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What is Laminated Veneer Lumber?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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Known in the industry as LVL, laminated veneer lumber is a type of wood product that is created by fusing or binding several layers of thin wood with the use of some type of adhesive compound. This type of lumber product is generally considered to be strong and suitable for use in a wide range of building projects, as well as in the construction of some types of furniture. There are several advantages associated with the use of laminated veneer lumber, including durability and the ability to withstand considerable amounts of pressure without warping.

The process of creating laminated veneer lumber begins with the careful preparation of thin sheets of wood. In recent years, the use of salvaged lumber to create these thin sheets has become more common, making it possible to recycle older wood products into something that can be used in new construction. The number of sheets used in creating the lumber will depend on the thickness desired for the final product. Each of the sheets is secured in place with the use of an adhesive product that is capable of resisting changes in the climate, including extreme shifts in heat and cold. The sheets are usually treated to retard deterioration, with a sealant placed on the exterior sheets to provide an additional layer of protection for the finished wood product.

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There are an number of different uses for laminated veneer lumber. In building construction, this type of lumber product can be used for cross beams that support flooring or ceilings, as well as beam structures designed to support the weight of rooflines. The lumber can also be used in the construction of weight bearing walls in some residential and commercial building designs. Owing to the ability of the laminated veneer lumber to remain straight and uniform over time, using this product is often a good way to control the expenses associated with the building project.

Several other advantages of laminated veneer lumber over more conventional types of lumber are often cited as good reasons for using this product. Typically, LVL demonstrates less of a tendency to shrink and expand in response to shifting climate conditions. There is also a lower incidence of twisting, bowing, or warping over time, which means that floors and ceilings remain level for more years and the laminated veneer lumber used as a support in a weight bearing wall is less likely to buckle under the stress.

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