Glulam stands for glued laminated timber and refers to a type of engineered wood product made by bonding together layers of solid wood lumber with adhesives. Glulam beams and panels are commonly used in construction as a structural element for roofs, floors, and walls.
Glulam beams are created by bonding together several layers of dimension lumber, typically softwood species such as Douglas fir, spruce, or pine. The individual boards are typically oriented with their grain direction parallel to the length of the beam, and the resulting product is stronger and more stable than a solid wood beam of similar dimensions. Glulam beams can be used for spans up to 100 feet and have a variety of applications, including in homes, commercial buildings, and bridges.
Glulam panels are made in a similar way to beams, but with thinner layers of lumber and often oriented perpendicular to the length of the panel. They can be used for walls, roofs, floors, and other structural applications. Glulam panels are often used in mass timber construction, where large wooden elements are used to create buildings.
Glulam beams and panels have several advantages over traditional solid wood products, including:
- Greater strength and stability due to the bonding of individual layers
- Consistent quality and performance
- Ability to span longer distances than solid wood beams
- Sustainable and environmentally friendly, as they are made from renewable materials and require less energy to produce than concrete or steel alternatives.
However, glulam products can be more expensive than traditional lumber and require careful design and installation to ensure their structural integrity.