Materials and components

Explore information to help you better understand the traditional materials used in old buildings.

Tile Image: 

Timber wall panelling

This article explains how to deal with timber panelling: from fungal decay to warping, and more.

Vertically-hung tiles

Vertically hung tiling is a traditional fronting. Its mellow colours and gentle unevenness provide a pleasing appearance to many old walls.


This article outlines how to repair this long-used protective wall covering, which is not to be confused with pebbledash.

Gypsum plaster floors

Old gypsum plaster floors are often unrecognized and frequently mistaken for later concrete. This places them under the constant threat of damage or destruction despite their historic importance and general serviceability.

Suspended timber floor insulation

This article explores the options for suspended timber floor insulation in historic buildings.

Stone walls

Solid, secure, unchanging? The permanence of old stone can be deceptive. Even one of the toughest of traditional building materials needs monitoring, maintenance and, at times, sensitive repairs.



It is, perhaps, Britain’s most underrated building material – a simple solution worthy of better understanding. Find out what weatherboarding is and how to maintain it.

Timber stairs

This advice note explores the do’s and don’t’s of caring for an often overlooked architectural asset.


Stone floors

This advice note sets out the key themes that emerge when caring for one of a historic building’s finest – yet very often overlooked – architectural assets.