to buying and using beam straps, we recommend doing some research into the ways they are used in real timber structures to apply to the faux versions in the same way.

We offer a variety of different straps including classic straps, which wrap around the beams, plus straight straps and plates to mimic the bracing added to joints and trusses. We even offer hangers, which resemble the structural iron used to support cross-beams and other structures. Click here to see the full collection of options.

Basement beam and lally column with strap and plate placed at the T intersection.
Basement beam and lally column with strap and plate placed at the T intersection

Because they’re affordable, easy to install and incredibly versatile, beam straps are a great option to take your faux beam or mantel project to the next level. Click here to see more photos.

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