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LVL vs Conventional Lumber: What’s The Difference?

Deciding on whether to use traditional lumber or engineered lumber, specifically LVL, can be a difficult choice to make. While both are trusted options, knowing their distinctions will give you a clear idea of how they can better serve your project’s needs.

Unsure of the difference between LVL and conventional lumber? Here’s what sets them apart. 

Conventional lumber

Traditional, solid sawn lumber or conventional lumber is still very popular among builders – primarily because of their familiarity with the product. One of the great things about conventional lumber is that you can buy dimensional lumber and have it cut to your specific measurements.

While conventional lumber is generally lower in price, it often has quality issues, which can result in builders having to perform costly corrections.

When should I use conventional lumber?

If you’re still in the research stage and wondering how to shave a bit off the budget, you should consider using conventional lumber.

However, conventional lumber differs in terms of quality and appearance with respect to knots, the slope of grain, shakes and other characteristics. Therefore, you should always consult with your lumber supplier about the strength, utility, and value of your chosen lumber.

Because dimensional lumber always comes in specific sizes, conventional lumber is best used for wooden frames, floorboards, wall panelling, furniture and cabinets, and similar projects with specific dimensions.

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

Laminated Veneer Lumber is created using multiple layers of thin wood which is bonded together with heavy-duty glue. Because of the strength of the glue, engineered lumber is more stable and resistant to common problems like rot, termite infestation and mould.

While there are many excellent natural lumber options, engineered lumber, like LVL, has a number of benefits that builders and contractors should consider prior to construction planning.

LVL is often compared to solid timber, concrete, and steel thanks to its exemplary strength – which makes it perfect for supporting heavy loads in commercial or industrial settings. One of the major differences between LVL and conventional lumber is that – due to the emphasis placed on quality bonding in LVL – there are no naturally occurring knots. This not only makes the product stronger, but more durable than conventional lumber.

When should I use LVL?

Laminated Veneer Lumber is ideal for a variety of uses inside the home, especially when it comes to maintaining a structure. This includes everything from rafters, headers, lintels, purlins, roof trusses, and formwork – in addition to window frames and steps.

Overall, its properties make it an excellent option to build homes and buildings with open floor plans. LVL can also be engineered to be flexible and pliable, which makes it highly versatile for complex architectural projects.

Which among these two should you use for your home improvement project? The answer is up to you!

At Narangba Timbers, we offer a wide range of conventional lumber and LVL options for your outdoor or indoor projects.

Looking for LVL lumber in Brisbane or Sydney? Give us a call on 1300 477 024.