- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Dec 2016
Fluting, also known as reeding, is a series of regular, concave grooves or convex ridges running vertically or spirally along a surface. Typically, the term ‘fluting’ refers to the grooves found on a column shaft or pilaster.
Fluting features prominently in classical architecture; used in the columns of all the classical orders other the Tuscan. The Doric order has 20 grooves per column, while the Ionic, Corinthian and Composite orders have 24.
It is believed that fluting may have originated from the earliest columns of the Greeks which were made from tree trunks. Vertical gouges were left when the bark was shaved off the trunks. When they began using stone for columns, they continued to form gouges because they gave the columns a taller and more slender appearance. Fluting was also widely adopted for the feeling of rhythm which it gave to the columns and building composition, something that was considered important in particular by temple architects.
A variation is cabled fluting in which the flutes are partly filled by a small, cylindrical moulding or bead. This decorative feature typically does not extend higher than one-third of the height of the column shaft.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Wall covering used to insulate rooms and fight against rising damp.
New eligibility criteria for EU nationals explained.
Click and lock flooring.
Recovery Advice for Business scheme launches.
Insight paper examines nuclear and net zero goals.
Suburban Americana with a secret past.
New planning rules to protect theatres, concert halls and music venues.
Public engagement in London Borough of Enfield's heritage strategy.
Engineering services in the spotlight.
The Government's Summer 2020 economic update.
Getting organised below the surface.
Securing suitable water systems.