Engineered Wood Social

Straighten Up

Posted in Architects

Straighten Up

With ever-evolving building codes raising the performance bar for wood products and dwindling supplies of high-grade, long-length lumber, a number of industry professionals are turning to engineered wood products, especially laminated strand lumber (LSL).

An alternative for conventional soft- wood dimensional lumber, engineered wood products provide added strength, straightness and length that allow their use in architectural designs where traditional lumber products don’t measure up.

LSL in particular offers load-bearing capabilities that traditional lumber cannot match. LSL is made from thin wood strands glued and pressed together with a stationary steam injection press that provides a uniform cure and an even density gradient across the thickness of the product, adding to its strength and making it more resistant to warping, shrinking and twisting.

The strongest LSL on the market, LP® SolidStart® LSL, is rated up to 1.75E, making it an ideal alternative to traditional lumber for beams, headers and tall wall stud applications. LSL products can be a direct replacement for 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, and 2x10 lumber products. LSL can also serve as a cost competitive alternative to LVL and glulam beams.

LSL products can greatly reduce the need to build up beams and headers, and they offer ample support for cabinets and tiled walls. Because it is so strong and offered in a variety of widths and lengths, LSL also provides tremendous flexibility for architects and designers to create larger rooms, without being held back by the limitations of traditional timber.

LSL is a perfect whole-house framing solution with a number of application benefits:

  • Roof Framing: LSL is ideal for complex and contemporary roofs or vaulted ceilings because it stays straight.
  • Door and Window Headers: Because of its resistance to twisting and warping, LSL can reduce the likelihood of drywall cracking around windows or framing, especially in sliding glass door and specialty window applications, and shallow headers allow for transoms and arched windows.
  • Garage Door Headers: Longer lengths can allow continuous framing over garage return walls in high wind and seismic areas.
  • Tall Wall Framing: LSL is excellent for framing in walls over 10 feet high, such as great rooms and foyers as it reduces movement that could lead to stress cracks and leaking seals.
  • Rim Board: LSL’s strength and shrinkage resistance make it ideal for high vertical and lateral wall load applications in multi-story construction.
  • Columns: LSL provides a solid, continuous load path for hold-downs in high-wind areas.
  • Truss Chords: Well suited for attic or girder applications, LSL has excellent plate and nail-holding capabilities.
  • Stair Stringers: Because LSL resists shrinking and twisting, it reduces the likelihood of squeaks.

LP Building Products offers accredited continuing education courses through LP University where you can learn more about LSL and other engineered wood products.

Visit LP University for related courses: Engineered Wood Products for Specifiers (1 credit hour AIA/CES, HSW); Framing Solutions: Laminated Strand Lumber When Strength, Stiffness and Straightness Matter (1 credit hour AIA/CES, HSW/SD); and Tall Wall Design Using Engineered Wood Products (1 credit Hour AIA/ CES, HSW).

This information and the websites identified above are provided solely as a convenience to the reader. They are not intended to state or imply that the editors of Engineered Wood or LP Building Products sponsor, recommend, endorse or are affiliated or associated with the companies or products listed.