Baptistry Lids

21st January 2014 0 By admin

When it comes to stopping people falling into a baptistry when not in use, the options usually boil down to getting a set of lids! If an existing floor is being cut through, the boards could be saved and reused by an expert carpenter / joiner. (I use the word ‘expert’ as a pointer to a later comment). This will enable the ‘lid’ to be in keeping with the flooring where the bare wood is to be preserved.

Architects may specify waterproof marine ply or MDF held together on a frame of treated timbers. I have no problem with timber, lovely stuff, use it all the time. Very cost-effective and easy to stick carpet to. Where the problem may arise is when builders / users forget that it is wood. Wood will swell and shrink and bend a little over the years but more especially because, as you will fully understand, baptistries are damp when in use. It is good sense to put the lids over to keep the warmth in when filling and heating. This will swell the lids and they and the empty pool are best left ‘open’ to allow them to dry.

Lids, whether of wood or reinforced fibreglass can be fitted with hand-holes, trap door ring pull handles or recessed threads which can take an eyebolt to give a convenient finger-hold. Wooden lids tend to be 100mm deep to have the necessary strength, whereas GRP lids tend to be 70mm. The GRP lids are reinforced by the incorporation of steel square section tubing – as you can see from the picture with a sturdily build Yorkshire gentleman stood on the lids – there is no bend. These lids rest flat upon the flange of the baptistry rim (the surrounding floor would hold them in place once installed), though we can make baptistries with a rebate so that lids are flush with the baptistry edge. The advantage with GRP is that it just does not rot, doesn’t need treating or painting and carpet tiles or such like can be stuck to the back.

(And why use the adjective ‘expert’.) Recently we despatched baptistry and wooden lids off to the south of England to a new home. Two months later the builder was having problems with the lids. Odd, we thought so off we went for a jaunt southwards. Perhaps we should have made it clearer that leaving wooden lids in the rain for weeks was not ideal. Nor do we feel a layer of building debris over the baptistry is beneficial to the ease of fitting the lids. And this was a major contractor. So, please, make sure your builder does not view wood as some novel material!