As you plan your new home build, you have to choose the right structural materials for the property. While you can use concrete and steel here, you can also use various kinds of timber. If timber is an option for you, then make sure to look at laminated veneer lumber (LVL).
What is LVL and what are its benefits as a structural timber?
What Is LVL?
LVL is a type of mass timber. Like any mass timber, it consists of engineered wood pieces joined together to create the finished product.
Here, manufacturers split logs into uniformly-sized thin slices known as veneers. These veneers are then layered together. In some cases, you put layers in a parallel formation where all the grains follow the same direction. In others, you use different directions for each layer.
Once you have created all your layers, you join them up and glue them together. They then go through a high-intensity pressing process. At the end of the process, you have one piece of timber that is actually composed of many different layers.
What Are the Advantages of Using LVL Structural Timbers?
Regular timber has some downsides in structural applications. For example, knots in the wood create weak areas that might affect the timber's strength. Flaws in the wood can also make it shrink or warp. This sometimes affects the timber's strength and ability to bear loads and stress. It becomes harder to work with.
LVL products don't have these weaknesses or flaws. Even if a log has some knots in it, they won't all appear in the same place when the veneer sheets are put together. Plus, the hard press you get at the end of the manufacturing process straightens out each sheet to give you maximum uniformity.
You get a stronger and flaw-free piece of timber that is easier to work with. The engineering process actually increases the natural strength of the underlying wood. LVL products can rival steel for strength.
Plus, LVL is one of the more lightweight structural options. It works well on builds when you need to create lighter structural systems. If concrete and steel supports are too heavy for your build, then LVL could be a good alternative. Its light weight makes it easier and cheaper to transport. You could reduce your labour workloads and costs because it is easier to use.
To find out more, contact structural timbers manufacturers or suppliers and ask about their off-the-shelf and customised LVL products.