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Column Selector Guide

Column GuideChosing the Correct Column - Scroll through our column pages, and what will you find? A choice of over 50 different designs. Over the years our desire to give customers what they want has actually made column selection increasingly difficult. Here we aim to give you confidence to pick what is right for you. Whilst developers may buy columns regularly the rest of us are likely to be coming at column purchasing with little or no architectural experience.

Which House Martin column should you select? - The first decision will be picking a column style. Broadly speaking there are just three choices. The three styles refer to the "Capital" or Column Top. In the UK almost 90% of our sales are Doric. This consists of a fairly plain capital with a simple circular band near the top, sometimes in conjunction with a square upstand.

Column GuideNext up the Ionic style features 4 scrolls, two at the front and two more to the rear. These are classically styled to create the impression of curled ram's horns. Our most intricate column style is the famous Corinthian design. Not sure what this looks like? Think of the detail on Nelson's Column at Trafalgar Square. The column features a cascade of acanthus leaves, with minature scroll relief to each corner. Use the details below to help you select the correct architectural column.

Exterior Or Interior Use? - Each Orac column leaves the factory with primer pre-applied and can be used indoors or outside. Select paint that will provide your desire effect, remembering that the majority of exterior columns are normally white.

Full Column Or Half Column? - Full columns can be used as supplied for interior and non structural applications, whilst half columns can be used like pilasters against walls or when used as two halves can shroud steel or tanalised timber supports under canopies and porticoes.

Column GuidePlain Or Fluted? - Plain columns are the most popular, and are designed with a slimmer base, rising to an increased width that then tapers towards the capital. Fluted columns are more decorative, and especially effective when used in 2 halves which are joined together under a canopy. In effect the installer has to clearly defined lines to disguise the joint. Plain columns can be joined to shroud supports, but much greater care is required for a neat invisible join.

Broad Or Narrow? - Large detached dwellings with large gardens, or long driveways tend to look more elegant with a broad 30 cm (12 inch) diameter column, whilst more modern housing tends to suit the narrower 22cm (10 inch) diameter column shafts. The other factor essential in column width selection is available floor space. Whilst a 12" diameter design may appear to be just 2" wider, it can crowd out smaller rooms and look out of proportion. If in doubt we are happy to check out a digital image and offer advice based upon our experience.

Column GuideTall Or Short? - All our columns are supplied in component form. Capitals for the top, shafts for the centre and plinths for the base. Our column shafts can sit on square, circular or octagonal bases. Overall column height can be varied by either cutting the shaft, or by adding height with readily available building materials. Columns fitted outside the home, or on driveways can be made taller and look smarter sitting on a brick plinth.

Installation? - Competent Do it Yourself enthusiasts will find installation within their capabilities.

INTERIOR INSTALLATION - As a general guide use FDP500 Decofix Pro for fixing column plinths to the floor, and column capitals to the ceiling. Use FX200 Extra Fix to join components together, or join two halves along their length.

Column GuideEXTERIOR or HUMID INTERIOR INSTALLATIONS - Use FDP700 Hydro Adhesive for fixing column plinths to driveways, brick piers or paving slabs, and for fixing capitals to the soffit above. Use FX200 Extra Fix to join components together, or to join two halves along their length.

Decorating Columns - After installing columns, let the adhesives cure for at least 24 hours before painting. Each column component has a white primer applied in the factory, and is ready to accept a single final coat of paint. Water based acrylic paints will work best, and these are easily purchased at quality paint stores.

The majority of our columns are usually finished in white, although they may be finished in colours or marbled effect. To the right we have shown a few of these finishes which were created by accredited professional Dulux decorators.