the world's leading publication for coverage of the OSB, particleboard, MDF, laminates, softwood and hardwood plywood and hardwood face veneer industries.

Engineered Lumber Has Replaced Natural Lumber In Key Building Components

Building a house, garage or even a shed today isn’t as easy as going to the local lumberyard and buying whatever dimension of wood you need. A lot of emphasis goes into the grade of the wood and its stress and load ratings, according to Everett Brands, manager of Arrow Building Center in Glencoe. Arrow took over the former Fullerton Lumber Center on Desoto Avenue this past October.

Today, main structural pieces, such as headers, consist of LVL, or laminated veneer lumber, an engineered product typically of poplar, fir or pine. It is laminated under heat and pressure with a moisture-resistant resin and it’s stronger than typical native wood. Building codes call for the use of specific lumber grades for specific applications.

“Anything longer than six feet as a header has to be LVL,” Brands said. The LVL products range up to 36 or 48 feet long. While regular lumber could sag or bow under extreme weight, the LVL won’t. Thus LVL is typically used over windows and entries, especially with tall entries.

“We use a lot of engineered products — beams, headers and I-joists,” added Matt Smieja, manager of Simonson Lumber, just outside Hutchinson along State Highway 7 East.

Years ago, when forests were being cut for the first time, the wood tended to be of higher quality as far as grain and knots. But new stands of trees generated are of a lower grade.

From the Hutchinson Leader:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *